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Automated Lighting? Answered

Hi there, I am renting a place for my new office for 3D animation and I wanted to make an automatic lighting system to turn on lights when I'm in a room and off when I move to another room. How easy/hard is it to do that? And what do I need to make my light switch on and off slowly? Cheers, Shawin.

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Goodhart

10 years ago

Although this may be more complex then you need, if you are using incandescent lights, a ramp circuit would gradually turn them on, depending on how steep you set the ramp: Ramp circuit idea link

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beatovenGoodhart

Reply 10 years ago

Yes, I'm using incandescent lights... The ramp circuit idea seems great, but the example you gave me is quite confusing for me. I don't know much about complex circuits. It would be great to know what parts I need and a circuit diagram :(

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Goodhartbeatoven

Reply 10 years ago

Yeah, that circuit I linked to was just for the idea. To eliminate :ringing, a triac should probably be employed also.

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beatovenGoodhart

Reply 10 years ago

Is it possible to use a simple circuit using capacitors and resistors to make the soft-on/off? Or is it much more complex for a/c?
Here's an example for a hard disk activity LED:
simple soft On circuit (link)

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Goodhartbeatoven

Reply 10 years ago

Because of the way a cap works (charge/discharge, with dc), any capacitor can be used to help filter or smooth sine waves or eliminate a portion of them (to ground). AC passes through a capacitor much like it wasn't there. You many be able to use inductors, but that is getting a little outside my area of knowledge I am afraid.

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beatovenGoodhart

Reply 10 years ago

Hmm, I hate AC! I'll look up inductors then. Ramp circuits seem too complex for the mere mortal that be me. Aren't there commercial switches that do this? I'm pretty sure I saw a soft on switch in a hotel once.

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beatovenGoodhart

Reply 10 years ago

Thanks a lot Goodhart. The one from the UK site is really expensive. I'll try to mail the US distributor and see if they ship to Mauritius. I have to find my college physics teacher and ask if he can help me with making that ramp circuit.

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Lftndbt

10 years ago

I'd suggest going to your local wal-mart/lighting store and picking up a sensor pwr point socket... run your lights through it .... Soft start on the lights maybe more of a problem... perhaps have a look at fluorescet globes.. I know some of the one's I sell take about a min to warm up to full power..

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beatovenLftndbt

Reply 10 years ago

There's no wal-mart or lighting stores here in Mauritius. Only basic hardware stores with nails and wires and stuff. I found a pir sensor. Now I need something for the soft-on/off. Do your fluorescent globes take some time to turn off as well? Anyway I won't get them here though.

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zieakbeatoven

Reply 10 years ago

Mauritius? Cool! Former home of the Dodo. Compact fluorescent bulb prices have come way down in the US lately and they do have a ramping warm up to them to full brightness after their initial illumination. I know that there are infrared sensors for classrooms that help schools keep lighting costs down. I have not found residential versions of the sensors though.

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beatovenzieak

Reply 10 years ago

Yeah... Now stupid humans like me are all over the place. No Dodos around :( Those sensors must be PIR sensors right? I've seen outdoor lights with PIR on sale. I could rip the sensor off. As for the compact fluorescent bulb, I've never seen that in Mauritius. And I really prefer incandescent lights cause they look great when slowly turning on. I have 2 huge 500W bulbs which I passed though a manual dimmer. Was really nice, but the metal strip in the dimmer exploded...