Maker Monday: Making a Wake Up Light, and Why We Do This

 Originally published on June 01, 2018 by Shaun Behrens
Last updated on February 10, 2020 • 4 minute read

As announced a few weeks ago, Maker Monday is a new YouTube show presented by Paessler, where you can get ideas and tips as some of our IT administrators assemble and configure Smart Home gadgets. We're already on our third episode, and in this post we get you up to speed on what's happened so far. And, as a bonus, we reveal why we do do this. 

Previously On Maker Monday

In episode 1, we got the basics ready, and in episode 2 we set up some wireless power sockets. In our third episode (which we've split into 3 parts), we're putting together a wake up light. In part one, Bernd, an IT admin here at Paessler, assembles the light and gets the software ready. In part 2, he configures the light, and in part 3 (release date: June 25th) he sets up the automation in Home Assistant. 

Watch the latest episode below, and be sure to let us know in the comments of anything you'd like to see built in upcoming episodes. 

But Why Do We Do This?

I feel the need to address this comment we got on Facebook about Maker Monday (I've copied and pasted the comment as-is): 

"...everyone can buy smart home starter kit or the whole package with all possible things that one can imagine, easy to install (let's be serious, almost all of those gadgets are plug in, that's all you need to do)"

Let's just unpack that, bit by bit. First up, I'll admit: the poster has a point. You can just go and buy smart devices - say, a wake up light - in a store. Those devices do in fact just "plug in" and work. And sure, that would be far easier than doing the 3D printing, assembling, soldering, downloading frameworks, writing scripts, and configuring the automation. 

So why do we do all of that, instead of just buying the "whole package"?

Well, because it's just so much freaking fun! Because it's a great way to learn new things. And because we have the ability to build it exactly how we want to. 

So to answer the original poster: there is nothing wrong with buying smart devices in the store. Even I take that route, because mostly I'm just too damn lazy. But the very core of the maker culture is a "Do It Yourself" mindset. 

Sneak Peak: Temperature Logger

Once we're done with the wake up light, we'll set up a temperature logger to measure temperature, air humidity, and other environmental data. Look out for that episode in July!