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Shepherd's Delight

red light at night
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There you are, waking up at night, feeling the need to go and use the bathroom. You navigate alright out of the bedroom, along the corridor and to the bathroom <phlam> turn on the bathroom light, relieve whatever natural call you were answering, then turn off the bathroom light and wander back down the corridor, bumping into things as you go walk in the dark, then bumping into bed.

Basically, the eye takes about 40 minutes to properly adjust to the dark, and about 5 seconds to readjust again to bright light after which you're useless at night vision.

My suggestion is for a two colour bulb in bathrooms : during the day it works like a normal light, but at night time, when you switch it on it glows red (which doesn't affect your night vision), so you can wander back to bed with no problems.

N.b. it knows when it's night because of a timer
yep, obviously you can turn the lights on everywhere but that'll wake up partners/pets and the like.
at night, if you turn the light on twice in quick succession, it flips to normal whiteish light, for bathroom based emergencies.
neilp, Mar 09 2004

LED'ed light bulb http://www.ccrane.c..._white_led_bulb.asp
make some of those red [Laughs Last, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Never heard of nightlights? http://www.totsafe....etail.asp?prod=8309
Dim lamps that come on (or are switched on) at night so you don't stub your tootsies. [DrCurry, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

Night Reader Red LED Keychain Flashlight http://www.astromax...er/night_reader.htm
[waugsqueke, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

UK Dimmer http://www.halfbake...om/idea/UK_20Dimmer
For use in shaver plugs. [Worldgineer, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

Pull cord type switch http://www.electric...catalog/Dimpull.jpg
For whoever it was who wanted to know what one looks like. [RobertKidney, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 05 2004]

UK Wiring Regs for Bathrooms http://www.iee.org/...ireRegs/updates.cfm
See third Link: Amendment No 3 AMD10983 [Nick Perry, Oct 04 2004, last modified Oct 21 2004]

[link]






       I found a dimmer to be fairly effective, but that's a bit too simple.
half, Mar 09 2004
  

       I shudder to think what might happen in the course of a nocturnal bathroom trip that must, I repeat -- must, be seen in normal light.
dpsyplc, Mar 09 2004
  

       [dpsyplc] - I refer to things like inspecting sore (red) eyes, applying make-up nocturnally when you're going out late at night, but you partner's not, obscure things like that.
Or if you live in a <singing>Red House over yonder</singing>.
neilp, Mar 09 2004
  

       Why, you could set up whole districts this way.   

       Funny, this roughly corresponds to a Dr Hyde experiment I've been on for the past three months. The house that I live in is buried deep in the north face of a steep hill. All interior lighting is red light. I consume vast quantities of carrots. No results yet on whether or not my vision has improved, but I'll keep you posted.
Mungo, Mar 10 2004
  

       Perhaps a PIR sensor on the light fitting, coupled to a voltage dropper (assumes incandescent bulbs), to provide a glow initially, plus some sort of override for full illumination. Saves trying to find that pesky light switch.
unclepete, Mar 10 2004
  

       it might be easier to rig up a layered shade - a red layer that descends over the normal daytime shade...
po, Mar 10 2004
  

       [neilp] should stop the things that go bump in the night.   

       Suggest replacing the timer with a light sensor on the outside of the building, linked to all lights within the house/apartment/grass hut. That way, it can flick to night vision light at the most appropriate point.   

       like [tsuka], I'm unsure if a two-colour bulb is possible. Standard light bulbs produce light through the filament - the colour of the light emitted is as a result of the colour of the glass and you can't really have a two tone coloured glass.   

       Maybe LEDs are the way forward... how much light can they emit?
jonthegeologist, Mar 10 2004
  

       [half] a dimmer in the bathroom... not in the UK.   

       In fact no wall mounted switches allowed inside the typical bathroom (unless its huge; and by bathroom I mean room with a sink or bath) which would mean the double switching* thing might be a bit tricky as pull cords are really easy to double-pull unintentionally.   

       How about using an energy saving bulb (ones with a flourescent tube and built-in ballast). They always start off relatively dim and take a few minutes to reach full brightness.   

       [* this originally said "double witching" hence...]
Nick Perry, Mar 10 2004
  

       // the double witching thing // ... now we're onto a seriously different subject ;)
jonthegeologist, Mar 10 2004
  

       How about adding an accessory programable light switch that would randomly start wailing a police siren, and strobing the red/white lights? Perhaps give it 1/1000 odds that it'll wake up the neighbors and temporarily blind you.   

       Very nice, [neilp]. Bun, sir!
Letsbuildafort, Mar 10 2004
  

       [Nick Perry], could a dimmer switch be mounted on the wall just outside the bathroom?
GenYus, Mar 10 2004
  

       I think it would be easier to just have 2 switches. OR a cool idea would be the samething only a night light that sences when it's dark, I have something similar to it.   

       [begin american ignorance]
Nick perry, why are there no light switches in UK bathrooms? What about outlets? where do you plug in your hair dryers , electric shavers and ultrasonic toothbrush cleaners?
Freefall, Mar 10 2004
  

       Thats sort of the point. We don't plug in electrical apliances in a room which is mostly used for getting wet.   

       Not sure how many lives it saves, if any, but its not a hard rule to live with.   

       You can have shaver type sockets.
RobertKidney, Mar 10 2004
  

       //N.b. it knows when it's night because of a timer// Problem: The timer won't know when you want bright light at night anyway, e.g. if you come home from a party. A more user friendly system could have a microphone and speech analyzer. It always turns on the low light first, but if it hears "Damn it's dark in here" it cranks up the light. Alternatively the furniture in the bath room could be equipped with vibration sensors to turn on the light if you bump into something.
kbecker, Mar 10 2004
  

       [Nick Perry], maybe the dimmer's not *in* the bathroom, but isn't there a light switch some place?   

       BTW - don't you folks have GFI protected circuits over there? Or are we talking about older construction? I don't believe the U.S. is *that* technologically advanced over the U.K. Then again, I've never been to the U.K., so what do I know about it.
half, Mar 10 2004
  

       We can only have light pulls, not rocker switches or round dimmers that you could potentially touch with wet hands. You therefore can't have sockets which you can plug things into, except for shaver sockets. Lights over mirrors etc have to have pull switches.
hazel, Mar 10 2004
  

       <note to other Americans>Had to look up "shaver socket" - turns out these have a maximum of 50W, so you can only plug certain appliances in (such as electric razors).</ntoa>
Worldgineer, Mar 10 2004
  

       shaver sockets (UK) are two-pin and can be used for shavers and electric toothbrushes. Nothing else. Most other appliances in the UK run of 3pin 230V supply and therefore can not be used in bathrooms. In fact, it's illegal to have a standard electricity supply in a bathroom in the UK. Safer, so I'm told.
jonthegeologist, Mar 10 2004
  

       So, these "light pulls", they're like a cotton string hanging down from the ceiling/wall fixture?   

       (Note to self: build a pull dimmer switch/socket for the U.K. market)
half, Mar 10 2004
  

       Heh. No, thanks.
half, Mar 10 2004
  

       "Dimmer in the Bathroom"? Wasn't that a song by The Beat?
lostdog, Mar 10 2004
  

       An entire series of variable wattage lights of different hues. Each light is coded to a variant of 'the clapper' so the red non-blinding light for instance, might be two finger snaps, while floodlight yellow megawatt is three toe taps. Additional lights queued to coughs, sneezes, snorts and sniffles. Your bathroom would become the hot spot of the apartment.
Mungo, Mar 10 2004
  

       Sockets and switches in the bathroom in the UK: General basis of the regulations is that you can't reach a switch or socket while standing in water, ie bath or shower. Therefore even some areas of wall just outside bathrooms are off limits. Think about which side doors are usually hung on compared to the bath. Even though I know this I have no idea if it actually saves any lives per year, or when the regulations where put in place. I I think the regualtions I refer to were put in place in the early 70's and I haven't come across any amendments. Anyway I like the sound of being able to dim the bathroom lights. How about a variable speed fan, or maybe I should just buy a quieter fan!
afrocelt, Mar 10 2004
  

       Ah, America, the land of the free, where I can use my electric hedge trimmer in the bathroom any time I take a notion to.
half, Mar 10 2004
  

       If you can't site your switch 3m from the bath, it has to be outside the room. In practice it means your average bathroom has to have the switch on the ceiling - hence the long cord to activate it. Apropo this idea, any selection of dim/full strength ought to be "hands free"   

       For the curious, UK "shaver sockets" (conform to BS EN 60742) are 240V 1A max and are electically isolated from the mains via a transformer and even then must not be directly above a bath or shower; MCBs are increasingly common and the norm for new installations; RCBs/ELCBs less so for the whole house but are required for any fixed appliance between arms-length and 3m (roughly) from the bath;   

       ...moving off the IEE Wiring Regs before we get on to earth bonding... back to the matter at hand...   

       The really clever trick would be if the light in question knew the state of the light at the room's threshold. Hence if you move from a dark (or dim) hallway into the bathroom, it could presume you want dim light. This works if you walk from the bedroom to bathroom in dim, or no light.
Nick Perry, Mar 10 2004
  

       I used to have a red LED squeeze flashlight for viewing star maps at night while sky gazing. Common accessory for amateur astronomers. (linky)   

       (In fact, the maps I have are printed with different colours of ink - and they use red ink for the interesting but not really need-to-know facts when one is out trying to locate the Messier object in the sky - so this info doesn't show up under the red light.)
waugsqueke, Mar 10 2004
  

       I got rid of the hedge in my bathroom, it was beginning to take up way too much space.
po, Mar 11 2004
  

       This excellent idea, could be greatly enhanced by the addition of a sonar ping sound effect, and a *silent running* flush.
nichpo, Mar 11 2004
  

       Ok, I've solved your issues. See link.
Worldgineer, Mar 11 2004
  

       Only open one eye when you're doing your bathroom business (careful mind; your depth perception won't be that hot). Then use the eye that wasn't exposed to the white light to navigate your way back to bed (careful of those doors mind; your depth perception won't be that hot).
jamieb, Mar 11 2004
  

       It strikes me another transatlantic subtlety may make some of the restrictions moot. I guess [neilp] uses the term 'bathroom' where subjects of Her Majesty might say 'loo'. And if you have your loo in an adjacent room to the actual room with a bath/ shower then the prospects for wall mounted switches which satisfy this design are a whole lot better.   

       This assumes that you are a man and are therefore uninterested in washing your hands after using the loo in dim light.
Nick Perry, Mar 11 2004
  

       [neilp] is in fact a subject of Her Majesty [Nick], even if he is currently residing in antipodean climes.
hazel, Mar 12 2004
  
      
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