1. Welcome to our site! Electro Tech is an online community (with over 170,000 members) who enjoy talking about and building electronic circuits, projects and gadgets. To participate you need to register. Registration is free. Click here to register now.
    Dismiss Notice
ElectroMaster

Triac light bulb flasher

This 800 W light bulb flasher operates directly off the line and needs no transformer. Power for th

  1. ElectroMaster
    This 800 W light bulb flasher operates directly off the line and needs no transformer. Power for the timer circuit is derived by limiting the current using a 330 nF capacitor (acts like a 9.6 k resistor at 50 Hz), rectifying with a full-wave rectifier composed of four diodes (you may also use a pre-made bridge rectifier instead of the diodes, of course, but make sure the voltage rating is 400 V, or 250 V RMS). Then the voltage is limited with a 9 V zener diode (almost any of this voltage will work), a 1 W type. The 100 µF capacitor filters the power, a 16 V rating may be a bit safer. Remember: if the zener diode fails, the capacitor will blow because it gets peaks of up to 330 V, although current-limited). In this configuration, the timer gives long pulses at 1.3 Hz.

    Now there's one problem: we can't drive the triac directly, because the controlling voltage is not isolated from the line since there is no transformer. The easiest way to drive it is thus by using a triac optocoupler. The K3021 or MOC3021 is well suited for this purpose, as it works like a small triac and thus allows it to directly drive the gate of the larger triac. The coupler is connected to turn on when the timer outputs a low, so we get short pulses.

    Please note that this only works with resistive loads like incandescent light bulbs or heaters. It does not work with fluorescent lamps (need a snubber network to do that).

    [​IMG]