Saturday, May 26, 2012

More on the Purple LEDs

A few weeks back I showed you how I was recolouring my little battery-operated LED light sets from white to purple to fit my party theme. It was really successful.

Well, today I decided I needed more than just a few LEDs behind my whispy organza curtain. I need a long string of lights that I can wind around the blades of the shutters so there are lots and lots of lights so I bought a 5m length of white LEDs. I was thrilled to find them at this time of the year. Most of our local Christmas Shops won't reopen for business until June or July but I found these at the $2 shop in my shopping centre.

I'm so glad that I decided to colour these tonight and not leave it to the last minute because when I applied the same colour alcohol ink that I used last time, I got blue LEDs instead of purple! What on earth is going on here?

So I tried a much pinker shade of purple.

The LED at the top is Piñata Purple Passion and the bottom one is Adirondack Wild Plum and yet there is very little difference between them!

My son to the rescue. He has a bit of an interest in electronics and he realised straight away that this string of LEDs was COOL white and not WARM white like my battery operated LEDs. It's obvious when you know it, but as far as I was concerned, white LEDs were white LEDS so I expected the same result. It seems I just needed to find the right colour to counteract the blueness of this white light.

And then he found a great Instructable for diffusing that bright light. A light sanding with 400 grit sandpaper makes the colour stay put better whilst softening the harsh light that LEDs give off. You can see the scratch pattern from the sandpaper on the top LED compared with the smooth and shiny surface of the bottom one.

For the effect I want, I'm going to leave them unsanded, but that was such a good little bit of info to know for some other project in the future.

Oh, I nearly forgot to tell you the most important bit. Notice how the purple in the photo above is really purple? Well the solution was......
a Magenta Sharpie!

Well, now that I have that problem sorted, it's back to my butterfly project. Pics coming soon!

'Til next time.....

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