My DIY Automatic Wake Up Light
Every year I notice that I have little issue waking up at 7am during summer months, yet waking up at 8am during winter is always unpleasant. Some quick research led me to find that the body is gradually woken up by light, which is why products such as the Phillips Wake-Up Light exist. However, with a starting price of £60 for the (very) basic version, I’ve opted to make my own smartphone-connected, automated wake up light instead.
My aim was to create a setup that could automatically turn on a bright light 20 minutes before the next alarm on my phone – something that I could ‘set and forget’. Simple solutions are always favoured because they’re usually cheap, so I decided to go with a desk lamp connected to a timed mains switch. This unfortunately means that there’s no dimming of the light. For the phone-based automation, I chose Belkin’s WeMo WiFi timed switch (£30 from Maplin). There are cheaper Chinese alternatives available, but my research found them to be lacking in third-party support. I then decided on getting a 5000K lightbulb, since that’s apparently a close match to the colour temperature of summer daylight. I found a 50W (200W equivalent) fluorescent spiral bulb on eBay for £5. I’ve already got a standard E27-screw desk lamp, so the total cost for this project was £35.
The desk lamp (with the huge daylight bulb fitted) is flipped to on, then plugged into the WeMo switch, which is connected to my WiFi network. This allows me to be able to turn the lamp on and off from my phone. Getting the automation working correctly was a bit more difficult.
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