Building A Lamp To Help With Seasonal Depression

The sun plays a big biological role in our lives, regulating our circadian rhythms and doing a whole bunch more as well. Some people find the reduced sunlight of the winter months to have negative emotional effects, and rely on artificial lighting to counteract this. [Samasrinivas] built a lamp of their own design for this very purpose.

The lamp is constructed around an abstract sculptural form made in air-dry clay. Light is provided via a string of Neopixel RGBW LEDs. Run by an Adafruit Feather Huzzah, they’re programmed to trigger with the sunrise to provide a bright light in the morning on grey days when the outside world isn’t quite delivering the same. The Adafruit queries an online weather API to get the right sunrise time every day without requiring user intervention. The lamp can also be programmed to provide warm light during later hours.

We’ve featured a few circadian lighting projects before, including one that goes for a whole-of-house effect with smart bulbs. For some, they’re a valuable way to help boost mood and maintain consistent sleep cycles. Video after the break.

13 thoughts on “Building A Lamp To Help With Seasonal Depression

  1. This amount of light isn’t going to do anything for your circadian rhythm unfortunately, but having a good project always did more for my seasonal depression than daylight lamps did. Hope it served it’s purpose!

    1. This. As someone who has SAD, I’ve tried a ton of different light fixtures and none of them put out enough light.

      There are lamp fixtures out there that do put out enough light to make a noticeable difference, but they are not cheap. That combined with SAD simptoms are variable from one year to another, if you have SAD, you need to invest in a very good setup that lets your adjust it as needed. Which makes it even more expensive.

      It is a cool project though. And projects help A LOT with SAD. At least for me.

  2. Abstract sculpture? I see someone sitting in a cloud. I could probably use one of these… several times I wanted to text work with… “Not coming into work this week, I am sick… I have mood poisoning.”

  3. It’s not just the lumin level but the larger square area of light hitting a larger area of retina. This looks like a night light. Find a large broken screen TV to turn into a window of light.

  4. Pulling the sunrise/sunset times from the internet would make this totally useless for me, living so far north that the sun barly grazes the horizon in the winter.
    I used to work 7-4 in a factory without windows, wich meant that monday to friday I never saw any sunlight, I might be one of the few persons who has had health gain from smoking, since it was accepted to step outside on the fire escape to smoke once an hout or so.
    And I did.

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