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Can someone explain to me a good way to mount a 5mm component LED? A little background on the project to help.

I'm working on a prop that will be carved out of styrofoam. I will be using LED's to illuminate recesses of the prop. The LED themselves will be mounted under a foam shelf or in a cavity so they are not visible to a casual view. There will of course be wires running though the interior of the prop to the LED's.

My question though is how to securely mount the LED's to the foam. I don't want them to wobble (the prop is handheld). A LED doesn't really have much surface area and I doubt applying glue directly to the LED is a good idea especially if I ever want to change it. Is there some sort of LED socket I can buy that the LED snaps into? If not how would you go about mounting an LED in a piece of foam?

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    \$\begingroup\$ Hot glue works really well for LEDs \$\endgroup\$ – NickHalden Sep 11 '12 at 21:16
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    \$\begingroup\$ Soldering the LED to a small piece of protoboard (single-sided PCB with rows of holes connected in strips) would give you a lot of options. You could then glue or screw the PCB inside the prop as needed. This would also give you the option of using surface-mount LEDs as well as LEDs with leads, and it gives you a convenient place to put the current-limiting resistor. \$\endgroup\$ – Dave Tweed Sep 11 '12 at 21:58
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Can you glue a flat panel to the foam (perhaps a small piece of scrap PC board), then drill a hole for the LED and mount it in an LED holder? That would allow plenty of surface area between panel and foam and the holder http://well-ton.com/image/bph2.JPG LED holder

will be a snap fit to the hole. Secure mounting and allows you to replace the LED if need be

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  • \$\begingroup\$ So I'd glue the plastic ring into the foam and then insert the LED/clip into it? That's pretty much exactly what I'm looking for. Is there a particular name or should I just look for "LED clip" where I'm buying the LED's? \$\endgroup\$ – William Sep 12 '12 at 17:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Actually I meant you could glue a flat piece of material to the foam so it's well supported, then snap the holder into a hole in the material and then plug the LED into that. I actually just bought a few LED holders from DigiKey. This is the part number for what I have: 67-1332-ND They are 19 cents each. \$\endgroup\$ – lyndon Sep 13 '12 at 12:37
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For a semi-permanent fixer, hot glue as Nick suggests is useful. This is often used to hold electronic components and leads in place (but gives the ability to adjust at a later date)

For LED holders, there are many options available, ranging from very cheap to quite expensive (you can also buy 5mm LED based "lamps" that come complete with holder and wire)

Here are a few examples:

example 1 example 2 example 3

Link1 Link2 Link3

More at Farnell and other distributors.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm using 5mm circular LED's so I think Link 3 is what I need. Thank you. \$\endgroup\$ – William Sep 12 '12 at 17:55

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