I always sleep more, and feel down in the winter. I saw this on lifehacker so I decided to make my own. I have two purposes for the box, one is for the hopeful improvement of my mood during winter, second being an alarm clock of sorts. Maybe I could fool myself into thinking the sun is up in my basement apartment.

Stuff you will need:

1.) a box, possibly a piece of wood ($20)
2.) fixtures ($3 ea $45 total)
3.) wire ($2)
4.) plug ($8)
5.) drill & cylindrical drill bit ($9)
6.) aluminum foil (or silver spray paint) (?)
7.) small screws or nails ($2)
8.) CFL-lightbulbs (I chose a mixture of colors) ($50)
9.) plex-glass (-)
10.) sandpaper (-)

Step 1: Assemble the box housing

Picture of Assemble the box housing
This step is pretty easy, just make sure your box is the size you want. The hardest part for me was actually simply finding the box I wanted to use. Everything seemed to be the wrong dimensions, I was lucky I thought of the idea when I was staring at this shelf that wasn't the right depth. I decided I was going to turn the shelves sideways and it would work because the back would be the interior for wiring. Then I figured out that the shelves wouldn't work, so I went back out to buy a piece of wood to fit in the center. Make sure the light bulbs fit entirely inside the box before locating the divider. There's also going to be a lot of extra parts.
gingerin2 months ago
don't listen to them I think is awesome :)

UV lights are not the way to go. Plus it is proven from the case study at Harvard which was then moved to Vermont that you need 10,000 LUX to be effective. I am not a fan of this design.

ykgarg0078 months ago
if u use 100watts of led chips that will give more sun like light ...and less power consuming..
than u will not need that much numbers of cfl
Hairballs6 years ago
Be sure to investigate the latest findings on Fluorescent bulbs and UV exposure/health warnings. Safe if used sensibly.
PKM6 years ago
Timeswitch + CFL light box + winter mornings = win. I just purchased a timeswitch to use with the shoji lamp which is now next to my bed, and have gone from snoozing my alarm for up to 45 minutes before getting out of bed, to being fully awake and getting up before the alarm goes off.

I find the beauty of CFLs is that cheaper models do still have a noticeable warmup time of a few minutes- who needs fancy-schmancy sunrise alarms when you have lightbulbs that fade themselves on?
chuckr44 PKM6 years ago
I do the same thing. A small desk light goes on 45 minutes before my alarm and I wake up refreshed and ready to go. It's an amazing difference!
mox386 (author)  PKM6 years ago
we're defiantly due for the light-switch 2.0 if we have web 2.0
Arraffe6 years ago
Wow.... I REALLY wish i had seen this a couple of months ago before i bought a 400$ light box.... mine is a little higher quality though :P
Your $400 was well spent as I severely doubt this home made idea will put out the 10,000 lux that a medical light box device requires. Also, newer studies show that a special type of light is NOT required, but the 10,000 lux measured 12 inches from the light source is.
shakyoten6 years ago
According to research you need to have the lights shine into you eyes for the beneficial effect. It appears it is the light on the retina that benefits you more than just the light on your skin. (Light on eyes = perceived daylight.. light on skin = more Vitamin D). You don't have to stare at the light but it has to hit your eyes. My lights are on each side of my laptop screen.
bruno130696 years ago
I have S.A.D. so I recently put a sun bulb into a lamp with a timer. It goes on at 8am, off at 10am, on at 5 pm and off at 1130pm. It's nice to have the artificial extra daylight hours!
sturmey6 years ago
Well done. I can see this having a place in my house. I already have a timer from a Mr. Coffee coffee maker that I got at a surplus store that I use to turn on my stereo. I have a spare plug on it that I could use for this lamp.
aphrael6 years ago
awesome, that doesn't look too difficult to make... Where are you supposed to put the box,and in what direction do you focus the light? Just anywhere, or do you need to point /place it in a certain way for it to work? I do tend to get a bit depressed and find it really really hard to get up in the morning, so it would be wonderful if this helps. I would love to hear what your experiences are :).
mox386 (author)  aphrael6 years ago
From all the reading I did about it, people with SAD are supposed to sit in front of it for therapy. I don't recommend looking directly at the lights because it's very bright. I just sat it in the corner of my room near my bed. I'm going to point it directly at myself for tomorrow morning. I've found it's better for improving my mood, than waking me up, the cat likes it a lot though....
fritsie1236 years ago
Are these bulbs actually colored? Or is it just different shades of white, like the fluorescent tubes are? Did you take the picture with a really short exposure? Or with a filter perhaps?
mox386 (author)  fritsie1236 years ago
When you buy CFL's watch out because the come in different warmth varieties. Yes it's just white by a different shade, but it usually gives you a value on the front of the box.
wow, this is pretty cool. the plexiglass would have been a nice touch, frosted to diffuse it. but still this looks great. nice ible