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These seem to be the LED equivalent of the classic neon flicker flame lamps that used flame shaped electrodes in neon filled glass globes with an unstable discharge to create a flickering effect.
The colour of these is very good, and the use of a microcontroller opens up possibilities of the software evolving for a truly random effect as opposed to a repeating loop. That said, the loop in these units is long enough not to look too repetitive.
If you put a resistor in series with the module the flame effect still looks good at very low current, so there's a possibility the module could be used in a solar light in place of the existing LED if it has a diode and capacitor to stop it resetting. (The colour changing solar lights have that extra diode and capacitor.)
I'd like to thank Michael for sending me some of these. I had been looking at them while browsing AliExpress for other filaments. The sellers shop is here:-
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Led filaments, why just go for straight lines when you can have shapes and that's what this company has done, and i've already seen these appearing inside lamps not only online, but also in a shop house in glasgow. John lewis had a lamp with a star in the middle and it was clearly this arrangement and what we actually have here is little thin circuit boards and they've got flip chips mounted on them, and then this pool of silicone with the phosphor in it and although They're only populated one side, they do light quite evenly on both sides. Now taiwan gon na zoom down this the flames, incidentally, are the main subject this video, because these are something very, very special. Let me zoom down on this and then i shall turn off the light.

You can see they're quite smart. They are very neat, i'm just gon na flip them over and just see slight dimmer, the other side, not sure. Actually, it doesn't look too bad, but that's just the construction uh, it's very, very simple, very clever watch your eyes. The light is coming back.

Okay: let's take a look at the flame version, because the flame version is notable for having a little microcontroller stuff in the bottom of it and if you've seen the name flicka flame lamps, which it's basically two metal plates inside a glass-filled globe. A glass filled group. A glass globe with neon gas in it and it causes instability of the discharge. This is the new version of that.

So i'm going to just power this up and show you, because it's actually pretty smart. Now i'm going to have to turn the voltage up a little bit because there is a slight drop over the microcontroller. I should just pin that down because they're very light, and they just want to go everywhere. So let me just turn this up to a sensible current i'll turn it up to what looks, visual and you'll see the sort of random element that it just licks up the up to the top of the flame right.

Tell you what i'm going to get you closer to this, so you can actually see it better. One moment please and that's pretty close, as you can see, there's a bit of variation effect. It does have repeating elements, but that's because there are six distinct groups of leds, but it doesn't just go like pulse pulse pulse all the time it does have some randomness to it. It's follows a fairly long sequence.

True randomization would be quite nice, but let's take a closer look at this. Let's actually analyze the circuit board watch your eyes. The light is about to come back. So, let's start by taking a look at the circuitry inside these, so the basic ones that don't animate are simply an array of leds in parallel.

So the parcel star and bell are just flip chips, basically tied across the two connection pins here. One of them is marked negative, something worth mentioning about the flame. There are no polarity markings, it's the one that really is the most crucial for polarity as well. That's quite annoying, but not to worry i'll.

Show you the correct connection of it and things that you can do to avoid blowing up if you connect the reverse polarity. So these things it says, they're rated three volts, but i would say that you want to put a resistor or something in series or a current limited supply. I wouldn't just bang them across three volts because they will draw as much current as they can well. 20.

Milliamps per flip chip led typically, which adds up to quite a lot. Maybe they are rated for that. Maybe they are designed to be run at high current, but i just thought i got very uncomfortable about the intensity they were going up to. So i recommend using a resistor in sears of them or another current limited supply.

The flame lamp has the supply grain and it goes straight to a microcontroller typical, eight pin chip same pin out as the pic 12, but also the same pin out as many many others. It's not marked, and the output then drives leds directly with the leds connected uh, as parallel arrays of between five and six leds, uh disconnected to the positive rail and then pulled to the negative rail in the microcontroller. So, let's take a look at the actual circuit board itself, because i shaved all the uh shmoo off the back of this one. So we could get a good close look at it.

So i'll put the notepad out the way and bring in the pictures. So the first picture shows the flame as it is right. I'm going to zoom down this just a little bit. There's the microcontroller! This is the positive pin.

This is the negative pin note that don't connect the wrong way around, because these do have protection diodes in them and it may actually fry it. I have probed onto this to see the leds in here. I basically went with my meter on its diode test. I went from positive and then probed other pins and i was able to get each set of leds to glow dimly, but i also trace them on the inside i'll.

Show you a sort of x-ray of this as taken from the back and then flipped around and then sort of enhanced, so uh, that's what it is. We have the i'll turn around this way, because it's kind of easier for this bit now the flame. Has these bits undulating at the bottom, they tend to waver backwards and forwards. Uh i'll turn it over.

The other way see, there's not really that much difference in brightness. Is there from one side to other that's surprising, because the leds are just on one side: it's relying purely on the light shining through the thin circuit board material. How thin is that where's, my calipers - these calipers are probably not high enough resolution for this, but i shall prep prohibit azure private 0.4, millimeters 3.5 0.5.4, something a bit small, but the light does shine through and then there's another layer of the phosphor gel in the Back i had that somewhere here, i've misplaced it not to worry, because i just peeled off the knife and then cleaned it thoroughly and then actually put some lacquer on it too. After sanding off the residue, i'm sure the manufacturer will not be delighted at me doing that.

But these are the arrays of leds with two distinct patches here and then that one at the top just to give that sort of licking up to the top of the flame effect. Now, let's take it, take a look at the x-ray of it if we x-ray it, let's try and brighten this image up a wee bit, that's better! If we create, we see that the chip, the pads oddly the negative, has a track. That goes all the way up here to the top and then just ends. It has no purpose unless they left their option open to solder a little capacitor across the end for in case of processor and stability.

But the main thing that we're looking for here is the positive pad here. It goes straight onto this pad micro, drawer negative goes on to that pad of micro drawer, but the positive then has a bus that runs up the outside here and then feeds these leds. Here, loops down and then uh gives the common positive to these leds too. So that covers three of the groups.

The other positive comes from the inside. It's because of the way they had to allow for these tracks from the other pins going out. It comes inside and just does one two three, these three sections at the bottom here and after that they're just tied into the uh, the microcontroller, and it's quite neat that the pin out is basically one two three i'll make sure come into scene here. It's staying short one, two, three, four, five, six they're in sequence, which is quite sort of nice that they've done it that way.

Um these are just groups of five uh. This one kind of starts spreading out. I'm not sure what the effect of that one is. Yeah and then there's the little patches here and then the six leds at the top, which will be slightly dimmer as a result of that, but then it is just a licking flame.

It's quite neat very neat, so i shall provide a link to these in the description. I could see these um finding their way into things like chandeliers, where you've just got like loads of the glass lamps of these little flames, flicking away and they're going to be well, i'm going to say they're going to be simpler than the old neon ones. They're going to be simpler to manufacture because it is just the circuit board and they don't have to worry about filling with the gas, but it does have a microcontroller which does make it more complicated. But then again the neon ones actually had a special coating on the electrodes.

They were quite complex and they usually usually had a smoking hot resistor in the base as well to limit the current they weren't super efficient. These ones should be. I mean this one is running at about three and a half volts at 30 milliamps. So it's really not that much current, not much power at all yeah neat, but there we go.

I shall provide the link in the description down below and it'll, be interesting to see how things like this evolve, because it's a very smart little led circuit board.

18 thoughts on “Cool led flicker flame pcbs”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Frogz says:

    i neeeeeed some of these flicker flame leds, i wonder if you disolve all of the phosfer coating off if it is blue leds inside it

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dan Coulson says:

    The flame ones are pretty cool.
    I still prefer the traditional neon discharge ones by a mile. But these could be good where you want a bit of a brighter effect.
    I can see these being good for halloween decorations.
    The last few years, we've been using a green 40w incandescent lamp in series with a fluorescent tube starter to give a random flickering effect.

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Zane Da Magic Puff’r Dragon says:

    I’d love to have some of these but at $8 each or $12 per pair it’s definitely going to have to wait for a while before I get some 🙃 very cool devices!!! Can’t wait to see them integrated into other products soon!!!

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Morgan says:

    NFN but those flames kinda look like they're giving us the finger…

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars zapro_dk says:

    Let's see the flame in operation with the shaved back on the PCB. Blue flame i guess?

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Goofy Brained says:

    Note the link does not go to seller but generic shops. Could you provide a description and seller name ? Thanks for video. I too have been looking for good LED based flame (old pendant chandelier). Great forensics on tracks, made following it easy.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Ley Braith says:

    (AKA Lee)
    My theory on the reason for the Negative line running up the side to nowhere (@6'30") –
    During manufacture there would be several dozen flames per PCB sheet, probably with vertical columns all sharing the pos and neg lines via the tracks that run up each side.
    That way the whole PCB sheet could be powered up at once for testing. Duds would be noted and marked as such. Much easier than testing each unit individually.
    When broken apart the 'unused' negative would look like it had no purpose.
    Duds would be 'discarded' (i.e. sold off very cheaply to the more dodgey distributers)

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Frankhe78 says:

    We are promised an X-ray but there is no hammer involved. That is a disappointment.

  9. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars isojed says:

    Is the timing 'randomize' the same for each flame leds?

  10. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars DC Allan says:

    OOooh those are nice. ❤ just give it a couple of months and he price will drop once the cheep factorys copy them. 2x👍

  11. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Dom Wright says:

    Very neat. Would it be worth removing the chip and connecting the ground wire to each pin in turn to demonstrate each group of LEDs lighting up?

  12. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars devttyUSB0 says:

    As you said, a little more randomness in the flame would certainly help a lot, but these new LEDs look very promising for decorations!!

  13. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars ybunnygurl says:

    Those are really cool. I hope I see them in readymade things soon.

  14. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Echo the Husky says:

    Wasn't it the LED flame effect lightbulb reverse engineering where you upset the manufacturer last time?!

  15. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Omar Riverstone says:

    Love the look of the flame one sideways. I'd be tempted to use maybe three going sideways for a miniature scene

  16. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Tim Gooding says:

    I do like the effect of the flames. These could be used on a number of projects but at $6-10 Aud each they are not cheap!

  17. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Simon Hopkins says:

    Cool little flames. But I prefer your icicle lights with reverse parallel leds.

  18. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gregory Thomas says:

    Damn…they just keep coming out with too cool shit every day 🙂

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