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Does there exist an instructable that will control low-voltage lighting, to turn a circuit on at dusk, and off at dawn? Answered

I have some LED lighting to illuminate my outdoor entry stairs. I'm in the process of setting them up to run off of a solar-charged battery. The last step is to automate the process of turning them on and off.

Ideally, I'd like a circuit, not micro controller based, to turn them on and off based on a given light level.

Thank you!


Go to home depot or a similar store and visit the garden supply area. They have racks of very inexpensive solar powered "runner lights" that can be used for the basis of such a circuit. use their led lighting output as your switch.

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The standard technique used in solar grounds lighting is to measure the voltage coming from the photocell(s). When it drops below a certain level, that means they're no longer getting incoming light and it's time to turn on the light. When the light rises above that level, it's time to turn the light off again. No microcontroller needed, just a transistor or two which are large enough to switch the lights, and a few passive components to tune the switching threshhold to a reasonable level.