Flashing Neons (NE-2 / NE-51)

In this circuit, one, two or three neon indicator bulbs can be made to flash in sequence at rates determined by the R and C values.

In the single stage circuit, using one lamp, the capacitor charges through the resistor until the ionization potential of the neon is reached (about 70 volts) and then discharges quickly through the lamp until the voltage falls below what is needed to sustain the lamp which is approximately 45 volts. The cycle then repeats at a rate of about 3 Hz for values shown. Smaller R or C values increase frequency, larger values decrease frequency. All capacitors should be the non-polarized variety with a 100 volt or more rating. For more than 3 stages, the lamps may need to be matched for similar turn-on voltages.

Copyright 2006 Bill Bowden


  • Neon bulbs
  • Misc components

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