The PowerSwitch Tail II is a great and VERY simple way to have the Arduino control AC powered devices. I’ve used these in my LCC project. The Arduino can control these directly from a digital IO port, BUT you’re better off using a transistor to drive them, just in case…
You can get them at SparkFun.
The PowerSwitch Tail II is designed to allow you to safely control an outlet device without exposing any 120VAC voltages. You can plug in any standard 120VAC 3-prong outlet to be controlled by most any microcontroller. This will work great with Arduino! The PowerSwitch Tail II improves on the original PowerSwitch Tail by allowing you to switch a bigger load (now up to 15A) with a wider range of control signals (3-12VDC).
- Connect to Arduino, PIC, Stamp, or other MCU with driver transistor or ULN2803
- LED indicator shows status of control signal
- Connect output receptacle to a single powered device or to a power strip to control multiple loads.
- Switches up to 15A (resistive loads) with a 3-12VDC, 3-30mA control signal.