How can I build a Slow, Rotating, Solar, Low Power LED for Mother-In-Law's garden lighthouse? Answered

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I bought my mother-in-law a couple fiberglass lighthouses (hollow interior) that stand about four feet tall in her garden.  Is there any possible way that I could manage a low-power LED light (that doesn't bother neighbors), and not only make it slowly rotate, but power it from a solar cell off of.... say an old solar light?  Thanks!

Discussions

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iceng

7 years ago

Even a small motor will draw lots of power from a little solar charged battery.
I recommend you put a bunch of eight LEDs in a circle see the picture.
Only one LED lights at a time giving the illusion of light house motion.
It is absolutely Quiet.

If you like the concept we can change values for a lower voltage for solar day
charging and lighting at night.

A

LHOUSE.jpg
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RogerW23iceng

Reply 2 months ago

Hello icing,

I seen this was posted awhile back was there a circuit using a day charger for use during the nighttime hours?

Thanks

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Hazza24iceng

Answer 7 years ago

Hi ICeng,

Apologies for highjacking this thread but I wonder whether you'd mind explaining how I'd build this circuit?

I have another post (my first) here https://www.instructables.com/community/Looking-for-LED-help/ and another member has suggested this set up might help me.

Thanks

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icengHazza24

Answer 7 years ago

No problem,
This circuit is not acting exactly as you want.
The circuit lights one LED then the next, only one at a time, to simulate a rotating
light house beacon.
I thought you wanted, what I call a barber pole light.
This is where each added light stays on until at some point the lights
back down or reset to no lights at all.

I can probably show you a circuit for both, let me know ?
Either way people like to understand.

A.

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Hazza24iceng

Answer 7 years ago

Hey,

Thanks for responding. Yes what I'd like is a circuit which would light each LED at a time and remains on till all are lit (from left to right). Once they are all lit then I'd want them to all switch off in one action.

Thanks a lot for offering to help with the guide

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icengHazza24

Answer 7 years ago

One more circuit for 16 LEDs that get turned on by pulsing the SCR from
the sequential 017 singular outputs.
The SCRs must be chosen for a low value of Holding Current about 10ma.

SCRsequence.gif
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icengHazza24

Answer 7 years ago

Here is a pointer to  LM3916 Dot / Bar display easily does 10 LED any color
display which can respond to a pot or voltage input change.
I will follow  this up later with a16 LED circuit.
Of course you know a microprocessor is the way to go.........  A

LM3916schematics.jpg
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Hazza24iceng

Answer 7 years ago

Thanks for this. I'm going to give this a go in the next day or so. Although I'm a bit of a novice this looks pretty straightforward. Many thanks again!

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gothmetalforevericeng

Answer 7 years ago

I do like that idea; never even thought about it that way. I would enjoy it being solar-powered, if at all possible. Even if it only lasts a couple hours into the night. My biggest question, then, is if the lights alternate it a circular pattern, is it possible to dim on and off so that it's not such a sharp transition onto each light? Basically to still smoothly emulated a rotating lighthouse light?

Thanks!

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icenggothmetalforever

Answer 7 years ago

Three ways to go,
  1. Add 8 more for a total of 16 LEDs and one more 017 IC, half as much movement per step.
  2. Use a micro processor and you can dim one led while starting the next LED.
  3. You have reached the point where a single LED shines up or down at a rotating mirror, is becoming the more feasible alternative.
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s1

5 years ago

Cunning trick to get a pseudo-rotating LED beacon of any reasonable height, which looks exactly as though it is being projected through a Fresnel lens (pronounced fray-nell after the inventor), use up to 20 strips of self-adhesive 3528 LEDs, stuck vertically around a piece of (say) 40 mm plastic pipe, inside an inverted plastic drink bottle. Drive opposite strips of LEDs from a 4017 decade counter via a transistor to ensure sufficient current. Best to use 120 LED per metre strip, from ebay, your choice of color, each 3-LED section draws about 16 mA. Use a 555 timer with adjustable time constant to clock the 4017 and get the speed right. There are plenty of schematics showing how to do it. Brilliant effect!

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icengs1

Answer 5 years ago

Well described, perhaps we can see a cool instructable from you soon ;)