A lamp that dims on its own at bedtime
October 11, 2018 5:56 AM   Subscribe

Does this exist for purchase -- a lamp that goes from on to off, or to a dim "night light" level, over the course of 20-45 minutes without you personally making adjustments? Googling has found me a bulb with mixed reviews, and then a lot of dimmer switches and other manual solutions. Thanks!
posted by slidell to Shopping (10 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
The Philips Hue bulbs do this for me (and wake me up in the morning). You can set a "bedtime" and a period before that over which the lights will automatically dim. The one downside is that they're a bit expensive.
posted by Maecenas at 6:00 AM on October 11, 2018 [6 favorites]

I have a cheap sunrise clock with a sunset mode. I set it to my bedtime and it switches on 30 minutes before bedtime and then dims until it switches off completely automatically at bedtime.

Now mine is a cheap Chinese knockoff something like this (the second button from the right allows you to set the sunset time) but if you buy a more expensive model you'll be able to control more factors like the amount of time it spends dimming.
posted by whitelotus at 6:04 AM on October 11, 2018

This Philips light alarm clock has the exact night feature you're requesting. It has 20 different brightness settings, and they change not only in intensity, but hue as well. The lowest settings are a glowing peachy-orange and they are beautiful.
posted by missmary6 at 8:02 AM on October 11, 2018 [2 favorites]

LIFX bulbs will also do this -- I have one in a lamp in my living room that commences dimming at 10 to remind me to go to bed (and then runs at a minimal brightness all night so guests don't walk into doors etc.), and then two more in the bedroom that start brightening at 6:35am and hit full power at 7. Nice thing about LIFX is they're wifi, so no hub needed, and will play ball with Alexa, Google & Apple.
posted by aramaic at 8:29 AM on October 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I use my Hue bulbs and HomeKit for this, and it works well. I have it set to fade down at around my bed time, and in the winter months it slowly turns up as I wake. Nice that I can override it with a Siri voice command too. If the light is still on when I am ready to sleep I say "Hey Siri, goodnight" and it turns off all of the lights in the house.
posted by terrapin at 8:44 AM on October 11, 2018

I have the Philips light alarm clock linked by missmary6, so I'll second that. You can choose the length of time for the sunset setting, and then there's a button you can just hit when you want it to start doing the sunset feature. Once you hit the sunset button, it does the gradual light dimming on its own. The primary reason I got it is for the sunrise wake up feature, but the sunset setting is a cool bonus for me. I've had it for a couple years, and am very happy with it, although it is a bit on the pricy side.
posted by litera scripta manet at 9:06 AM on October 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm another person using Phillips lights to do things like this although my particular setup is needlessly convoluted (e.g., home server running scheduled batch files to fade lights and mp3 player on). I did try the alarm clock that missmary6 linked above but I *hated* it; the user interface is horribly obtuse, there is no backup battery (an essential item in an alarm clock!), and it doesn't sync to the atomic clock radio to set itself (which is a really minor issue but a reasonable expectation in an alarm clock that costs over a hundred dollars).
posted by ElKevbo at 2:13 PM on October 11, 2018

I'll add my vote for Lifx bulbs - I have the mini (which looks regular-sized to me), and the set up was basically: twist it into the light fixture, download the app, and connect the two.

The app gives you lots of options for how you want your lights to behave in terms of on/off, brightness, and color, and then once you set it up, it pretty much does its thing by itself. I have mine set to turn on a dim red in the morning and fade to a brighter yellow over 30 minutes, to turn off when I leave the house, and to turn on before bedtime, and it's amazing.

My only complaint is that sometimes the wifi connection is lost - this has happened maybe 2-3 times in about a year of having the bulb and I blame my crappy comcast internet more than the bulb/app. I solve that by having a backup lamp, and the bulb usually reconnects on its own fairly soon. Hope that helps!
posted by carlypennylane at 8:52 PM on October 11, 2018 [1 favorite]

Wow you have gotten some fancy suggestions. How crucial is the dimming? If it's not crucial, Here is a make shift cheap suggestion that does the trick real well: go to wal mart or target or a thrift store and buy one of those timers that you put between the wall outlet and your lamp's plug -- the kind people bought to make it look like someone was home when they were away on vacation, before everyhing got complicated and digital. Set it for the time you want the lamp you already own to go off. Plug it into the wall or an extension cord. Plug your lamp into the other side of it. At thrift stores i see these for around 3 bucks .. probably under 10 at Walmart.
posted by elgee at 11:29 PM on October 11, 2018

Thanks for all these suggestions! I'm leaning toward Lifx, especially because I saw them at Home Depot, so it demystified them for me. It's still a bit more complicated than the push-button-here-to-start-the-sunset-function I thought I'd find, and a bit more expensive than the $35 I was going to spend, so I might also look into knockoff versions of the alarm clock.

But I'm now kind of into the idea of slowly converting our house into some ecosystem where the sun dims in the living room and brightens in the bedroom, etc etc. Might as well start with a single bulb and lamp to see if I can figure it out. Thanks! Other ideas or tips are welcome. Is there any reason to consider Phillips over Lifx?

elgee, i totally appreciate the suggestion,
but in this case, the dimming is kind of crucial -- this whole project is because my toddler refuses to turn out the light but then is kept awake by it being on. So I want it to subtly dim over time. Thanks though!
posted by slidell at 12:29 AM on October 14, 2018

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