Triac based Lamp Dimmer power control

This is a phase angle control of a Triac which is a evolution from an SCR. The 50 Hz or 60 Hz Sine wave of mains can be turned on at any point after the Zero Crossing.

Design Notes – Power Electronics – 03

Triac based Lamp Dimmer power control

The Voltage ramps up in the sine wave which gives a near “Linear” slope which can be used to trigger the ON at a time delay after zero crossing when the voltage is zero. This is like a PWM but works on low frequency only. Some of the early SMPS(HV for TV and Mains Inverter) by Siemens were built around SCRs. Turning off a SCR is a difficult job for a designer, MOSFETS and IGBT are now used for PWM drive stages.

High Energy Circuits

You can use it with a bulb to vary brightness of bulb, this is a live circuit it can give a shock, enclose in plastic box, the pot should have a plastic knob, use a fuse, you can also use it for temperature control of soldering irons.

The Source file in CadSoft EAGLE format is here

Mains Voltage monitor using LM3914

This Circuit helps in the monitoring of mains supply voltage. It does not use a isolation step down transformer. This has to be constructed only by skilled people with knowledge of safety requirements.

C1 limits the current and drops most of the voltage. The zener regulated supply is for the chip. C2 can be raised to 220uF or more if required. The bar mode display may consume more power.

Mains Voltage Power Transformers 

R2-R3-R5-R6 form a voltage divider to get a sample of the input voltage, D11-C3 get the DC value.

Adjust R5 preset with a log Plastic tweaker to get the 5th led to just turn on when input voltage is at 138V AC. This has to be done after PCB is put in a sealed fire-retardant-plastic or epoxy box. drill a hole in box for plastic tweaker.

National LM3914 – Dot Bar Display Driver
This Circuit is Not a Tested Design. It is an Idea for study

Mains Voltage monitor using LM3914

Warning : This Circuit is Mains Operated without Isolation Transformer and will give lethal electric shock if touched when the circuit is turned on. Test circuit only with DC 9V Bench Power Supply to try it out. Do not use 230V AC.

Edison Bulb Life Extender

The Edsion Filament lamp may be less popular, but it is the most cost-effective light even today. It is very affordable, The light is soothing to the eyes and best of all gives a warm feeling.

Edison Bulb Life Extender

Sometimes due to the mains being restored when bulb is on, or a rapid flick of switch, blows it. This may be due to the cold filament resistance which is low, allowing a huge inrush current.

LED Lighting – The Future is Here

The problem can be solved with a soft start based on thyristor or mosfet using PWM etc. The circuit here is a low cost solution which may help a bit in reducing the inrush cold current Protection from long duration high voltages is also required but will make circuit more complex.

Now why would anyone spend for a R-C network for a bulb, you could as well buy a new bulb. But I once got a back sprain while replacing a bulb in a hurry, So the price of the bulb alone is not the issue.

CFL Lamps and Simple Inverter

The two diodes 1A form a AC path with a switching delay of diodes, The R-C network is for soft start. The Varistor-Thermistor has a cold resistance 4.7E which reduces as it warms up. If switch is flicked rapidly or power fluctuates, then varistor cannot help as its response is slow. The 10E resistor ceramic fusible wirewound resistor and C1 does the job of absorbing .

This circuit has not been tested for long times at multiple places, so i am not sure of its performance.

Mains Voltage Indicator with a LED

This is a mains 230V AC voltage indicator and is a LIVE CIRCUIT, so take care. The Resistor has to be a fusible ceramic wire wound and the capacitor 630V AC or higher capacity.

More at my Home Made Circuits.

Mains Voltage LED Indicator

This circuit has been drawn from my memory and i have not tried it out again, just see if it is ok and then try. You should use the fuse of 100mA a slow blow if you want but it is very important. This circuit has to be enclosed in a plastic sealed enclosure to avoid contact.