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HOME 555 TIMER DARKNESS DETECTOR USING LDR

Darkness Detector using LDR


JULY 24, 2017 BY ANUSHA LEAVE A COMMENT

Contents [hide]

1 Circuit Diagram of Darkness Detector


2 Components Required
3 Component Description
4 Circuit Design
5 Working
6 Advantages
7 Disadvantages
8 Applications
9 Related Articles

Darkness Detector or Dark Detector is a circuit that detects darkness or absence of light. In this
project, we have implemented a simple Darkness Detector Circuit using the simplest of all
light sensors: the LDR (Light Dependent Resistor).

Darkness Detector circuits like this can be used in applications where we can automatically
turn on lights when it becomes dark.

In addition to the LDR, we have also used the good old 555 Timer IC in Astable Mode to
generate the required square wave. There are some passive components like capacitor and
resistors. We have used a Piezo Buzzer as an alarm to indicate darkness.

The aim of this simple project is to detect darkness with the help of LDR and activate the
buzzer.
NOTE: As this is a simple circuit, we havent implemented any automatic light on systems but
just a buzzer.

Circuit Diagram of Darkness Detector


The following image shows the simple circuit diagram for Darkness Detector project
implemented using LDR and 555 Timer IC.

Components Required
To implement this project, we need the following components.

1 x 555 Timer IC
1 x LDR
1 x Piezo Buzzer
1 x 10 K Resistor (1/4 Watt)
1 x 2.2 K Resistor (1/4 Watt)
1 x 1 M Resistor (1/4 Watt)
1 x 1 F Electrolytic Capacitor (50V)
1 x 0.1 nF Ceramic Capacitor (Also called 100 pF with code 101)
1 x 9V Battery
1 x Mini Breadboard
Jumper Wires

Component Description
IC 555: 555 Timer is an 8 pin DIP IC and it is one of the commonly used Timer ICs for different
applications like timing, pulse generation, OP Amps, etc.

The 555 Timer IC is used in this project in its Astable Multivibrator Mode of operation (with a
slight modification). The following is the pin diagram of the 555 Timer IC.

LDR (Light Dependent Resistor): LDR or Light Dependent Resistor is one of the commonly
used light sensors. In this project, we are using an LDR to detect darkness i.e. when the
intensity of light decreases.

Circuit Design
We will design the circuit with respect to 555 Timer IC. As mentioned earlier, the 555 IC has 8
pins. Connect the pins 8 and 1 to 9V supply and GND respectively. Connect a 2.2 K Resistor
between the 9V supply and pin 7 of 555 IC. Now, connect a 10 K Resistor between pins 7 and
6.

Pins 6 and 2 are shorted and a capacitor of capacitance 1 F is connected between pins 2 and
GND. Here, the positive lead of the capacitor is connected to pin 2 of 555 and the negative lead
is connected to GND.

Connect a bypass capacitor of 0.1 nF (100pF) between pins 5 and GND. A piezo buzzer is
connected between the output pin 3 and GND.

We have connected the buzzer directly to the output pin of the 555 Timer IC as it is a small
buzzer. If you are not sure whether the 555 can drive the buzzer or not, you can use a transistor
to drive the buzzer.

In case you are using a transistor (like 2N2222 or BC547), connect the output pin of 555 to the
base of the transistor through a current limiting resistor. Connect one end of buzzer to supply
and other end to the collector terminal of the transistor.

The emitter terminal of the transistor must be connected to GND. The following diagram
shows this connection.

Working
A simple dark detector or darkness detector is designed in this project. The project is
implemented using very simple components like 555 and LDR (few passive components as
well). The working of the project is explained here.

First, we will start with the 555 Timer. It is configured in Astable mode but the RESET pin is
controlled by the LDR and Resistor network. When there is ample light around the LDR, its
resistance becomes very low.

In our lab setup, it came down to around 2 K. In this condition, the voltage divider formed by
the 1 M resistor and the LDR will produce almost 0V at its output. As this is given to the
RESET pin of the 555 timer IC, the 555 Timer IC is Reset. As a result, you wont get any output
at the output pin.

When we block the LDR with an obstacle or hand, the light falling on it will decrease. The
resistance of the LDR will increase and in our case (lab setup with studio lighting) the
resistance increased to around 120 K. This will pull up the reset pin and the Astable Mode will
be activated.

Since we connected a small buzzer to the output pin of the 555 timer IC, the buzzer will be
activated. Hence, when there is enough light on the LDR, the buzzer will be off and when it is
dark, the buzzer is activated.

NOTE: In place of 1 M Resistor, you can actually connect a 1 M Potentiometer so that you
can adjust the level of light that the LDR will detect.
Advantages
It is a very basic darkness detector with very simple hardware components and circuit.
There is no need for any complex microcontroller circuit or programming to implement
this project.

Disadvantages
Since the system is not controlled by any microcontroller, the results might not be as
accurate as expected.

Applications
This project can be implemented in applications like automatic switching on of lights
when it becomes dark.
This circuit can be part of a bigger circuit or project like home automation or home
security system.

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Trigger Circuit 555 Timer Multivibrator using 555
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FILED UNDER: 555 TIMER

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