09 January 2012

Darkening The Room

Oh, how I love a dark bedroom.  For myself, I don't agitate my monkey brain when I wake up at night and all I see is blackness.  For the boys, the easier it is to help them fall asleep when they can't see to play and tumble about.  If I were to add up all the money we've spent on darkening our rooms (across two houses), I would likely wince to see the total.  That said, I've certainly learned a lot about interior de-lumination.

The first start is dealing with all those pesky LEDs on every baby device, ever. Electrical tape is your friend:  it is easily removable, electronics friendly, and use can experiment with one, two, or more layers, depending on what you need.  I try to keep the battery level indicator only partly covered so I can tell when it should be recharged or refilled.  If you cover LEDs on a video monitor camera, ensure you are not covering up the IR LEDs- if those are covered, you won't be able to get a video image in the dark.  The removable part is great until little fingers start picking at them, so be sure to keep the tape out of reach. 

When you choose an alarm clock, look for a style that only illuminates when you push a button.  This also keeps you from staring at the clock if, like me, you can be tossing and turning for an hour or more after a 5 minute waking with a kid.

A common distraction for some kids is the light from around and under the door, as well as light from opening the door when it is time for Mama or Daddy to leave.  In some homes, this can be reduced by simply closing nearby doors and keeping hall lights low or off.  A curtain hung from a pressure mounted rod can separate a short hallway from lights in the living area.  Weather stripping can be used around a door to minimize light, but this will affect air flow, potentially making the room warmer or cooler. 

Tomorrow, I will discuss the many, many ways you can decrease the light coming from windows with shades, blinds, and curtains, as well as diy solutions.

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