High Power Transistors

Hello, I am not new to electronics, but am not a professional, but rather an amateur. I have recently made a simple circuit made to control a normal wall outlet, using the Arduino (More specifically a custom board with the ATMEGA328) and a relay (No real use for it, just to see if I could achieve it), and as expected it worked flawlessly. However due to one main disadvantage of the relay (Speed) I am not able to do much with it (For example blink per 100ms safely or do any PMW), as well the problem of it being mechanical. So I've basically connecting the relay to an output which can have a lamp plugged in or something ect.

Now I want a way to communicate with at the most 230-250V with the Arduino, in a high speed, and safe manor. I want to be able to take use of the PWM function like fade, which I am pretty sure a transistor can do? However my problem is, I don't know which transistor to use, I don't know how to make it safe and although I understand how a Transistor works, I am unaware on the "Amplifying" affect it can have. Can some provide with a schematic of what I am trying to achieve which is basically what I already have but with a transistor or maybe something else (SSR?) to take advantage or PWM on high voltage appliances.

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For that type of application you may be better off looking at zero-crossing burst fire control module triggering a thyristor. PWM is a bit unpredictable when used to trigger an AC load as you cannot determine which point in the cycle the ON state exists.

jackrae: For that type of application you may be better off looking at zero-crossing burst fire control module triggering a thyristor. PWM is a bit unpredictable when used to trigger an AC load as you cannot determine which point in the cycle the ON state exists.

They seem pricy for my application (Simply wall plug outlet), however I do take your Point about the AC current, and have heard that using a Pull down resistor can solve these problems?

spycatcher2k:
Search for MOSFET or TRIAC Circuits.

Hey I have done some research but have a few questions to ask you, if its okay.
Firstly If I assume that a MOSFET transistor is like any other transistor that can input and output higher voltages what precautions should I take to ensure the saftey of my IC?
Secondly I there anyother Components I should be aware of, That I need to make my simple circuit?

If we are talking mains electricity you need opto-isolated triacs, or solid-state-relays (SSR). Safety comes first, which means opto-isolated or a relay (which is already isolated). Mains electricity does not forgive mistakes.

Yep, I settled for a SSR. I believe it has sufficient speed and frequency for what I need, as I have heard on average they operate from 1 - 100 nanoseconds, which I believe is plenty for PMW.