My grandfather has Alzheimer’s and I read in a science article that a sound or light “played” at 40 Hz interacts with the waves in your brain to break apart the plaque build-up and reduce memory loss. My thought was that if I were able to change the frequency of the light sockets (a screw in an attachment that I would build, but I can figure the structure of it up, just not the electrical side of it) then there would constantly be an atmosphere of a pulsing 40 Hz, via the lights. Any help as far as the initial wiring of this device would be amazing. If I can get a start I can probably finish it. Thanks!

  • \$\begingroup\$ i am sorry to hear about your grand-father's condition ..... please provide a link to the science article \$\endgroup\$ – jsotola Apr 16 at 2:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ Cool idea, Elijah - would you mind sharing that article here if you still have a reference for it? I'll poke around a little to see what's out there. How much of the project do you want to build? \$\endgroup\$ – mhilden Apr 16 at 2:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ the problem is that incandescent lights may not actually flicker if driven by 40Hz power ..... LED lamps may not even light ...... the easiest thing to use would be LED strips and a controller, such as an Arduino, both powered by a DC power supply \$\endgroup\$ – jsotola Apr 16 at 2:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ I should point out that it is very unwise to attempt to treat brain conditions if you are not a highly trained specialist. There are other brain problems that are triggered by flashing lights (photo-sensitive epilepsy for instance). \$\endgroup\$ – Wossname Apr 16 at 10:05

Here's an article on the subject with some build vs. buy ideas:


In short, you'll need a circuit that does two separate things:

  1. Rectify the incoming 60 Hz AC to DC and then
  2. Pulse the lights (I'm presuming LEDs will be needed to get the flashing that you will need) on and off using a DC switch at the desired frequency (40Hz) and duty cycle (the ratio of time that the lights are on and off).

Personally, I'd consider buying the AC-DC part (this will make the project safer, too) and then you can build or hack together a simpler DC LED modulator like the one that is shown in the article I linked to, above.

Here is the circuit from the article - it uses a 555 timer and that's a reasonable place to start if you were going to build your own circuit.

40Hz LED Dimmer from https://gammalighttherapy.com/

If you are up for a bit of programming, an Arduino or an Adafruit Feather board can do the PWM (Pulse Width Modulation) output that you will need to drive an LED light strip.

This isn't the same as modifying an existing light socket but it may be a safer and easier place to start.

  • \$\begingroup\$ There is no evidence this frequency or effect works or humans. This research was done on mice. 74ALVC14 works better with only 1 IC and Lithium Ion battery. \$\endgroup\$ – Sunnyskyguy EE75 Apr 16 at 3:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, it is kinda risky , so I think I’ll probably wait until they do a little more research specifically on humans, but it takes me forever to build an actual project. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – Elijah Rhodes Apr 17 at 11:42
  • \$\begingroup\$ Fortunately mine is as simple as it gets and you don’t have forever \$\endgroup\$ – Sunnyskyguy EE75 Apr 17 at 15:20

Therefore changing the AC power from 60 Hz to 40 Hz for a LED dimmer is NOT the SOLUTION.

This is an XY question so I will give the better solution for 40 Hz light flicker on a cap.

The article that shows this research is in my 1st link below;

Tsai, a neuroscientist at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in Cambridge, says she checked the result; then checked it again. “For the longest time, I didn’t believe it,” she says. Her team had managed to clear amyloid from part of the brain with a flickering light. The strobe was tuned to 40 hertz and was designed to manipulate the rodents’ brainwaves, triggering a host of biological effects that eliminated the plaque-forming proteins.

Recent research was done on Mice with an iPad flashing light App at 40 Hz seems to based on previous research of Trans-Magnetic Stimulation and Transcranial stimulation using impulse currents to electrodes and others using HV coils.

FWIW A simple application 40 Hz LED light is a Li-on battery with a CMOS Schmitt Trigger Oscillator.

enter image description here

( it also much easier than the other proposed solution 3 IC's and a FET and is accomplished using only 1 of 6 CMOS inverters which can drive over 30mA from 2V but is limited to 3.6V max so a silicon diode to drop the Li-Ion battery voltage by 0.7V is needed. One only has to lookup the pin diagrams of this chip and connect the parts as shown with 1 or 2 same white LED types in parallel each using less than their rated current for maximum efficiency. ) Due to 25% tolerances 470K needs to be adjusted if one wants 40 Hz precisely, although the error frequency from 40 Hz ( e.g. +/- 10 ) has yet to be proven or even tested in humans.

If you need a complete DIY assembly kit, ask another question. ( and ignore the -2 lame votes who do not understand )

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Ok, thank you for all of the help, there were certainly lots of ideas and different ways of doing things. I will take them all into consideration. Thanks! \$\endgroup\$ – Elijah Rhodes Apr 17 at 11:41

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