Guidance required - home automation

Hi All!

It's been a while but I am back in the Arduino swing of things now and am about to work with my electrician to get the home automation system in. The system will be used mainly for lighting control, with the benefits being that I can have multiple inputs, from light level sensors, PIR and ultra-sonic sensors to IR remote controls, all to manage the house lights (new build).

The thing I need now is a solid state relay (or contactor - understand they are for higher loads), which can be DIN mounted, preferably has a heat sink attached and is not too wide (i.e. 20-30mm) because there is only so much room in the cabinet. The crunch of it is that the SSR also needs to be able to dim lights. The lights will be a combination of LEDs (down lights) and compact fluorescents, to save electricity costs. This is where I step out of my comfort zone because I'm used to normal incandescent lights, and for the LED transformers I need to choose leading or tailing edge dimmable ones (apparently), so not sure what to choose there either.

And of course the SSR needs to be driven via an Arduino, so input DC from 3V is preferred.

Any links to devices that would suit?

I'm in Australia, so 240V / 50Hz.

p.s. Don't need to be able to dim every house light, but if there is not much of a cost difference I wouldn't mind the flexibility. It would also be cool to be able to bring up lights to full brightness in a couple of seconds, cool effect, but not 100% set on that :-) :-)

Thanks all!

Check out this place: http://www.emlight.com/html/spare_parts.html

An SSR is not suitable for dimming. An IGBT switch is really what you need.

I found this project for you. I have seen commercial units available, but you still need to use a DAC to control them as their control voltages are usually 8-30v or so. http://www.users.muohio.edu/jamiespa/teaching/ECE_387/Aaron__Kyle__Nikolaus__and_Mike_P-May_25_2011/

Retroplayer: Check out this place: http://www.emlight.com/html/spare_parts.html

An SSR is not suitable for dimming. An IGBT switch is really what you need.

Thanks for the info! I have been trawling the forums and it looks like there are SSRs that are dimmable, like this one: http://www.redlion.net/Products/Groups/DIN-RailRelays/RLY6/RLY6A/Docs/12021.pdf, but that is according to some forum posts and I do not know if this will work with all lighting types. Also a bit concerned about the cost of the unit :-)

i dont know if i got it right:

datasheet says: OPERATING FREQUENCY RANGE: 47 to 63 Hz

pwm above 50Hz -> u wont see leds flickering

Should be above about 24, otherwise you would see film flickering. However, I am pretty sure that is talking about the frequency of the AC voltage. The way these dimmers work is by detecting the zero crossing voltage and switching it at zero crossing point, which is why a normal SSR by itself would not work.

Retroplayer: Should be above about 24, otherwise you would see film flickering. However, I am pretty sure that is talking about the frequency of the AC voltage. The way these dimmers work is by detecting the zero crossing voltage and switching it at zero crossing point, which is why a normal SSR by itself would not work.

A quick question, is the following a "normal" SSR, of could it be used for dimming?

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=221169925009#ht_4635wt_1166

Thanks :-)

edgeman: A quick question, is the following a "normal" SSR, of could it be used for dimming?

Ok, I have read a Crydom manual which says random crossing is what I want for dimming, so I'm going to ask the seller if he has the random crossing version... Once I get one I'll have to play around with the code a bit, I want to hit a button and instead of turning the light on I want it to ramp up to 100% in a second or two (for effect) :-) I'll post some code in the forums once I have it all working, in case anyone is interested.