Alarm Clock - Brightest Output for Lights

Hello Everyone,
I'm a beginner with Arduino, but I'm a long-time programmer.
I have 4 children, 1 of which is very difficult to get up for school.
I'm going to make an alarm clock to wake him up using Arduino.
There are lots of good resources for information here, and I've picked up about RTM boards, and there are literally dozens of clock projects. I've also seen some items about powering the Arduino from household power. I'm thinking about mounting it on a 3D printed housing on a light switch.

The question I have is:
I want to create a very bright source of light when the alarm goes off. Light is one of the stimulus that encourages people to wake up.
What are the parts I need to drive very bright LEDs to light up a small 12x12 room - like it is daylight.
My dad is into a few things and has some LED based flashlights that are bright like I'm thinking.

So, I'd like to start with the bright LEDs and hook them up to a breadboard and blind myself with them - while I order some of the other parts for the next steps. If possible, link to purchase at Amazon or Aliwhatever that everyone seems to get parts from.

Thanks in advance for any assistance.

Extra points if there is even the slightest chance that it is a multi-colored LED that I can change color and increase intensity. Nice to have, not required.

**If necessary, I'd certainly entertain a relay to a separate power source to run as bright a light as I can - as long as there is a real benefit.

In my opinion, you can use the RGB LED strip. To make it easy, choose the unaddressable LED strip. This LED allows you to change different colors. The link and instruction is available in this Arduino Tutorial

Wow, that's great. I didn't think that would be in the tutorials. :slight_smile:
Thanks for not eating me alive.

And these tutorials are great. Live links to what I need to buy and alternatives.

Many Thanks!

Some ideas which may be of help/interest?

Maybe get a decent 12v power supply and run everything from this, that way there is no mains voltages involved to worry about and there are plenty of 12volt lights available to choose from for cars/caravans etc.
If you build a project with a few relays in (search eBay for 'relay board' for cheap ones which are ideal for Arduino use) you then have the option to add several lights, sirens or what ever you want later on :wink:

If you look at using an esp8266/esp32 you could make it wifi enabled and get the accurate time from the internet (see NTP).

Another option is one of the infra red remote control lightbulbs which could be controlled by your Arduino
search eBay for 'Colour Changing Light Bulb'.
see: Arduino IR controlled LED colour changing lamp - YouTube

All good stuff. I'll give it some thought. I'll definitely search for those relays. The one idea with those remote control lightbulbs - that, too has a lot of merit.
When I'm controlling with a relay I'm doing on/off. But if I can actually control the lights, that would be better.

Many Thanks!

Regular 12V LED strips are dimmable with PWM (and a MOSFET driver circuit). For 3 colors you’ll need 3 drivers.

AC dimmers use phase control which is a bit more complicated. An optically-isolated TRIAC is used to control the light and another opto-isolator (or a transformer) is used for phase detection.

I’m not sure if LED strips will give you enough light. But that’s something you can easily test before you build the whole thing.

“High power” LEDs (1W or more) are usually driven with a special constant-current LED power supply/driver. Some are dimmable and some are not. These LEDs also require a heatsink so they are not as easy to use a regular light bulb or a “regular little” LED. (If you buy an “LED light blub” from the home improvement store, these have a built-in power supply and a heatsink, or a metal housing that acts as a heatsink. And again, some are dimmable and some are not.

My dad is into a few things and has some LED based flashlights that are bright like I’m thinking.

Some LED flashlights use the “known” internal battery resistance to limit/control the current so they don’t work very well with a power supply.

If possible, link to purchase at Amazon or Aliwhatever that everyone seems to get parts from.

I recommend sticking to electronics suppliers where you can get the manufacturer’s part number, datasheet, and full specifications. Adafruit and SparkFun (here in the U.S.) cater to hobbyists so they often have additional tutorials/examples. For electronics parts I usually use Jameco, Mouser, or DigiKey. Mouser & Digi-Key have almost every available semiconductor or chip. (Mouser has no minimum order.)

If you ask for help (with your hardware) here on the forum the first thing we’ll ask for is a link to the datasheet.

…A LONG time ago I make a “wake-up dimmer” with a different microcontroller. It runs a “reading lamp” above my bed with a regular 100W bulb. I already had an X10 home automation system do I didn’t need a time-of-day clock or any kind of time/alarm programming. The home-automation relay turns-on power and the light starts fading-up over a 10 minute period and it stays on until the relay is turned-off. (It could also work from a regular plug-in timer from the hardware store.)

There is also a gentle beeper that kicks-in after 10 minutes. It beeps every 30 seconds counting the (additional) minutes. So, 3 minutes after 10-minute dim-up period it beeps 3 times, and 3 times again at 3:30, etc.

…The X-10 system by itself has “flaw” in that if you set a light to 10% brightness (or any level) with an automated remote command it goes to 100% first and then dims-down to the target level. I’m working on upgrading/updating to Z-Wave and I don’t yet know if it has that same limitation (I suspect not).

Here ya go.

-jim lee

Not just intensity but color can be useful. Blue light increases alertness.