Author Topic: "Smart" Bulbs  (Read 5963 times)
wattMaster
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"Smart" Bulbs « on: February 24, 2016, 11:25:25 AM » Author: wattMaster
I have a an oddity in my collection, and it's a Smart Bulb! They are incandescent, and have a microcontroller in the base, Which allows for various effects. The one I have is the night light version. My local ReStore had loads of these. The company is still around, smartelectric.com Or smartbulb.com
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Re: "Smart" Bulbs « Reply #1 on: February 28, 2016, 01:04:08 PM » Author: wattMaster
Hello? Anyone?
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Re: "Smart" Bulbs « Reply #2 on: February 29, 2016, 12:07:23 PM » Author: Medved
With just the "dusk-to-down" functionality  I don't think there is anything more than just a triac, diac, resistor, capacitor and an LDR.
The circuit resembles the basic dimmer with the RC time constant very low so it runs at full power, the LDR parallel to the timing capacitor. When illuminated, it's low resistance reduces the voltage across the cpacitor so, the diac does not fire.
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Re: "Smart" Bulbs « Reply #3 on: February 29, 2016, 12:45:39 PM » Author: wattMaster
With just the "dusk-to-down" functionality  I don't think there is anything more than just a triac, diac, resistor, capacitor and an LDR.
The circuit resembles the basic dimmer with the RC time constant very low so it runs at full power, the LDR parallel to the timing capacitor. When illuminated, it's low resistance reduces the voltage across the cpacitor so, the diac does not fire.
It's got to be more than that. They say it has a full microchip, Which has a lot of definitions, And it has a very linear transition from brightnesses. It actually has 3 levels.
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Re: "Smart" Bulbs « Reply #4 on: March 01, 2016, 01:23:44 AM » Author: Medved
That is, how such simplistic light switch behaved, when I've experimented with that circuit. Moreover when there would be really something more advanced, it would be just a simple ON/OFF without that gradual dimming (that is rather parasitic effect and is the consequence of that simplistic circuit rather than desired behavior)

The "microchip" is just a marketing bu....it, it means just there is something more than a simple light bulb (or an attempt to sell the in fact erratic behavior as an "advantage feature"; quite common in marketing)...
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Re: "Smart" Bulbs « Reply #5 on: March 01, 2016, 10:52:47 AM » Author: wattMaster
That is, how such simplistic light switch behaved, when I've experimented with that circuit. Moreover when there would be really something more advanced, it would be just a simple ON/OFF without that gradual dimming (that is rather parasitic effect and is the consequence of that simplistic circuit rather than desired behavior)

The "microchip" is just a marketing bu....it, it means just there is something more than a simple light bulb (or an attempt to sell the in fact erratic behavior as an "advantage feature"; quite common in marketing)...
Yes, It's likely just marketing, But I wonder what the actual circuit is. You can even see individual steps, Just like PWM on a microcontroller.
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Re: "Smart" Bulbs « Reply #6 on: March 01, 2016, 11:02:57 AM » Author: dor123
Incandescent lamps, are too hot to contain any electronic circuit. How this lamp looks like?
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Re: "Smart" Bulbs « Reply #7 on: March 01, 2016, 12:06:09 PM » Author: Lumex120
Incandescent lamps, are too hot to contain any electronic circuit. How this lamp looks like?
The bulbs are low wattage and are huge (shaped like an oversized C7 lamp), but I still don't know why they would use incandescent for this when an LED lamp would be a better choice...
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Re: "Smart" Bulbs « Reply #8 on: March 01, 2016, 12:19:16 PM » Author: dor123
This is probably one of these antique style incandescent lamps (Named "Carbon lamps" here).
Osram made the Dulux EL Sensor, which was a CFL with an integrated photocell.
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Re: "Smart" Bulbs « Reply #9 on: March 01, 2016, 01:00:41 PM » Author: Ash
Why would LED be a better choice anyway ? Incandescent apparently does the job right for the purpuose (and no wonder, since those are low intensity nightlights, the great spectral content of incandescent more than makes for the low efficiency)

If the lamp size is big compared to its power, it will indeed run rather cool :

Most of the losses from incandescent are radiated as IR anyway. The heat reaching the components in the base is the conduction heat - which will be lower if the stem of the lamp is longer (same heat spreading to bigger lamp components, from most of which the heat dissipates straight to outside air), and the IR going from the filament to the lamp base direction - which will be less the farther away the filament is (so the base "seeing" smaller angle of the filament)

Then whatever heat got into the base area, is significantly cooled by the metal cap acting as a heatsink

With components like thyristors that can work at >100C temperatures, and at so low load nearly none of that is from resistive electrical heating, there is apparently plenty of thermal headroom even for placing the thyristor straight in the lamp base
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Re: "Smart" Bulbs « Reply #10 on: March 01, 2016, 01:27:21 PM » Author: Medved
There are (or at least were, prior to the CFL's) really incandescent lamps with an integrated light switch. The types I've seen offered about 5 years ago were 60..100W PAR lamps, so indeed a type with quite cold running socket.

Regarding the PWM or so: If that would be really intentional and so implemented in a microcontroller, the dimming will have way too many steps so small, the dimming would be smooth, without any visible stepping at all.

The simple circuit does stuck just in about two or three distinct steps, mainly because it tend to lock there.
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Re: "Smart" Bulbs « Reply #11 on: March 01, 2016, 04:51:55 PM » Author: icefoglights
Almost sounds like the Philips IQ bulbs of the late-90s.  They had a chip in the base that provided special functions.  One version had 2 levels of dimming in addition to full brightness, by cycling the switch select the dimming level.  Another version, which I have one of, had an internal timer that could shut the bulb off after 30 min.  The dimmer could be disabled by cycling the switch.
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Re: "Smart" Bulbs « Reply #12 on: March 02, 2016, 10:54:15 AM » Author: wattMaster
Here's the photo.
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Re: "Smart" Bulbs « Reply #13 on: March 02, 2016, 12:29:14 PM » Author: dor123
There were self-dimming incandescent lamps during the 20th century. This lamp isn't different than these. Not in Israel probably, but they existed.
The fact that the lamp is self-dimming, isn't meant that this is instantly "Smart". There is a lot of misleading regarding to whatever something is "Smart".
Osram made the Dulux EL Vario, which is a two way dimming CFL without any microcontroller.
Lamps that really have microcontrollers, are those LED lamps controlled by the smartphone.
« Last Edit: March 02, 2016, 12:31:06 PM by dor123 » Logged

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Re: "Smart" Bulbs « Reply #14 on: March 02, 2016, 04:24:35 PM » Author: wattMaster
There were self-dimming incandescent lamps during the 20th century. This lamp isn't different than these. Not in Israel probably, but they existed.
The fact that the lamp is self-dimming, isn't meant that this is instantly "Smart". There is a lot of misleading regarding to whatever something is "Smart".
Osram made the Dulux EL Vario, which is a two way dimming CFL without any microcontroller.
Lamps that really have microcontrollers, are those LED lamps controlled by the smartphone.
The base says "BEACON". And on a google search, I can't find anything related to this.
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