how do i make a light bulb flicker

Wendy

Joined Mar 24, 2008
22,164
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.
 

wayneh

Joined Sep 9, 2010
16,399
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.
 

Yako

Joined Nov 24, 2011
245
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.
Do you have a fast discharge path? Or you just switch ON then OFF?
 

Yako

Joined Nov 24, 2011
245
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.
 

SgtWookie

Joined Jul 17, 2007
22,220
The light bulbs use a magnet and wire to move continuously, creating the flicker effect.
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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