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I am looking to build a home security camera with a LED light attachment. Many people mention they use a IR Illuminator for the light source which often seem to be DC 12V. I am not sure how one would turn this on and off with a raspberry pi.

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    Use a ULN2003A or similar. Probably the cheapest solution unless you have your own transistors/diodes spare. – joan Oct 21 '14 at 7:31
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Driving Relays directly from RPi GPIO might be a little dangerous. Additional circuit is required. Take a look at link below, it might answer all your questions in that topic.

http://www.openhomeautomation.net/control-a-relay-from-anywhere-using-the-raspberry-pi/

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For connecting high power devices (like an electric kettle - don't ask why) to RPi, i use relays. Be sure the voltage needed to turn the relay on is ~5V - the standard voltage of GPIO output.

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    GPIO is driven by 3.3volts? Possibly your relay works on a range from 2V-5V which you are lucky I suppose. – Piotr Kula Nov 20 '14 at 20:41
  • @ppumkin i used a doubleelay. the small one was 2~5vdc and using pi's 5v it turned on the big relay. – thekiwi5000 Nov 21 '14 at 22:22

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