[Dmitry Grinberg] has to walk all the way across his bedroom to switch the lamp on and off. The drudgery of this finally became too much, so he built a remote control and added dimming for good measure. Above you can see the circuitry for the remote and the receiver, as well as the finished remote housed in what he calls a ‘Chinese Altoids tin’.
After the break you’ll find [Dmitry's] demo video. The remote control is quite responsive, and the dimming has great resolution. That’s thanks to a power N-channel MOSFET which switches the AC with the help of a full wave rectifier. The PIC 12F617 that controls the MOSFET is powered separately, and [Dmitry] mentions that you must use a transformer and not a switch-mode power supply to avoid a fire. We’d like to know more about this, so leave a comment if you are able to explain further.
The remote and receiver communicate via Infrared. The protocol is operating with 38 kHz signals using an easily sourced receiver tuned to that frequency. [Dmitry] shares all the details about the encoding scheme that he uses. Recreating this communications pairing is a great way to test your understanding of this technique. But if you need a refresher, here’s a tutorial to push you in the right direction.