I am attaching some neopixels to an art project. Rather than buy the breadboard style neopixel which is 4x as expensive, I am buying the SMD style and just soldering legs on. This worked well for a few test neopixels, however, I was just using legs snipped off resistors.

This is a bit of a waste, and the resistor wire I think is roughly 26 gauge, I would prefer something a little stiffer.

I would prefer to purchase some 22 gauge wire and use that for the legs.

So what composition exactly are component legs? Just steel? I know it probably doesn't matter too much but I'm just curious if there is a standard. Is it possible to buy just component legs? I could buy a spool of bare wire but straightening it out could get annoying.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Component wire is actually copper clad steel with a tin coating, so it is stiff if thick enough. Bus wire is tinned bare copper. In the USA it is about $80 per 2.2 pounds, regardless of gauge. I think you can buy 1/2 pound spools. \$\endgroup\$
    – user105652
    Oct 4, 2018 at 2:41

2 Answers 2


26 to 22 is a huge change, more than 3x as stiff.

I don't think snipping the legs off of resistors (or diodes) is so wasteful, the cost of bare wire in small quantity tends to be pretty high from legitimate distribution sources.

You can also strip solid conductor wire. It will be copper, which is softer than the typical resistor/diode leads where are typically made from plated steel.


zinc-plated paperclips (the metal looking ones) are easy to solder and available in several different sizes

staples (for paper) work too. some are copper-plated but most are zinc plated.

component leads vary, some are steel. some are copper.


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