Inline Dimmer Switch For Table Lamps – Hi, this is Ben Finio with Science Buddies and this video will show you how to use your Basic Circuits Kit to make a dimmer switch using a pencil. So here we have all the parts in the kit, you have four double A batteries, you have a three double a battery holder so your kit comes with one extra battery, you have a small light bulb, a light bulb base, and three alligator clips which get their name because they have these little metal jaws that can grab on to wires and circuit components.
Inline Dimmer Switch For Table Lamps
To assemble your kit first you’re going to put three batteries in the battery holder. Look closely at the batteries, you see that there are plus signs on one end of the batteries, there are also plus signs printed inside the battery holder. Make sure those plus signs line up. You can also check the flat end of the battery is the side that goes up against the spring. So put three batteries in the battery holder and then put the fourth battery aside. Next just screw the light bulb into the base, and now you are ready to connect everything with the alligator clips. So we’re going to color code here, take the red alligator clip and connect it to the red wire from the battery pack, take the black alligator clip and connect it to the black wire, oops you can see so these alligator clips will hold on kind of snugly but if you pull too hard they will come off, so I lost the red one there I’m going to reattach that.
Now here’s one important safety note, at this point you want to make sure that the red and black alligator clips do not touch each other directly. That will create a short circuit and can cause your
battery pack to get very hot. So keep those nice and spaced out, away from each other on your table so they don’t bump into each other. Now you’re going to take your light bulb holder, and it has these two little screws on it on either side that you can connect the alligator clips to. Now it will be a little easier to connect to those if you actually take a small Philips head screwdriver and loosen the screws slightly. That kind of gets the surface up away from the bottom so it’s not flush there and it will be easier to get them with the alligator clips.
So once you’ve loosened those a little bit, take the other end of the black alligator clip, connect it to one of the screws, and now take the green alligator clip which you haven’t used yet and connect it to the other screw. So as of right now, we still have an open circuit. There is no complete path for the electricity to flow so this light bulb does not light up. However if I take the free ends of the
red and green alligator clips and touch them together, I have a closed circuit so electricity can flow in a loop through this red wire, through the green alligator clip, through the light bulb and then back through the black alligator clip and wire to the battery pack. So check that your light bulb lights up when you touch these two alligator clips together. – Inline Dimmer Switch For Table Lamps –
If it does not light up, make sure that all your connections are secure and you don’t have a loose alligator clip and you did not put a battery in the battery pack backwards, and once that’s working you are ready to start your experiment. For the dimmer switch project you will make a slider by whittling away one half of a wooden pencil. To connect the slider to your circuit, you will connect one of the alligator clips to the graphite core on one end, and then use the other alligator clip as a slider to press down on the graphite along the length of the pencil. So you can see here I’ve connected the red alligator clip to one end of the pencil. I can make sure my circuit is working by taking the green alligator clip and connecting it directly to the red alligator clip, and then I can press the green alligator clip down at various points along the length of the graphite, to use it as a slider or a dimmer switch to control the brightness of the bulb.
For your experiment, you will measure how the exact position of the green alligator clip along the length of the pencil affects the brightness of the bulb.
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Have a nice day!