Outdoor Lighting Controller

When you step out of your brightly-lit house  into the darkness, it takes a while for your  vision to adjust. A solution to this problem  is this outdoor light with automatic switch-off. As a bonus, it will also make it a little bit  easier to find the keyhole when returning  late at night. Often no mains neutral connection is avail-able at the point where the switch-off timer  is to be installed, which makes many circuit  arrangements impractical.

However, the circuit here is designed to work in this situation. The design eschews bulky components such as transformers and the whole unit can  be built into a flush-mounted fitting. The circuit also features low quiescent current consumption.

Outdoor Lighting Controller Circuit Diagram:

Lighting Circuit Diagram

The circuit is star ted by closing switch (or  pushbutton) S1. The lamp then immediately receives power via the bridge rectifier. The drop across diodes D5 to D10 is 4.2 V, which provides the power supply for the delay circuit itself, built around the CD4060 binary  counter.

When the switch is opened the lighting sup-ply current continues to flow through Tri1. The NPN optocoupler in the triac drive circuit detects when the triac is active, with antiparallel LED D1 keeping the drive sym-metrical. The NPN phototransistor inside the  coupler creates a reset pulse via T1, driving  pin 12 of the counter. This means that the  full time period will run even if the circuit is retriggered. The CD4060 counts at the AC grid frequency.  Pin 3 goes high after 213clocks, which corresponds to about 2.5 minutes. If this is not long  enough, a further CD4060 counter can be cascaded. T2 then turns on and shorts the internal LED of opto-triac IC2; this causes Tri1 to  be deprived of its trigger current and the light  goes out. The circuit remains without power until next triggered.

The circuit is only suitable for use with resistive loads. With the components shown (in particular in the bridge rectifier and D5 to  D10) the maximum total power of the connected bulb(s) is 200 watts. As is well known, the filament of the bulb is most likely to fail at the moment power is applied. There is little risk to Tri1 at this point as it is bridged by  the switch. The most likely consequence of overload is that one of diodes D1 to D6 will  fail. In the prototype no fuse was used, as it would not in any case have been easy to change. However, that is not necessarily recommended practice!

Circuits at AC line potential should only be constructed by suitably experienced persons and all relevant safety precautions and  applicable regulations must be observed during construction and installation.

Author : Harald Schad - Copyright : Elektor
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