Resistors are one of the most important electronic components. They are available in different shapes, sizes and are made up of different materials based on their purpose. In order to understand the working of a resistor please refer to the article Basic Electronic Components – Resistor.
Our Series and Parallel circuit will be including only a 9V battery and it is completely safe. It is recommended that you also refer to Basic Safety and Introduction for Young Engineers for more detailed understanding of Safety Requirements.
In this activity, we will be checking the effect of resistors in series and parallel on our Basic LED Circuit
- 2 x LED’s
- 1 x 9V Battery
- 2 x 1K Resistors
- Male to Male Jumper Cables
You can find these components at your nearest radio shack or an online store.
Resistors are basically used to reduce the flow of current in the circuit. Resistors protect the components in the circuit from receiving excessive current which in turn would damage or burn out the electronic components. Below is the color code chart for resistor values. You can skip reading codes but make sure you can refer to the labels on your resistor packings.
How does the Resistor in a circuit work?
Resistor is an electronic/electrical component that reduces the flow of electrons in the circuit. The resistors ability to reduce current is called as resistance. We will we be able to see the effects
Resistors in Series
When two Resistors are connected in series, we will notice that the value of resistance from both the resistor is summed up. In other words if there are two resistors one of 1000Ohms and the other of 100Ohms, when they are connected in series the total value of the resistance will be 1100Ohms.
Resistors in Parallel
When 2 or more resistors are connected in parallel such that the voltage across all resistors is the same. The total value of the resistance will be the sum of the reciprocal values of the resistors.
For example 1/1000 + 1/100 = 0.011 Ohms
Resistance is summed up went resistors are connected in series. When the resistance is high, the brightness of the LED is less compared to when the resistors are connected in paralle.
Resistance is a sum of reciprocals when the resistors are connected in parallel, When the Resistance is Low, the brightness of the LED will be higher. But also make sure that you do not connect a very high resistance in parallel, since it is more likely to damage your LED in the basic circuit.