Raspberry Pi Glowbe Wake Lamp

A globe that becomes a glowing orb in the morning to help you wake up in the dark winter months.

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Turn an old globe into a wake lamp that simulates a fake dawn with a Raspberry Pi and LED strip.

During the winter, or even at any time of the year, it can be difficult to get up in the mornings. If you wake before dawn, your body still thinks it’s night (because it is). You can buy wake-lights that trick your body into waking up by simulating a fake sunrise; they get gradually brighter as your alarm approaches. These can be quite expensive, so why not make your own with a Pi and some LEDs? Mine is housed in a globe that I found in a charity shop.

There were a few problems with the original that I have now rectified with version 2.0. Good timing, as winter is coming.

  • 1 × Raspberry Pi Any model
  • 1 × LED strip I used a BlinkyTape but you could use a NeoPixel or DotStar
  • 1 × Sense HAT Optional but has more LEDs
  • 1 × A globe Unwanted present from charity shop
  • 1 × Plastic bottle 500ml drinks bottle

View all 10 components

  • 1
    Step 1

    Create a bulb by wrapping an LED strip around a plastic bottle. You could skip this, but the Sense HAT is not bright enough to make a lamp. Cut the top off an empty plastic bottle, cover it in sticky pads and wrap the LED strip around it in a spiral. You can secure the ends further with tape. Have the connection end at the wider opening so that you can route the power cable to the Pi and then out through the centre. We’ll mount the Pi on top of the upside-down bottle end, so ensure it’s flat.

  • 2
    Step 2

    Remove the Earth from its mount by pulling the pegs of the holder out of the holes in the Arctic and Antarctic. Next, split it in half along the equator by pulling the two hemispheres apart. It should disassemble fairly easily with a little force applied in the correct places. You’ll want to fashion a new mount to stop the globe rolling around, whilst still allowing the power cable to exit from the bottom hole – you could use the inside of a roll of tape. You can cut a small slot with a knife to allow the wire to enter.

  • 3
    Step 3

    Attach your new LED bulb to the inside of the globe. Mount the neck of the bottle over the lower hole with Blu-Tack or putty; it should be sturdy enough to support the weight of the Pi resting on top of it. Mount the Sense HAT on the Pi, and then place both on top of the upturned bottle. Attach a USB WiFi dongle to the Pi (unless you’re using wired Ethernet - see step 8 - or a Raspberry Pi 3), otherwise it will wake you at the wrong time. This is because the Pi requires internet access to set its clock.

View all 8 instructions

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