Tag Archives: Lighting Control

Lighting control, Atmel style

This is the last stop on our current tour of Atmel’s extensive lighting portfolio. Thus far, we’ve highlighted the AVR AT90PWM microcontroller and talked about how Atmel MCUs are used to light up both fluorescent and HID ballasts, as well as drive television direct backlights/industrial displays and various high voltage edge-lit TV topologies.

Today we’re going to be taking a closer look at lighting control, Atmel style. Indeed, our microcontrollers come with pre-tested and pre-certified software modules to speed prototyping, eliminate certification testing, keep costs in line and improve interoperability.

“More specifically, the single-chip ATmega128RFA1 supports wireless communication and touch functionality which makes the chip a great choice for capacitive touch remote control applications,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces. “Plus, the embedded Atmel BitCloud software stack offers provides a software development platform for reliable, scalable and secure wireless applications running on Atmel wireless platforms.”

According to the engineering rep, (lighting) remote controls are ideal candidates for high-performance Atmel AVR microcontrollers – with or without integrated capacitive touch and wireless capabilities, as well as for Atmel power line communications (PLC) system-on-a-chip (SoC) solutions with full digital implementation.

“In short, Atmel solutions give you design choices to fit your lighting control application needs. For example, you can choose a single-chip Atmel AVR microcontroller with integrated secure wireless and capacitive touch Atmel QTouch library, or a non-specific Atmel AVR microcontroller that you can match with a range of external low-power, standard-compliant transceiver options,” he added.

Interested in learning more about lighting control, Atmel style? Be sure to check out our official device breakdown here.

A closer look at Atmel’s LED drivers

Yesterday, we talked about Atmel microcontrollers (MCUs) being used to produce warm and inviting light without flickering or humming (fluorescent ballast). Today, we’re going to be taking a closer look at Atmel’s family of general illumination LED drivers which are designed to facilitate intelligent system control for multiple LED parallel arrays.

Atmel’s general illumination LED drivers are ideal for a number of applications, including street lighting, tunnel lights, parking garage lights, fluorescent tube replacements, solar/off-grid lighting, mood and architectural lighting, as well as other general lighting applications.


“With an adaptive power scheme and correlated color temperature (CCT) compensation circuitry, engineers will be well equipped to meet their requirements for power-efficient, high-performance lighting products,” an Atmel engineering rep told Bits & Pieces.

“Lighting OEMs can use white, RGB and white with red LEDs to achieve the desired white gamut and color control, while Atmel LED drivers are capable of setting an LED current to the desired peak and white point. Devices such as Atmel’s MSL2100 can also be used to individually program each string current to its targeted peak.”

Dimming is achieved by PWM or decreasing the LED constant current. Depending on the desired lighting requirements, one to 16 LED strings are employed in solid-state lighting (SSL) applications. Plus, external NFETs enables an application to sink from 350mA to 1A per string, all while supporting high-voltage LED supplies such as 260VDC.

“Atmel’s Adaptive Power Scaling technology results in significant power savings by automatically adjusting the LED supply to the lowest voltage to maintain regulation across all LED strings,” the engineering rep added.

“Atmel LED drivers offer two or three efficiency optimizers for each color power supply. These optimizers minimize power use while maintaining LED current accuracy, allowing up to 16 interconnected devices to automatically negotiate the optimum power supply voltages.”

Lastly, Atmel’s newest LED drivers feature correlated color temperature (CCT) compensation circuitry, making it easier for engineers to precisely maintain a desired CCT over an entire LED lamp temperature range.

Interested in learning more? A detailed list of Atmel’s LED drivers is available here.