1.1 INTRODUCTIN An Automatic light control switch turns ON/OFF lights according to the light intensity falling on the light depended resistor (LDR). The circuit is based on a voltage comparator wired around an IC. At darkness the resistance of the LDR will be high and so do the voltage across it. When the LDR is illuminated its resistance drops and so does the voltage across it. Now the voltage at the inverting input will be lower than that of the inverting input and the output of comparator goes high (~12V) this makes the transistor ON and it drives the relay. As a result we get a relay switching according the light intensity falling on the LDR. 1.2 AIMS The aim of this project is to design, construct and test the operation of an automatic light control switch. 1.3 OBJECTIVES 1. To design an automatic light control switch which controls lights according to intensity of light falling on the light dependent resistor (LDR) 2. To construct the whole device by assembling the necessary components 3. To test the system for reliability 4. To resent the project to the Kenya National Examination Council (KNEC) for the award of a Diploma in Electrical Engineering (power option) 1.4 BLOCK DIAGRAMS Light
Light dependent
12v DC

Voltage comparator Circuit




Fig. 1.4 (i) Light Dependent Resistor- the whole circuit depends upon the intensity of light falling on the LDR. Its resistance goes high at darkness and low when illuminated and thus affects the voltage across the comparator Voltage comparator circuit- its voltage is determined by the LDR. The voltage across it switches the relay ON/OFF Transistor- it switches ON/OFF according to the intensity of light falling on the LDR thus drives the relay Relay- It is driven by the transistor and switches according the adjusted light intensity

(ii) (iii) (iv)



CHAPTER TWO 2.0 RESEACH METHODOLOGY 2.1LITERATURE SEACH The information used in designing the project was sourced from several books by different authors and publishers. Definitions, explanations, circuit diagrams and circuit symbols used have been extracted from several books and search engines in electrical engineering. Textbooks which assisted in extracting the fundamentals and components used are shown in the table (i) below; BOOK TITLE The encyclopedia of electronic circuits A textbook of Electrical technology Principles of power systems Electrical Installation work AUTHOR Rudolf F. Graff BL Theraja AK Theraja VK Mehta Rohit Mehta Brian Scandan YEAR PUBLISHER BFB Publications S. Chand and Co. Ltd. S. Chand and Co. Ltd. Newhes

2006 2010 2008

The each engines where some of the diagrams and explanations were extracted include the following; i. ii. iii. iv. www.discovercircuits .com

The circuit components were chosen depending on their efficiency, durability accuracy, precision and reliability. The circuits chosen suit the different conditions of this project. The circuit consists of;        Light Dependent Resistor Resistors Light Emitting Diode Transistor Integrated Circuit Relay Potentiometer

2.11 POTENTIOMETER A potentiometer measures unknown emf/pd or current/voltage according to It is used for measuring and comparing the emfs of different cells and for standardizing and calibrating voltmeters, ammeters etc according to BL and AK Theraja. The potentiometers can be; 2.112 DC POTENTIOMETER

Fig. 1.06 This potentiometer consists of Germany silver or Manganin wire usually one meter long and stretched between two terminals. This wire is connected in series with a suitable rheostat and battery B which sends a steady current through the resistance wire AC. As we move from A to C, there is a potential drop in voltage. If p is the resistance per centimeter (R/cm) of this wire, L its length, then the current flowing in I amperes, the fall in potential over the whole length over the wire is;

V=pLI. volts. The two cells of unknown emf are connected as shown in the diagram above.


Suppose the null point or balance of the first cell occurs at point L as measured from point A, then E1= pL1I………………….(i) And if that of E2 occurs at E2 , then E2=pL2I…………………(ii). Dividing the two equations, E2/E2 = pL1I/pL2I =L1/L2 Advantage This potentiometer is simple and easy to use. Disadvantage To get the value of the unknown emf, calculations are involved and this may result to computation errors. Applications It is used for educational purposes only.


Fig. 1.07

This potentiometer is calibrated such that the reading of the potentiometer gives the values of voltage directly. Resistor R has 14 equal resistances joined in series. The resistance of each unit being equal to that of the whole slide wire S. The battery current is controlled by slide wire resistance W. Advantages The values of the unknown voltage are read directly without calculations being involved. Applications It is used for commercial purposes.

2.114 AC POTENTIOMETER The working of this potentiometer is the same as that of the DC potentiometer. The difference is that in DC potentiometer, only the magnitudes of the unknown emf and slide wire voltage drop are made equal for obtaining balance. But in AC potentiometers, not only the magnitudes of the unknown emf and the slide wire are made equal but also the phases as well are made equal for obtaining balance. To avoid frequency and waveform errors, the circuit supply for the wire must be taken from the same source as the voltage or current to be measured. The types of this potentiometer differ in the manner in which voltage is presented in the instruments scale and dials. The types of AC potentiometer are; 2.1141 DRYSDALE POLAR POTENTIOMETER



X The vector OQ denotes test voltage whose magnitude and phase are to be determined. In the potentiometer the length r can be varied with the help of a sliding contact on the sliding wire while its phase is varied independently using a phase shifter. The slide wire MN is supplied from a phase shifter circuit so arranged that the magnitude of the voltage supplied by it remains constant but the phase can be varied by 360o. Slide wire current I can be maintained constant in magnitude but can be varied in phase. The phase shifting circuit consists of; I. II. Two stator coils supplied from the same source in parallel. I1 and I2 differ by 90o using a well known phase-shifting technique. The two windings provides a rotating flux which includes a secondary emf in the rotor winding which is of constant magnitude but the phase of which can be varied by rotating the rotor in any position either manually or otherwise. The phase of the rotor read from the circular graduated dial provided for the purpose.

The ammeter in the slide wire circuit is of electrodynamic and thermal type. Before using it for ac measurements, the potentiometer is calibrated using a DC supply for slide wire and a standard cell for T1 and T2 terminals.



Fig 1.10 Q




In this type, the unknown vector OQ is copied by the adjustment of ‘in-phase’ and quadrature components X and Y. their values are read from the two scales of the potentiometer. The magnitude of the required vector is Magnitude=(X2+Y2)1/2 and its phase = X/Y

Construction It uses two slide wires CD and MN with their currents I1 and I2 having a mutual difference of 90o. The two currents are obtained from the single phase supply through isolating transformers. The circuit for quadrature slide wire MN incorporates a phase shifting arrangement.


Operation For use, the current I1 is standardized as in the drysdale potentiometer. I2 is then standardized using the mutually induced emf, E in the inductor meter secondary. This induced emf E is balanced against the voltage drop in the slide wire MN. This balance will be obtained only when I2 is of correct magnitude and is in correct quadrature with I1. Balance is obtained with the help of the phase shifter and rheostat Ra. The unknown voltage is applied across the test terminals T1 and T2. Slide wire MN measures the value of the unknown voltage which is in phase with I2. Also, slide wire CD measures the component of the unknown voltage which is in phase with I1. Since I1 and I2 are in quadrature, the two measured values are quadrature components of the unknown voltage and if V1 and V2 are these values, then V= (V12+V22)1/2 and its phase tan- V1/V2. Reversing switches S1 and S2 measure both positive and negative components of the unknown voltage.


According to , a diode is two terminal device that conducts electric current in only one direction and blocks current in the opposite direction. They are of different types. Eg I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. P-N junction diode Zener diode Tunnel diode Varactor diode Schottky diode PIN diode Light emitting diode Photo diode Laser diode

2.21 P-N JUNCTION DIODE This is a two terminal device consisting of a P-N junction formed either by Germanium or Silicon. Its symbol is shown in the fig. 1.11 below

Fig. 1.11 This device is a one way device offering low resistance when forward biased and behaves almost as an insulator when reverse biased as shown in fig. 1.12 below:



Fig. 1.12







When forward biased and the applied voltage increased from zero, hardly any current flows through the device in the beginning. This occurs because the external voltage is being opposed by the internal voltage VB whose value is 0.7v for silicon and .3 for germanium. When VB is neutralized, current through the diode increases rapidly with increased applied battery voltage. It is found that as little as battery voltage of 1.0V produces a forward voltage of about 50mA. A burnout is likely to occur if forward voltage is increased beyond a certain value. REVERSE CHARACTERISTIC When reverse biased, majority carriers are blocked and only a small current flows through the diode (due to majority charge carriers). As the reverse current is increased from zero, the reverse current quickly reaches its maximum or saturation current Io(leakage current) The value of the applied voltage Io is independent of the applied reverse voltage but depends on the; a. Degree of doping b. Physical size of the junction


The volt-ampere characteristic is shown in the fig. 1.15 below

I (mA)
Forward characteristic



25 -V 100 75 50 25 Io 50 100 150 200 1

Current due to majority carriers V



Reverse characteristic

-I (micro amperes)

When the reverse voltage exceeds a certain value called the breakdown voltage VBB (or Zener voltage, Vz), the leakage current suddenly increases the curve indicating zero resistance at this point. Any further increase in voltage is likely to produce a burnout unless protected by a current limiting resistor.


2.122 ZENER DIODE This diode is also called a voltage regulator or breakdown voltage and its symbol is as shown in the figure 1.16 below together with its characteristic curve.




Reverse bias region


M Fig 1.16 (a) (b)

The Zener diode is operated in the reverse breakdown region. Breakdown voltage of a diode is set by carefully controlling the doping level during manufacture. When the reverse voltage of a diode is increased, a critical voltage called breakdown voltage is reached at which the reverse current increases sharply as in curve K-M. As the reverse voltage is increased, the reverse current remains negligible until the knee of the curve where the effect of breakdown process begins. From the bottom of the knee, the breakdown voltage remains constant. This ability of the diode is called the regulating ability and is an important feature of a Zener diode.


ZENER DIODE SPECIFICATIONS This includes the Zener voltage Vz, Zener current, Zener resistance and maximum power dissipation. Maximum power dissipation refers to the product of breakdown voltage Vz and the reverse current Iz i.e. Pz=Vz*Iz. The Zener diode power rating is the maximum value of power dissipation which a Zener can dissipate without failure. Pzm=Izm*Vzm. APPLICATIONS  As a voltage regulator  As a fixed voltage reference in transistor biasing circuits


2.123 PHOTO-DIODES It is a two terminal device that operates by first reverse biasing the junction and then illuminating it. A reverse biased P-N junction has a small value of reverse saturation current Io due to the thermally generated electron-hole pairs. The number of these minority carriers depends on the intensity of light incident to the junction. When the diode is in a glass package, light can reach the junction and then change the reverse current.




Fig. 1.19 Fig (a) sows the structure of a photodiode, (b) the basic biasing of a photodiode and (c) its schematic symbol. A photodiode has a very small reverse current when reverse biased. The reverse current is produced by the thermally generated electron-hole pairs in the depletion layer which are swept across the junction by electron field generated by the reverse voltage. Its reverse current increases with an increase in light intensity at the P-N junction. When there’s no incident light, the reverse current is almost negligible and is called the dark current. An increase in light intensity increases the reverse current for a given value of reverse-bias voltage.


Reverse voltage 0

100 Dark current 10 200 10 000 300 15 000 20 000 Iλ (mA)

Fig. 1.20 The figure above shows characteristics curves of a photodiode. It is noted that the dark current is almost 250 mA at the reverse voltage of 3V. Therefore the resistance (rR) of the device at incident light, rR=3/250*10-6 =120000Ω =120kΩ 2 And at 20000lm/m , the current is approximately 300micro amperes. Hence rR=3/300*10-6 =10,000Ω =10kΩ This shows that a photodiode can be used as a variable resistance device controlled by light intensity.


2.124 TUNNEL DIODE This diode is formed as a result of increasing impurities in a normal P-N diode. Its symbol is shown in fig. 1.17 below

Fig. 1.17 It is normally made of germanium or Gallium arsenide. These diodes should be handled with care since they are low power devices and can be damaged by heat and static electricity. Its ampere voltage characteristic is shown in the fig. 1.18 below
IF (mA)

Peak point Negative resistance Region where channeling current flows Valley point

V1 Vp V2 Forward voltage (mV) Fig. 1.18



As the voltage is increased from zero, current increases very rapidly till it reaches its maximum value as indicated by the point A. the corresponding value of the forward is indicated by the peak voltage Vp. This value is 65mV for Germanium and 160mV for Gallium-arsenide diodes. When the forward voltage is increased further beyond Vp, the current decreases till it reaches its minimum current called valley current, IV, as indicated by the point B. A further increase in voltage increases current in a usual manner as in a normal P-N junction diode. The current again reaches its peak vale Ip as indicated by point C and its corresponding vale by Vf. APPLICATIONS  Switching  Photo detection  Demodulation  Logic circuit  Optical communication systems  Character recognition  Encoders


It is a packaged electronic circuit. It is a complete electronic circuit in which passive and active components are fabricated on a tiny single chip of silicon. ICs have the following advantages; a) b) c) d) e) f) g) h) Extremely small size Very small weight Cheap in cost High reliability Increased response time and speed Low power consumption Easy replacement High yield

However they experience the following drawbacks a) b) c) d) Coils and inductors cannot be fabricated They handle only a limited amount of power They are quite delicate and cannot withstand a rough handling They function at fairly low voltages

2.1241 CLASSIFICATION OF ICs 1) BY STRUCTURE (a) Monolithic IC In this IC all active and passive components are fabricated inseparably within a single continuous piece of crystalline material called the substrate or wafer. They are in mass use because of their production since it is economical. (b) Thick and thin film ICs The two differ in the way of depositing the film and not thickness. They are formed on the surface of an insulating substrate e.g. glass or ceramic material. (c) Hybrid or multichip ICs They are formed by the either interconnecting several chips or by combining film and monolithic techniques.


(a) Linear Integrated Circuit They include the; I. II. BEL CA- 300 – they are used as multipurpose wideband power amplifier. BEL CA- 3060 – it is a monolithic IC which combines a multistage IF amplifier, limiter, an FM detector, an electronic attenuator, Zener diode, regulated power supply and an audio amplifier. It is available in a 14-pin dual in line package. SSD-760 – a linear IC used as a differential comparator.


Linear ICs are called so because their inputs and outputs can take on a continuous range of values and their outputs are proportional to their inputs. They are cheap and reliable since many external connections are eliminated. They are frequently used in;  Operational amplifiers  Small signal amplifiers  Power amplifiers  RF and IF amplifiers  Microwave amplifiers  Multipliers  Voltage comparators  Voltage regulators


(b) Digital Integrated Circuit They are mostly utilized by the computer industry. They lend themselves easily to monolithic integration because a computer uses a large number of identical circuits These ICs contain circuits whose input and output voltages are limited to two possible voltage levels: low or high. They are also called switching circuits. They include circuits such as; i. ii. iii. iv. v. vi. vii. Logic gates Flip flops Counters Clock chips Calculator chips Memory chips Microprocessor etc


It is a switch operated by an electromagnet. It is useful when we want a small current in one circuit to control another circuit containing a device such a lamp or an electric motor which requires a large current or if several different switch contacts can be operated simultaneously.

Fig 1.19 When the controlling current flows through the coil the soft iron core is magnetized and attracts the soft iron armature. This rock on its open closed or changes over the electrical contacts in the circuit being controlled.


During the project research, this project was found to replace the manually operated switches since the device constructed can operate automatically. It has been received positively. The device has only to be installed in an area free from the ingress of moisture for its efficient operation. People found it a little bit expensive to buy and install as compared to the manually operated switches they have been used to. But its operation and efficiency outdo its cost. The device is in high demand in the electrical field.


The reason why this project was carried out was due to the increased automation electrical field and therefore the need to replace the manually operated switches in domestic and industrial premises. Since light is essential and necessary in every situation, there is an increased need to utilize it but with minimal cost. Some of the manually operated switches become faulty and hence fail to operate or keep the lights on throughout. This decreases the lifespan of the bulbs and increases the electric bill. This device operates only when there is need for enough illumination and the light intensity is low.


3.0 DESIGN OF AN AUTOMATIC LIGHT CONTROL SWITCH This involves the step to step mathematical proof of the components and their values in this project. 3.1 INPUT This involves a 12v DC source which can be obtained from a lead acid accumulator or from a regulated power supply. This is fed to a voltage divider circuit consisting of a light dependent resistor in series with a variable resistor.

R1 47k POT

R3 10K


R4 10K

Fig 3.1


From Ohm’s law, Is = Vs/Rt where Is – supply current Vs – Supply voltage Rt – effective resistance of all resistors From the above, R1 and R2 are in series, therefore their effective resistances, Ra = R1 + R2 but the resistance of R2 (light dependent resistor) varies with the intensity of light i.e. 400Ω for 1000 lux and to about 10.43 MΩ for 10 lux.

At bright light, Ra1 = (47+0.4) KΩ =47.4 KΩ At low intensity of light, Ra2 = (47+1043) KΩ = 10477 KΩ Since R3 and R4 are in series, their effective resistance will be, Rb = R3+ R4 = (10+10) KΩ = 20 KΩ Now, the two effective resistances are in parallel, so the total resistance; Rt1 = (Ra1*Rb) (Ra1+Rb) And Rt2 = (Ra2.Rb) (Ra2 + Rb)

at high light intensity

at low light intensity

At bright light intensity Rt1 = 47.4*20 47.4+20 = 14.0653 KΩ At low light intensity Rt2 = 10477*20 = 209540/1497 10477+20 = 19.962 KΩ Since the supplied voltage is 12V, the current, I, I = V/R At bright light, I= 12 14.063 * 103 = 0.0085316A At low light intensity, I= 12 19.962 * 103 0.601 * 10-3A = 948/67.4


3.2 VOLTAGE COMPARATOR CIRCUIT This stage comprises of a voltage comparator circuit wired around an ICLM 311. The voltage to the inverting input is the voltage across the LDR.

R1 47K

R5 1K



Fig. 3.2 The voltage across R1 is the input voltage. At high light intensity, Vo = I (R1 + R5) = 0.85316*10-3(4700+1000) = 40.95168 V At low light intensity, Vo = 0.601(47+1) = 28.848 V And its gain at; (i) High light intensity,
A = 40.95168V 12 V 28

At low light intensity, A = 28.848V 12V = 2.404

This will entail a common emitter transistor as shown in the fig 3.3 below. In a collector

feedback bias,




Fig 3.3


Where Vcc = supply voltage Rc = load resistor IB = base current ≈ 0V RB = base resistor VBE = base emitter voltage which is ideally 0.6V or 0.7V VCE = collector emitter voltage VC = collector voltage IC = collector current

Now; VC = VCC-RC(IC+IB) where IB is ≈0v ≈ VCC – ICRC……………………………………… (i) Also; VC = IBRB +VBE…………………………………………. (ii)

Equating the two equations; IBRB+VBE = VCC-ICRC (hFE) IC/β*RB+VBE = VCC-VBE IC (RC+RB/β) = VCC-VBE IC = VCC-VBE RC+RB/β For the above circuit, taking β=100, IC = 12-0.7 2200+1000/100 = 5.1131*10-3A but IB = IC/β where β is the emitter DC transfer ratio


4.0 CONSTRUCTION AND TESTING PARTS TESTED Resistors Integrated circuit Light emitting diode Light dependent resistor Transistor Diode relay INSTRUMENT USED ohmmeter Multimetre ohmmeter ohmmeter Multimetre ohmmeter Multimetre RESULTS Results were within tolerance No short detected There was continuity The resistor could detect changes Conducted in one direction The output was perfect There was continuity CONCLUSION Were working properly The IC was in good condition The LED was in good condition There required output was obtained Was in good condition Was in good condition The relay was in proper working condition

4.1 JUSTIFICATION OF RESULTS The expected values were not met because of; i. some components had a lower rating than the required rating e.g. the transistor, IC etc ii. the equipment for testing had an error


4.2 DIAGRAMS 4.11 CIRCUIT DIAGRAM The circuit consists of; I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. resistors (fixed) light dependent resistor variable resistor integrated circuit diode relay transistor as shown in fig 4.12 below

NC D1 R3 R1 10K 47k LED R6 IN 4007




5 6 8 8 7 R5


Q1 1 2 1000K 4 BC 107


R2 LDR R4 10K

Fig 4.12 32





Power switch

Adjusting knob




20cm Fig 4.3


4.4 TROUBLESHOOTING In case of a fault, each block can be tested independently using a digital or analog Multimetre. Some of the faults may include  component failure  short circuit  choice of a wrong component For an automatic night light to function properly, the following should be noted     use components of the correct rating use the specified supply voltage of 12V DC the device should be kept in a humid free environment which is well lit the supply voltage can also be obtained from a well-regulated and filtered 12V Dc mains operated supply.  pin 5 and 6 of the LM 311 are shorted to minimize the chances of oscillations  the circuit is set the given intensity of light i.e. POT R1 is adjusted to the desired light intensity and the adjustment is done slowly so that the state of the relay changes


4.5 CONCLUSION The automatic light control switch was designed due to increased automation electrical field and to replace the manually operated switches in the domestic and industrial premises. The project is smaller in space and consumes less power.


4.6 COSTING TABLE The following table shows the cost of the components used in the design and construction of the automatic light control switch. COMPONENT Resistors LDR Potentiometer IC LED Transistor Relay Circuit board Soldering wire Typing & Printing Photocopy Binding Miscellaneous Casing TOTAL QUANTITY 4 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 N/A 45 pages 45 pages N/A N/A 1 COST OF EACH 30 50 250 100 100 50 250 100 250 3 100 500 300 TOTAL COST 120 50 250 100 100 50 250 100 250 950 135 100 500 300 3255


5.0 RECCOMENDATIONS During the design and the construction of this project, most of the electronic components learnt in the course were used. This led to the success of this project. However, there were several factors that influenced the end result of this project. Most of the component ratings were not available in the market but close substitutes were used. This accounts for small deviations in the end results. Another difficulty was the cost of the materials in the market. The total cost of the whole project was a bit little. Despite all this, the project was found useful to most people. The following factors also hindered the success of this project,  There were no enough research materials in the library.  The library information system was not functional hence hindering access to the resources in the internet.  Lack of enough practical in the workshop especially in electronics

5.1 CONCLUSION An automatic night light control switch is a device meant to improve on automation of electric light switching instead of the manually operated switches. Its operation depends on the intensity of light falling on the device. But this will depend on how it was adjusted





Light Emitting Diode Diode



Light Dependent Resistor

Light Emitting Diode

IC Package Relay


5.3 REFFERENCES AND BIBLIOGRAPHY The information on this project was obtained from different learning materials e.g. boos and websites. These books include,

TITLE Electrical Technology Principles of Power Systems Electrical Installation Work (6th Edition) The Encyclopedia of Electronic Circuits

AUTHOR BL and AK Theraja Rohit Mehta Brian Scaddan Rudolf F. Graf

The websites included the;      www.electronics-projects –


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