How I use smart lights to help wake me up on time without an obnoxious alarm
Updated: Feb 7
I hope all alarms get smashed into a billion little tiny pieces, except for you 1000 dollar phone of course. However, I do hope the alarm app gets a bug.
Alarms are terrible, they are loud, they startle you to wake up. If you’re living with other people, they unnecessarily wake them up. I’ve even tried soothing alarms that come in slowly, Its’s still not a pleasant experience and I grow to absolutely despise whatever tone I’ve set.
Luckily for me, I discovered smart lights which have revolutionized how I wake up in the morning. However, before I jump into it, I want to talk about how I arrived at this solution. Initially, I was looking for automatic blinds that would black out the sun or any of the outside light and then at a specific time wake me up by rolling up to reveal the luminescence of the sun, then the birds would chirp, and I would get up, put on a white dress, and run through the flowers. Okay, clearly I don’t want the dress and flowers stuff but I wanted to be naturally woken up with light like a neanderthal.
After having these wiz smart lights it 'clicked' one day that I could set routines. Duh, I thought, this shall be my new alarm. So I set them up to turn on at 7:00, and then turn off at 9:00 when I left the house. then they turn back on at sunset and gracefully fade off like a fake sunset since I'm a night owl at 11:30 which indicates to me that it’s about to be bedtime.
When I tried it out the first day I was ecstatic! It was so much easier to get up, and felt more natural than the shitty electronic roosters I had previously used. “This is why I'm obsessed with home automation.” I thought to my self.
It’s these small things that give me a huge sense of relief, and bring me a tremendous amount of joy.
Making It Better
So anyhow, a few months after having the lights set up I realized that 1) somedays I wouldn’t get up on time, and 2) when that happened I didn’t know what time it was so I’d still have to check my phone
Due to this, I came up with a solution that encourages me to get up earlier. I scheduled 3 routines. The first is the wake-up routine, where the light is set to the natural morning light, I’m considering doing green because it means GO MOFO GET UP! The second routine is at 7:30 I should be awake by then. So when 7:30 hits, the light switches colors to purple. This indicates to me, you’re okay, but you need to get up. I love this because I can just open my eyes, see where I’m at and know if I’m okay, or if I’m in trouble with myself. The trouble begins with the third routine which is set to 8:00am and the lights are set to red, as in “get yo ass up you lazy son of a bitch!”
Now when I wake up in the morning I can tell roughly what time it is without ever having to reach for my phone. It's pretty amazing how well this works at getting me up.
This solution might not work so well for couples that get up at different times. Here is my suggestion on what to do anyway, take if you come up with another solution please let me know.
Sleep in different rooms.
No, I’m kidding, however, one possibility is having the person that gets up later wear a sleeping mask and his or her lights come back on as a second routine.
So the first routine would go, then the lights would turn off. A bit later when that person has likely left the second routine runs waking up, or at the very least signaling to them what time it is when they wake up naturally.
Not the best solution, so another possible option is that you put the lights in the bathroom, again, working as an indicator. It wouldn't be blaring at both of you but can still be used in a way to let you know what time it is and give you that urgency feeling we sometimes need to get up.
My last suggestion would be and bear with me on this one, but you could have a curtain that hangs between both of you in bed then, you each get a separate light with its own settings for each of you. That way neither of you gets blasted with light, but both of you can use the system and not wake one another up.
Let there be light, am I right? Home automation and smart lights can be used in so many creative ways, this has been my favorite use cases thus far.
I’d love to know how you’ve used smart lights in your home, or if you have friends that have used them or other Home Automation products in unique and creative ways. Connect with me via email, or on social media at @jptaxman24 or @uprelief