Do those sunrise alarm clock thingies work for you?

Our master bedroom is very dark in the morning, despite big windows. I prefer to have some light so I can wake up gradually, but I don’t know if those alarm clocks that simulate sunrise work at all for many/most people. Here’s an example. I’m not wedded to any particular model.

The reviews are good for some of them, but I turn to the dope for the dope.

Anyone have any experience with them?

I use one. I don’t use the audible alarm on it since it’s in a hard to reach location. It’s nice to have some light in the room when my regular alarm goes off at 6:30 and I’m less likely to hit snooze too many times if it’s light. Mine isn’t as sophisticated as the one you linked, it’s basically a 30 watt incandescent on a timed dimmer switch.

I’ve used one for many years and it works for me. I don’t have any obvious SAD symptoms but for me it’s more a matter of ease of waking up in the morning. When it’s dark at wake-up time I feel like I’m getting up at 3am or something. With sunrise simulation, I wake up more naturally and sometimes a little before the alarm goes off and just feel better in general.

YES! I love mine. I’m not using it now, as I don’t have a specific time that I have to get up. But when I was taking 8:00 am classes and lived over an hour from the college, the light alarm was fabulous. I cannot bear an audible alarm, or even being awakened by a radio–ugh! Feels like being hit over the head with a brick while having a bucket of cold water dumped on you.

The important thing with the light alarm is to position it fairly close to the bed so the light will shine on your face… BUT not so close that you can reach out and shut it off (like any alarm) if you happen to wake up just before it starts coming on.

I just bought that very model a week ago! It replaced my older Philips wake-up light, which stopped working without “help” (I had to tap the side to get the light to turn on). Of course, it started working again as soon as I ordered its replacement…oh well. I like the new one better. :slight_smile:

I’ve been using one for three years now. Like JcWoman I’ve never had SAD or anything, I just thought it might help me wake up in the mornings. I need sound, though, and I use the radio: what I like is that the volume increases gradually along with the light, so it’s not a rude awakening. I’m a horrible “snooze abuser,” and what I’ve discovered is that the light doesn’t wake me up but it (eventually) helps me stay up. I still snooze for a while, but I get out of bed sooner than I would if the room were dark.

So it works for me, and I love the new model.

YES and I absolutely love it. I’ve had it for something like 10 years now. I love being woken up gently by the gradual light rather than with a piercing, noisy alarm. I forget the name or model of mine but it’s a pyramid shape.

I’ve got a similar model. It’s helpful but far from sufficient for me (I can get severe, sleeping 16 hours per day if untreated SAD during the winter).

I’m contemplating hacking together my own super-bright dawn simulator, maybe something with as many LED bulbs as I can safely plug into a 10 A circuit…

I had one that would gradually brighten, and you could add sound and/or smells if you wanted. It started 30 minutes before the alarm. If I used sounds, I immediately woke up. The scents that worked with it were all awful. And the light alone did nothing for me. I don’t think most of them are bright enough.

Something like this, maybe?

Ah…the smell of frying bacon…and coffee…accompanied by the sound of someone in the kitchen making them for me. (Oh, I was only dreaming.)

Something a little less harsh. For a while, I had a bigass fluorescent light therapy fixture on a timer next to my bed, but it was huge and waking up to it felt like some kind of Gitmo sleep deprivation technique. My wife really didn’t appreciate it.

I’ll happily wake up whenever there’s natural sunlight entering the room and only reaching my eyes by indirect, diffuse reflections. Somehow I’d like to replicate the quantity and quality of that level of light. Maybe with a mix of LED flood lights indirectly lighting the room, and a few spot lights pointed to my side of the bed? If I wanted to really go crazy I could have the color temperature shift from reddish to bluish over the course of an hour or so…

It was this onewasn’t it?. Worst money I’ve ever spent I also found that the display was too bright. I had to tape a piece of cardboard over it.

So you probably wouldn’t want this one:


It was the Hammacher-Schlemmer “Peaceful Progression” one, yeah. I got it as a gift.

I like mine, but I wish it were more configurable. For reference, I have the Philips HF3500.

There’s only one setting for light brightness, which means that if I use it as a reading light at night (on a low setting), then I either have to leave it low (which is less likely to wake me up), or turn it up high very briefly, which makes the bedroom very bright before going to sleep (which annoys my wife). So, it’s not a good “only light”.

Similarly, the clock numbers only have one brightness setting. It’s either “too dim to see in the day” or “too bright at night”. So, it’s not a good “only clock” either.

And I wish I could change the alarm timing. It goes off shortly after the lamp reaches full brightness. I’d rather be able to delay it by 10 or 15 minutes or turn it off entirely. The light almost always wakes me up, but I want to do so gradually, and the alarm is jolting.

Also, my model doesn’t have separate settings for separate days, so I have to remember to turn it on/off at the start/end of the week.

We have one and it was very useful when we needed to get up and it was still pitch dark outside. We’ve switched to Hue lights now, which I’ve programmed for the same effect. Gradual brightening of the room before it’s time to rise and shine.

iamthewalrus(:3=, the Philips HF3520 – the one linked in the OP, and the one I got last week – does all of the things you wish your model did. It’s almost twice as much, but after comparing them I chose to pay more for exactly those features.

Huh, hadn’t considered the Hue lighting system. The cheaper Lux lights aren’t much more expensive than standard LED bulbs lights plus a very simple timer/dimmer. Do you use the Hue lights to also change the color temperature during your “dawn” simulator? I’ve read a few things about how circadian rhythms are entrained by light quality as well as just light quantity. E.g. a shift from reddish early dawn light to bright bluish daylight sets the internal clock better than just cranking up white light at a constant color temperature.

Thanks for the tip.

At the time I bought it, I wasn’t sure I was going to like it at all, so I got the cheapest one. Since I do really like the process of waking up to light, I probably should just upgrade.

I get that: I knew I liked the concept but wasn’t sure I would like the new model, and considered getting the one you have just to try it out. I tend to go “all or nothing” with gadgets, though. :slight_smile:

Just to clarify about the “separate settings for separate days” part: there are two alarms, but it’s not programmable or anything.

You’re welcome to PM me if you have any specific questions about this model that the internet can’t answer.

I used it and liked it, I like it better just getting up whenever I feel like it instead of using a alarm clock, so I use that method instead and no longer have the clock, but if I had to I would consider another one.