The electronic drive requirements for producing nanosecond optical pulses from blue light emitting diodes are considered. Simple circuits are used to generate the fast current pulses necessary to switch on and assist with the turn off of these devices. The intensity of the emitted radiation can be controlled by the magnitude of the drive current. Optical pulses in the nanosecond range are suitable for, but not limited to, the calibration of scintillation counters. The circuits described can be either free running or externally triggered. Typically, the optical pulse full width half maximum (FWHM) is below 1 ns. The presented techniques are not limited to blue LEDs and should be applicable to devices of longer wavelengths.