Many people find the beep of an alarm clock to be a very unpleasant way to wake up. One alternative is to use lights to wake you up. For instance, a “sunrise alarm clock” gradually increases the brightness of a light near your bed at the set time. This helps some people to wake up more gently.
In this project, I am going to show you how to make a simple light alarm circuit from an outlet timer and a handful of basic electrical components. So get out your soldering iron and let’s get started.
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NYC Resistor member Holly Hudson built an alarm clock that wakes you up with light instead of sound:
I’ve been wanting a sunrise lamp for a long time, but I’ve never found the perfect one. Having a free summer, and the knowledge that I would be starting my first full time job in many years in the fall motivated me to actually make something happen. I’m glad I had the whole summer because this project had several learning curves for me — it was my very first electronics project, my first chance to learn how to use a laser cutter, and my first foray back into programming in many years. It turned out to be a lot of fun, and I’m looking forward to doing more projects like this!
The way it works is that an Adafruit Monochron clock keeps track of time and activates a RGB LED strip when it’s time to wake up. It begins with a dim blue light at first, increasing in intensity, before triggering a regular floor lamp via a powertail switch.