The LED Mini Menorah Kits have been superseded by the Deluxe LED Menorah Kit, which is easier to assemble and has longer battery life.
Electronic soldering kits to make your own LED mini-menorahs. Available year-round with a few different LED color choices. See purchasing information above for current LED choices. So what's this all about, anyway?
In 2006 we released an open-source design for these LED mini-menorahs as part of our open source electronics projects for the holidays. You can download and modify the source code, use it to program your own microcontroller, and solder the microcontroller to some LEDs to help make your own holiday decorations. In order to make the project more accessible, we sell electronic soldering kits so that you can make your own LED mini menorahs-- without any programming. Each kit, as built, has a battery box that holds three AA batteries, with 6-inch leads that go to the microcontroller which has the nine LEDs directly soldered to its pins. The LEDs come in two different sizes: 3 mm or 5 mm. Our mini-LED Hanukkah menorah is a take on the traditional hanukkiyah, the nine-armed Hanukkah candelabrum. Two candles are lit on the first night of Hanukkah (one "real" candle plus the uppity lighter candle, or shamash which apparently doesn't count), three on the second night, right up to nine on the eighth night. That's (2+9)*(8/2)=44 candles all together, for those of you keeping score.
Ours works pretty much the same way, but uses less wax. When you turn it on, it steadily (without blinking or animation) displays the correct configuration of LED "candles" for a given night of Hanukkah. Each time that it is switched off and back on, it displays one more light than it did the previous time that you turned it on-- unless it showed all nine last time:
Just in case you do crave animation, there is also a neat demo mode (which comes after the 8th night) that cycles through the different configurations at a rate of about one "day" per second.
This product is sold as a soldering kit [?]. Basic electronic soldering skill is required, and you provide the soldering tools: a soldering iron and solder, plus small wire clippers. You'll also need three AA batteries to run your completed menorah. Each kit includes a pre-programmed microcontroller, nine LEDs in your choice of style, (empty) 3xAA battery case with switch, and clear printed instructions, all in a resealable antistatic pouch. Assembly is easy with the included comic-book style instructions.
If you are in doubt about whether this project is for you, you just might want to download them and skim through before ordering. Menorah Instructions (400 kB PDF document). See also About Soldering Kits.
Obligatory kit warning:
When building an electronics kit, use common sense and appropriate safety precautions. Keep in mind that it's possible to cook (destroy) both LEDs and microcontrollers with a soldering iron, so please solder carefully. If you really think that you are going to make big mistakes, consider getting an extra kit to begin with-- you'll save the cost of shipping that second box.
Questions? Need help?
We've set up forums to discuss tricks, tips, and troubles with these projects, whether you got the components here or elsewhere.
And, as always, please feel free to ask if you have any questions.