Sunrise Alarm

Published 2021/08/18 by Jordan Hay

Have you ever woken up on a winter's morning while the sky is still black? The only thing welcoming you to the world your alarm? I know I have, and the aim of my sunrise alarm clock is to ensure I never have to experience it again.

Figure 1 - The sunrise alarm (off).

In the morning the sunrise alarm clock uses its vertically oriented ring of individually addressable LEDs to begin illuminating the room (Figure 1). Over the course of ~2 hours (this period can be changed in the source code) it begins to brighten from a deep red to a bright yellow, simulating the rise of the sun in the morning. At night time it reverses this process, cooling down in order to simulate sunset at night (Figure 2). During the day it idles on a slow, dim rainbow cycle.
Figure 2 - The sunrise alarm simulating sunrise in the morning "warm up" period.

From my experience this has aided my sleep with a more gentle wake up thanks to the "sunrise" and the visual reminder at night that it's time to go to bed. I do not feel qualified to comment on the actual science behind this and this project was largely built naive to the actual science at play. However a cursory glance uncovers a few papers (namely this one) that imply a link between sleep quality and simulated dawn.
To see the code that runs on the sunrise alarm clock see the Github repository.

Source code MIT License © 2021 Jordan Hay | Website Content © 2017-2022 Jordan Hay