Posts tagged lamp
Do you often wake feeling tired? Does the sound of your alarm clock buzzing drive you crazy? What if there were a better way?
Some people believe that your body reacts better when you wake to light– with a natural dawn simulation — easing your body into the day the way the sun does naturally.
Here’s a fun project you can do in just a few minutes given the right supplies. You can make your own wake-up light with a few simple items you may already own. Of course you could always buy one of these:
But if you’d rather be handy and make your own dawn simulator, here’s what you’ll need:
- A lamp (like the one you already have on your nightstand)
- a natural light bulb (optional), such as Verilux Standard Daylight Full Spectrum Light Bulb
- a Plug-in lamp dimmer
- On/Off 7-Day Digital Timer
A digital wall timer is recommended, because most now offer programming customizable for 7 days– this lets you set different on/off patterns for weekdays vs. weekends, etc.
Once you’ve assembled your parts, you’re ready to get going on the path to simulating natural wake up patterns with your wake up light. If you’ve opted for a full spectrum bulb (one that is closer to the sun’s own light frequencies) install the bulb in your lamp).
Important note: If you plan to use a dimmer with this project, you may want to choose an incandecent bulb — newer CFL and LED bulbs are often not compatible with standard dimmer switches.
Next, if you are using a dimmer switch, plug your lamp into the dimmer switch. Then plug into the wall timer. If not using a dimmer switch, plug directly into the wall timer.
Then, plug in the wall timer to your outlet and program your on/off patterns using the provided instructions– each timer is different, but most allow for multiple on/off times per day and per week. Consider turning the light on before you plan to wake and leaving on for an hour or more to allow your body to adjust before you rise.
If you’ve installed a dimmer switch, test the brightness you’ve selected to ensure it is to your liking. Experiment with different settings until you find the level of light that helps you rise naturally without making you cringe.
There you have it, your very own wake up light – at a fraction of the cost of commercial dawn simulators.
Note, one advantage of the commercial models is the ability to integrate an alarm sound and to grow the light brighter over time — if you find difficulty getting brightness to your liking, consider a commercial model.
Do you have an old lamp sitting around the attic or basement that could be cleaned up and used? Is the problem that the electrics looks crazy old and need replacement? If you have an old lamp you want to rewire, you can easily rewire your lamp at home. Do it yourself and save money while saving the old lamp from the dump!
What you need:
- A new Standard Lamp Socket
(assuming the old one is shot/not safe to use)
Or consider an upgrade with a Dimmer Socket
- A length of suitable electrical cord – consult your hardware store for proper gauge for your application – for most standard lamps (think 60W or less) and short lengths, most any UL approved cord will do – for longer runs or higher wattage lamps, you will need a heavier gauge cord to prevent overheating
- 2-wire electric plug to attach cord to wall outlet
How to rewire a lamp:
- Be safe; know what you’re doing. Always consult a professional electrician for any questions. Always unplug any electric appliance before servicing.
- After unplugging the lamp, remove any shade and bulb
- Remove the socket and old wiring. You may need to cut the old wiring to remove. Discard the old parts
- Take your length of new cord and attach the plug. Typically this will involve either stripping the wire and attaching it with screw mounts OR inserting the cord and crimping the cord in some fashion. Consult the directions that came with your new plug for complete instructions
- Feed the free end of your new cord up through the base of your lamp and our through where the old socket attached.
- Separate the two ends and remove a small length of the insulation from each of the two wires. Twist the wire inside tightly.
- Now, take your new socket attach one wire to each of the two terminals of the lamp socket. Usually this is done with screw-down connections. Be sure that the wires attach firmly and are not loose or frayed out. Consult the instructions that came with your new socket for complete directions. You should tie a knot in the cord to keep any tugs from a pulled cord from detaching the connections
- Attach the socket to the lamp, usually screws on to base.
- Final inspection. Ensure all connections are properly attached and insulated, no gashes have been made to cord in the process and all is tightly attached.
- Put a bulb in and try out your new re-wired lamp!
- Consider purchasing new lamp shades to give new life to an old lamp