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Nick
Purveyor of common sense
Premium,VIP,MVM
join:2000-10-29
Smithtown, NY

Best way to hack a fluorescent counter light?

I have an 18" fluorescent counter light above the sink in the kitchen. It's something like this:
»www.lowes.com/pd_283501-1390-GU9···cetInfo=

but a T6 bulb.

What I'd like to do is hack the light with an ATTINY85 and an ultrasonic sensor so that besides the normal light switch, the light also goes on when someone is using the sink. Is there a recommended method for doing this? Just thinking about it myself I can probably create a secondary path for the power switch and add a MOSFET wired to an ATTINY85 that toggles when the ultrasonic sensor reads below a certain distance. Or possibly a relay?
--
-Stupidity, like hydrogen, is one of the basic building blocks of the Universe.
-Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

Misc


TheMG
Premium
join:2007-09-04
Canada
kudos:2

Definitely not a MOSFET, as you're dealing with AC power. An SCR/TRIAC won't work well with fluorescent.

Relay is your best bet, and will also provide necessary isolation between the mains AC power and the low voltage control circuitry.


Kearnstd
Space Elf
Premium
join:2002-01-22
Mullica Hill, NJ
kudos:1
reply to Nick

Just make sure the relay has a peak rating across the contacts for what the lamp draws at startup. a fluorescent lamp will draw extra power at start in that brief moment of getting the bulb to strike.
--
[65 Arcanist]Filan(High Elf) Zone: Broadband Reports



irinstead

@50.138.50.x
reply to Nick

perhaps you could instead use any of the motion sensors used in alarm systems, that typically sense heat, and change in heat. those run on 12-24 volts dc, and have a third wire that outputs switched 12-24 to the control relay.

who knows, maybe there's an ir sensor like that built into a regular switch assembly...



tschmidt
Premium,MVM
join:2000-11-12
Milford, NH
kudos:9
Reviews:
·G4 Communications
·Fairpoint Commun..
·Hollis Hosting

1 recommendation

reply to Nick

Agree with TheMG See Profile that a relay would be much simpler and safer then trying to use a SCR/TRIAC without isolation. Just parallel the relay contacts with the built in power switch.

Or! have you thought about using some 12V LEDs and eliminate AC, except for the wall wort all together? That way you could mount multiple lights where needed.

/tom



cowboyro
Premium
join:2000-10-11
Shelton, CT
Reviews:
·AT&T U-Verse
reply to TheMG

said by TheMG:

Definitely not a MOSFET, as you're dealing with AC power

MOSFET can work when combined with a rectifier bridge


Nick
Purveyor of common sense
Premium,VIP,MVM
join:2000-10-29
Smithtown, NY
reply to tschmidt

I have thought of doing that just like the bathroom nightlight I just finished but the light is already there so reusing it makes more sense for me.


b10010011
Whats a Posting tag?

join:2004-09-07
Bellingham, WA
reply to Nick

Why not just use something like this?

»www.homedepot.com/p/Westek-Indoo···c1vZc32r


walta

join:2001-05-22
Saint Louis, MO
kudos:2
reply to Nick

Take a look at this LED controller.

»www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3nTHUqtgGE


It will not drive your T5 florescent

But $30.00 will buy a lot of LEDs

Walta


Nick
Purveyor of common sense
Premium,VIP,MVM
join:2000-10-29
Smithtown, NY

Eh, I can make that for less than $15 (the PIR controller)...It's a dumber version of the nightlight in the bathroom right now.

The home depot thing won't work because I want a parallel circuit to be able to actually turn the light on if I am using it for something (Hopefully that will almost never happen with the hack which I haven't gotten to yet)