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Don't Let that Light Shine

August 7, 2003 – by Per Christensson

A plastic software case, an Oakley sunglasses box, a 100 CD case, and a yearbook. What do all these things have in common? Answer: they are all objects I have used to cover the pulsating sleep light on my 17" iMac when I go to bed.

Apple has installed in all their recent machines a light that glows when the computer is put to sleep. This can be seen as a useful feature, as the pulsating glow lets you know that the computer is sleeping. However, in an otherwise dark room, the glow is bright enough fill the entire room with light. And it is not just a glowing light -- it is a glowing, pulsating light. Light, dark, light, dark, over and over again. Soothing as it may sound, it is more a cause for insomnia than a cure.

Since I find it much more efficient to put my computer to sleep each night than to turn it off, I have devised ways to cover the light so that its ambient rays do not shine upon me as I rest in my bed. However, the plastic surrounding the glowing orb both carries and reflects the light unfortunately well. This is why I have tried numerous objects to shield it. I have found that larger items work better, which comes as no surprise to anyone. But who wants to keep a yearbook on the desk all day just for covering up a stupid light. That is why I have tried smaller objects with only mild success. Perhaps by my next update, I will have pryed open the plastic casing covering the light and disassembled (i.e. smashed) the bulb so that it will threaten my sleep hours no more.

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