Wednesday, April 6, 2011


(This was actually a December project, but it was only recently permanently mounted, so you're hearing about it now.)

So, Lauren was living in a basement room. No windows. This made getting up in the morning quite difficult, as it was always pitch black in there. As I have a predilection for elaborate technological solutions, I suggested we should make a lightbox disguised as a window, lit with daylight bulbs. I've always enjoyed how psychologically powerful the trick of daylight-colored light coming through fake windows is. So that's what we did.

We found a nice antique stained glass window at an architectural salvage store. Originally I planned on adding drapes, but that was before finding such a gorgeous window to work with. It's mounted on a simple wooden box I made, with hinges at the top and a latch at the bottom.

The electronics are hidden inside. I probably should have gone with 4 banks of tubes, but even the really cheap units were a bit pricey. The box was finished with some ebony stain, which nicely matched the weathered, mildewed window frame.

I'm quite happy with the result, for such a simple build. It's hooked up to a power strip with a built-in programmable timer, so it turns on 15 minutes before the alarm goes off.

One caveat: It was recently discovered that napping in the evening with the lightbox on can really, really mess up your Circadian rhythms. You have been warned.

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