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a bender's guide

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[circuit bending]
[exploring the art]
[how it works]
[direct wiring]
[photo resistors]
[solar cells]
[humidity sensors]
[reset switch]
[line outputs]
[other techniques]
[closing words]

LEDs- (Light Emitting Diodes) are usually, for the sake of  circuit-bending, low-voltage light sources. Like all diodes, their core function is to act as a one-way valve for electrons, but their nice glow and long life nearly eclipses this concern in much electronic design. You may find points on the circuit you're bending between which LEDs will glow or pulse. These can serve as function indicators or pilot lights. An LED wired to the speaker leads may work as an envelope light also, flashing with the intensity of the sound waves.

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LEDs are "polarized" components; if they don't glow when connected between promising points on a circuit, try reversing the leads. If they still don't glow, there is not enough power available to activate them. An over-driven LED will burn out. Might even pop. Be aware of the LED that, when tested in a circuit, momentarily lights brightly but then dims to an off-color glow. Or lights too brightly while shifting color. Or simply lights too brightly. These are all signs of too much power being applied. Burn-out will eventually result. LEDs may also affect the sound of the circuit depending upon where they are connected.

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