LED Chaser circuit using 4017 and 555

If you would like to learn basic digital, but it is difficult and boring. Let’s try to create a LED chaser circuit or Running light circuit.

It used in computer games and in many scientific and mathematics applications so is best for a beginner or for kids to learn digital, also my son loves them.

Let’s get started IC 4017 project below!

The LED will glow one by one per period and it will cycle repeats as running light.

In-circuit uses IC-555 as an oscillator pulse generator and IC-4017 to drive LEDs.

Parts used in this circuit are easily available in most of the local markets.

Chaser circuit using IC-4017 + IC-555

If you want to build a 10 LED Chaser circuit we recommend this circuit first.

The working principle
LED Chaser circuit using IC-4017,IC-555

See in the circuit above. The IC555-IC1 is popular timer IC as the Astable Multivibrator or free-running pulse generator.

Which the output pulse frequency at pin 3 of IC1 is determined by R1, R2-1.5K, VR1-100K, and a capacitor C1-1uF.

The decade counter CD4017-IC2 act as a LED driver in 10 output, by LED will glow only one in a rapid sequence. Then, IC2 get pulses to the input pin 14.

Next, The 10 outputs Q0 to Q9 become active, one at a time, on the rising edge of the waveform from IC555, to drive the LEDs. The reset pin 15 to the counting.

When one LED turns off, the second on turns on. This cycle LED repeats like loop the running light.

We can Adjust the speed of LED chaser or the pulse rate by rotating the 100K-VR1 trimer’s knob.

Parts you will need
IC: CD4017 Decade Counter Divider with 10 Decoded
IC: NE555, Timer IC = 1 pcs.
C1: 1uF 16V, Electrolytic capacitors
C2: 10uF 16V, Electrolytic capacitors
R1,R2: 1.5K, 0.25W Resistors 5%
VR: 100K, Trimer-potentiometer
LED1-LED10: LED as you want

My son experimented with this circuit on a breadboard.

This circuit is working in below

7 LED Light Sequencer circuit with adjust speed

The LED light sequencer circuit, generally cannot adjust the speed of running. Cause dull monotony. Resulting in an idea to build this circuit up.

This circuit can adjust the speed of the led light as needed. Makes this circuit can be used more versatile.

Operation of the circuit has two sections:

First, Frequency generators and the display. Which the frequency generator IC1 contains a number Ic timer circuit 555 and frequency generator.

Defined by the R1, VR1, and C1 will be the output signal at pin 3 of IC1 sent to display section.

LED light sequencer circuits
LED light sequencer circuits

Second, in the display section consists of IC2, a CD4017. It is Counter circuit display the volt at pin 3, 2, 4, 7, 10, 1 and 5, respectively each pin.

The speed depends on the frequency count obtained from pin 14 of IC2.

Which we can adjust VR1 to set the frequency from the frequency generator.


My son plays this circuit enjoy!

Next, let’s build a great project below with PCB…

Circle LED chaser circuit 4017 project

This is one of IC 4017 project that I like it.  The Circle LED chaser circuit or 10 LED running light as another kind of string light circuit.

Which is running light on circle each one step beautifully and can adjust speed as well.

The working principle

From circuit will see that we use two ICs. Which the IC1-NE555 as timer IC with a widely used general.

In this circuit will use the IC-555 as the square wave generator to output.

Which that frequency is determined by R-2.7K, R-470 ohms, and C-10uF 16V.

Circle LED chaser circuit

In addition, yet has a VR1-potentiometer-10K is frequency adjuster. When IC1-NE555 generate the frequency up, will be entered to IC2-CD4017 by through way of R 100 ohms. IC2 is Decade Counter IC will provide output is positive voltage Sort by Position according to an input signal from IC1-NE555 One end of the LED all. Which the pin K to pooling through R 1K to ground to as the throughway of current.

How to assemble circuits

You can build the PCB as the layout in Figure 2. Then Put all parts in PCB as components layout in Figure 3. Firstly, put small components type such as R, C, LED and socket IC into PCB. When solder finish, should check correctly.

Next, bring both IC to insert into the socket, careful do not Wrong terminal. When checking all thing correct then enter power supply into the circuit. Then, adjust trimmer potentiometer and noticed the running of LED if all that work normally so can use it now.

‘Keep reading: KEY CODE using 4017 project’ »

components-layout-of-Circle LED chaser circuit
Figure 2 Single-sided PCB layout and Components layout of this projects

The circuit use power supply between 3-15V but to convenience should use 9V rectangular battery to best suitable. All resistors use size ¼ W. The LED will use all red or also use alternating red and green.

The components List.
IC-CD4017___Decade Counter Divider with 10 Decoded = 1 pcs.
IC-NE555_Timer IC = 1 pcs.
C-10uF 16V_Electrolytic capacitors_2 pcs.
0.25W 5% Resistor
R-2.7K = 1 pcs.
R-470 ohms = 1 pcs.
R_1K = 1 pcs.
VR_10K__trimer-potentiometer_1 pcs.
LED_as you need = 10 pcs.

LED Pattern Flasher circuit

The circuit uses a 555 timer oscillator to supply clock pulses of a variable frequency to the 4017 decade counter. The decade counter only needs to have three outputs so the fourth output goes into the reset pin to start the cycle all over again.

4017 Led Pattern-Flasher

The central red led is always on. Each row of four LEDs flashes in sequence giving the impression that the light is rotating. It is an idea that works very well giving an eye-catching display. It will run continuously for three hours with a standard pp3 battery.

Two way 12 LED running lights using 4017

Here is the another of IC 4017 project This Two way LED running lights to use for beautiful. Which they are one of 4017 project that uses 12 LED lamps, arranged in 2 rows, each row of 6 LEDs. A green one and a red one, alternatively. use a different color for this.

Technical information
-The power supply of 6-12 VDC.
-Power consumption is about 12 mA maximum
-Have the speed of the flashing.
-PCB dimensions: 2.80 x 1.77 inches.

How it works
This circuit has 2 IC, IC1-555 is frequency generator, by this frequency can adjust at the 10K-potentiometer output of IC1 through R-100 ohms into pin 14 of IC-4017. The IC-4017 is Decade counter with 10 decoded outputs IC IC.

2 way 12 LED running lights using CD4017 and NE555
Circuit diagram of 2 way 12 LED running lights using CD4017 and NE555


Which its output glowing will slide down each position, by begin from output at 1 is pin 3, 2, 4, 7, 10, 1, 5, 6, 9 and 11 in sequence.

When it to pin 11 the output light will back to pin 3 and continue to glow in sequence each step, by the signal from IC-555 in the circuit. Which we can set output at 6 positions then backward glow, by notice at the IC output pin as LED can reverse run. The 1N4148-Diodes to protects voltage from output to same LED point.

Guidelines to make 2 way LED chaser

The circuit assembling is shown in Figure 2 should begin low to high parts sequence, for Beautiful and simple. By beginning with diode, resistors and higher. And the parts have a different polarity such as Diode, Electrolytic Capacitors, and transistors etc.

components layout on PCB IC 4017 project
The components layout on PCB IC 4017 project

To apply a power supply size 9-volts to the circuit will see LED glow continue to step to step run go and back. And can adjust speed up by adjusting at 10K-potentiometer.

This circuit uses power from 9-12-volts Therefore can install in the car using voltage 12-volts.

The component list.
R1: 2.4K
R2: 500 ohm
R3: 100 ohm
R4: 470 ohm
Trimmer Potentiometer
VR1: 10K or 103
Electrolytic Capacitor
C1: 22uF
C2: 10uF
IC1: NE555 Timer IC
IC2: CD4017
D1-D8: 1N4148 75V 150mA Diodes

Siren light from running light

The siren light uses that general use motor help in the whirl lamp or refect go to around, which weigh very and when be usable go to for a long time will cause the wearing out. but if we modify light running pretend siren make get siren that weighs light and can be usable for a long time go up.

Siren light from running light

How it works
The work of the circuit will divide the work goes out to are 3 the part, be origin frequency part will compose IC1 555 numbers will perform frequency origin. Which fix get with the value of R1, R2 and C1. By send signal the frequency goes out pin 3 ways s of IC1 second part is the part of counter circuit. Which compose IC2 number CD4017. Which build the circuit counts 4 the order.

There is the order volt output at 3, 2, 4 pin and 7 respectively whirl to go to continually. Which the speed in the measurement is will under frequency signal at 14 pin of IC2 and in third part be lamp driver circuit.

Which compose Q1-Q4 and R3-R6 by have the principle works to are when have voltage level at pin 3 of IC2 have current flow through R3 reach pin B of Q1 make Q1 bias cause L1 and L2 stick bright in case same of at pin 2, 4 and 7. When have voltage level as a result make transistor work by Q1-Q4 will work respectively of a signal from pin 3, 2, 4 and 7 which make lamp bright in order.

If you want to see more Siren circuits please see them.
+ Most common emergency sirens circuits
+ Make Police siren circuits
+ High power siren circuit using CD40106

Modify a LED chaser circuit into the easy timer

The a LED chaser is popular, so we will modify it into the easy and cheap timer.
First,a appliance will works, while respective LEDs will flash, and until all LEDs go out. Then the appliance stop.

How it works.
In Figure 1 is the circuit. To begin with, to apply the cord and the appliance to outlet of the circuit. Secondly, briefly press the pushbutton switch-S1 and release slowly.

the circuit diagram of the easy timer
Figure 1 the circuit diagram of the easy timer

Suddenly, LED1 will shortly light up and LED2 will switched up instead, but LED1 will go out and will switch ON-OFF as the oscillation of IC1-555. And this will cause LED2-LED10 light up in sequence, until to the last LEDs then the circuit will also stop the appliance.

The VR1 use to adjust time in each step.

How to reset the circuit,first release it for 10 second, then press S1 and S2, the circuit will restart immediately.

10 LED roulette circuits using TC4011-LM4017 »


I always try to make Electronics Learning Easy.

Apichet Garaipoom

I love the electronic circuits. I will collect a lot of circuit electronics to teach my son and are useful for everyone.
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