The strange and complex world of flame-effect LED bulbs

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/12/13/cheerful-illumination.html

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Holy crap! These are amazing!

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I got one of the middle ones – the bulb-shaped ones with gravity mode – and while you can see the pixels at close examination, from even just a few feet away, it’s a very convincing flame, and works great upside down as well. Inside a porch light with fake-old-timey glass and it puts out very decent light and looks just like a flickering lantern.

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I’ve found my new apartment fireplace!

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Fun. Thank you. Silly question: suppose you had a ‘candelabra’ fixture with say… six bulbs, what is the likelihood of all six bulbs being in the same mode? And/or wouldn’t it be an annoyance to have to go about unscrewing them until all their modes synced? (3modes^6 -> 729 states)

Same here, and I love 'em. I have a couple of floor lamps that look like old-fashioned lampposts and the effect is perfect.

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From a quick read it seems like you might have to do a little unscrewing when you put them in. Either that or you need a single candelabra socket on a switch so you can quickly cycle power and change modes of each bulb if they don’t ship in the same state.

Here’s a teardown of one of these. An array of LEDs on a flexible PCB (cylindrical) with uC animation: http://www.scienceflicks.com/video/13208/USB_rechargeable_flame_lamp_teardown_with

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“hi guys…” :roll_eyes:

But 4 modes? That’s 3 modes too may for me…

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The via link is
Flame Effect Light Bulb – flame lighting without flame danger
If you are concerned with fire danger, buy UL listed bulbs from a reputable store.


Clive investigates and takes one of these to bits, in case you are interested…
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Amazing. What will the Muggles come up with next?

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If you see a large flickering flame in a window this time of year it is a sure sign that a Christmas tree is in fire.

These will be banned by the next Christmas in European Union.

Back in the day, we had to do flame-effect LEDs the old fashioned way: By touching live AC to the PCB ground.

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I love these and they look really fun!

But.

Last night a concerned neighbor pounded on my door to tell me that he was checking out whether my backyard was on fire.

Turns out that a few strings of holiday lights underneath a big clear plastic tarp rippling in the wind (I had to go out and re-tie the anchor points) looks, at least from the other side of the neighborhood, like a fire in progress.

Dang.

I can only imagine the relentless calls I’d be getting if I put any of these bulbs outdoors, or even, really, indoors if my neighbors were to look inside my place and “see” “fire.” And yeah, we are all a bit jumpy because it’s been super windy, fairly dry, we are surrounded by juniper trees that tend to combust fantastically, and we (in central Texas) have been watching the news about the wildfires in California very closely.

Still really like those bulbs though.
I seriously wonder how firefighters feel about 'em.

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Now you can be gas-lighted and save energy!

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Are you sure those weren’t NEDs (noise-emitting diodes) or SEDs (smoke-emitting diodes)?

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They were multi-functional. And most of the IC packages had a little cone blasted off the top when the chips exploded.

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Some of my high school electronics shop classmates liked to filter AC with electrolytic capacitors, which made them multi-functional as well. They would make a loud POP! and a nice little cloud of smoke.

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