Ambient Light Detection Based Light Dimmer

Discussion in 'Embedded Systems and Microcontrollers' started by ActivePower, Jul 20, 2012.

  1. ActivePower

    Thread Starter Active Member

    Mar 15, 2012
    Well, there is this course on 'Generation and Utilization of Electric Power' that I am taking that requires a project to demonstrate efficient utilization of power and I had the (not so new) idea of designing a cheap and smart auto light dimmer for it which works on ambient light detection.

    The catch is that I wish it to involve some level of embedded design (actually, a PIC microcontroller) at its heart as I am just starting out with it and I'd like to explore its various applications.

    Although I do wish to build a working prototype of the said model connected to say, an incandescent lamp or something (just for a demo), I am stuck at a few places to start with:

    1. What kind of sensor could provide reasonable detection of ambient light variation but be cheap at the same time so the whole module is economical.

    2. I have never connected my PIC to relatively high voltage ac sources before. What kind of interfacing might I need?

    I have a few more queries but I guess I'll put them up after I have given them some more thought.

    Any suggestions for improving this system and any useful pointers in general would be great!

  2. bertus


    Apr 5, 2008

    For question #1 you might take a look at the link of this page of the EDUCYPEDIA:
    Optical sensors

    For question #2 you might take a look at a solid state relays, as you want to control it by a micro controller and have it isolated from the micro controller.

  3. R!f@@

    AAC Fanatic!

    Apr 2, 2009
    1. U need a LDR.
    2. An opto isolator