Sunrise Alarm Clock

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Sunrise Alarm Clock

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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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My name is Jason Poel Smith. I have an undergraduate degree in Engineering that is 50% Mechanical Engineering and 50% Electrical Engineering. I have worked in a variety of industries from hydraulic aerial lifts to aircraft tooling. I currently spend most of my time chasing around my new baby. In my spare time I make the how-to series "DIY Hacks and How Tos."

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Sunrise Alarm Clock

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.

6 thoughts on “Sunrise Alarm Clock

  1. lrwickerdesign says:

    Much nicer to wake up to than a blaring radio : )

  2. Build Your Own Sunrise Alarm Clock for a Peaceful Morning Wake Up Call [DIY] says:

    […] Sunrise Lamp Alarm Clock | NYC Resistor via Make […]

  3. Build Your Own Sunrise Alarm Clock For A Peaceful Morning Wake Up Call | Lifehacker Australia says:

    […] Sunrise Lamp Alarm Clock [NYC Resistor via Make] […]

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My interests include writing, electronics, RPGs, scifi, hackers & hackerspaces, 3D printing, building sets & toys. @johnbaichtal

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