Ground-Effect Lighting For Your Bed.

If you’ve ever disturbed your partner by getting up during the night and flicking on the bathroom light — or tripping over something and startling them awake completely in the ensuing catastrophe — [Kristjan Berce]’s idea to install motion-activated ground-effect lighting on his girlfriend’s bed might hold your attention.

[Berce] is using an Arduino Nano for the project’s brain, a PIR sensor from Adafruit, and an L7805 voltage regulator to handle load spikes.  He doesn’t specify the type of LED strip he’s using, but Neopixels might be a safe bet here. Soldering issues over with, he mounted his protoboard in a 3D printed project box. Instead of reinventing the LED, [Berce] copied the code from Adafruit’s PIR tutorial before sticking the project to the side of the bed with adhesive strips so the on/off switch within handy reach to flick before meeting Mr. Sandman. Check out the build video after the break!

Once back in bed, a Fall Asleep Device should help you make the most of your remaining sleep hours.

24 thoughts on “Ground-Effect Lighting For Your Bed.

  1. It’s a great idea and well executed. I’ve considered doing this in the past but never got around to it.

    Suggestions I could make for version 2: Include an LDR so you never have to worry about turning it on and off (it just works if the room is dark). Also mount under the bed rather than on the side. It will still privide enough light on the floor to see in the dark without lighting the upper part of the room and disturbing your partner.

  2. I use a far, far simpler solution of 40mm long pieces of luminous tape on the corners of the skirting boards and on the light switches. At night time I can easily get up and walk to the bathroom. The luminosity is fantastic and glows all night. And it’s readily available and super cheap on eBay, a 10m roll costs only a couple of dollars or less. Try it!

    1. Jason: OH MY GOD!!! LED’s ARE KILLING US!!!

      Jonathan: No, no. It’s alright Jason. Calm down. They’re not killing us. They’ll simply make us look a bit paler.

      Jason: OH MY GOD!!! LED’s ARE RACIST!!!

      Jonathan: ???

        1. So how should we treat the sort of pseudo-scientific scaremongering being spouted by [Jason] and others?

          The sort of ridicule demonstrated by [Jonathan] seems reasonable, although I suppose utter contempt is also a viable alternative.

          1. It’s not pseudo-scientific woo, there is real scientific evidence that blue light impairs a natural circadian rhythm. Just give a skim over the literature:


            There’s nothing wrong with LEDs themselves, it’s the wavelength that matters. Humans evolved without a strong source of blue-light during the evening/night. Up until recently, the only exposure to blue wavelengths was during the day… from the sun. We’ve had artificial lighting for a long time (incandescent in modern era, fire/candles before that). But those sources are always warm wavelengths.

            It’s only recently (generously 100 years or so, probably less than that) that a prevalence of artificial, strongly blue wavelengths have been common. It’s not really surprising that an overabundance of wavelengths that we evolved to equate with “daytime” occurring at night/evening can cause sleep problems.

          2. I don’t dispute that there are reports claiming a connection but you should keep in mind how many of these so-called scientific studies have been throughly discredited after the initial results were published.

            The original ‘studies’ on the long term effects of cyclamates, the word ‘fraudulent’ appears many times in the official report. DDT and bird’s eggs, a bit more complicated but still clear evidence that much of the data had been deliberately falsified.

            BTW: My comment was actually aimed at [Jason’s] intellectually and linguistically challenged arm-waving which amounted to the usual. Someone thinks it might be ‘dangerous’ so no one should be allowed to have it. No evidence required.

          3. I worked for a long time in a wet-lab biology lab, so I fully understand how the scientific process works, and the parts that don’t work so well.

            You can’t just ignore all research because some of it was poorly conducted, or later turned out false. Science is the process of iteratively improving our knowledge, even if new research contradicts old theories, so long as it builds a better base of understanding. Science is not perfect, but it’s the best tool we have to understand the world around us.

            People want surety in the world, and science is not that. It gives us a probabilistically better understanding.

            If you start throwing out all science because some is bad/wrong/fraudulent, you might as well start believing the earth is flat and gravity doesn’t exist. Using research in one area as a reason to discredit research in another area is (without, apparently, any evidence that the research in question is poor) is irresponsible. Why bring up cyclamates or DDT? It’s unrelated. Different people, different labs, different subjects, different methodology, different periods in time. It’s a nonsensical comparison that sounds like it’s a justification for XYZ conspiracy theory of the day.

            FWIW, [Jason]’s original comment was very tame compared to your ad hominem attacks that followed. Perhaps re-evaluate how you interact with people before challenging their intellect.

          4. He said nothing about ignoring research or throwing out all science.

            His point – which you spent so much effort in trying to discredit – was that we shouldn’t simply accept things uncritically. Particularly when, as in this case, the results haven’t been replicated generally.

            The problem there of course is the people used in the studies. They will insist on acting like real human beings instead of nice, neat statistical models.

            I must admit I was amused by the way you listed all those reasons why Cyclamates and DDT were not relevant while carefully avoiding the main reason they were. Much like undergrad trying to avoid admitting his conclusions were wrong.

            The reason they are relevant is that both were accepted at face value at the time they were published, resulting in both products being banned without any further investigation.

            Both products are still banned despite ample evidence that the original studies were flawed. Dr. Oser’s admission that “mistakes may have been made” not withstanding.

            There is a very good reason why they are the classic examples quoted by many.

            I myself, do not use them in my lectures. There are others where the evidence of misconduct is incontrovertible and the results much worse than a regulatory ban.

          5. Even more amusing is a software engineer criticizing other people’s social skills. They ain’t exactly got a good reputation in that area themselves.

          6. Hiya Robert :) Long reply inbound.

            I took a harsh stance with Jonathan because his initial comments were not trying to educate or explain why research should only believed after careful examination, as you suggested his point was. They were instead mockery and belittling another individual, in a rather odd manner to boot… by creating a false monologue that had the OP then conflating LEDs with racism?


            When offered what I think was a very civil response about how it’s not LEDs themselves, but the wavelength that’s under question, the followup reply wanders away into scare quotes about so-called science and more ad hominem attacks.

            You’ll note that I never claimed it did, as a certainty, or that it should be accepted without question. I said “evidence” and provided links to journal articles that a motivated individual might study, and later followed up by saying science is not perfect, often leads to false conclusions that are later refined.

            Perhaps I was hasty in likening Jonathan to a conspiracy wonk, but his prior comments were not terribly civil and I’m afraid it soured my attitude.

            > He said nothing about ignoring research or throwing out all science.

            He said as much, by offering “how many of these so-called scientific studies” end up being fraudulent. As if the majority of research ultimately ends up being discredited. I would claim that the vast majority of research is not discredited, has no misconduct and was not fraudulent. It’s also largely boring minutia, but that’s neither here nor there.

            Now, if we want to get into a discussion on the misuse of statistical tools, how journal popularity and impact factors warp the priorities of researchers, and the treadmill of disposable grad/post-doc labor… I’d be happy to express my disenchantment with the field. :) But despite that, I’m a firm believer that the majority of research is likely sound.

            > I must admit I was amused by the way you listed all those reasons why Cyclamates and DDT were not relevant while carefully avoiding the main reason they were. Much like undergrad trying to avoid admitting his conclusions were wrong.
            >The reason they are relevant is that both were accepted at face value at the time they were published, resulting in both products being banned without any further investigation.

            I see your point, despite the dig at undergrads :P

            I would contend that trotting out extreme examples is not a reasonable way to have a rational discussion. We could invoke Godwin’s law and say that Hitler was a monster, therefore we can’t trust any humans. It’s a tactic meant to kill a conversation. I didn’t dispute that there are bad, fraudulent or poorly run studies… I said as much.

            If Jonathan had said “such and such experiment in the field of was fraudulent or poorly run or had bad statistics”, that would have been a relevant data point. But pulling a random example from an unrelated field proves nothing except that research is sometimes bad/fraudulent/poorly conducted. Which I was never contesting.

            This has been a long comment, and everyone knows arguing on the Internet is a waste. So apologies for the length :)

          7. Wriggling on the hook or what. You sound like a congress critter desperately trying to deny taking a bribe without actually lying :)

            The escalation alluded to in [Jonathan’s] original post has been happening a lot here recently. someone posts a comment, some else replies, O/P gets angry because someone disagreed with them and starts ranting. Just as [Jonathan] portrayed it and pretty much the same way you did with [Jonathan].

            Now I don’t know what the state of scientific research in your field is like, but mine is full of politically motivated, pseudo-scientific crap.

            Blue lights? Yeah. There’s some evidence that it stops some people from sleeping properly. But as it’s also been suggested as a contributing factor in breast cancer and homosexual behaviour I’m going to remain sceptical until more evidence is available.

          8. Quite so.

            I suspect that [Zachary’s] belief that “the majority of research is likely sound” is somewhat misplaced. There are few, if any areas of scientific research which don’t have a problem with ideologically motivated studies, fraudulent results, etc.

            Naturally the problem is far worse in the ‘soft’ sciences and peer review simply doesn’t cut it any more. By necessity, the reviewers have to have similar competences in the same field and as a result are likely to be of the same mindset.

  3. No no, girlfriends need to be conditioned slowly. Start with leaving the bed side lamp on, In six months she’ll sleep with lights and TV on and your mouse clicks and your occasional laughs over Youtube videos.

      1. The biggest issue? The glue on the back of the LED strip is just crap. I had to use extra doublesided tape. The tape on the LED strip said ‘3M’, but I think that it was not the ‘Made in Germany’ brand of 3M. ;)

        1. 3M used to have a problem with ‘counterfeiting’. No. I kid ye not. Counterfeiting.

          So it’s entirely possible the tape on your led strip has never been within a thousand miles of a 3M factory :)

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