The following emergency light circuit uses a very common voltage boost converter concept for making a group of white LEDs illuminate at relatively lower power supplies.

Let's learn how to make this interesting and useful little LED boost emergency light circuit.

Yet again we take the help of the evergreen work horse, the IC555 for implementing the proposed actions.

boost converter circuit using IC 555

Using IC 555 as the Main Component


The figure shows a very simple circuit configuration where the IC 555 has been rigged as an astable multivibrator.

In an astable multivibrator design the various components are wired such that the output generates trains of pulses which are self sustaining and keeps coming as long as the circuit remains powered.

In the present configuration the output of the IC which is the pin #3 generates pulses at a frequency determined by the resistors R1 and R2 and also the capacitor C2.

R2 may be typically adjusted or made variable type for enabling dimming control of the LEDs.

However here the value of R2 has been fixed for acquiring optimum brightness from the LEDs.

The pulses available at pin#3 of the IC is used for ddriving the transistor T1 which in turn switches in response to the positive pulses.

The switching of the transistor pulls the supply voltage through the inductor in a pulsed mode.

As we know when alternating or pulsed voltage is applied across an inductor it tries to oppose the current and in the process kick an equivalent high voltage for compensating the applied current force.

This action of the inductor is what constitutes the boost action, where the voltage is stepped to higher levels than the actual supply voltage.

How L1 Functions


The above functioning of the inductor has been exploited in this circuit also.

L1 boosts the voltage in an attempt to restrict the applied AC, this high voltage generated across the coil during the non conducting phases of the transistor is fed across a series connected LEDs for illuminating them under lower current levels.

This process helps to illuminate the LEDs at relatively lower power consumption.

L1 winding is not so critical, it is a matter of little experimentation, the number of turns, wire guage, the diameter of the core, all are directly involved and affect the boost levels, therefore must be optimized carefully.

In the prototype I had used 50 turns of 22 SWG over an ordinary ferrite rod, which is normally used in small MW radio receivers.

The LEDs used by me were 1 watt, 350 mA types, however you may use different types if you want.

boost LED emergency light circuit using IC 555

Parts List


R1 = 100K
R2 = 100k pot,
R3 = 100 Ohms,
R4 = 4k7, 1 watt
C1 = 680pF,
C2 = 0.01uF
C3 = 100uF/100V
L1 = see text
IC = LM555
T1 = TIP122
D1 = BA159

PLEASE CONNECT A 10 OHM RESISTOR IN SERIES WITH THE LED CHAIN FOR SAFEGUARDING IT FROM HIGH BOOSTED VOLTAGE.

INCREASING THE VALUE OF R2 SHOULD INCREASE THE BRIGHTNESS OF THE LEDs AND VICE VERSA.

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