Anduril Wake-Up Light, hear me out ;)

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snubs
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Anduril Wake-Up Light, hear me out ;)

Hi all,

I am fairly new to the Forum. Discovering the BLF LT1 really hooked me. That lamp’s sunset mode helps me to easily fall asleep every night and I love it.
What is missing however is the BLF LT1 also being able to waking me up in the morning. A wake-up light makes my start in the day way much smother than a regular alarm clock. However most products on the market are bad. The light quality of the one I am currently using is horrible (PWM is extreemly visible)

So I toyed with the though of enhancing Anduril so it would also be able to turn the BLF LT1 into a wake-up light.
Trying to squeeze a fully fledged alarm clock into the 1 button 2 light interface seems a bit much.

However what could be done is including a timer like function.
Basically, you tell the light to create a sunrise in 6 hours when you go to bed.
The User interface would be very similar to the newest sunset mode: 5 click hold, then wait for six blinks of the light and you have set it.

So what do you guys thing of the Idea?
Am I the only one who would love that feature?

Edited by: snubs on 09/10/2021 - 16:40
Fescron
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Ah yes that’s a good idea, if it is implemented in an intuitive way in the UI! I’d also love to have this function, to me it seems more useful than the sunset mode…

carsknivesbeer
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I often wondered why there couldn’t be a wake up light in addition to the sunset. If I understand correctly, there is not enough memory for that to work. There is a recent thread on reddit about Sunset mode and trying to smooth out the ramping and the limitations are with memory.

I use wake lights and I think it helps a lot. The Philips ones can be found on eBay pretty reasonably and I checked mine for PWM. It is there but only if I use slo-mo on video. I am assuming the ones you have are worse?

Lightbringer
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Wellp, there’s that thing called “the sun”, and…

09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0

Forsythe P. Jones
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One issue here is that flashlights hardly ever have crystal timebases on the board. So it would be difficult to time an interval like 6 hours accurately. If you don’t mind it being off by maybe as much as say 15 minutes on any given day, it is probably doable. But in a bedroom it’s probably easier to just use a lamp on a timer that is plugged into the wall.

dave1010
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I had a quick go at getting this to work a few years ago but gave up before anything viable.

Some thoughts, IIRC

There’s an assumption that all chips are different, so the time would need calibrating. That’s probably correct but may need testing. Calibration could be done by manually starting and stopping the light after 60 seconds. If you’re 1 second out then that’s 1 minute every hour, or ~10 minutes over night, which is fine.

I was having trouble with the timer overflowing after a few minutes. May be down to data types or something – I’m far from an expert in C.

Power consumption may be high, if the MCU needs to stay awake. Might be possible to make it sleep but that’s way out of my capability. Even if not, a couple of mA is a sacrifice I’d be OK with.

The low ramp resolution at low levels is very noticeable. ToyKeeper seems to be improving this, so may not be a problem now. I have a sunrise lamp from Amazon and the ramp up is probably something like 0,5,10,15,…100 lm. Pretty sure we can do better!

I started to implement this using taps for hours and multiples of 10 minutes (well, minutes and 10 seconds when testing. Eg enter sunrise mode and it goes straight to config, tap 6 times, then 3 times for 6 hours 30 minute delay before sunrise starts.

Sunrise would use the last used brightness (maybe this is a bad idea).

Some other things I was considering if I ever got it working:

  • having a config for sunrise speed. I think about 20 minutes is common. Could almost use a very quick speed and use the flashlight as a silent kitchen timer
  • Alarm option. If you don’t stop the sunrise then after a while it flashes bright, similar to SOS.

I don’t think I have the laptop with the code on any more. Even if I did, it probably wouldn’t help anyone in the state it was in. I think I basically reversed sunset, added a delay and got it to start it a config mode.

If anyone takes this forward then I’d be very interested!

SammysHP
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The timer is running anyway, so no additional power usage. But it’s only useful for short intervals up to some minutes. The accuracy depends also on temperature and battery voltage. So half an hour off after a night even after calibration might be the best we can achieve without a proper RTC.

Then the other questions: Which level? How long should the ramping take? How do you set everything up with just one button? How do you know that the timer is on so that you don’t put the light into your pocket where it turns on itself? What if you ignore the hint and put it into a drawer where it turns on and burns down your house?

IMHO automatic turn off is fine. But a (powerful) light should never turn on by itself.

Oli
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My alarm for the last 5 years is the first 33 seconds of Here Comes The Sun. It ramps up. Edit,, It’s probably been 8 years but it never gets old.

JaredM
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I like it. I live in a narrow valley. Even with sheer white curtains, it doesn’t get bright enough in my bedroom to wake me until 10 or 11. I’d easily give up most other Anduril functions for this feature. Batt check , candle, and this are the only features I want in such a light besides standard ramping.

I think it would be neat to also have the cct ramp up along with brightness

Forsythe P. Jones
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It would be a lot easier if the flashlight had some kind of 2-way data communication, which I’ve been thinking about for unrelated reasons. Then you could have your phone figure out what time sunrise is, and have it wake the flashlight up at that time. There is another thing though, which is presumably you want it to light up rather brightly, which tends to get flashlights hot. If you don’t need bright, high-CRI light then it’s a lot easier to use a plug-in device. Look for “high cri work light” online to see some other possibilities.

This might be an interesting thing to think about while designing the next BLF lantern. It could have a crystal (for a realtime clock) and/or an ambient light sensor that could also be an optical data input.

Added: if you want it to be like a real sunrise you probably want the color to change too. So you start wanting multiple leds and fancier ramping (controlling the leds independently) than Anduril currently has. Maybe this would be an interesting project and it could be Anduril based, but it wouldn’t be a general purpose flashlight really. It might work better in a lantern or desk lamp format. A color controlled video light could be another good place to start.

Oli
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I think this is a very bad idea with batteries. As mentioned above you can do this with timers or there are smart light bulbs or smart light sockets so you can add whatever light bulb you want.

gravelmonkey
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I mentioned this in the LT1 thread a year or so ago (maybe more!). Toykeeper replied with what’s been said above about timekeeping accuracy.

I would be quite interested in a lantern that did offer this feature, I travel a lot and would like something portable. Closest I’ve found so far is the Ikea Fnurra, it’s not perfect though.

Forsythe P. Jones
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Another method occurs to me: lots of lights these days have remote switches (example: Fenix PD36). So if you can find one with leds and ramping that you like, you could set up an external gizmo to activate the switch. I don’t know if any Anduril lights currently have this feature.

Fescron
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Forsythe P. Jones wrote:
Another method occurs to me: lots of lights these days have remote switches (example: Fenix PD36). So if you can find one with leds and ramping that you like, you could set up an external gizmo to activate the switch. I don’t know if any Anduril lights currently have this feature.

Hmm that’s not a bad idea! I was thinking well, I guess I’ll have to replace the whole driver, but maybe a programming pad can be used as a GPIO interrupt pin so a small external clock module can pass a trigger-signal to the LT1 with two wires and then this can slowly ramp up in brightness.

I don’t think that would require a lot of extra code, and getting/making a module with a display, some buttons, a RTC (with backup battery) and maybe even a buzzer wouldn’t be that difficult!

Forsythe P. Jones
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One difficult thing about an external trigger on a flashlight that doesn’t already have one is keeping things sealed and waterproof. Otherwise, it might be easier to start with something like a desk lamp rather than a flashlight. Rather than a buzzer it might be nice to play some music.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mJTIMlwQT_A

Does it make you think of Bugs Bunny? Smile

ToyKeeper
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It’s possible to add a sunrise mode… just not easy.

The main difficulties are about how the interface should work, and which other features should be removed to make room… and whether it’s a good idea for a high-amp battery-powered light to turn itself on.

The interface would need a few things:

  • A way to activate sunrise mode
  • A way to cancel sunrise mode
  • A way to calibrate the timer (unless you don’t mind an error margin of +/- 1 hour throughout an average night)
  • A way to set the end brightness
  • A way to set the rise time
  • A way to set the sleep time
  • A way to configure an optional strobe / alarm
  • Probably some sort of snooze function

The user would need to set the sleep time each night, or be very consistent about when they activate sunrise mode, because the light doesn’t have the hardware necessary to keep track of real time.

It’s also likely to interfere with thermal regulation, so some sort of solution to that would probably be needed. And it could be unreliable due to low-voltage protection.

Assuming it was implemented though, it may still be pretty disappointing. I had a sunrise alarm clock for a while, and it didn’t really accomplish anything except making me grumpy or late. Grumpy on the mornings when it worked, late on the mornings when it didn’t. Like, it had no effect at all if I rolled over during the night to face away from it. Eventually I tried hanging it directly above me facing down, but that didn’t really work either. Eventually I gave it away and switched to a phone app which plays a .mp3 file with gradually-increasing volume, and that was much more pleasant and effective.


TL;DR: It’s possible, but difficult and complicated… and the end result is probably mediocre at best. A flashlight is just not an ideal tool for this.

Forsythe P. Jones
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Yeah I responded in this thread several times before noticing that it is in the lanterns section ;). That might make things easier than doing this with a flashlight. I think it will be common to ignore the wake-up light after it activates, even if you actually wake up and start doing stuff. So it has to run in a regime where it’s thermally safe, and ideally it should be possible to run from AC power indefinitely if you’re using it at home. I commented a little in the thread about a new BLF lantern for that, but I think that lantern is a smaller version of the LT1, and this might go better with a big lantern.

That made me start wondering where to get good lamp fixtures for high CRI leds. berkeleypoint.com has some very nice fixtures but they already have LEDs installed and potted, and they might be older leds. I might contact them and ask about empty fixtures. Their stuff is on the expensive side but is great, often intended for marine or shipboard use. I remember that McGizmo (Don McLeish) had a lot of their gear, such as Locline lamps. Now I find myself wanting some.

Oli
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The first 30 seconds. https://youtu.be/GKdl-GCsNJ0 I use an old app called ringtone maker on Android. You can make ringtones or alarms or notifications. Cut and splice, ramp it up, play with the volume. Yes you do have to get the MP3 on your phone first. There are ways to do that or simply record it with a sound recorder on the phone.