how do i make a light bulb flicker

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by biemole, Nov 26, 2011.

  1. biemole

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 16, 2011
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    i need to make a 110 volt light bulb flicker like a candle anyone have a circuit that i can build?
     
  2. Yako

    New Member

    Nov 24, 2011
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    This question is against this site's policy.

    No high-voltage projects are allowed.
     
  3. KMoffett

    AAC Fanatic!

    Dec 19, 2007
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    Off-the-shelf bulbs. Google: flicker flame bulbs

    Ken
     
  4. Yako

    New Member

    Nov 24, 2011
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    Why you want to do this for boss?
     
  5. biemole

    Thread Starter New Member

    Jan 16, 2011
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    christmas decoration
     
  6. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    You have the answer for using 120VAC. That is good as it is going to get and it is simple. This site does not support dangerous voltages, especially for beginners.

    We have lots of ways to do it for low voltage, say 9VDC. You can buy a specialized LED from Electronic Goldmine, for example. You can try Chapter 12 of this article, LEDs, 555s, Flashers, and Light Chasers.
     
  7. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    Say, have a look at this recent addition to our Completed Projects Collection forum:
    http://forum.allaboutcircuits.com/showthread.php?t=61705

    Member Wayneh came up with a really great idea for using dirt cheap "tea light" LED "candles" for making very convincing and very safe decorations.

    I highly encourage you to give that project a try. You will be very pleased with the results.
     
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  8. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
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    In my research for that project, I did see a project over at Instructables for using the same basic idea to control an MOC3023 opto-isolator triac driver, which in turn controlled a standard triac and incandescent bulbs through that.

    I did not reference that project because it powered itself - not just the lights - directly from the mains. Not even a wall wart. But the same circuit could (should) have been powered more safely using an isolated supply.

    Wouldn't a circuit that controls 120V lighting via an opto-isolator be OK under the TOS? I don't want to say any more about it otherwise.

    Note that low power LEDs will actually give a better flickering effect, more safely, with less power and heat. The hot incandescent bulbs continue to glow through the "off" periods, muting the flickering effect.
     
  9. Yako

    New Member

    Nov 24, 2011
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    Do you have a fast discharge path? Or you just switch ON then OFF?
     
  10. Wendy

    Moderator

    Mar 24, 2008
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    The light bulbs use a magnet and wire to move continuously, creating the flicker effect.
     
  11. Yako

    New Member

    Nov 24, 2011
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    Incandescent bulbs have what is called a 'dynamic resistance' They draw a huge surge current when first switched on, then as they warm up it decreases.

    This is why your bulb usually blows when the switch is first flicked.
     
  12. Bernard

    AAC Fanatic!

    Aug 7, 2008
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    Last edited: Nov 26, 2011
    Wendy likes this.
  13. SgtWookie

    Expert

    Jul 17, 2007
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    There are several different types.

    The versions KMoffet referenced are neons; they've been around since the 60's at least.

    I met the fellow who had the patent on the bulbs you're talking about; we happened to be at Skycraft Parts and Surplus at the same time and we got into a conversation. He gave me his card and one of his bulbs; I was going to get in touch with him but the card disappeared. :( He was somewhere in the Deltona area. The bulb was quite interesting; I had it operating for a few years until it finally burned out.
     
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