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For my Engineering class we were tasked with building something to improve safety. My partner and I chose to build a faulty light indicator to tell you when your cars lights weren’t working, or when they were faulty. I just wanted some input on what type of circuits we should use or what components we could use to build this?

We wanted our Faulty Light Indicator to have to have a warning light to tell you when one of the lights in the car wasn’t working. So something like a current sense amplifier to tell you when there was no current flowing through the circuit, and it would alert you by turning on an LED. Any help would be appreciated, thank you.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ First determine your requirements. Do you need the indicator to show a bad bulb before the user attempts to turn it on? Secondly, many lamps in modern cars have been replaced by LEDs or HID bulbs which may have different failure modes. Do you plan to accommodate them? \$\endgroup\$ – Spehro Pefhany Jan 19 '17 at 19:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think you can do this with just a transistor, a resistor, and an LED (but I'm not 100% sure, I'm pretty new to a lot of this...). That's assuming you're just checking if something has current. \$\endgroup\$ – redstarcoder Jan 19 '17 at 20:20
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There are application targeted components. In the automotive industry, which is where your project should be/is implemented, there are components like Smart Switches, which integrate many diagnosis functions include current sense. You can see on that website that one of their applications is automotive lighting, which is nice.

I know this is way more than what you're probably looking for, but just to get the idea. You could use a simpler/cheaper solution using a MOSFET and a current shunt...

Maybe a better idea would be to monitoring the LEDs' luminosity using a photoresistor for example, but this shouldn't be detecting the sun's ray or other cars' functioning lights :)

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