Bedside light with multiple switches

Project  / Project number: 2021-042  /  Status:

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The challenge

The client has some mobility issues and had not used his bed for some time because he could not easily and quickly locate his bedside light if he needed to get up during the night. He did not want to have to sleep with the main room light on.

The challenge was to build a bedside light with a good level of brightness that also looked reasonable in his bedroom. He wanted to be able to turn on the light before attempting to operate the electric bed control and then get out of the bed. This would preferably be via a switch that was on a cable that could be placed on the bed next to him.

During my first visit I also recognised that being able to turn on the lamp when entering the room would avoid going backwards and forwards round the room switching lights on and off.

The solution

Based on the client’s requirements, I decided to build a light that would have a push button switch on a cable but also a similar switch on the light itself and a third radio remote controlled switch that he could keep in the basket in his his walker so he could turn the light on as he entered the room and so avoid going right across the room in the dark or having to go back to turn off the main room light switch.

The light is based on a Dunelm table lamp and has a simple electronic “toggle” circuit that allows any of the three push button switches to turn the lamp on or off. These switches include a red LED and the two switches that are connected directly to the enclosure have these LEDs illuminated dimly all the time so the switches can be found in the dark. The third switch is in a small plastic enclosure which also accommodates the transmitter of a remote control system, powered by a PP3 battery.

After much searching on the web, it was decided that the simplest solution to the light itself was to use an existing commercial bedside lamp with the brightest available LED candle bulb. It would have been possible to make a low voltage LED solution but this would have required considerable engineering, especially to make it aesthetically acceptable. The lamp base was bought from Dunelm and an 8W 806 lumen warm white bulb fitted. The mains power was switched with a suitably isolated relay and this plus the electronic toggle circuit, switch / LEDs and the remote control receiver were all powered from an isolated 5V power supply and built into a plastic enclosure. This formed the base of the new lamp, the Dunelm lamp base being fixed on top and the cables coming out of the rear, one for the mains supply and one for the cable connected switch.

This picture shows the finished lamp with its cable connected and remote control switches.

This picture shows the lamp installed in the client’s bedroom.

The benefit

The benefit to the client is that he can now use his bed safely at t night knowing that he can easily find the switch and turn on the lamp.

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