Wake-up Light (no Arduino)




Introduction: Wake-up Light (no Arduino)

Hello instructables people,
Every morning when my alarm rings I have trouble getting out of bed.
(so I am always late)
To help me wake up I wanted to buy a wake-up light, it's supposed to help you wake up by giving the impression of a sunrise by getting brighter every minute after the alarm goes.
Unfortunately these are very expensive, that means building it myself.
My goal was to make a cheap and working wake-up light, without using my arduino for it, so I build this.

This is just a example, you are free to redesign and customize it to your preference.
This project will cost you €0 to €20 depending on which parts you have.

WARNING: You are working with high voltage here, if you are under 18 ask a adult with technical experience to help!
Do NOT work on the project when it is plugged into the wall outlet! Always check the connections and be careful!
Work in a dry environment. I am not responsible for any damage and/or injuries!

Step 1: Materials

You will need:
-a box
-a slow turning dc motor, I used : http://dx.com/p/high-torque-60rpm-12v-dc-geared-motor-91625?item=1
                                              ,but you might want to take a slower motor or see 'edit 1'.
-a timer socket
-a lightbulb socket
-a lightbulb
-a (normal wall-outlet) plug
- some cable
-two extention cords
-a cable connector
-a old (phone) charger
-small pieces of wood or plastic
-some screws
-a gear
-heat shrink tubing

Step 2: Tools

You will need:
-a drill
-a (electric) saw or dremel
-a x-acto knife
-a glue gun
-wire cutters or scissors
-wire strippers
-a soldering iron
-a marker

Step 3: 2

-cut a 4 inch wire from the end of the plug depending on the size of the box
-strip the othe end
-connect the stripped end to the connector

-cut off a 4-6 inch piece of wire from the leftover socket and the light-bulb socket
-strip the ends of the wires
-connect these to the connector
Like this:

Step 4: 3

Next cut of the end that goes into your phone when you charge it.
Strip those wires and solder them to the positive and negative leads from the motor.
Make sure the motor turn in the wright direction!
If it turns in the wrong direction, just switch the positive and negative wires.

Optional: isolate the wires and solder with heat shrink tubing

Step 5: 4

-Connect all the parts to each other and putt it in the spot you want.
-draw a hole for the timer to stick out of the box, a hole for the motor shaft and a hole for the outgoing extension cord.
-cut, drill and saw the holes.
-put it together, make sure to gear is easy to remove so you can put the sliding plate back in the morning.

Step 6: 5

using a marker color the teeth of the gear and role it over the side of the scrap wood.
using a x-acto knife cut triangles out the side on the marks
make sure you cut out the end like below so the plate won't fall
also glue a second piece of wood underneath the plate.
To this second plate you will need to glue a third piece of wood, overlapping the first piece(so it won't fall out)

Step 7: 6

mark and cut the hole for the light to come through and you are done.

Step 8: Edit 1:

When I finished my wake up light I didn't like the speed of the motor.
To solve this problem you have three options:
1) use a slower motor
2) use other gears
3) cut away some of the teeth from the gear (not the plate)

Make It Glow

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    8 years ago on Step 8

    fun topic and very creative!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for offering a mechanical solution to this. Wood and wires I can handle, electronic components mostly confuse me. I just need to figure out where I can get a motor that will turn slow enough.

    Also as someone else mentioned the shape of the hole. I think it might give a better illusion of sunrise if instead of a linear motion the motor were to slowly turn a disc with a section cut out. That way it would begin with a small sliver of light gradually opening to a larger and larger triangle.


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    I am glad you appreciate it. From me an motor with a gearbox worked fine. I also thought about other ways and I think a aperture would work nicely, I like that idea too.

    Good Luck!


    8 years ago on Step 8

    could also be used as an anti-theft device. so it looks like someone is home when not!


    8 years ago on Introduction

    Thanks for a simple and clever solution.
    I wonder if making a different shape hole in the box would allow greater control of how quickly the room lights up; for example: a "V" shape. I suspect that our perception of light may be non-linear.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting project! One thing that would make it even better would be a description in the beginning of what the project does, as "wake-up light " is not a common term.

    very cool, I like that you found a non-arduino solution. what do the words on the top say?


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    My taste is most simple. I am always satisfied with the best.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    In Dutch it says:
    Mijn smaak is allereenvoudigst: Ik ben altijd tevreden met het beste.
    In English it is:
    My taste is very easy: I'm always satisfied with the best.


    Reply 9 years ago on Introduction

    Loosely translated, I believe it says. "box".