Soldering + LED Lights = LIT

My Fab Lab experience just keeps getting more and more fabulous each time I visit. This week, my group had the chance to get our hands on soldering, which by definition is the act of fusing together the joints of metal objects by melting a filler metal. This is different from welding, a term I was more familiar with, in that it doesn’t involve melting of the actual workpiece, but rather just the filler metal which connects the wires. Our goal was to use soldering techniques to fuse LED lights and sensor wires together with the use of Arduino board to make a cool LED product. It was quite an intimidating process at first and I faced some challenges listed below, but gradually I was able to overcome some struggles I had and successfully create the final product–a series of LED lights that respond to the light sensor.
Challenges I faced while soldering for the first time:

  1. Fear of getting burned (the soldering gun heats up to 350 degrees Celcius, which could cause a second degree burn with a single touch)
  2. Not having the wires stay connected although the filler metal has melted on them
  3. The smell. It wasn’t the best unfortunately.

This eye-opening experience certainly enhanced my interest in soldering and would definitely try again if I had the chance. Also, I looked up a few soldering products that look really neat. These are of course much more complicated projects than the one we did in class, but the basic technique is similar. Check them out!

LED Umbrella

LED Ice Cube Clock

8 thoughts on “Soldering + LED Lights = LIT

  1. Hi Tiffany,
    Good job writing the post. The fears that you have pointed are on point. I was most scared of getting myself burnt too. Especially after knowing that the burn is of the same intensity as a second-degree burn. The examples you have posted of other things that use soldering is very unique. I could not have thought that even such products could use soldering.

  2. Hey Tiffany!

    The challenges you faced were very similar to mine, and I’m sure many others in the class! I’ve had experience with soldering in the past and my biggest fear was getting those fumes when burning iron in your eyes. It happened to me once and oh my, did it burn! From the video, it seems like you had some good soldering joints! Also, that umbrella looks awesome!

  3. HeyTiffany,

    I really like you’re title and really understood the challenges you faced, I almost burned my fingers multiple times. But I was motivated by the potential of using arduinos, Your examples at the end of the article really shows the potential for these arduino components. Looking forward to incorporating them into our project.

  4. Hi Tiffany,

    Your words are so vivid and reminds me the moment that I soldered the circuits. I also do hate the time when we used to much solder while the two wires still can’t stick to each other. The other LED lights applications are innovative and eye-catching. In all, a great post and good job!


  5. Hi Tiffany,
    To be completely honest, soldering was the only workshop that I had the most frustration and difficulty in. I had zero experience and on top of that my circuits kept breaking because of the fragile wires attached to the led lights. However, I do like the examples that you gave as they were pretty cool!

  6. Hi Tiffany,

    Great post. I was in your group for soldering and I was having quite a bit of growing pins with the experience as well. By the end I did find it was a useful experience to have. I really enjoyed your pictures such as the umbrellas which show outside the box uses of soldering. Would like to see how we can take this experience and apply it to a personal or professional product

  7. Hi Tiffany,
    I really enjoyed reading your post. As I took this workshop today, I found the same challenges as you did. It is hard to have the two wires in the place when soldering. Also, it is dangerous playing with the soldering gun. I also like the two other project that you posted at the end. These projects are really cool and I can definitely see us being able to make these with more soldering practice!

  8. Hi! I have had zero experience with soldering also. We shared similar concerns, I was also terrified of burning my hand. I almost did burn my hand a couple of times. I’m glad you had a great time learning how to solder! I also loved the LED umbrella you attached below!

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