tim: Mike Slackernerny thinking "Scientific progress never smelled better" (science)
[personal profile] tim
In case you were wondering, all the jokes are true: San Francisco really is cold and foggy in the summer. The weather's actually varied between cold and warm lately, but there hasn't been a lot of sunlight, even in the supposedly-sunny Mission -- it doesn't help that my bedroom has one small window that faces onto an air shaft. I've been having trouble waking up in the mornings, even though (unlike certain times in the past) I really do look forward to getting out and going to work. So I think it's physiological; I have SAD, and past experience has taught me that supposedly-sunny Northern California doesn't generally provide the sunlight that I need.

I'll only be living here two more weeks anyway, but I wanted to get the benefits of being in the office when other people are, which is the whole reason why I wanted to be in San Francisco for my first month of work. I have a dawn simulator -- this particular model is no longer being manufactured, but it still works fine. I also have a 250-watt incandescent lamp to use with it. Bright lamps are hard to find these days, so I had to go to a hardware store that sold animal supplies and buy one that is usually used for incubating baby chicks. The price was right, though. The lamp, though, is currently in some unknown location in my storage space, and I didn't want to excavate it. So I thought I would just go buy another lamp, which will be useful in my next apartment anyway.

Easier said than done -- it's hard to find incandescent bulbs these days (and I don't want to waste electricity or start a fire, which I was always worried about with the chicken lamp), and most compact fluorescent bulbs can't be used with a dimmer switch, which is basically what a dawn simulator is. LED lights can be dimmed, but they're still very expensive. The solution I finally hit upon was to buy a standing lamp with sockets for three 100-watt bulbs at a thrift store ($10!) and buy three dimmable 26-watt (100-watt equivalent) CFLs (which cost more than the lamp, at $10 each) at Cole Hardware. I would have liked a single bulb, but they don't seem to make them any brighter than that (there was an entertaining giant 500-watt equivalent CFL bulb in the store, but it was non-dimmable).

Then for the moment of truth! Disappointingly, "dimmable" seems -- at least for the particular brand of light bulb I bought -- to mean that it has 3 brightness settings, one of which is "off". Then again, maybe I don't need a very gentle brightness curve to wake up in the mornings. Also, it has the cool feature of flickering when it's at full brightness. Maybe that will wake me up too, though, and give me the relaxing sensation of being at a rave.

The main reason I'm writing this post, besides to entertain myself, is to see if there's anyone else out there who uses a dawn simulator, light-based alarm clock, LED light bulb that can be programmed with a smartphone, or any similar thing, and find out what their experiences have been and what they would recommend!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-07-22 02:53 am (UTC)
juli: hill, guardrail, bright blue sky (Default)
From: [personal profile] juli
Sounds like the dimmable CFLs I bought, which burn out if actually attached to a dimmer rather than a 3-stage switch, are hella expensive, and make a fucking loud buzzing. Good times!

(no subject)

Date: 2014-07-22 07:11 am (UTC)
ivy: Two strands of ivy against a red wall (Default)
From: [personal profile] ivy
I have three halfway-through-their-life-cycle full spectrum incadescents if you want 'em (I swapped them out for LEDs) -- I think they work fine with dimming, and if not, well, they were just sitting in my cabinet anyway. Send me a shipping address and they're yours.

I have a dawn simulator, but no way of arranging it to be as close to my face as the instructions suggest without redoing the bedroom in a way that makes no sense. So far, all I've really gotten it to do is surprise wake me with gospel music, which was not the intended use case. I haven't tried hard, though, since Seattle summers have an early dawn. I'll care again in two months.

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tim: Tim with short hair, smiling, wearing a black jacket over a white T-shirt (Default)
Tim Chevalier

September 2014

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