A Story of Light and Sleep



One of the secrets to happiness is having the possibility to lie down in bed, organize yourself neatly under the blanket and between your pillows, close your eyes, and THEN shut the room’s light. In this post I will tell you the years-long story of my journey towards “perfecting” remote-light-switching devices.

So, it all began a few years ago (let’s say 5), when I was absolutely tired of feeling my way through the darkness of my room and from walking from the light switch on the wall to my bed every night. I decided to take action and do something about this horrible situation.

I began by building a simple hammer out of Lego, that was positioned on a hinge above the light switch, and when dropped, would press on the switch and close the light. Not long later, I motorized the mechanism and gave it the ability to close and open the light switch – using Lego again, and a long cable that was attached to the wall all the way from the light switch.

The original hammer, found in a drawer this week.

But as the years progressed the mechanism began to show signs of tear and did not work as well as I wanted it to – living without the ability to shut the lights from bed was not something I was willing to endure. Therefore, the decision to ramp-up the tech behind the loved light switching device has been made. Following the decision I have built two almost identical remote controls that signal two devices that work in different ways and serve two different people.

The first device utilizes a relay, an Arduino Pro mini, and an NRF24L01 chip. It controls the current flow of a high voltage electrical socket. That means that all it does is turn on/off anything that is connected to its electrical socket. This device along with a designated remote control now lives at a friend’s house.

The second method is a purely mechanical one, where a servo is used to physically press the light switch. This device also incorporates the NRF2L01 chips (whose simplicity makes them a pleasure to use). This mechanism now lives just outside of my sister’s bedroom door. I must say that randomly hearing the servo operating the light switch when I visit makes me happy. It is great to see your creations being used daily, and hopefully slightly improving the lives of others.


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