Flashing a light buld

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Old 12-15-09, 10:11 AM
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Flashing a light buld

Here is a situation. We have a 120 volt light bulb ( 4 watt) in an indoor sign unit. We will install a single pole double throw switch in series with the lampholder. Now if the switch is in one position it will send straight 120 volt power to light he lamp. If we put the switch in the other position we want to activate something that will make the lamp flash on and off every second or so. Not sure what the easiest/cheapest way to do this s. Any thoughts? Thanks
 
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Old 12-15-09, 11:01 AM
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Switch

Use a 3 way switch. Connect the hot to the common screw. Connect one traveler to the constant circuit and the other traveler to the flashing circuit with both circuits connected to the bulb. The blacks would connect to the switch and the whites would be connected together in the switch box. This will mean the bulb is either constantly on or flashing all the time. If the bulb needs to be off at times, then a SPST switch would be needed upstream of the power connection to the 3 way switch.
 
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Old 12-15-09, 11:20 AM
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Or if you want to also turn it off a SPDT center off toggle switch.
 
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Old 12-15-09, 11:23 AM
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Just to carify, I need to come up with the circuit to actually make the lamp flash. Switching isn't the issue, making it flash is. Thanks
 
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Old 12-15-09, 12:05 PM
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There is a relay called a delay relay. These can be wired so they click on/off. Use the extra set of contacts to power your light.

Or you could add an electrolytic capacitor to a relay and make a flasher circuit with a DC power supply.

Or you could use a 12 volt circuit and a car turn signal flasher. Use the output of this to power a relay which would flash the light.

Or electronically controlled.

More...
Google
 
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Old 12-15-09, 12:10 PM
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You could actually use a florescent light starter or so a says in this circuit I found. The principal involved makes since but I haven't tried it.From Google here is the basic circuit. Note this was modified from a British diagrams. You can probably eliminate the fuse.

LIVE ------+
120vAC |
fuse
(500mA slow)
|
|
fluorescent
lamp starter
|
|
light bulb
(5-60W)
|
|
NEUTRAL ---+

Of course if you Google you can find ready made ones to.
 
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Old 12-15-09, 04:52 PM
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Originally Posted by jcraft View Post
Just to carify, I need to come up with the circuit to actually make the lamp flash. Switching isn't the issue, making it flash is. Thanks
Well? What (old, known)technology was used by hippies in the early 70's who had light systems that would flash to the beat of their expensive sound systems? A guy I knew had this, and I thought that was totally cool, back then.
 
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Old 12-15-09, 05:29 PM
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A 555 timer, relay, circuit board, $5 from Hosfelt.com, but shipping is extra and so is a box for this device, a day's labor to assemble, test, debug.
 
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Old 12-15-09, 05:49 PM
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I've used this device on my grandfather's railroad display: 2 Channel, Alternating Lamp Flasher

Just hook up one light and adjust the dial as needed.
 
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