These pretty circles of light are plastic diffused backlights, probably originally used in LCD gauge displays. Normally they’re tucked behind the LCD and shine white light from below. Here, we’ve got the LEDs available individually, and they’re really cool! Each LED is encased in a 2.2mm thick semi-circle of acrylic. The acrylic is a special type that is very good at diffusing light, so even though there are only two white LEDs, it provides near-uniform lighting. The other flat side of the diffuse has a reflector on it so you only get light from the top (otherwise the backlight would lose 1/2 the brightness unnecessarily)
You can treat this 50mm diameter backlight just like an LED, light with ~3V at 30mA current, and you get a pretty shape that you can mask with vinyl or draw over with a marker. Gels can be used to change the color. We think these would make great wearables without the need for EL or inverters. They’re much brighter than EL and use less battery. The trade-off is these are not flexible at all.
Stop breadboarding and soldering – start making immediately! Adafruit’s Circuit Playground is jam-packed with LEDs, sensors, buttons, alligator clip pads and more. Build projects with Circuit Playground in a few minutes with the drag-and-drop MakeCode programming site, learn computer science using the CS Discoveries class on code.org, jump into CircuitPython to learn Python and hardware together, TinyGO, or even use the Arduino IDE. Circuit Playground Express is the newest and best Circuit Playground board, with support for CircuitPython, MakeCode, and Arduino. It has a powerful processor, 10 NeoPixels, mini speaker, InfraRed receive and transmit, two buttons, a switch, 14 alligator clip pads, and lots of sensors: capacitive touch, IR proximity, temperature, light, motion and sound. A whole wide world of electronics and coding is waiting for you, and it fits in the palm of your hand.
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