Friday, December 18, 2015

Spark Lamp Update

At the beginning of the year, I posted my Spark Lamp project. It worked fine most of the time but I noticed when I would get home from work and flip the light switch on the wall to turn the lamps on, it would take 10 to 15 seconds before the lights actually turned on. This really started to become an issue when Daylight Savings ended in November and it was dark out when I got home from work.
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Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Spark Lamp

     There is a light switch on the wall at the entrance of the bedroom in my apartment. You would imagine it would turn on the bedroom lights, but since there are not ceiling lights in the bedroom, it can't do that. What it actually controls is the power to a single receptacle on the wall. In the past, I've had two lamps plugged into this one receptacle. The lamps sit on nightstands on either side of the bed, but there is a problem. Imagine you're getting ready for bed. It's dark out, so as you walk into the bedroom, you flip the light switch on and the lamps come on. Just as expected. Now you're going to bed and you want the lights off - you have two choices: go to the wall and flip the switch again, or individually turn the lamp's power switches off. Of course you're not going to get out of a warm and comfortable bed to flip the light switch so you turn the lamps off. Now here's the dilemma. In the morning, you want the lights back on, right? You have to clumsily reach under both lampshades to turn the lights back on because the light switch won't do squat if the lamps are powered off. That's what this project aims to solve. The light switch will work as any other light switch does - flip it up and both lamps come on and down to turn them both off. Each lamp will have a switch that not only has the ability to turn that lamp on or off, but also to control the other lamp just as easily. And finally, have control of the lights and read their status over the internet. Because this is the future and I want to turn lights on I can't even see. Read on to see how to do it.