My impressions: The overall concept is great. The UX is cool, but some of the UX choices are strange to me. For example, automatically dimming down when you turn the light on (you have to press the button to pause it) vs. the other way around. It works well as a wake-up light, although I would have preferred something higher-blue for the morning.
There's really nothing "low-blue" about this light compared to other 2700K LED lights, other than the fact that it has a dimmer built in. The 2700K diodes they chose don't have better color quality than normal LED bulbs. It has "amber" (somewhere around 2000-2200K) LEDs at the very bottom end of the range that have great color quality, but they are too dim for anything but navigating to the bathroom at night.
They are modulating the LEDs with PWM at a very high frequency, almost 8 kHz. That's better than most of today's smart lighting by far. There's still debate about 100% flicker actually being healthy, even at higher frequencies.
For the lighting nerds, I captured photometric and flicker measurements, which you can review at .
Overall, I think Casper's lamp is a good effort. I hope future versions can improve the color quality, some of the interactions, and the overall healthiness of the light compared to regular lighting.
 Bedtime Bulb: https://bedtimebulb.com/
 Casper Glow Photometrics: https://www.dropbox.com/s/u8n0way6xqwbqcd/Casper%20Glow%20Ph...
I'm firmly in the second category. I want my room to be as dark as possible while I'm sleeping. I don't have a night light right now, but if I did, I would get something that errs on the side of not being lit. For example, a motion-activated one.
If that is what this dim by default behavior is intended to accomplish, then it sounds like a wonderful idea to me. A night light is a hard sell for me in the first place, but this is the sort of thing that might convince me to consider it.
In my opinion, if people are able to sleep in darkness, they should, and it's not a good habit to start kids out sleeping with the lights on.
Why? I usually see issues going the other way, where kids from birth get absolute quiet and dark, then can't get to sleep without those conditions for the rest of their lives (i.e. adults who need blackout curtains and ear plugs to sleep).
Most sleep experts (including pediatric sleep experts) recommend blacking out your room, removing all electronics, etc.
Perhaps an expert in this area can chime in, but I don't think light during sleep is positive.
From an evolutionary biology standpoint, I would expect being able to sleep through light and noise a negative for survival.
By comparison, phone and laptop screens start around 400 lux and go up from there.
Many nightlights I've tried are at least 0.5 lux depending on distance, but are often higher (1 lux or more)
Given the wonders of dark adaptation of the human eye (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Adaptation_(eye)#Dark_adaptati...), does that really matter? In my experience, the full moon is almost bright enough to comfortably read normal black on white printed text.
As a rough estimate, one decade (10x) of the eye’s light adaptation, at most, comes from aperture variation - the pupil expanding and contracting. The rest comes from intensity-driven modification of the sensing and image processing systems in the eye - rods that are completely saturated with signal above a few dozen lux become the primary sensors in very low light.
In other words - just because the moon provides enough light to see and even read doesn’t mean that it will cause insomnia.
It does make me worry how we'll wean him off the sound machine.
It has been shown that even small sources of light can inhibit the secretion of melatonin (the hormone that regulates the circadian rhythm and consequently sleep).
If you use eyeshades, you might feel more rested in the morning (if your bedrooms is not already pitch black dark, that is).
As a personal anecdote, I always feel less rested when I don't use eyeshades.
I own one. If the brightness is anything above the middle mark or so (which you’d want to light up a room), then the device consumes more power than the charger provides, and it dies after 2-3 hours. I believe that’s why the default behavior is to start dimming the moment it is turned on.
It bothers me a bit, but I do really like the product otherwise.
If I was to take just the absolute minimum you'd require for sleep/wake, and getting to the bathroom at night;
1 bulb in a lamp in your bedroom, 1 on the landing and 1 in the bathroom, add 2 Hue motion sensors (or just one if your can live with it turning both the landing and bathroom lights on) and the hub, you're looking at 1 Hue Starter kit and 2 sensors, in an Amazon sale you could do that for around £150, or closer to £200 if not. This is for the colour and white ambiance bulbs, which do full colour and a broad spectrum of white.
Now you have your colour temps for sleep wake, as well as any colours you desire for the landing/hall and bathroom. You have hands free lighting from room to bathroom at night, and can pre configure different light temps, colours and brightness for day/night and can set sleep/wake schedules, sleep timers and various other bits (all without connecting the hub or your phone to their cloud service); if you want some physical control the battery powered dimmer switch can be had for ~£20.
I've been running this for a couple of years now since buying my new home, being able to get up in the middle of the night, hall and bathroom lights automatically turn on to a dim red I've configured for night mode, then wonder back to bed and have them turn them selves off a couple of minutes later has been priceless.
I also don't use an alarm because the bedside lamps are set for "sunrise" at my desired wake time.
The sensors also sense ambient light which you can configure the level of to not activate the lights at all if the natural light level is sufficient in the day. The sensors also hide other features accessible by the (local) API that Hue don't use yet, such as temperature and Lux amongst other things.
The Hue can also be extended almost limitlessly over time to (as I've done) cover your whole home (and outside it with their outdoor lighting).
The question now is, how close in price is that minimal scenario to what these cost Casper lights cost?
I'd say, that price, coupled with the above features, Hue is by far the better deal.
It doesn't have fancy gyro features, but there's no reason someone can't make a ZLL (ZigBee Light Link) accessory with those if they were the killer feature.
I don't know what the grey area is, and there are no axis so I am unsure what this graph is even showing me. Also, wouldn't eliminating "orange" light be just as important (according to the graph you provided), since it seems to follow the same path as green?
Everything else makes sense on the page, it's the graph that threw me.
The graph itself is a comparison of spectral power distributions among several light sources. It's basically the signature of the light source, showing relatively how much of each color is produced in comparison to all the other visible wavelengths.
The gray area is melanopic sensitivity. This is the light that the ipRGCs in the eyes are sensitive to, which provide input to the circadian rhythm. The peak is approximately 480-490 nm, but the overall sensitivity covers both blue and green wavelengths.
There's a great article on the blue/green concept by Ian Ashdown .
If you use the f.luxometer tool , developed by the f.lux team, you will see that same curve.
EDIT (for clarity): In the graph you linked, ignore the color of the lines. That is just to distinguish the different light sources. Just pay attention to the intensity of the wavelengths on the x-axis. The y-axis scale is 0 to 1, as this graph is normalized, so hardly necessary to show. Let me know if I can help clarify this further!
 ipRGCs: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intrinsically_photosensitive_r...
 Melanopic Green: The Other Side of Blue: https://www.ies.org/fires/melanopic-green-the-other-side-of-...
 f.luxometer: https://fluxometer.com/rainbow/#!id=iPad%20Pro/6500K-iPad%20...
Anyway, the trick is that photoreceptor cells are sensitive to a range of frequencies, with weights centered on a particular color, and return a single floating-point output. So your blue cones cannot distinguish bright green and dim blue - that's only calculated by taking the input of the green cones into account, too. See https://i.stack.imgur.com/5snTb.png for what each cone's sensitivity looks like (in this graph, lines are light received by each cone, and the colors are semi-meaningful). If the goal is to not stimulate the blue cones at all, you need to emit as close to pure red light as possible. The wavelength of your light as measured by the single average or dominant color isn't as interesting as the spectrum of all light it emits and how much that overlaps with blue sensitivity.
Also, that's a good point about the colors vs. dotted/dashed lines. I'll look into that, thanks!
Ah, I gather this is why you use red lights at night when you don’t want to disturb your night vision as opposed to a light with any green component (yellow, orange, etc).
Could also be a transformer but since this isn't a high voltage product it's more likely some disk capacitor in the circuitry.
LED driver might have some kind of LC filters on its power input for EMC reasons, but these are too small to meaningfully "sing". On the other hand it may make sense to follow the driver with some kind of reconstruction filter to remove the "high frequency" flicker, but AFAIK nobody does that because it involves costly and large-ish components with significant losses for somewhat questionable benefit.
Indeed, the Casper uses the Ti TPS63021 boost converter, which needs an inductor (L1/L2 on the datasheet sample application). http://www.ti.com/product/TPS63021?qgpn=tps63021
That's really quite high. 300 Hz makes stationary lights seem constant for the majority of people. Does that frequency have an impact on the total lifespan of the LEDs?
When navigating to the bathroom at night the light certainly should be dim or red light only.
hey AT bedtimebulb DOT com
Anybody could make products like this if they just took enough time and care over it. Hardly anybody ever does. (IKEA comes to mind as another good example, and maybe Philips’ Hue lights.)
[Edit to add: I have absolutely no connection with any products or companies I’ve mentioned, in case this comes across as marketing spam! I’m just constantly frustrated at crappy and/or invasive “smart home” devices, so it’s refreshing to see somebody take what seems to me exactly the correct approach, and apparently pull it off very well.]
Name a resource more precious than time and one more scarce than care. What you're talking about is HARD to do.
I'm so confused by this request.
All that said I do want one but I won’t spend that much.
While they don't publish the brightness, I asked Casper support, and they said it is about 375 lumens, which seems right anecdotally (I don't have an integrating sphere to verify). Note that you need to open the app and set "Overall Brightness" to max (just one time, not every time) to get that many lumens, otherwise, it's more like 300.
That's roughly equivalent to a 40 Watt light bulb. 100-150 lux at a usable distance (which is what this would give you) is a good setting for most people (from what I've seen). For my eyes (age 26) that's plenty to read with.
I think that's probably true, especially considering that the light has about all the hardware of a modern smartphone inside, minus the screen.
The big differences between this and smartphones are that smartphones use a lot more chips, most of them very high-density BGAs, and much more powerful ones (esp. the CPU), and have to worry a lot more about heat dissipation. Smartphones probably have more layers in their PCBs too, and that's expensive as well. But the PCB assemblies here I see in this teardown are not simple or cheap. Most consumer electronics try hard to minimize the number of PCBs, and to avoid any complex shapes or cutouts, and definitely try to avoid flex connectors.
On the other hand large amount of cheap(-ish, as it tends to include even high-end AV receivers) tries very hard to avoid FR4 and multilayer boards in general (apparently in high enough volume making four times larger board than required and the huge setup cost for THT assembly autamation makes economic sende)
That being said, it could be done for waaay less if you're willing to compromise on just a few features.
Single LED COB array at the base. Gets rid of ~7 parts (6 pcb Led array, the custom aluminum extrusion, plus all the flax flexes, plus a fair amount of hand assembly. Everything on a single PCB.
Can still do the twist dimming + everything else, the light will just have an orientation.
TBH, 'Custom aluminum extrusion' - this is not a big deal at all. In China, the tool for this is < $1k and for what appears to be about 6 inches, perhaps its a dollar's worth a material if it was WAY overpriced, most likely less than 50 cents. And the tool will last for a long time...
As far as the chips go... I've had much better luck with Asian chip manufacturers -- generally about 1/3 the cost for similar parts. Most have a decent english datasheet. LCSC is a good place to find them.
That said, the advice we got from most of the people we were quoting with was to get the tools made in China, import them to the US and produce the parts locally. We didn't end up doing that but I remember being amazed at the crazy tool quote arbitrage...
Actual processing is much less of a difference, especially at volume. So it makes sense to do tooling in China, production in the US.
I agree with the rest of OPs points though, all the seperate LED boards are a bit excessive.
Life is short, why spend it mad that other people like things you don't, and why spend it upset that there are people spending time on products that you don't want or think are important?
You'd probably hate me because I have most of the things you listed, and I actually think I want to pick one of these up. Sure, I could get something cheaper, but I like that it fades out, I like that it's portable, I like that I can use it to help me wake up better. And despite you and many others classifying these things as useless, the little benefits of stuff like this have added quote a lot to my personal happiness. I can adjust the temperature from the couch, I can make sure my house is locked and the temperature adjusted the other direction after I leave, I can hear announcements when a face that the system recognizes is at the front door, I can just tell the little speaker pods to adjust connected lights or temperatures or doors with my voice, etc...
On their own, none of them are super life changing, but together I am much happier because of it. I sleep better, I wake up easier, I spend less time worrying, my family is safer, and I save electricity from having lights/temp adjusted a bit more "smart" than I can do on my own.
Without a strong intention of calling out the grandparent post, probably because the people, modulated their low attention spans, the internet, and outrage culture, reinforce it.
It's so repetitive. I'm genuinely a bit impressed people have the energy.
I'm glad you're happier. It's a pity you couldn't be happier without over-consumerism.
Do you also feel this same way about art?
I don't really care for this kind of product but I like it when thought has been put into a product and it shows. If something brings joy to the creators and or consumers I'd argue that's a good use of talent.
I often forget to turn off my light before I leave, and I like that I can turn it off remotely or say "turn off the lights" while I'm getting dressed.
I want to wake up to light at a specific time not tied to natural sunrise, and I like that I can schedule my lights.
I have stuff on my bedside table next to my light, so I like that I can turn on my lights with my voice instead of reaching out in the dark to grope for the light switch.
I don't know if it's a _problem_, but the ability to have _bright_ white light for when I've reading, then dimmed to a warmer shade for general use, is useful. Getting the full RGB range is a fun bonus.
> they all have disgusting privacy tradeoffs nobody should be making.
Firewalled - _no_ access to the WAN, and no access to my other LAN devices (separate network, with a hole punched through to allow allow Homekit commands in (and only from my iPad)). Good enough for me.
have you tried those things? they are fun.
this is not transformative in any sense, but it certainly made evening night light discussions a lot easier. (A bright light in her room shines into my room and annoys me. But if we start out with it too dim, she's not happy. This way, we're all happy. :)
Auto-dimming lights that change to warmer, less-blue light at bed time has been awesome for me in improving my sleep hygine. Same bulbs can also auto-brighten with simlar color temperature to sunlight and is a much better wake up experience than the backup alarm on my phone.
The only downside was the price.
Also, smart thermostats have been "meh" since Maker magazines of the 70s. It's time to put and end to it, and move on to something genuinely useful.
I could've sworn when I read this initially, it was $89! I had some stuff to do so kind of filed it away to look at later and now it is selling for $99.
Also, this article seems like an advertisement/blogspam, plus with the sudden price change - I'm very suspicious.
That said, it looks like a really neat product. My daughter has sleep issues (falling asleep - staying asleep) and we've tried all sorts of different lighting to help (she can't stand full darkness) and I'm wondering if a self dimming bedtime lamp like this might help her.
It's written by Bolt, a hardware-focused VC which was founded by some pretty technical people and has a history of publishing teardowns (e.g. the Juicero one which was popular here on HN a while back).
>In 2015, Casper CEO Philip Krim had a months-long email conversation with one of the sites’ founders, sounding like he was ready for Casper to play ball.
>“Currently you actively endorse a competing product on our review page,” Krim wrote in one email, which was made public in court filings. “What can we do to not have you endorse another product as superior to ours?”
I've always gotten the impression that the people running Bolt are extremely inexperienced when it comes to the technical side. Their teardowns and articles are full of errors, or worse, inflammatory statements (looking at their godawful Beats (and fake beats) teardowns) that show that they don't have much practical design experience or even awareness of typical COGS for products.
You are not crazy, it was $89 this morning when I opened the page, versus the $99 it is now.
I understand companies need to change their prices (we do it all the time) but they could've been more circumspect. Do it in the middle of the night on a Tuesday when no one is watching.
The product still seems very impressive - if a bit expensive.
Lol, because computers don't archive/crawl webpages and everyone in the World is asleep at 2am CET (or whatever your/their timezone is). /amused
Oh yes! Last thing before bed I wonder “why did I just have to see the name of the manufacturer of my bathroom taps?”. They are good taps but...
You have a source on that?
This is one estimate saying it's between $300 and $800:
Even if that's wrong, it's certainly under $1000. Gold ones will be higher, of course.
But most brands do not carry that cachet.
Rolex bums me out though because I really like a few of their watches. I just can't get over having their brand name and logo appearing so many times on the watch. It feels tacky to me.
This is one reason why the 'leasing' model for complex gadgets (like phones) appeals to me in an environmental sense. When Apple/VZW/AT&T take back a device, at least they have the resources and incentive to do something better than toss it in a landfill.
Every single one of them could go out of business in the future.
It happens all the time to companies you'd think were "too big to fail":
All of these can go away - and likely will go away.
It's quite possible that Google, Facebook, Amazon, and many others might go away.
I'm honestly surprised that IBM is still around. Sun Microsystems is gone (more or less - they are part of Oracle now, mainly as a name - you might know about the language they developed called "Java"); so is Silicon Graphics...
Apple of course still exists - but it wasn't that long ago that Microsoft had to pump some cash into them just to keep them going so that they wouldn't be accused of being a monopoly (or something of that nature). It's kinda funny, given where Apple is today - and where Microsoft is as well...
Yeah - any and all of these companies can go away - and in fact are likely to.
That's just the way the world is.
They are buying the products to get them off the market so that people will buy more new stuff. Sure, it's better than throwing it away, but just put your device on eBay, you will get more money and also a lot more use. Apple products especially seem to last pretty long.
It's Reduce > Reuse > Recycle
Apples program falls squarely in the very last category.
And for a phone, you are looking at $7 to ship it anywhere in the USPS and 15% fees. You will make out, much better than an apple trade in.
But then, if you want convenience, you will still make out better with something like gazelle or eBay's buyback program.
For a phone, yes, $7 or so will ship it anywhere in the US with a USPS Priority Mail small flat-rate box. But for anything larger, the costs go up; I was kinda talking about the general case of selling any of your stuff on Ebay.
I do agree you'll make out better than some trade-in program if your item is small and high-value and you're willing to put in a little bit of work to list it, take some photos, etc. But my point was that many people are too lazy to do this work, especially people who value convenience over saving money (which describes Apple users to a tee).
Interesting to see that each LED is individually dimmable when the device is not a display (the 3 LED drivers are 16 channels each, and there are 48 LEDs total). Looking at the animations on the article, you should only need 8 channels or so to get the top to bottom effect, using a higher voltage boost to get the LEDs as series strings. It's a fairly expensive LED driver to have that many of them, but I guess designing it that way adds flexibility in future. (A "flickering candle" effect maybe?).
The use of the discrete Nordic IC rather than a module definitely suggests a higher volume product to justify the cert costs, especially as the device is not pushed for space.
Finally, the power management side is also quite premium, with a high current switching battery charger. Looking at another review, it appears to come with a mains adaptor permenantly wired to the base, rather than use Micro USB. As the pogo pins are quite small, the mains adaptor might provide a higher voltage e.g. 12V to reduce the current through the pins, and so a more expensive switching charger is used to step this voltage down for the battery. The battery wiring appears to be doubled up as well for a higher charge current by using more connector pins, so it can probably charge quickly in 2.5 hours or so (0.5C). Surprised they didn't just use a larger connector and wiring, again this isn't a small product.
This might be a feature they ship in the future, "breathing" modes, a sort of rotating lighting pattern etc could all be shipped later.
- the "twist" (to adjust brightness)
- "wiggle" (for low light)
What other smart home products exist that are innovating the manual UX for objects like this?
We’ve just bought a new home and I want to achieve a minimal bedside. We’ve also got two very young children and frequently have to get up during the night. Being able to carry this to their room and sit with them while they settle down seems lovely.
If it is cloud-based, what happens when the service inevitably shuts down?
Edit: Upon further reading it appears that this device has BLE. That's reassuring, at least.
Also, I agree on waiting for eBay, this is a nice device but I can't justify $99 for it.
"It is interesting to think about how this might work strategically for Casper’s business. People don’t buy mattresses very often, and the challenge for a company like Casper is that it spends a lot of money acquiring a customer. Once it has sold them a mattress, the relationship would be over if not for follow-on products (hence pillows, bedding, etc). By launching additional products, Casper can invite its customers to build a lasting relationship and spend more money.
For Casper, it is imperative to extend the lifetime value (LTV) of its customers by continuing to expand its product line, but why the tech complexity? Perhaps to get people on a software platform? Casper’s Chief Product Officer Jeff Chapin realistically admits “There are some people who are never going to download the app and that’s fine.”
With something this unique, I'm certain there will be knock-offs available on Amazon by August. I wonder how Casper will take that into account.
Seems like Casper is stretching to find bed-related accessories, if this is what they came up with first. If anything, I'd want my sleep space to be darker when I want to sleep. As one might get with motorized blackout window shades, blinds, or curtains. As it is, I can reach the toilet perfectly fine on just starlight through windows.
And what kind of fancy expensive night light doesn't have a red/orange mode so as to not screw up one's night vision?
It has no smart anything, it's just a battery powered dimmable lamp with beautiful light.
Comparison with Casper light:
- much cheaper
- has a handle that lets you hang it somewhere
- charges via micro USB
- doesn't have auto-off (will shine all night)
Sounds like an anti-feature to me; the last thing I want is a light that stays on all night.
What would be nice is a nightlight that can sense when I get out of bed in the middle of the night, and light up in red, so I can walk to the bathroom without running into things, and then turn off again when I get back into bed.
Are you looking for something like this? https://www.amazon.com/Aiprov-Fireproof-Induction-Battery-Po...
I'm also not sure how many days it would take for my body to adjust to direct sunlight and sleep through it using blankets as blockers.
Those pogo pins aren't going to last very long.
A classic one is on the Dropbox 2007 launch post (https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=9224).
In retrospect, some product ideas are dumb. Others are good. But because we see this kind of comment so often (really not trying to pick on you!), I wanted to point out that it might be a good habit for lots of people to notice if they are trying to describe a product by its list of features, and maybe think if that is the best way to achieve their goals.
Again, not trying to pick on you in particular, I think that habit is incredibly common for tech people in particular. And there's a lot positive to be said about that style of interaction.
(Also always lost in the mythologizing of this quote is that the first version of the iPod was not good. Mechanical click wheel, mac only, it took them a revision to disprove my statement!)
Since I have your attention, thanks for all the good years of Slashdot! Hope you're doing well.
Best case scenario it becomes a hit as the philips hue, but at the end of the day it's a gadget, it's shiny, it's new, it's trendy, but it's still a gadget. Sure it fulfils some kind of weird pseudo-need but it's not going to revolutionise anything.
It's wonderful to see a company building smart equipment that doesn't require a smartphone to operate.
For me personally, it made it easier to get out of bed, but it didn't make me feel more awake. It lessened the struggle, but I (not a blind test or hard data) feel like it sometimes made me feel less awake all morning. This made me pay more attention to sleeping multiples of 1.5 hours instead of just any amount, which helped a bit, and which I still do today (conversely, I haven't used the light in years, though I was recently thinking about it again).
Overall, I would recommend to try it, but it was pretty expensive so having 14 days (as one does when buying online in the EU) to return it and get your money back is recommendable as well.
Edit: this looks like a second iteration of the model I had: https://ic.tweakimg.net/ext/i/1289910640.jpeg
It actually works really well for me. I feel great in the morning and the rest of the day too. I did not have very healthy hours before, though.
Not sure about iOS.
Does someone knows a similar product that’s available in the EU?
I’ll try to find something on amazon though, it literally ruins my sleep, thanks!