Blink Experiment #2073


This is a discussion for the Blink Experiment. Feel free to connect with the Learning Team here, or to discuss experiment tips, ask questions, leave comments or suggest experiment variations here.


I can’t get any of my other lights to light up. When I put in the original bulb it lights. I tried two other bulbs and neither lit up. Help!


Hi Adeena! Have you paid special attention to the long LED leg and the short LED leg–with LED’s position is important. Try rotating the LED 180 degrees and see if you can get it to light up. If that doesn’t work, shoot me an email at and we can troubleshoot together!

Also, all that is required for AstroSchool is completing the Getting Started/Quickstart guide and the Hello World experiment–Blink is not required, but is a fun first or second experiment for students to try!


This was a super fun experiment and I can see my 8th grade students completing this.


This was fun! I tried this with one 8th grader and we initially were frustrated because we couldn’t get it to blink but in the end we were successful and even got ten lights to blink in a pattern. My students would be able to do this with minimal help from me. They may get a little frustrated - they do not have much experience with resistors or circuits, but the directions (and pictures) are incredibly easy to follow.


I just did this activity with my 8 year old and it went well as far as getting it to blink. She loved adjusting the milliseconds and testing the limits of the code. She went to a single digit and didn’t understand why it looked like it was just staying on. We talked about how FAST a millisecond is and she got it then. She loved experimenting with the different rates of blinking. I have not figured out the bonus of getting more than one to light up yet. I plan on continuing to work on it. I know how to get them to blink at different rates, but not how to light them up. I will investigate this one! :slight_smile:


I really liked the lesson materials and their picture of breadboard to help explain how the rails are connected.
I tried sticking three LEDs of different colors all into the same rail - there was enough resistance to light all of them up and blink them at the same rates, but the green was very dim. Might be an interesting way to have students explore series and parallel.


I really enjoyed this as an introduction to using the breadboard. I had one previous class with Arduino’s and the instructor didn’t really explain the breadboard and it made it really frustrating. Taking it step-by-step in this way made it completely doable! I enjoyed this and found it easy to change the duration of the blinking lights. With guidance, I think my 5th graders could successfully complete this.


This is fun because it introduces me to a bread board. The letters on the arduino were hard for me to read and it took a few moments to make sure everything was in a line on the board but overall it was simple. I could not get them to do different things but could get several to blink at the same time.


Fun way to discover the unit of measure milliseconds! It can be fun extension to ask the class to experiment to find the smallest millisecond delay setting that your eyes can detect before it turns solid and compare findings.


Glad this version of breadboarding worked for you. I find that breadboards are not very intuitive and have personally failed many times trying to clearly explain. Once you get it it sticks but many sharp people have a bumping start to bread boarding. Still searching for the best method(s) to teach this.


cool blinking lights


It’s a great idea to incorporate those other concepts!


I’ve only used breadboards once or twice on my own - I have zero experience. I know that my students have very limited experience as well. I think this is fascinating and I am definitely going to do this challenge again because I want to bring this into the classroom for my students!


Lots of fun to do this. Easy set up and great explanation with video and pictures. I think I am getting old though, because the printing on the Seeeduino is tough for me to read, but I did it!


I guess I neglected to answer the suggested questions for my first reply, so here goes:
I think this would fit into my physics curriculum when we go over circuits. It is fun, and I think the students would enjoy the extensions.
My students struggle with reading and following directions, so I think the videos and photos would be a big help. I would assist where/when needed, but I think I would not need to do much except to ask them to check each other’s work/wiring and see if they can troubleshoot the problem themselves - they are in high school.


All of this is so new to me, but loving learning about it. Great pictures and video to help with the first set up. I did get one light to blink and change the duration of time between blinks and the duration of light staying lit. I was finally successful in getting two LEDs to light up. I do need to work on this a little more. My kit did not have any photocell resistors, so I could not do replace the resistor with the photocell resistor to see the effects. I have some 3rd/4th grade students who would love being challenged by this but I think many would become frustrated with it.


Love the idea of having students find the smallest millisecond delay that their eyes can detect!


I would LOVE to incorporate this activity into a 4th grade project another cohort’s (and coincidentally teacher where I work!) class is currently working on in our MakerSpace.

He had his class investigate various REALLY COOL well-known signs, such as the famous Leonard’s sign in Hawaii, the World’s Largest Thermometer sign, Times Square signs, Nashville’s Boot Barn sign, etc. We discussed the many pieces of information these famous signs present, design elements and how the businesses capture our attention in very unique ways. The students were broken into teams and are in the process of creating their own signs for their own businesses!

All of the student teams are incorporating some type of lights and possibly moving parts as well. It would be great to have them using the Arduino to control what lights flash when and the timing of the flashing. There are certainly a couple groups at least who could be successful with this.


This lesson I enjoyed greatly. At Christmas time my students are assigned a teacher from the school and they have to make a personalized circuit light-up card to give to them and this will be perfect to tie into this lesson.