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Learning About Transistors and LEDs

Learning About Transistors and LEDs

An LED is the device shown above. Besides red, they can also be yellow, green and blue. The letters LED stand for Light Emitting Diode.

To make an LED work, you need a voltage supply and a resistor. If you try to use an LED without a resistor, you will probably burn out the LED. The LED has very little resistance so large amounts of current will try to flow through it unless you limit the current with a resistor. If you try to use an LED without a power supply, you will be highly disappointed.

So first of all we will make our LED light up by setting up the circuit below.

Step 1.) First you have to find the positive leg of the LED. The easiest way to do this is to look for the leg that is longer. 

Step 2.) Once you know which side is positive, put the LED on your breadboard so the positive leg is in one row and the negative leg is in another row. (In the picture below the rows are vertical.) 

Step 3.) Place one leg of a 2.2k ohm resistor (does not matter which leg) in the same row as the negative leg of the LED. Then place the other leg of the resistor in an empty row. 

Step 4.) Unplug the power supply adapter from the power supply. Next, put the ground (black wire) end of the power supply adapter in the sideways row with the blue stripe beside it. Then put the positive (red wire) end of the power supply adapter in the sideways row with the red stripe beside it. 

Step 5.) Use a short jumper wire (use red since it will be connected to the positive voltage) to go from the positive power row (the one with the red stripe beside it) to the positive leg of the LED (not in the same hole, but in the same row). Use another short jumper wire (use black) to go from the ground row to the resistor (the leg that is not connected to the LED). Refer to the picture below if necessary.

Article by Iguana Labs at http://www.iguanalabs.com

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