Introduction: OK to Get Up Nightlight! (Parent Sleep Saver!)

Parents of small children that are unable to tell time: Would you like to reclaim a few hours of sleep every weekend? Well, then do I have the creation for you! Using a Sparkfun Redboard and Breadboard, a few simple components, and some simple code, you can create an "OK to Get Up Night Light!" just like I have here!

The set up is very simple and will be highlighted below. Basically, your creation will have 2 LED lights that will turn on separately with the push of a simple, single button. When you put your child to bed, hit the button once and the red LED will illuminate. You will have to train your child that this red night light means it is still time to sleep and that they shouldn't make noise or ask if it is time to get up yet. Ideally, they will see the red and try to go back to sleep. When you or your spouse awake for the day and it is an acceptable time for your toddler to wake up, just quietly walk into their room and hit the button one time and the red LED will shut off and the green LED will illuminate. It is easy to see the button because the red light illuminates the area, just be careful not to step on a LEGO! This will allow your child to continue to sleep and get their much-needed rest until they awake on their own and see the green. It is a win-win. Everyone is sleeping more. To work successfully, a reward may have to be part of the deal, such as an ice cream cone at DQ on Sunday night if they make it until the green light goes on both days of the weekend.

Step 1: Step 1: Gather Your Materials

I have the SparkFun Inventor's Kit Version 4.0, but I would guess there are close substitutes from other kits that would work just fine. I used:

  • 1 Sparkfun® Redboard
  • 1 Small Breadboard
  • 8 jumper wires
  • 1 red LED
  • 1 green LED
  • 1 330Ω Resistor
  • 1 10KΩ Resistor
  • 1 Push Button
  • 1 Battery Pack Power Source
  • Arduino IDE

Step 2: Step 2: Make Your SparkFun® Redboard and Breadboard Hardware Connections

Simply connect all of the materials that you collected as seen on the Tinkercad® diagram and photos above. It is pretty straightforward, just note that your real life creation may be a little different than your actual creation as mine was. Some of the components are stretch different lengths in the virtual world versus the real creation. It is no problem as long as you make sure you are following the same number row(s) on your breadboard.

You can look more closely at my Tinkercad® creation here.

Step 3: Step 3: Coding

You will first need to connect the USB cable from the power slot on your Redboard to the USB port in your computer.

If you have not used Arduino yet, you will need to download the software found here.

Follow this link to find the code needed to make this sleep saving night light work! You will need to copy and paste it into the Arduino IDE and then press the arrow to upload it into your Redboard!

Step 4: Step 4: Test and Enjoy Your Extra Sleep!!!

Test your creation! When you press the button the first time, the red LED should light up and stay lit up until you press the button again. When you press the button again, the red LED will go off and the green LED will light up!

I used the battery pack power source that came with my kit so I can use my creation without my computer being the power source.

Enjoy your extra sleep. It will take some training to be effective, but extra sleep for parents and children is priceless. I hope this creation will get you some well-earned zzzzzzzzs!

Step 5: References:

Clever, Marginally. "Arduino Starter Kit 2: Use Buttons for LED Control." September 24, 2017. Accessed May 10, 2018.

SparkFun Inventor's Kit - v4.0. (n.d.). Retrieved May 3, 2018, from