Wake Up With the Sun

by littleBits

Published on April 24, 2014

We created an alarm that wakes us up with the sun and only goes off when we're home. The big box was made to sit on a night stand or window sill and contains the alarm buzzer and customizable light sensor. The small box was made to go under a pillow so that the roller switch can be activated when someone lays down.

This is a simple project that uses one of our advanced logic Bits, the double AND. The Double AND connects two inputs to one output.

In this case, the two inputs are the roller switch and light trigger Bits. The buzzer can only be triggered when both of the inputs are on. 

How To Make It


Step 1. is pictured in the gallery, see "condition 1" and "condition 2." Assemble the first input section of the circuit: coin battery + branch + roller switch; make sure the switch on the roller switch is set to "close." By selecting "close," the circuit will be closed when the roller switch is pressed down, and vice versa. To power up the circuit, flip the little white switch on the coin battery.


Step 2. is pictured in the gallery, see "condition 1" and "condition 2."  Assemble the second input section of the circuit from one of the branch arms, add a wire + light trigger + bargraph. Make sure the switch on the light trigger is set to "light". Then, use the mini screwdriver to adjust it's sensitivity. This will cause the circuit to close once the light trigger senses a certain amount of light from its surrounding environment. You can add a bargraph (or any other led) after the light trigger to help visually display whether the light trigger is ON or OFF and to see how bright it is.


Step 3. Connect the sections created in Step 1 and 2 with the double AND + wire (see image "double AND"). Take a look at the logic chart of the double AND as well. It explains how this logic bit functions.


Step 4. is pictured in the galley, see "output." Assemble the rest of the circuit: double AND + wire + pulse + dimmer + buzzer. Use the mini screwdriver to adjust the pulse. This will change the frequency of the buzzer's "beep" sound. You can also adjust the dimmer to control the volume of the "beep" sound.


Step 5. Download the file: "morning sunshine_box template." We used a laser cutter and wood to make the window box, but you can use any accessible material (cardboard, Bristol board, etc.) to do the same thing. Set up the circuit inside each of the boxes individually. Add wires in between the two boxes depending on how far away you want to place your pillow from your alarm.


Step 6. Put the window box in a sunny spot in your bedroom with the light trigger and bar graph facing up. 


Step 7. Place the pillow box under your pillow, and make sure that the roller switch is facing up and touching the pillow.


Step 8. Now the Morning Sunshine alarm is all set up! It's time to wake up with the sun!

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