My eyes open. Something has disturbed my sleep, I listen for any strange sound.

Crickets and wind.

The house is illuminated enough for me to see clearly. Tell tales and indicator lights on every single piece of electronics combine to create a kaleidoscope of light. 

The green indicator on the smoke detector on the ceiling winks red briefly. This potentially signals dust in the unit or time to replace the battery, I’ll have to service the unit tomorrow… today.


The intense red light on the bedroom TV tells me that the unit is off but has power from the wall. I wonder if I can turn that light off then worry about the TV having wall power if it doesn’t come on when I press the switch.

I’m informed by the bedside clock, that it’s 2am in full color and that the unit had been able to sync to the atomic time beacon. The clocks EL panel flares brightly as it comes back on. During the sync, the panel is turned off so that the clock can “hear” the beacon better.

I get out of bed, I need some water. 

Green light from the hall smoke detector paints a circle on the floor lighting my way to the kitchen.

The kitchen is illuminated by the clocks in the stove and the microwave. Further illumination is provided by the EL panel in the alarm system keypad.

Yet more light spills from the living room, a byproduct of a digital picture frame. I get a glass, as I press the glass against the water dispenser in the door of the fridge, bright white LEDs flare to life blinding me momentarily.

Impulsively I switch off the digital picture frame… it’s ever changing images are annoying out of the corner of my eye.

The darkness advances a little bit but is beaten back by the clock in the cable box, the backlight of the thermostat, and light from the appliances in the kitchen.

I move through the living room drinking my water. From the slider I can see the towns on the desert floor their lights twinkling in the distance.

I grouchily consider replacing the LEDs throughout the house with simple diodes. If something doesn’t work then I’ll investigate why.


Why are we so afraid of the dark? Why can’t we turn off the lights on our ever so helpful equipment?

Maybe it’s just me… I’ve always had great night vision, maybe all these indicators and tell tales aren’t annoying to most other folks.

Then, I notice the moonlight. The cloud cover has broken, moonlight is bright in the yard. I step onto the deck. No one can see me, looking to the East over the roof I can see the moon is almost full.

It somehow feels right to be in the moonlight. I can see clearly and while I’m a little chilly It’s nice to have a moment of freedom.

Still don’t know what woke me up. 

I finish my water, look around for a little while longer, then head back inside.

My head hits the pillow, and I sleep soundly till sunrise.