Pico Rotating Beacon Power Questions


I am planning to use two Pico Rotating Beacons on a table hockey game.  One will be mounted on each goal net and they will be triggered by break-beam sensors to illuminate when a goal is scored.  A horn and music will also play at the same time.

The product page is a bit lacking on info about the power requirements/consumption for these small LEDs.  I hope to use an Adafruit FX Sound Board to power the rotating beacons.  It has a 5V pin for limited low-power applications (LEDs,etc.).  However, I am not sure how much load the board can handle in addition to its primary function as a sound generator.  I will be contacting Adafruit to get more information.

Meanwhile, I would like to receive the following guidance from Brickstuff and its forum members:

1.  Will the 5V power output from my Adafruit board be an adequate source to power both Pico beacons?

2.  What is the forward voltage / voltage drop across the Pico beacon?  I would like know for resistor calculations.

3.  What is the recommended current for a Pico beacon?  I know typical 3 and 5mm LEDs require a maximum of 20-25mA. 

This has been a fun project so far.  I hope the addition of these lights will add to the enjoyment of playing this game with friends and family.

Thanks for your help!


 Soho Table Hockey 5342

1reply Oldest first
  • Oldest first
  • Newest first
  • Active threads
  • Popular
  • Hi, thanks for your question-- what a great application!

    To answer your questions:

    1.  Yes, the beacons will run on 5V and they have very low current draw.  You'll need to cut the connectors off the ends of the cables, but that's not a big deal and then you can solder them directly into your circuit.

    2. No resistor is needed when running at 5V.

    3.  These beacons run for days on coin cell batteries, so again I don't think it would overtax the Adafruit board.  I can do a specific current measurement if you absolutely need it.

    Hopefully this helps-- please let us know if you need anything additional. and good luck with your project!  It would be great to see the how-to write-up on the Forum after you're complete, if you'd be willing to share.

Like Follow
  • 4 yrs agoLast active
  • 1Replies
  • 45Views
  • 2 Following