I have been working on my own custom wakeup-light on and off for several years (part 1, part 2, part 3). After getting Philips Hue lights, however, I have not gotten around to setting it up in my new apartment. So recently, when the need came along, I figured the quarter round rod I used for that project might also make a pretty nice looking bed light.
I cut one of the old rods to length and taped it to the headboard to see how it would look:
This could work! I borrowed the old driver board from the wakeup light and hooked up a couple of potentiometers to an Arduino to try the whole thing out:
After convincing myself (and subsequently the significant other) that this was a good idea, I went at designing and 3D-printing some mounting brackets to replace the silver tape that held the v1 in place.
The last version was long enough to hold the rod and had holes to let the cable escape invisibly out the back of the headboard:
Looking way better already!
The next thing to work on was the electronics. Using potentiometers and analog inputs was not really ideal as the light would flicker and change even by just touching the knobs or the cables and required frequent polling of the inputs in the code. Also, the potentiometers I had were only single-turn.
To make a more reliable control, I ordered some EC11 and EC12 “coded switches” or rotary encoders from Aliexpress. These turn just like potentiometers, but are really acting like switches, opening and closing in a sequence that lets you decide which way they are rotating. The main advantage of this is that there is no need to sacrifice an entire analog input channel just for the sake of having a rotary knob and furthermore, the pins can be hooked up to pin interrupts, removing the need for polling altogether. The ones I got could also be pushed like a button, which I could use to switch between brightness and color mode instead of having two separate knobs like before.
After getting the encoders in the mail, I designed yet another version of the holder that would also house the control knob:
The knob looks a bit out of place and is bigger than is really needed. I will probably try making a smaller one that fits the style of the whole thing a bit better for version 4. And then it would also be neat if the light could be controlled over wifi of course… But first I will figure out a way to hide the electronics so that they are not on top of the headboard!
The 3D-printed parts I made fit the bed IKEA Malm really well but are fairly simple in design. If you still would like me to share them for your own project, drop a comment below!