Move over, coffee bean

August 09, 2016 // By EDN Europe
Mark Patrick, Mouser Electronics
It’s that tricky post-lunch period. All your body’s resources are concentrated on digesting that too carb-laden lunch your eye hit upon first when you went into the canteen

All you wanted was something quick before you went back to your desk. Now your eyes are getting heavy and you could really do with a nap. Coffee! That’s what you need to wake you up and get you firing on all cylinders again. But now there’s an alternative. Enter centre stage HEAVN One , incorporating Visual Caffeine embedded software, the high tech alternative to the caffeine kick for which we often rely on the coffee bean.

Figure 1: HEAVN daylight function

It’s a multi-function table-top lamp that’s designed to provide optimized levels of light that mimic those delivered naturally by the sun: bluer light in the morning; more subdued and warm-toned later in the day. The level of light delivered changes automatically. When you need the boost that you might otherwise turn to caffeine to provide, there’s a ‘coffee’ button that delivers a 30-minute boost of bluer light designed to kick-start your biorhythms. Just as the effects of caffeine wear off after ingestion, so the ‘coffee’ light decays naturally. The artificial light delivered by standard office lighting certainly serves the function of illuminating the workspace, but it can be far from ideal. Those whose desks are by a window can fare better, but it’s still not the same as a natural open-air environment. Small wonder that some employees ‘sag’ in the office, particularly on winter days when the levels of daylight are lower and its hours are shorter anyway.

HEAVN One is designed to provide all the light its users could possibly want. It combines the function of desk lamp, ‘daylight’ panel and a ceiling spot that illuminates the ceiling above the light. The three LED surfaces provide luminosity of 1200 or 4500 lumens, and consume power of either 12.5 or 38W. iPhone users who don’t like the kind of sun they’re getting can even use a specially-developed app to select the location they feel they’d like to be in and the Visual Caffeine software will adjust its light offering to imitate the hours of sunlight you’d be getting from that location. That could be particularly useful for those working night shifts… And otherwise, in the evening, the daylight function turns off automatically to calm down the user, leaving just the desk light.

While daylight and coffee functions fade automatically, the user has full programmability from buttons on the lamp. For those who’ve overdone the coffee (in its more conventional liquid form), there’s even a relax button that provides a ‘calming, warmer light’, while the button that provides an additional dose of blue light to enhance productivity is time-limited to save the user from overdosing on light. Those who want to integrate the light with home automation products have a Bluetooth API interface to play around with.

The HEAVN One is based around the nRF51822 multi-protocol system-on-a-chip from Trondheim-based Nordic Semiconductor that’s been designed for ULP (Ultra Low Power) wireless applications. The system features a 2.4GHz radio transceiver and incorporates a 32-bit ARM low power Cortex-M microcontroller . Its PPI (Programmable Peripheral Interconnect) uses a 16-channel bus that means peripheral components