Brightness Control for small Lamps

Switch-mode driven 1.5V bulbs

Portable unit - 3V battery supply

Circuit diagram:

Lamp Regulator


P1________________470K   Linear Potentiometer

R1_________________10K   1/4W Resistor
R2_________________47K   1/4W Resistor (See Notes)
R3__________________1K5  1/4W Resistor

C1_________________22nF   63V Polyester Capacitor
C2________________100µF   25V Electrolytic Capacitor

D1,D2___________1N4148    75V 150mA Diodes

IC1_______________7555 or TS555CN CMos Timer IC

Q1_______________BD681   100V 4A NPN Darlington Transistor

LP1_______________1.5V 200mA Bulb (See Notes)

SW1_______________SPST Switch

B1__________________3V (Two 1.5V AA or AAA cells in series, etc.)

Circuit operation:

This device was designed on request, to control the light intensity of four filament lamps (i.e. a ring illuminator) powered by two AA or AAA batteries, for close-up pictures with a digital camera. Obviously it can be used in other ways, at anyone's will.
IC1 generates a 150Hz square wave having a variable duty-cycle. When the cursor of P1 is fully rotated towards D1, the output positive pulses appearing at pin 3 of IC1 are very narrow. Bulb LP1, driven by Q1, is off as the voltage across its leads is too low. When the cursor of P1 is rotated towards R2, the output pulses increase in width, reaching their maximum amplitude when the potentiometer is rotated fully clockwise. In this way the bulb reaches its full brightness.