Connect with us

Photodiodes and LDRs

Discussion in 'General Electronics Discussion' started by McDroogie, Dec 25, 2012.

Scroll to continue with content
  1. McDroogie


    Dec 25, 2012
    I want to create a very simple dark sensor. Browsing through many schematics I find all I might need is some resistors, LEDs and transistors and a key component called a photodiode. So my questions are:

    Can I use an infared detecting led in replace of a photo diode?

    Secondly, would a phototransistor or a Light Dependent Resistor perform the same function as a photodiode?

    And finally are photodiodes or LDRs measured in ohms?

    The attached schematic is what I would like to do.

    Attached Files:

  2. (*steve*)

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Jan 21, 2010
    That key component is actually an LDR (light dependant resistor)

    A photodiode has a very tiny output signal that would need more amplification that a single transistor can provide. A phototransistor can give a larger signal, but still small compared to the signal an LDR can give (an LDR has disadvantages too, so don't think they must be "better").

    Your circuit essentially used light to turn off the transistor. To keep the transistor turned off until the light level gets quite low, R2 has to be quite large. The problem then becomes that it may not be able to provide sufficient base current to turn the transistor on in the dark (it all depends on your definition of "dark".

    Also, the LED will turn on slowly as the light level falls, it won't just snap on.

    Your image is so small that I can't read the component values. Can you post a larger one?
  3. kong


    Sep 26, 2010
    If you're looking for the LED to 'snap' on, possibly a schmitt trigger would be of use, to give you a 'clean' signal.

    I've worked with these circuits before, they are relatively simple and there are several schematics on the internet that suffice many needs.

    Here are two that have worked for me in the past.
Ask a Question
Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?
You'll need to choose a username for the site, which only take a couple of moments (here). After that, you can post your question and our members will help you out.
Electronics Point Logo
Continue to site
Quote of the day