LED-Circuits

This is a easy to build LED lamp circuit for Learning and building skills. This is the first draft schematic V 1.0. It will need improvements for Higher Power Lighting.

Perpetual Candle Project

Perpetual Candle - White LED Lamp on Ni-Cd

I will give a short summary, The LM317 here configured for around 6.4V DC. The Q3 BC547 limits the current, you can select R3 to suit, make it 1/2W. The Ni-Cd battery pack 1.2 * 4 will not get Over-Current or Over-Voltage due to this circuit.

The IRF540 Mosfet or any other equivalent you have around, along with Q2 BC547 forms a current source for the parallel 12 LED array. Ultra-bright White LED at 20mA each or use a 1W ready LED Chip. R4/R6 can be selected for the Max LED current.

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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.

This is a Constant Current Source LED Driver, When the LED driver Upper-NPN is driven by a voltage thru 4.7K the LED lights up. Assume that the Lower-NPN at bottom is absent. The current via LED and NPN is limited by R. 20mA may be ok 15mA even better. Or LED blows even transistor goes.

LED Voltage Level Indicator

BC547 is like 100mA-40V-200b, Limit collector current to 60mA, use it at less than 25V and depending on the individual transistor you may get a DC current amplification of 200 times. That is 1uA of base-emitter current could give a whooping 200uA of collector-emitter current.

Constant Current Source LED Drive

Still Thinking we do not have the Lower-NPN we calculate the resistor. Vcc – ( 2 LEDs * 1.7) – Vce = Vr that is the voltage across the resistor. You know ohms law and the current needs to be 15mA for a bright and long lasting LED. Lastly 1.7 the forward drop of a green LED and 0.6 a saturated or Turrned-On NPN Vce.

Mains Voltage Current LED Indicators

Now you use the Lower-NPN, The above calculations do not hold anymore. Let us think a small current is flowing in the LED. Then the voltage across R is less than 0.7V, that means base-emitter diode of the Lower-NPN will not get to conduct. The Collector does not draw any current away. Now think that more current flows in LED, the voltage across R builds up above 0.7V the Lower-NPN is biased. The collector of Lower-NPN starts drinking current from the base of the Upper-NPN. So The Upper-NPN starts losing its bias. This lowers the LED current and contains, regulates or controls the LED current as shown in the formula.

This will monitor telephone status without loading the telephone line, this way if you have two phones in parallel you will know if one of them is busy. Connect the two ends of circuit in parallel to phone lines.

Telephone LED status indicator

D1 to D4 make a bridge so that LED’s are powered in correct polarity. LED1 indicates line ok no broken line, LED3 can light only when a 12V Zener breaksdown, this shows if line is busy or free, so that you dont go online when someone is talking on the phone in another room. LED2 lights on an incoming call ringing signal.

Learn on Gadget Hacks and Making Things

This is a higher voltage at least in older exchanges, so the cap protects the LED, and LED Lights when a AC ringing signal occurs. D6 protects LED2 from reverse polarity.

Learning Science to Promote Scientific Thinking

Science is best learnt with practical lab work in tandem with theory. Theory becomes appetizing only with practical experiments. In fact theory should follow practical experiments.

This LED Indicator uses a LM339, a quad comparator. LM339 can work on single or dual supplies, it has a open collector output that can drive 15mA, low power consumption. The circuit is an untested design but it should work.

Mains Voltage and Power Circuits – Similar circuits for Mains Voltage Monitoring.

There are many better circuits in the various circuit archives i have linked on the front page, you just have to look around. When you measure the open circuit voltage of a battery with a high impedance DMM (10M), the value may be a bit misleading. Apply a dummy load to bleed the battery a bit so that proper readings can be taken on Load. The load below is a 100 ohms wire-wound fusible ceramic resistor which will heat a bit when you test 12V batteries.
Battery Level LED Indicator

Theory of Operation.

R16 a 5W ceramic wire wound bleeder or dummy load. R15 is a part of an attenuator for obtaining ranges. D2 is a protection clamp diode. R10-D1 forms the 5V reference for comparators. Then an attenuator obtains 1.2, 1.4, 1.6, 1.8 V steps for each comparator. This circuit is similar to Audio Level meter or VU meter circuit.

Comparators in Interface Circuits

The comparator compares the battery sample voltage to the fixed reference step. If ‘+’ pin is more positive than ‘-‘, or is ‘+’ is more dominant, then output goes floating ‘open collector’, so No LED light . But if ‘-‘ is more dominant the output transistor of comparator goes low impedance or saturates or turns ‘ON’. But only spec current can be switched, do not compare with electrical switch ‘ON’. Also on a dual supply 0V is more dominant or positive compared with -12V, even though it appears -12V is a big number. The direction of current is what decides, all measurements are relative.

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 0.47uF can be brought down to 0.22uF for low LED currents, use high efficiency ultra bright LEDs.C1 should be 440V AC or 630V DC plastic axial yellow, polyester, polycarbonate, polypropylene, metalized film.

R3-R6-R9-R14-R18 resistor divider determines the LED turn on or threshold switch points, 10M for hysteresis.

Mains Voltage and Power Circuits

Adjust R16 preset with a log Plastic tweaker to get the led D2 to turn on when input voltage is at 220V 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.

LM324 – Low Power Quad Operational Amplifier

This Circuit is Not a Tested Design. It is an Idea for study
Simple Mains Voltage monitor LM324
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.

This circuit is used to detect objects by reflected infrared light. It can be built into a cylindrical enclosure just like an inductive proximity switch.

Part of – InfraRed Detector for Proximity Switch

This is also useful as a level detector for colored liquids like oil. This has some immunity to ambient sunlight as it detects ac pulses.

Infrared Optical Proximity Switch

IC 555 is used as an astable oscillator and it flashes the Infra red LED D1 at a high speed, The object close to this LED reflects the light along with the ambient light which may also be sunlight.

Infra Red LED 555 Flasher

IR Led’s and Diodes

The types available are various and polarity hard to detect even photo IR transistors can be used. The IR Led can be tested in diode mode of a DMM (battery should be in good condition) it should give around 1.1V drop in proper polarity.

Se a Related circuit here Optical Obstacle Switch.

An IR detector diode or photo diode can be tested in the same way the drop will be 0.5V at 1 feet from a 60W lamp (no sunlight), closing the IR photo diode with your hand will be an over range on DMM this will happen on proper polarity. the photo diode shows around 10k ohm resistance in daylight and in Mega ohms when covered also the photo diode detects light on reverse bias and used like that.

This circuit is derived from a Siemens Application Note 1974. This circuit uses common components of today.

The circuit is here as it is of high educational value. I have not tested it. You can ‘simulate and test’ or ‘wire it up and try’ and let me know how it worked. The Circuit is also a simple analog to digital converter. You can use optos in place of LEDs.

Battery Level Indicator

T1 and T2 make a differential amplifier. T3, T4 and T5 driving the LEDs are comparators.  When input voltage is increased T1 is turned on which leads to more base current for T3 which Lights LED1. When input voltage is less T2 turns on as it gets a better base current from P3 which turns on LED2 via T4. When both LEDs are off T5 gets biased as no drop across R5 which lights the LED3 thru T5 hopefully.

LED Voltage Level Indicator

What you need to know is a small current Ib thru the base-emitter path in the direction of the emitter arrow will lead to a large Current Ic thru the emitter-collector path in direction of arrow. Ic = B * Ib where B – beta is the DC current gain, it could be 100-400

Fluid or Water Level with Reed Relays 

Beta is different in each transistor you buy and varies with the test conditions and even with temperature and age. The LED1 and LED2 will indicate above or below Limits set by P2 and P1. The Limit Threshold itself is set at P3 i think. LED3 will light when Hi LED and Lo LED both are off.

The applications of this circuit are FM tuning indicator, Stereo Balance Indicator (Wire T2 like T1 then we get two channel inputs) and battery level indicator.