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Genius Boyfriend

A heart-filled story of trials and tribulations with blue LEDs.

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Here's a great story, submitted via the feedback form from Ryan, a SparkFun customer:

Several months ago I started dating a lovely girl from the next town over. Things went very well from the start, with one exception - she, being afraid of the dark, cannot sleep without the TV on, and I, being easily entertained and distracted, cannot sleep with the TV on. After a bit of disagreement, she proposed that I ought to purchase a night-light, and that might solve the problem. I asked her what kind of a night-light she had in mind, and she mentioned that it would be extremely cool to have a blue one.

Having just seen the killer blue LEDs on sale at Sparkfun, my brain starting spinning. I could purchase a boring, mass-produced night-light at the neighborhood grocery store for two dollars, or I could spend quite a bit more and order some fun new goodies from Sparkfun and design an LED-powered night-light from scratch.

Needless to say, I chose the latter. I purchased a fresh, new bread-board, some components, a bag full of those great LEDs, a few different proto-boards, new spools of wire and a few other odds and ends. Several days later, I spread it all out on my workbench and ended up creating what has got to be the most expensive, but certainly one of the most awesome, night-lights ever.

The circuit itself is dirt-simple, DC circuits 101 kind of stuff, but it works spectacularly, looks great, does an amazing job of lighting up a room, and has ended all disagreements about the TV.

...Plus, now my girlfriend thinks I'm some kind of genius. I showed her the schematic and insisted that it's the most basic of all kid stuff electronics, but she still thinks it's amazing.

Here's a link to the gallery of pictures I took of the project at various build stages: http://homepage.mac.com/geosword/PhotoAlbum17.html

Thank you a hundred million times Sparkfun! Your products and service absolutely rock, and I look very forward to the next thing that you and I build together. :)

Regards, Ryan

You rock Ryan! Thank you so much for sharing your story! I wish we could all look so valiant in front of our loved ones. I am more likely to get a 'you're crazy' look as opposed to a 'you're a genius' look. Our hat is off to you sir!

Comments 12 comments

  • Who would have ever thought that electronics project better relationships. Well done and super cool.

  • Similarly, I made my boyfriend a very simple desk lamp because his study space was...well, terrible! He's taking Law and I'm taking Product Design and Technology.
    Instead of being impressed he decided it was a threat to his masculinity. And here's a man doing the same thing and being called a genius. It amuses me.

  • I really dig the creative use of the blank CD holder for the project case. Did you know SparkFun sells a handy dandy clear project casing? I'm sure you did, AWESOME ingenuity, I wish my girlfriend would call me a genius! I vary from "idiot" to "stupid". Typical.

  • Cute story. Glad she likes it. Next time, try the LM317 and use like... one quarter the number of components :).
    LM317 - http://tinyurl.com/2rg8l9

  • I have been married 5 years and my wife still thinks I am a genius because I am building a rover from an RC tank. Girls get turned on by brains too.

  • Give it a few more years and a few more projects and that wonderful look of "you're a genius" will surely fade into "you're crazy". Believe me I know!

    • Yeah it starts out with "you're a genius". After a few years I'm lucky to get a blank stare and a "that sounds cool".
      But then you have kids. They not only think your a genius, but they're fascinated with your projects and they come up with their own. "Daddy can we build a boat with a motor for the new pool?". Hell yeah we can.

    • No particular reason the two have to be exclusive. I certainly get both?

  • Missing pictures of your lovely girl. ;-)
    Nice idea, i can't fall in sleep with some nice music.

  • Just to let you know, Blue light inhibits melatonin in the brain, meaning that stimulating your eyes with blue lights keeps you from sleeping. Any other color would have been more helpful... just fyi...

  • Even better... make the LED array flicker so as to mimic the ambient light a TV throws off.

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