Circadia Sunrise Lamp Alarm

Florian loves sleeping and, like many of us, he doesn’t enjoy waking up. Alarm clocks irritate him, and radio alarms can be a musical disappointment, depending on the station.

For many, the lack of sunlight during winter months makes waking up even more of a struggle, with no bright glare through the curtains helping to prise our eyelids apart.

Iiiii… don’t knooooow-aaaaa… what the words reaaaaally aaaaaare…

Picking up on the concept of sunrise alarm clocks, and wanting to incorporate music into the idea, Florian decided to build the Circadia Sunrise Lamp. 

Standing just under two metres tall, the lamp consists of three parts: the top section, housing a 3D-printed omnidirectional speaker system and orbiting text display; the midsection, home to 288 independently controlled RGB NeoPixel LEDs; and the bottom section, snugly fitting a midwoofer, Raspberry Pi, audio amp, and power supplies.


Florian spent two years, on and off, working on the lamp and it’s fair to say that once he started getting to grips with the Python code, and was able to see the visual results, he became hooked on adding more and more themes. From Manila Sunrise to Sumatra Rain, each theme boasts its own colour cycle and soundtrack, all lasting approximately 40 minutes from start to refreshingly wonderful complete awakening. Florian writes:

[The lamp] makes it quite a bit easier for me to get out of bed every morning (with a silly grin on my face). It’s really surprisingly effective and hard to describe. Rather than being resentful that it is already time to get up, I am now more inclined to be eager to get going. If someone had told me how well this actually works I would have put a sunrise lamp in my bedroom years ago. 

But he didn’t stop there.

As the lamp’s main purpose is to wake Florian up in the morning, it was inevitably spending the majority of the day idle. To tackle this, Florian incorporated a music-reactive light show, plus an interactive version of Tetris because, to quote from makers the world over, “Why not?”

Florian, in all his brilliant maker glory, has provided an in-depth blog of the Circadia Sunrise Lamp, documenting the processes, the successes, and failures of the build, as well as his continued development of new themes.

We’ve seen a few different sunrise lamps, alarm clocks, and light shows over the years, all using a Raspberry Pi. But this one, combining elegant physical style with well-coded functionality, is certainly one of our favourites.


AndrewS avatar

Very impressive! I think the Arctic mode would make me want to stay snuggled up in bed though ;-)

Shannon Spurling avatar

If you ever played System Shock, that warp core theme would not be a pleasant way to wake up. :-)
This is really cool. I want one!

latesunrise avatar
Peter avatar

As someone who freely admits to be a morning grouch, I need to build one of these!!

Donald Foltz avatar

What an awesome lamp! To build on that “why not?” attitude, why not integrate Alexa into the project as well?

Tomek avatar


Jamin Szczesny avatar

I had a major audio lag on YouTube and other video sites.
I installed: “apt-get install pavucontrol” and then running it “pavucontrol” set my Output Device Latency offset (Advanced Dropdown) to 800ms (for me, you might be different) to sync the audio back up. Now all is well =)

This led me to the quick and painless fix if you want to know more:

Comments are closed