Driveway light project

Discussion in 'The Projects Forum' started by roadey_carl, Mar 26, 2013.

  1. roadey_carl

    Thread Starter Senior Member

    Jun 5, 2009
    Hey everyone, so it’s been a while since I’ve posted anything on here. I haven’t really been into electronics for about a year! (It was a women’s fault!) but now I’m back into the work shop cracking on and tinkering with new things and new projects!

    Here’s something I’m interested in making and am not quite sure how to go about it so thought I’d ask you folks for some advice!

    I’d like to have some driveway light turn on via a sensor when it gets dark. Let’s assume they are filament lamps or triac compatible dimmable LED lamps to reduce running cost. I want them to come on at 50% brightness when it’s dark. Then, when a car comes down the driveway it triggers another sensor which then brings the lights up to 100% brightness. Then maybe after 10 or so minutes they go back to 50% again.

    So, I’m thinking maybe it would be something like a photocell to turn the lights on at night. The photocell is connected to a triac dimmer set at 50%. I’m sure that would work but the 2nd stage I’m stuck. How can I get the 2nd sensor to bring the lights up to 100%? It would be nice to have it so it was a gradual change from %50 to %100... So I’d need something to simulate a variable resistor in a dimming circuit. I don’t know. And then how can I get the lights to turn off again after they have been at 100% for a set time?! I think I might be looking at it all wrong, maybe a PIC is the way to go?

    I’m really not sure, any ideas?