So, first let me lay out the why:
I’ve been running a whole house total indoor circadian lighting rig using hue for 5 years now. LIke most, I started small and quickly worked up. In my case, however, it’s way, way up. The main living quarters is governed by automated lighting that simulates a sun day-- I don’t turn anything on or off ever unless I’m leaving on a trip. Thus it’s enforced day light and and an enforced night time. It’s very much like camping permanently. The auxillary rooms (bathroom, bedrooms) are run by motion sensors that activate lights to a circadian schedule governed by a series of ‘cue’ lights that represent the various scene settings assigned to time points in the circadian day. I.e., when I walk into the bathroom at indoor sunset, the motion detector checks which cue light is on (the one in the 10 minute sunset ‘zone’) and activates the sunset scene in the bathroom. It’s gotten pretty elaborate, as you can imagine, and has enabled some pretty serious circadian experimentation.
I am a backpacker in Idaho. I backpack in the mountains every weekend from late May to mid-October. During this time I align my indoor situation with the outdoor situation and all is smooth. During the winter, I unalign with the outdoors and set to my own static times.
There remains one small problem. In the late backpacking season, from Sept 1-Oct 15, the dark period has grown to unworkable times to be practical indoors. They’re only practical outdoors because you can have a fire to stare at and manage for 3 hours. But so much darkness has an affect that few know about. In order to limit sleep to 7-8 hours, the bodies physiology will create an awake period in the middle of night. Something most would call ‘insomnia’. But it’s not. Were it not for electric light, we would all experience this in winter in northern latitudes. My solution to this is to hold indoor sunrise aligned with outdoor sunrise but to modify sunset, limiting the dark period to 9 hours. Outdoors, this works by constant eye exposure to led light (from a backward facing headlamp) from sunset to a time 9 hours before actual sunrise. But indoor sunset has been a real pain.
Idealy, indoor sunset would be based on sunrise, right? Sunrise + 15 hours of Wait time, right? Except that doesnt work. Sunrise time is either lost or reset at sunset time, so that sunrise automations with Wait times that extend to after sunset fail to function. So, I’m stuck with sunset based automations that have to be updated constantly using a fairly complex calculation (because both actual sunset and actual sunrise are moving and because it’s near the equinox, they’re moving quickly). The sunset offset feature does the job early, but soon becomes a non solution as the indoor sunset becomes greater than 2 hours after actual sunset. I currently use sunset + 4 hours of Wait times and use the offset for the daily global adjustment. It’s pretty brain warping to keep up with.
What would be great is if the sunrise + Wait time automations that are set to occur after sunset were not made non functional by the occurance of sunset. Then all would be automated and life would be easy.
For your consideration, good sir.