The astable multivibrator mode is the most fundamental mode of operation of the IC 555. In this mode it basically functions like a free running oscillator. If this oscillator rate is reduced sufficiently, can be used for driving LED lights.
The wiring at the output can also be further modified for achieving interesting variations and light illumination patterns over the connected LED.
The basic flashing mode has been kept intact yet various different attributions are provided to the circuit with its flashing rate and pattern.
Though the circuit provides us with many application ranges, flashers configurations are more commonly associated with these chips.
Basically, to configure the IC as a flasher or blinker, it’s connected with its fundamental astable mutivibrator mode.
This configuration in fact requires just a couple of resistors and a couple capacitors to kick start the said functions.
IC 555 Circuit Ideas
The first figure shows the basic configuration associated with 555 ICs, here it is connected as an astable multivibrator. The resistors and the capacitor 1 uF can be experimented with to get different rates of blinking over the connected LED.
Making a Police Revolving Light Effect
The above circuit can be suitably modified for producing a revolving, flashing police light effect to the above constructed circuit.
Random Light Effect Generator Circuit
The configuration shown in this figure enables us to use the circuit to generate random light patterns over the connected group of LEDs.
As shown, three LEDs are connected in conjunction with a couple of resistors and a capacitor. The two LEDs connected in parallel but with opposite polarity, flasg alternately at a particular rhythm while the third LED fluctuates at some other random rate.
The above effect can be simplified by the circuit shown below. Here, the LED which is connected to the 1 K resistor blinks at the fixed blinking rate, but the next LED which is connected to the ground switches rapidly at some other defined rate.
Adding a Spooky Effect to the LED
If you want to produce some strange illumination pattern over the LED discussed through the above circuits, them it can be simply done using just a couple of resistors at the output of the IC.
As can be seen in the figure, two resistors and a single resistor are connected at the output of the IC in a special way. The network switches ON the LED sharply, but switches it OFF slowly, producing quite a creepy visual effect.
Alternate Flasher Circuit
This configuration is pretty straightforward, as we all know; two LEDs can be connected to the IC output for generating an alternate blinking pattern over the connected LEDs.
The above circuit can be further modified as shown below by complely disarranging the network with the shown type. Here the LEDs though blink alternately, the intensity may fluctuate from dim to bright over the LEDs.
Light Fader Circuit Using IC 555
A very interesting light fading effect can be achieved by wiring up the IC 555 circuit as per the diagram shown below. The circuit switches ON the LED very gradually and does the same while switching it OFF, that is instead of shutting it off abruptly, does it very slowly.