Wake-Up Lights are basically alarm clocks that use a light to wake you up, instead of the typical deafening speaker and annoying tone. I like this idea. Give your brain “natural” clues to trick it into thinking it’s time to wake up. I’m, unfortunately, struggling to find any really credible sources that prove full spectrum wake-up lights actually work. There is a good Wikipedia article “Light Effects on Circadian Rhythm” which alludes to this concept being plausible.

Currently, there are only a few Wake-Up Lights available. In addition, they’re expensive. My goal was to build something like the Philips Hf3470 Wake-up Light ($99) but bigger and better. I wanted it to be really bright (full spectrum light, Infrared to UV). The best fit ended up being a Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) light NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp ($66). The lamp has 4 fluorescent bulbs that output 10,000 lux (like lumens) with a color temperature of 17,000K.

There is a slight problem with this solution, there’s no easy way to easily turn it on at a set time. There are push buttons on the side to have it run 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes. I wanted it to come on when it gets plugged in. Time to break out the soldering iron…

*Disclaimer: Tampering electronic devices is very dangerous and it will likely void any warranties from the manufacturer. The ballasts in this lamp operate at very high voltages and can easily kill, burn, injure you. Don’t do what is depicted below.



1. Remove the four screws on the back and remove the front of the case. Remove the bulbs.



2. I found it’s easier to work if you disconnect the wire for the ionizer that’s holding the front piece on.



3. There are four screws holding the reflector in, remove them and the reflector.


4. Unscrew the power supply. You’ll†notice†the two relays on the board. One is for the Ionizer and the second turns on the lamps. By jumping the relay, the lamps will always be on (no matter if the internal timer is running or not).



5. On the bottom of the board, I used some solder to bridge the leads of the relay together. This short bypasses the relay.


6. Reassemble and plug it in. The lamp is now always on. I have a cheap timer turning it on/off.

5 Comments

  1. Harjot

    Thank you for posting this. It worked for me very well. I didn’t have the soldering equipment but my local TV repair guy did it easily. The pictures really helped.

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