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Circuits designed by David Johnson, P.E.
Last Updated on: Wednesday, October 18, 2017 05:04 AM

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More  LED's    Blinkers & Flashers


There are times when you would like to generate an intensely bright flash of light using electrical power from the AC line.  The circuit below can drive a one to three watt power LED with about 350ma of peak current.  Since the circuit drives the LED with a constant current, any LED color can be used.  I have also shown how you could use an array of 7 LEDs, wired in parallel.  This array may not produce as much light as the single power LED but the array would be cheaper to build. 

The circuit uses a classic Schmitt trigger oscillator, which drives a constant current switch circuit.  The components are selected so the circuit produces a short 20ms flash with a flash rate of about 0.5Hz.  A high voltage capacitor in series with a bridge rectifier limits the current drawn from the power line to about 5ma.  A 47 ohm metal oxide resistor is used as a fuse.
Since the LED current pulse packs quite a bit of energy, a fairly large 2,200uF capacitor is used to collect and store energy from the power line between flashes.  The capacitor voltage is limited by a zener diode to 7.5v.  A diode and capacitor circuit isolates the oscillator voltage from the main energy storage capacitor.  This isolation insures that the oscillator frequency and pulse width remain fairly constant.

Click on Drawing Below to view PDF version of Schematic

SchematicHigh Intesnity Line Powered LED FlasherDave Johnson

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