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Using AC for LED Christmas Lights

This circuit uses low-voltage AC to drive a string of 50 or so bi-color LEDs (two LEDs connected in inverse parallel). Power to the LEDs is controlled by the Triac and the two optocouplers which have their photo-transistors effectively connected in inverse-parallel. Depending on which optocoupler is turned on, the Triac applies positive, negative or both half-cycles to the LEDs and so the colours can be red, green or in-between. Switch S1 is used to select the pulses from two oscillators which are formed by the NAND gates in IC1 (4011B). This provides a variety of LED flash patterns, depending on the setting of S1.

Circuit diagram:

Author: Matthew Peterson – Copyright: Silicon Chip Electronics

Tags: ac, lights

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