Saturday, January 11, 2014

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Push Bike Light

Automatic switch-on when it gets dark, 6V or 3V battery operation
This design was primarily intended to allow automatic switch-on of push-bike lights when it gets dark. Obviously, it can be used for any other purpose involving one or more lamps to be switched on and off depending of light intensity. Power can be supplied by any type of battery suitable to be fitted in your bike and having a voltage in the 3 to 6 Volts range.

The Photo resistor R1 should be fitted into the box containing the complete circuit, but a hole should be made in a convenient side of the box to allow the light hitting the sensor. Trim R2 until the desired switching threshold is reached. The setup will require some experimenting, but it should not be difficult.

Push-Bike Light Circuit Diagram
Push-Bike Light Circuit Diagram

R1_____________Photo resistor (any type)
R2______________22K 1/2W Trimmer Cermet or Carbon type
R3_______________1K 1/4W Resistor
R4_______________2K7 1/4W Resistor
R5_____________330R 1/4W Resistor (See Notes)
R6_______________1R5 1W Resistor (See Notes)
D1____________1N4148 75V 150mA Diode
Q1_____________BC547 45V 200mA NPN Transistor
Q2_____________BD438 45V 4A PNP Transistor
LP1____________Filament Lamp(s) (See Notes)
SW1_____________SPST Toggle or Slider Switch
B1______________6V or 3V Battery (See Notes)

  • In this circuit, the maximum current and voltage delivered to the lamp(s) are limited mainly by R6 (that cant be omitted if a clean and reliable switching is expected). Therefore, the Ohms Law must be used to calculate the best voltage and current values of the bulbs.
  • For example: at 6V supply, one or more 6V bulbs having a total current drawing of 500mA can be used, but for a total current drawing of 1A, 4.5V bulbs must be chosen, as the voltage drop across R6 will become 1.5V. In this case, R6 should be a 2W type.
  • At 3V supply, R6 value can be lowered to 1 or 0.5 Ohm and the operating voltage of the bulbs should be chosen accordingly, by applying the Ohms Law.
  • Example: Supply voltage = 3V, R6 = 1R, total current drawing 600mA. Choose 2.2V bulbs as the voltage drop caused by R6 will be 0.6V.
  • At 3V supply, R5 value must be changed to 100R.
  • Stand-by current is less than 500µA, provided R2 value after trimming is set at about 5K or higher: therefore, the power switch SW1 can be omitted. If R2 value is set below 5K the stand-by current will increase substantially.
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