The Best Wake Up Lights
(Reviews And Buyer's Guide 2021)
Beep! Beep! Beep! Once again, your heart skips a beat as the alarm clock startles you out of deep sleep. Talk about starting the day on a sour note! But in the 21st century, it doesn't have to be this way. Today, we can wake-up as nature intended by slowly and gently transitioning us from a state of sleep to a state of wakefulness using a powerful device known as a wake-up light.
In this post, you'll learn what wake-up lights are, how they benefit you, and conclude with a discussion of the finest wake-up lights selling today and the best wake-up light all around.
Philips HF3470 Wake-Up Light
Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light
INLIFE Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock
Philips HF3500 Wake-Up Light
Lumie Bodyclock Active 250 Wake-Up Light
What Is a Wake Up Light?
If you're like most people, you probably resent the sound of an alarm clock beeping in the morning but have come to accept it as an unfortunate reality of modern day life. But with the advent of wake-up lights, you now have another choice. Unlike an alarm clock, a wake-up light doesn't suddenly jolt you awake, instead, it eases you out of your slumber naturally and efficiently so you're ready to start the day feeling refreshed.
In essence, a wake-up light simulates the sunrise by slowing introducing light into your room before you're ready to get up. As the minutes roll closer to your designated wake-up time, the amount of light released increases in intensity until your room is brightly lit, thus signaling your body to calmly awaken. And when paired with a blackout curtain or shade, the effect is that much greater.
But can't you just put a timer on your bedroom lamp to produce the same positive effect? The answer is no…
The sudden glare of a harsh bulb shining over your head can be almost as jarring as the incessant beeping of an alarm clock. Only a wake-up light will slowly nudge you from a restful sleep by mimicking the rising of the sun incrementally. Plus, most wake-up lights come with special features to enhance your total sleep experience like nature sounds to help lull you to sleep.
What Are the Benefits of Wake Up Lights?
A typical work day is stressful enough without starting it off with the blaring sounds of an alarm clock, often causing you to wake up at the wrong points of your sleep cycle. When done over and over again, you become more susceptible to health problems like mood disorders, high blood pressure, and cognitive dysfunction such as short-term memory loss and impaired counting abilities (source).
Not only does a wake-up light have the potential to prevent these health-related issues, it can actually improve your life by creating a better sense of well-being and increase energy levels to help you seize the day. (Moreover, you also spare the rest of your household and/or neighbors from having to listen to startling beeping sounds every morning!)
A Word of Caution
- While you don't need a special prescription or recommendation from your doctor to use a wake-up light, consider consulting your physician first if you struggle with medical conditions which might tie to poor sleep like depression and exhaustion.
What Is the Best Way to Use a Wake Up Light?
Even the best wake-up light won't do you much good if you're not getting between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, so the process first begins with taking sleep seriously (source). Moreover, you won't benefit much from a wake-up light if it's not used consistently or only at different times every day. Thus, make sure to keep to a regular schedule to get the most out of the device.
A wake-up light should also be at eye level at your bedside and close enough to your face so that the light impacts you directly while you're still asleep.
Reviews of the Best Wake Up Lights
For a better waking experience, we've selected five of the best wake-up lights to help you with your search based on the following criteria:
Let's see how each product stacks up!...
Recommended by the National Sleep Foundation, the Philips HF3470 Wake-Up Light is a solid, user-friendly choice for people seeking a subtle dose of light in the morning done in a very realistic, gradual way.
It has a cylindrical form that resembles a camping lantern or lava lamp, albeit somewhat more futuristic looking. But despite the high-tech design, it's short on fancy features found in some other models.
For example, it doesn't have a diminishing light feature nor a multitude of sound settings to help lull you to sleep. And while its two sounds are no doubt effective, they can become a bit predictable after awhile. That said, its 20 brightness settings, gradual light intervals, and built-in FM radio more than make up for any omissions.
Unlike the Philips HF3470, the Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light is more of a complete system because it includes extra features like a dimming sunset effect and a total of five — not two — soothing sounds to help induce sleep. Moreover, it doubles up as a reading lamp that doesn't take up much room on your nightstand. And it's quite a bit cheaper.
So why does the HF3470 cost more if the HF3520 has more features? Well, a part of the reason boils down to bulb life. Apparently, the HF3470 bulb lasts for 60,000 hours while the HF3520 only 4,000 hours. Also, construction and materials are of higher quality overall.
The HF3520 flaws are minor and mostly concern its exterior design, such as tiny, difficult to navigate controls. Still, people committed to getting better sleep will surely find a lot to rave about in this product.
If you're looking for a cheaper alternative to a Philips wake-up light (albeit lesser quality), the INLIFE Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock may suit your purpose. Like its more expensive counterparts, the INLIFE is an all-in-one sleep system that simulates the sunrise to ease you out of sleep and the fading light of dusk to help transition you into a restful state.
But like most budget items, the INLIFE doesn't hit every mark perfectly. For example, some of the sounds aren't recorded well, nor pleasing to the ear. Also, its flat design and lightweight base make the clock somewhat easy to tip over when reaching for your nightstand. On the other hand, its construction makes it easier to travel with.
Unlike Philips lights, the INLIFE includes a battery backup — a handy feature, especially for power outages and while traveling. And if you prefer waking up to a spectrum of colors instead of gradations of white and yellow like other models, the INLIFE offers that, too.
This Philips model offers a stellar light performance but little in way of features, namely no built-in radio which other models include, nor sounds of any kind. That said, if you're looking for a bare bones wake-up light, this device may serve your needs.
Like the INLIFE, the HF3500 is disc shaped and lightweight and thus prone to tipping over easily, but still good for travel without taking up much space in your suitcase or nightstand. If you don't mind pairing this sunrise simulator with a beeping alarm clock, the Philips HF3500 may be worth a closer look.
This wake-up light offers all the features you'd expect to find in a complete system such as FM radio, dimmable lighting, several alarm sounds, and of course, a gradual sunrise set to however long you'd like it to last. Moreover, this device is fully customizable and includes a handy battery backup.
As expected, the Lumie Bodyclock also has downsides including controls that are somewhat difficult to set and change, only 24-hour time format, and a less than attractive bulky appearance.
Still, this device does its job well if your main goal is to wake-up to gentle, natural looking lighting.
Quick Product Comparison
No. of brightness settings
Works w/o sound alarm
No. of sounds included
What Is the Best Wake Up Light for You?
While all the wake-up lights reviewed in this article are worthy contenders, the best wake-up light goes to the Philips HF3470 Wake-Up Light for its quality, attractiveness, simplicity, and effectiveness. Yes, it lacks some of the frills of other devices, but its sunrise simulation is truly remarkable. BUT (and it's a big "but") the HF3470 is much higher priced than other models.
For a more affordable option, we'd recommend the Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light for its quality and chock-full of extra features. But if a backup battery is a must, the Lumie Bodyclock Active 250 Wake-Up Light is your best option.
Any of these wake-up lights can help start your day more naturally, leading to happier mornings and increased energy.
Now Over to You!
What are your thoughts about wake-up lights? Leave your comments below!