Courtesy Light

Warning! The circuit is connected to 220Vac mains, then some parts in the circuit board are subjected to lethal potential!. Avoid touching the circuit when plugged and enclose it in a plastic box.

15 seconds delayed switch-off

A good idea for bedroom lamps

Circuit diagram

Courtesy Light-Circuit diagram


  • R1 470R 1/2W Resistor
  • R2 100K 1/4W Resistor
  • R3 1M5 1/4W Resistor
  • R4 1K 1/4W Resistor
  • C1 330nF 400V Polyester Capacitor
  • C2 100µF 25V Electrolytic Capacitor
  • C3,C5 10nF 63V Polyester or Ceramic Capacitors
  • C4 10µF 25V Electrolytic Capacitor
  • D1,D2 1N4007 1000V 1A Diodes
  • D3 BZX79C10 10V 500mW Zener Diode
  • D4 TIC206M 600V 4A TRIAC
  • Q1 BC557 45V 100mA PNP Transistor
  • IC1 7555 or TS555CN CMos Timer IC
  • SW1 SPST Mains suited Switch

Device purpose:

This circuit is intended to let the user turn off a lamp by means of a switch placed far from bed, allowing him enough time to lie down before the lamp really switches off. Obviously, users will be able to find different applications for this circuit in order to suit their needs.

Circuit operation:

Due to the low current drawing, the circuit can be supplied from 220Vac mains without a transformer. Supply voltage is reduced to 10Vdc by means of C1 reactance, a two diode rectifier cell D1 & D2 and Zener diode D3. IC1 is a CMos 555 timer wired as a monostable, providing 15 seconds on-time set by R3 & C4. When SW1 is closed, IC1 output (pin 3) is permanently on, driving Triac D4 which in turn feeds the lamp. Opening SW1 operates the monostable and, after 15 seconds, pin 3 of IC1 goes low switching off the lamp.


  • The circuit is wired permanently to the mains supply but current drain is negligible.
  • Due to transformerless design there is no heat generation.
  • The delay time can be varied changing R3 and/or C4 values.
  • Taking C4=10µF, R3 increases timing with approx. 100K per second ratio. I.e. R3=1M Time=10 seconds, R3=1M8 Time=18 seconds.
  • Low Gate-current Triacs are recommended.
  • Use a well insulated mains-type switch for SW1.

This circuit was awarded with publication in ELECTRONICS WORLD "Circuit Ideas", April 2001 issue, page 299.

author: RED Free Circuit Designs
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