During winter months, having to wake up when it's still completely dark outside leaves me feeling tired and dissatisfied with my sleep. On top of that, when I turn on my bedside lamp (which has no dimming yet), it burns my eyes. So I thought, surely there is a way to bring the sunrise into my bedroom.
This project does just that. About a hour before my wake up time, it starts glowing dim, deep red. Then goes through the sunrise colours — mild orange, brighter yellow, warm white — until arriving at a bright cool white at about 10 minutes before I have to be up. Now if this doesn't wake me up gently, I'm not sure what will. Maybe a speaker playing bird songs?
On top of that, this can double as a disco ball, mood lighting, etc. with programmable patterns and full RGB!
Raspberry Pi Zero W
Brain of the project
Raspberry Pi Universal power supply
We modelled a geodesic dome in Blender, and found a continuous strip of triangles that doesn't intersect itself when laid out flat. The whole thing was designed to fit a Raspberry Pi Zero W, with room for powering it with a USB plug.
The circuit board was then designed from this shape, using KiCad. We also played with Eremex TopoR (topological autorouter) to get the shortest possible distance of traces conecting the LEDs.
It is only now that we realised that most fab houses charge for rectangular space used. Clearly our design is very inefficient in this regard, being full of empty, wasted space. This realisation occurred only AFTER we sent the armature for printing, so here is what it might have looked like:
Let's create something simple, that I could actually feasibly make, without delving into the long and daunting journey of full on product design. I have a rough idea of what it is that I want: a thingamabob that will simulate the sunrise sequence, to help me wake up fresh.
To put it in more concrete terms, I require:
An omnidirectional light source,
that can change colours,
and has configurable wake up times,
ideally through an app or a web interface
I know I can simply buy one of many off-the-shelf products that do this exact thing, but where would be the fun in that?