Interactive Nightlight
november 2008
objective: design and build an interactive nightlight that aids the process of putting children to bed
initial concept: a playful nightlight
concept exploration: CAD model
concept exploration: manufacturing plans
prototyping: LED electrical connection
prototyping: vertical LED and magnet assembly testing

- light assemblies were not reliable due to interaction with other assemblies

prototyping: horizontal LED separated from magnet assembly testing
- separating LEDs from magnetic switch allows for more reliability, but magnetic switches continue to interact with one another when assemblies are this close
prototyping: diagonal LED separated from magnet assembly testing
- diagonal distance between LED and magnetic switch provides a nice balance between predictability and randomness for the user
primary challenges encountered during prototyping
  1. cumulative behavior of magnets
  2. induced magnets (LED, LED leg, resistors)
  3. magnetic flux terminates on intermediate magnetic materials (LEDs moved beside switch)
  4. anything that shields a magnet also interacts with its magnetism
  5. heat damages magnetism (limits on soldering near magnet)
  6. commercial tubing has poor tolerance
assembly: diagonal LED separated from magnet assembly testing
from concept to reality
a playful, interactive nightlight

Putting a child to bed is often a difficult part of the day. My interactive nightlight helps make the bedtime experience one that parents and children will look forward to. Using a simple wand, children and parents can draw upon a canvas to create interesting patterns and effects as varied as their imaginations - like stars sprinkled on the night sky, pixie-dust from Tinkerbell, fireflies, or even robot lights.

The nightlight is comprised of custom designed magnetic switches attached to LEDs. A certain amount of randomness provides surprises and delight for those playing with it.



Copyright © Nina Joshi 2010. Last updated 3.25.10.