If you wake up on most days with the feeling that you’ve not slept well enough (even after sleeping for over 7 hours), or you feel reluctant to get out of bed, then you need a wake-up light, no doubt.
Check out our top picks in the table below. You can make your choice immediately or scroll further down to read more on wake up lights and the features of each of our top picks.
|Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock with Colored Sunrise Simulation and Sunset Fading Night Light,...||$107.54||Buy on Amazon|
|Sunrise Alarm Clock Wake up Light FM Radio Clock Night Light Heavy Sleepers & Kids - 7 Adjustable...||Currently not available||Buy on Amazon|
|BioBrite Pearl SunRise Alarm Clock with Sleep Sounds||Currently not available||Buy on Amazon|
|Sleep Spa Wake Up Sunrise Clock||Currently not available||Buy on Amazon|
Table of Contents
- 1 What is a wake-up light?
- 2 Why should you buy a wake up light?
- 3 How do you wake up light work?
- 4 Best Wake Up Lights Alarm Clock Review
- 5 Our final recommendations
What is a wake-up light?
A wake-up light (also called a dawn simulator, light alarm, or sunrise alarm clock) is a unique lamp designed to wake you up in the morning by producing artificial daylight. The lamp first radiates a dim light that gradually turns brighter with time. This mimics how dawn slowly turns into the sunlight.
So, with a wake-up light, you can make dawn and sunrise “happen” earlier — or even later — than they naturally do.
Why should you buy a wake up light?
Your body is naturally programmed to wake up at dawn or sunrise because the light created at this time prompts it to stop producing sleep hormones and get your systems ready to wake up. This explains why you feel happier and more energetic whenever you wake up to dawn or sunrise, and you feel reluctant to rise from your bed whenever you wake up before dawn.
However, due to work and other reasons you have to wake up earlier — which means depriving yourself of the health benefits of waking up to dawn or sunrise. This is bad for your health, as it can cause stress, insomnia, and other disorders you don’t want to battle with.
With a wake-up light, you can create artificial dawn or sunrise that wakes you up early and still gives you the pleasant wake-up experience that natural sunrise gives. It creates a warm glow that helps you wake up easily during cold weather conditions. And it’s quite unlike those noisy alarms that interrupt your sleep when your body’s not ready to wake up.
Also, a wake up light can also serve as a bedside lamp. And it usually comes with a backup alarm for heavy sleepers who won’t just wake up to the gradually brightening light.
How do you wake up light work?
The wake-up light wakes you up gently and gradually by radiating a dim light and increasing its brightness over the next 30 minutes (some models allow you to set your preferred interval).
Your body regards the light as natural sunrise and responds over the 30 minutes by reducing the production of sleep hormones and increasing the production of cortisol, which prepares you ahead of the workday.
If you want to wake up by 4.30am, for example, you will set the time on your wake up light alarm accordingly. When it’s precisely 4.00am, your wake up alarm will turn on a dim light. As 4.30am slowly approaches, the sun will become brighter and brighter, prompting your body to adjust to stop sleeping and get ready to wake up. This change in light intensity is what will eventually wake you up. You won’t hear a beep (unless you set the alarm on) or see a shockingly bright light; the wake-up light is a gentle companion.
Best Wake Up Lights Alarm Clock Review
Owing to increasing awareness of their health benefits, wake up lights are now enjoying massive demand. There are now many different models in the market, but Philips seems to be the dominant player with the highest number of models.
To save you from getting confused, we have scoured the market to assess the various wake-up light models. This is in a bid to figure out the best ones based on customer opinion.
After our research, here are the best products we found:
1. Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light With Colored Sunrise Simulation
The Philips HF3520 by far the most sought-after wake up light in the market at the moment (going by the number of sales on Amazon.com). What makes it unique is its colored sunrise simulation feature — as it brightens to wake you up, the color changes from red to orange and to white, just as the sun does.
The Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light comes with additional features such as alarm sound and FM radio. And aside from its wake up function, the device can also guide you to natural, restful sleep — this makes it a must-have for people battling with insomnia and other sleep disorders.
Here are its features at a glance:
- Five different natural wake up sounds: Although it’s better to keep the alarm off, you’ll need to turn it on if you sleep so deeply that the light alone won’t wake you up. The sounds create a pleasant wake-up experience because they are natural (think singing birds and breathing oceans).
- Tap to snooze: If, for any reason, you’re not ready to get out of bed, tap any part of the lamp’s face to snooze. The light will start the process of waking you up all over again.
- Serves as bedside lamp: When used as a bedside lamp, it automatically dims itself, guiding you gently to sleep.
- Twenty brightness settings: You can set to your preferred brightness level (maximum intensity is 300 lux).
- FM radio: If you would prefer to wake up to your favorite radio program, you can set that.
- Long-lasting LED lamp: This doesn’t need the replacement for at least 20 years!
NB: Don’t get confused!
The Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light is an improved version of its two predecessors, the HF3500 and HF3510 (note the difference in model numbers). Although they all look similar, the two older models lack the colored sunrise simulation feature (the HF3510 comes with two colors, though) and have less number of wake up sounds.
Although you’ll still find the older models on Amazon, be sure to go with the HF3520.
2. Philips HF3485 Wake-Up Light with Dusk and USB
The Philips HF3485 wake up light is another in-demand wake-up light that works just like the Philips HF3520, but there are some differences:
- The shape is different (so go for it if you prefer its way to that of the HF3520).
- It comes with a replaceable bulb 100-watt, 12-volt halogen bulb (unlike the HF3520, which comes with a LED lamp).
- It sports a USB hub, so you can listen and wake up to your favorite music (the HF3520 lack a USB port).
- Maximum light intensity is 250 lux (300 lux in HF3520).
- It features three natural wakes up sounds — two less than the HF3520’s five sounds.
3. BioBrite Pearl SunRise Alarm Clock with Sleep Sounds
The Biobrite Pearl Sunrise wake up light and alarm clock features a beautiful hand-blown glass top, under which lies a replaceable 60W bulb. The device has a power reserve that comes in handy whenever electricity goes out.
As with many other models, the device allows you to adjust sunrise and sunset times and comes with an alarm, which comes in handy if the light doesn’t wake you up. Its alarm sounds are natural and soothing, and it also serves as a bedside and reading lamp.
4. Sleep Spa Wake Up Sunrise Clock
The Sleep Spa wake-up sunrise clock is an egg-shaped wake-up light that perfectly combines the dual roles of waking you up in the morning and lulling you to sleep at night. The device allows a broader range of sunrise and sunset time (15 to 120 minutes).
The device features a long-lasting white LED lamp, custom nature sounds, and a USB charging station.
The Sleep Spa wake up light is powered by both AC and DC sources; it comes with an AC transformer and backup battery.
Our final recommendations
If we were to choose for you, we’d recommend that you go for the Philips HF3520, not just because it came from the stable of a reputable manufacturer, but also because it comes at an attractive price despite packing several impressive features. We’d also recommend it because over 1,200 buyers gave good feedback on the device (on Amazon.com).
If you dislike the Philips HF3520 for its shape or because you’d prefer a wake-up light with a replaceable bulb, then go for Philip HF3485. You’re not likely to go wrong with that also.
As for the other two options, they really won’t sway us away from the Philips models. But if you dislike Philip products for any reason, you can give those a try. They shouldn’t disappoint you.