Easy to Build 40 Hz Gamma Wave Flashing LED Lamp

According to an article in the December 8, 2016 issue of the journal Nature, an
LED light that flashes at 40 Hz, which is the frequency of Gamma wave in the
brain, may alleviate the symptoms of Alzheimer's disease. Also, a 40 Hz
flashing LED light is said to be an aid to meditation.

In the link below, I describe an easy way to build a 40 Hz flashing LED floor
lamp. About all you need to know is a little bit about electricity that you probably
learned as a kid, and a little bit about household wiring, such as how to replace
an electrical outlet in the wall of your home.  Here's tke link:


18 thoughts on “Easy to Build 40 Hz Gamma Wave Flashing LED Lamp

  1. Very very cool! Sure wish I could figure this out but the circuit diagram is greek to me. Actually I understand some Greek. Can someone w no experience make this? Thanks!

    • Yes, and it works just fine.  I have it’s LED array sitting on my desk,
      happily flashing. Perhaps the easiest way to test and adjust its
      frequency is by using an oscilloscope. I’m not sure, but I think there
      are free desktop software versions of oscilloscopes, which use the
      microphone input your computer likely already has, for input. 
      Otherwise, you could just use the values I have in the circuit, and
      that should be close.  But all component have a tolerance — accurate
      only to within a small percentage, so YMMV.

    • Yes, that’s the LED array I used.  There would be no point
      in providing a picture of the circuit, because the circuit
      diagram provides far more information than a picture
      would provide.

  2. Thanks for the info! I’m planning on making my own circuit using your plans. I’m no expert but I believe your circuit diagram should show the threshold and trigger pins tied together. Thanks again!

  3. Hi! Thank you for sharing your work!
    I’m tinkering with 555 driven flashing LEDs myself due to this article in Nature about “non-invasive 40 Hz light-flickering regime that reduced Aβ1–40 and Aβ1–42 levels in the visual cortex of pre-depositing mice and mitigated plaque load in aged, depositing mice. Our findings uncover a previously unappreciated function of gamma rhythms in recruiting both neuronal and glial responses to attenuate Alzheimer’s-disease-associated pathology.” (i.e. 40Hz light at 473nm wavelength reducing symptoms of Alzheimer’s).

    Do you think you are getting 473 nm light with your version?

    • The authors used two different methods for the 40 Hz gamma
      frequency entrainment.  First, they directly stimulated the
      brains of the mice by inserting into their brains a fiber that
      carried 473nm blue laser light pulsing at 40 Hz.

      Second, the authors put the mice into cages and placed nearby
      them an array of white LED lights flashing at 40 Hz. This can
      be seen in Supplementary Video 4, referred to in their Nature
      article.  Here’s a link to the video:


    • I downloaded the app onto my iPad.  It seems to be very inaccurate.  The app measured beteeen 55 and 60 Hz on my circuit,  I re-checked the frequency with my oscilloscope and its reading was 40.1 Hz.  I have no reason to doubt the oscilloscope, because the wave it displays is almost perfectly rectangular.


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