In this project, We’re building a Photo Switch Circuit using 555 IC. If you’re not familiar with the term ‘photo switch’ – this is nothing but a light-activated switch. The switch will turn ON/OFF based on light intensity. We’ve designed this photo switch circuit using simple & popular components. The heart of this circuit is the very popular NE/SE 555 IC – which is a timer IC almost everyone is familiar with. If you’re new to 555 IC, you may begin reading more about 555 in our article – 555 IC The Basics.
This circuit is very simple and easy to make. The light intensity is sensed using an LDR and the desired intensity can be set by adjusting the potentiometer. Switching is handled using 555 IC and the two transistors. The output is actuated using the relay mechanism.
This is a simple photo switch suitable for home and industrial purposes.The circuit switches on a relay when the light intensity falling on the sensor crosses the set limit.
The circuit is based on a NE 555 and two transistors for driving the relay. The resistor R1 is adjusted in such a way that under normal condition the voltage across the LDR is less than 1/3 the supply voltage. In this condition output of IC is high . This makes transistor Q1 on . Transistor Q2’s base is connected to the collector of Q1.So Q2 will be off keeping the relay de-energized. When light falls the voltage across LDR rises above 2/3 Vcc. This makes the output of IC go high making the relay energized. The result we get a relay that operates according to the intensity of light falling on the LDR.
Assemble the circuit on a good quality PCB or common board.
To set up the circuit switch on the power supply, connect a multimeter across LDR and adjust R1 so that voltage across LDR is just below 1/3 supply voltage. Ensure that relay is off in this condition. If not reduce the voltage across LDR further more by adjusting R1 to make relay off.
Now cover the top of LDR using a black paper and see the relay gets activated. If not, make further adjustments with R1. Nothing to care about some trial and error you will get the correct setpoint of R1 where the circuit works. This circuit is nothing great, but some simple basics. I have tested this and got good results. So no problem. Just proceed.
If there is some chattering in the relay, that may be because off the difference between the turning on and turning off voltages. This can be avoided by connecting a resistor whose value is equal to 1/2 the resistance of LDR at the illuminated condition.
Circuit Diagram and Parts List.