What options are out there for a dawn simulator?
September 17, 2018 7:32 PM   Subscribe

My 8 year old dawn simulator lost all of its magic smoke this summer, and now that darkness is looming, I'm looking for a replacement. Since incandescent bulbs are out of the picture, what are my best options?

Well-designed Raspberry Pi and other homebrew options are welcome too!
posted by cowcowgrasstree to Shopping (8 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
Philips Hue (LED smart bulb) has a wake up routine that will do this. I've used it before in combination with a cheap IKEA lamp.

Unfortunately, Hue is fairly expensive, and you'd need to buy a bridge in addition to the bulb. There are cheaper alternatives on Amazon that don't require a bridge that might be worth considering.
posted by puffin at 8:40 PM on September 17, 2018 [3 favorites]

For $65 US you can get an IKEA TRÅDFRI gateway & TRÅDFRI dimming kit with a smart bulb. Their app has a Rise and Shine feature.
posted by Secret Sparrow at 9:43 PM on September 17, 2018 [2 favorites]

Like the other replies, I just use color changing smart bulbs. It's easy to set up a variety of different schedules, I like having a variety of color tones available in the room while I'm awake, and I can use it to make it look like I'm home while traveling without needing to fool around with mechanical timers.

If you want something that has an integrated alarm clock rather than being driven by a phone, Philips has a range of them (which I've used and thought were fine for the purpose) and generic knock offs.
posted by Candleman at 11:50 PM on September 17, 2018

There are tons of sunrise alarm clocks on AliExpress and I bet they're all over Amazon too.
posted by Too-Ticky at 3:56 AM on September 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

Yes there are a bunch of sunrise alarm clocks on Amazon. Most of them seem to be LEDs which is somewhat ideal for this purpose; you can alter the colour temperature along with the brightness to match the changing light at dawn.
posted by Nelson at 7:52 AM on September 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

LIFX makes a dawn/dusk bulb specifically for this purpose, in which case all you'd need would be a light fixture to put the bulb in, and their app to control it (once set, you won't need to use the app again unless you want to fiddle with it).
posted by aramaic at 8:49 AM on September 18, 2018 [1 favorite]

This is overly complicated if all you want is a dawn simulator, but since you mentioned Raspberry Pi... I have a HomeAssistant-based smart home system setup. My bedroom lights are on a ZWave dimmer switch, and I have an automation/script setup to turn them up gradually. If you're interested, let me know and I can MeMail the details, but it's a little too niche to be worth going into here.
posted by natabat at 12:58 PM on September 18, 2018 [2 favorites]

I tried a bunch of sunrise alarms and none of them came close to being as good as replacing my bedroom lights with Hue bulbs and programming that. You don't have to get the full color - the "Light + White Ambience" or whatever they are called lets you go between very warm and very cool white light which works well for sunrise/sunset and sleep hygiene purposes.
posted by oblique red at 2:19 PM on September 19, 2018

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