120v light circuit that flickers and dims - imitating candles?

I want to build a device that plugs into a wall plug then to plug in a lamp that makes the light flicker and dim just a little. Not a whole lot. Scary effect. Schematics please? Dont want to buy. I'm going to plug in 400w all together into this device.

-I am running 6 lights that are all the same. I not going to replace them with actual flickering lights. I would like for them to flicker at the same time at night for scary effect.  Thanks-

sort by: active | newest | oldest
wirenut19806 years ago
I just looked at my sensor, it says 100w max, how ever you could place 4 of these side by side so all lighs flicker the same, or use 4 flicker bulbs and 4 sensors divided to get a completley diffrent effect.
wirenut19806 years ago
I was trying to find the instructable I used but can't. I'll do my best to described it to you. Things you will need: Flicker bulb, a base for the flicker bulb, a photo sensor for a light without the 2 minute delay (that is the important part), a dark colored box. I found the best photo sensor at Home Depot in the isle near the fan section they have a short light post and replacement sensors for the light post. The sensor is ready to go with 2 wires. I mounted the photo sensor in the box off to one side and wired it to the socket side of a cut extension cord this will be where the lights for your project plug in. I then took the flicker bulb socket and wired it with the incoming power supply before the photo sensor; you will want the flicker bulb to have constant power while your project is in operation. Mount the flicker bulb base so you can move it either closer or futher away from the sensor ( this will be used to change your flickering effect ) . Your wiring is pretty easy. Take a male plug from a cut extension cord take the the wire from the wide blade this will be the neutral(or white wire), connect it to the wide( or white wire) side of the socket and one wire from the flicker bulb(either one) and cap off. Take the other wire(or black wire) from the male plug and attach to the remaining wire from the flicker bulb, and to the wire on the sensor labeled "load" and cap off. Take the remaining wire from the sensor and attach to the the other wire(or black wire) on the socket part of the extension cord. If this isn't any help let me know, and I'll do my best to find the instructable.
Try a couple of fluorescent lamp starters in series with your loads - 4, for 400 W of load. Make sure you use incandescent lamps.

That's the standard dodge used in haunted houses these days. Websearch will find mention of this, and of how to dress up a tubular bulb to look like a lantern mantle, and several related tricks.

Actually, if you want to imitate candles, shouldn't separate lights (different parts of the room, at least) flicker separately?
Since, with a 400W load having to be split up across a few starters, you get splitting for free, it WOULD make sense to run wires to different areas wouldn't it ?

I made a halloween system with randomnly fires triacs a couple of years back, but its too complicated to put here for a quick answer.
onrust6 years ago
this may be another approach....