In smartening up my doorbell I've been playing with my illuminated pushbutton and have fallen into a bit of a rabbit hole. The doorbell normally:
My understanding of this is that when the switch is open the bulb lights up and there is not enough current to fire the chime. When it is closed the short circuit then provides enough current to the chime to fire its coil. I used my multimeter to discover that the pushbutton lamp has a resistance of 60ohm, and the chime 6ohm. The AC source is 8VAC.
My enterprising idea was to replace the chime/coil with an optocoupler which would trigger something downstream (an ESP32 in my case). First I tried to get it all working with an LED, so to end up with a lit bell that lights the LED when pressed.
Here the lamp is always off, and the LED is always lit. Which is expected - the current is way too low for the lamp due to the now larger resistance. But reducing this resistor will probably burn out the LED. So:
- Is what I want to do even possible? That is, to ordinarily have a high enough current pass through the button in order to illuminate the lamp but not the LED, but when pressed, have the short circuit light up the led instead? I guess what I really want is a low resistance optocoupler that can handle a high current. Does that exist, or is it possible to build one from basic components?
- If not, what's the mental model here that would show this isn't possible? Is it that the LED requires much less current than the lamp so shortcircuiting the lamp doesn't make sense since by definition the current would increase?
To be clear I'm more interested in learning here than getting a working circuit - aside from solutions using mechanical relays and current sensors I'd probably choose to just use a normal (ie not illuminated) doorbell instead.