Super Light Sensor

This `Super Light Sensor` responds to minute fluctuations in light level, auto-adjusting over the range from about 200 lux up to 60, 000 lux (ie, from a modestly lit room to direct sunlight). It has lots of potential uses - eg, detecting a car entering a driveway, a person moving in a room, or wind rustling the leaves of a tree. At the same time, i
Super Light Sensor - schematic

t has a high level of rejection of natural light variations, such as sunrise, sunset and the movement of clouds. While it is a "passive" system, it can also be used as an "active" system - ie, used in conjunction with a light beam. Its great advantage here is that, since it responds to fluctuations in light level rather than the crossing of a specific light threshold, it is much more flexible than other typical "active" systems. It can be placed within the line-of-sight of almost any light source, including "vague" ambient light, and simply switched on. As shown, the LDR is wired as part of a voltage divider so that, between darkness and full sunlight, its output at "X" varies between about one-quarter and three-quarters of the supply voltage. A wide variety of sensors may be used in place of the LDR, including photo-transistors, photo-diodes and infrared and ultraviolet devices. Fig. 1: light level fluctuations are detected by LDR1 and the resulting signal fed to comparator stage IC1. IC1 in turn triggers 7555 timer IC2 which is wired as a monostable and this drives transistor Q2 and a relay. The signal from the sensor is fed to the inputs of comparator IC1 via two 150kO resistors. However, any signal fluctuations will be slightly delayed on pin 3 compared to pin 2, due to the 220nF capacitor. As a result, the pin 6 output of the comparator (IC1) switches low during short-term signal fluctuations and this triggers...

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