LEAP#205 Triac Dimmer


A triac is a "bidirectional thyristor" because it conducts in both directions and is typically used in AC applications.

The basic behaviour of a triac can be summarised in two rules:
  • Rule 1. To turn ON, a gate current ≥ IGT must be applied until the load current is ≥ IL (latching current).
  • Rule 2. To turn OFF (commutate), the load current must be < IH (holding current) for long enough for the device to return to the blocking state.

This project is a test of the classic AC dimmer circuit with Triacs with a 12V AC supply. It allows power to be dialed down by effectively chopping out part of each cycle. As always, all notes, schematics and code are in the Little Electronics & Arduino Projects repo on GitHub.