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20 August 2009

Light Activated Switch Circuit Using LM311

This is a design circuit diagram of a light activated switch. This circuit is based on National Semiconductors comparator IC LM 311 and a LDR for operation. This is the figure of the circuit.

The circuit is based on a voltage comparator circuit wired around IC 1. The non-inverting in put of IC1 is given with a reference voltage of 6V using resistors R3 and R4. The input to the inverting input will be the voltage across the LDR that is light dependent. At darkness the resistance of the LDR will be high and so do the voltage across it. At this condition the voltage at the inverting input will be higher than the reference at non inverting pin and the out put of the comparator will be low(~o V). Adjust POT R1 to set the desired light intensity for switching the relay. For this illuminate the LDR with the desire intensity light.

The relay will be either on or off. Adjust POT R1 slowly so that the state of the relay changes. That’s it. Now the circuit is set for the given intensity of light. When the LDR is illuminated, its resistance drops and so do the voltage across it. Now the voltage at inverting input will be lower than that at non inverting input and the out put of the comparator goes high (~12 V). This makes transistor Q1 on and it drives the relay. As a result we get a relay switching according to the intensity of the light falling on the LDR.
You can use either a 12 V battery or a well regulated & filtered 12V DC mains operated power supply. The pin out of LM311 is also given together with the circuit diagram. The pin 5&6 (Balance & Balance/Strobe) of IC LM311 are shorted to minimize the chance of oscillations.