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LED Camping Lantern with Dimmer - December 9, 2013

A while back I received an email from a Discover Circuits visitor who wanted to build his own LED camping lantern.  He wanted to use a single bright LED powered by 3 large alkaline D cells.  He also wanted to be able to dim the light intensity down to a low night light level, to extend the battery life.  The circuit below performs this task.


A 555 timer is wired to form an adjustable pulse width modulation (PWM) circuit.  A signal turn potentiometer is used to adjust the duty cycle of the PWM circuit.  The pot also contains an off/off switch. The output of the timer is connected to a constant current LED driver circuit, set for 750ma.  This should be enough current to produce about 200 lumens of bright white light using an LED from Cree.  When the pot is adjusted fully counter clockwise, the switch is activated, turning off the light.                                             

Pot With On/off Switch LED Camping Lantern

Click on Drawing Below to view PDF version of Schematic

3 D-Cell Camping Lantern with Dimmer by David A. Johnson, PE

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