Maker Daniel Danyk decided to tackle the problem of poor sleep in a somewhat unusual way: building a home-brew LED lighting system designed to be free of blue and cyan hues, to support melatonin production.
"[I want to] build my own custom circadian LED [light] using the housing of a cheap Chinese LED and my own LED assembly," Danyk explains. "A circadian LED lamp is meant for illumination during evenings for you to get a better sleep. You shouldn't be exposed to much bluish light in the evening because sunlight in the evening is also sort of orangish and it doesn't contain too much blue. And people have used fire for millions of years, which also mostly contains red, orange and yellow."
The idea is to support the body's natural circadian cycle, which is believed to be synchronized to daylight. Artificial lighting with enough blue in it confuses the body, research has suggested, causing it to suppress melatonin production — the substance responsible for synchronizing your circadian rhythm and the lack of which can cause issues with getting to and remaining asleep at night.
Rather than rely on an adjustable RGB LED, or even an off-the-shelf color lamp, Danyk began the process of building something from scratch — taking apart an existing LED lamp to reuse the housing and building a circuit board that combines circular rows of 28 red LEDs, 16 yellow LEDs, 24 yellow-green LEDs, and four phosphor-yellow LEDs — all chosen to blend together into a pleasant red-orange without a hint of blue in the spectrum.
Once assembled — a process which involved, in Danyk's approach, "a kilogram of leaded solder, a bucket of rosin or two, and this 70s or 80s soldering gun" on a circuit board created by spinning a disc on a drill and scratching off the copper using a rotary tool — the resulting light is a far cry from its original Chinese internals.
Danyk's full build video is available on his DiodeGoneWild YouTube channel, complete with hand-draw schematics.