Hacked Gadgets Forum

January 29, 2010

DIY Digital Light Dimmer

at 12:25 pm. Filed under DIY Hacks, Electronic Hacks


Here is a DIY Digital Light Dimmer that uses 2 push buttons to adjust the brightness output. Full details can be found here.


“The light level can be adjusted with two push-buttons “Up” and “Down”. Controller in this application is PIC16F84 that drives BUZ11 mosfet. Dimmer is tested with a light bulb 12V/4W and mosftet didn’t get even warm (which was expected since the datasheet says: 50V/30A).”


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5 Responses to “DIY Digital Light Dimmer”

  1. Andrew Cooper Says:

    The datasheet maximum ratings have little to do with component heating, that will be determined by component package and heatsink (if any) with respect to the circuit design. How much power are you dissipating? Where does the heat go?

  2. Circuit DIY – How to Make a Digital Light Dimmer! Says:

    […] via hackedgadgets […]

  3. Berni Says:

    Well in this case the thermal resistance will probably be about 3/4ths of the Tjunction to ambient rated in the datasheet. You can then calculate what temperature is it gona reach at a certain current running trough the mosfet, then also if you are switching it at a very high freqency you must also take switching losses in to account etc… anyway in the end it just comes down to putting your finger on it and seeing if it gets too hot to hold it there.Usualy its fine to press a mosfet on to the board if you are only using it at like 1/10 of its rated current(Providing it has proper gate drive in to saturation), for anything more id use a small heatsink and for getting close to the rated current you need to use a quite big heatsink on it.

  4. ApprenticeWizard Says:

    Too, if the FET is used as a switch (which is the mode of operation for PWM and similar), it dissipates very little energy: it is either off (~zero energy) or on (Energy dissipated = Current * On resistance of the FET).

  5. ApprenticeWizard Says:

    Also, the TO-220 packages are quite good at dissipating heat. From a quick eyeball of the circuit and datasheet, he is dissipating [ 3A * 0.04ohms = ] 0.12W when the FET is continuously on.

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