12V Dimmer – Schematic Diagrams

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12V Dimmer

A dimmer is quite unusual in a caravan or on a boat. Here we describe how you can make one. So if you would like to be able to adjust the mood when you’re entertaining friends and acquaintances, then this circuit enables you to do so. Designing a dimmer for 12 V is tricky business. The dimmers you find in your home are designed to operate from an AC voltage and use this AC voltage as a fundamental characteristic for their operation. Because we now have to start with 12 V DC, we have to generate the AC voltage ourselves.
We also have to keep in mind that we’re dealing with battery-powered equipment and have to be frugal with energy. The circuit that we finally arrived at can easily drive 6 lamps of 10 W each. Fewer are also possible, of course. In any case, the total current has to be smaller than 10 A. L1 and S1 can be adapted to suit a smaller current, if required. Note that the whole circuit will also work from 6 V.
Author: John Dakin
Copyright: Elektor Electronics Magazine – 07/2005

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