Best Wake Up Light
If you struggle to wake up in the morning, maybe it’s due to a lack of natural light first thing.
Waking up to the grating sound of a phone alarm isn’t that fun, and doesn’t even force you to open your eyes that much. Natural light however is much harder to ignore.
Wake up lights can be very effective for preventing the predictable morning snooze. Imitating the sun’s light as it rises in the morning, you’ll be able to wake up more naturally and feel refreshed.
Here are our top picks…
👑 Our Pick for Best Overall
⭐ Our Other Top Wake Up Light Picks
- Best of the Best: Phillips SmartSleep HF3520/60
- Best Bang for Your Buck: HeimVision Sunrise Alarm Clock
- Best on a Budget: hOmeLabs Sunrise Alarm Clock
Best Wake Up Light Reviews
Phillips SmartSleep HF3520/60 (👑 Top Pick)
Phillips has a lion’s share of the sunrise alarm market, and this SmartSleep model sheds light on why that might be. We believe it’s the best wake up light because it provides the most complete alarm experience.
This wake up light is packed full of features and functionality which can make your mornings as radiant as the sun. First of all, the SmartSleep model does the basics well. It accurately and gradually replicates the colour of sunrise over the course of 30 minutes. This will help your eyes adjust as opposed to just springing bright light on you, which is what an alarm clock does with sound. This sunrise simulation is accompanied with your ambient sound of choice, so you can even wake up with a smile on your face.
The sounds offered by this wake up light aren’t plentiful, but each of them is high quality. You will be able to choose from bird songs, birds in the forest, zen garden, gentle piano, and seaside sounds. This should be just enough variation to keep things fresh, and they all help provide a serene atmosphere to emerge into. These sounds, much like the light, will gradually increase over time rather than being jarringly loud from the start. There’s also the option to listen to the radio first thing if that’s more your style.
You might be wondering what the smart refers to with this device, and the answer lies in the brightness of the alarm. With an intuitive dimming display this model will automatically adjust to the light of the room. It will detect if the room has a lot of light or no light and adjust accordingly so that the display is readable at all times. It will also prevent the issue of going from a completely dark room to a brightly illuminated one in a flash.
As for extra features, you will have a snooze function that is activated simply by tapping the wake up light. It’s so convenient that it’s almost dangerous, but the option to snooze is always welcome. Then there’s the sunset simulation, which can help lower your cortisol and prepare your body for a good night’s sleep in the evening.
If you had any questions as to the efficacy of this wake up light, we’d point you to the fact that Philips has the only scientifically backed model. Clinical research has been carried out by independent facilities and the results are positive for this wake up light.
- Sunrise simulation
- 5 ambient sounds
- FM radio
- Automatic brightness adjustment
- Snooze function
- Sunset simulation
- Scientifically proven to work
- 1-year warranty
HeimVision Sunrise Alarm Clock
This model from HeimVision is one of the best sunrise alarm clocks, and offers excellent value for money.
If you want to give wake up lights a go without making splashing out, then the HeimVision is worthy of consideration. This cheap wake up light punches well above its weight and has features that are typically only seen with the premium models. For a start, there are as many as 20 different brightness settings for this model. This gives you plenty of flexibility, and allows you to make adjustments if you need a little more or less light first thing in the morning. There’s also adjustable sunrise duration, so you can wake up naturally over the course of 30 minutes or 10. Plus FM radio, if you prefer some background noise when you wake up.
Perhaps the best feature of this alarm though is its smart functionality. You can pair this wake up light up to Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant which enables voice activation. This is great for making last minute adjustments just before you go to bed without needing to go over to the alarm and fiddle with a bunch of buttons and settings. You can also connect the wake up light to your mobile device with the Smart Life app. This will allow you to keep track of the alarms you have set at all times.
And yes, you can set several alarms on this device, not just one. This is something that a lot of wake up lights don’t have, but can be really useful if you struggle to get up the first time. You can set as many as 4 different alarms at any one time, and then track all of them through your phone to stay on top of them.
- 20 adjustable brightness settings
- Adjustable sunrise light duration
- Virtual assistant connectivity
- Phone app connectivity
- Set up to 4 alarms
- FM radio
- 2-year warranty
hOmeLabs Sunrise Alarm Clock
This wake up light from hOmeLabs is especially cheap, which makes it perfect for taking a step towards better mornings.
Although it’s far cheaper than most wake up lights, this device manages to look just as good as well as having plenty of useful features. Before you even invest you’ll have a choice to make: which colour to go with. There are 8 different colour options available so you can choose the one that best fits your bedroom.
Withgradual 30 minute sunrise stimulation, you won’t need to get out of bed straight away. Rather, you can enjoy a relaxing start to the day thanks to the natural light imitation. There are 3 brightness settings to choose from, which should be enough for most people. And there’s a variety of ambient sounds which can complement the light and introduce you to the new day as calmly as possible. If radio is more your thing, then you can opt for that instead.
Lastly there’s a handy snooze function at the press of a button. If you think you’ll struggle to make the tradition from standard alarm clocks to wake up lights, then this feature is essential. Even if you don’t usually have much of an issue waking up, it’s nice to know that you have a lay-in every now and again.
- Gradual 30 minute sunrise simulation
- 3 brightness settings
- Snooze function
- Ambient sounds
- 8 light colour options available
- FM radio
- LED clock face
- 2-year warranty
Lumie Bodyclock Shine 300
Like Philips, Lumie is one of the brands which offers high-quality premium wake up lights. The Shine 300 is one such example, and has a variety of features which should brighten up your mornings.
The sunrise duration for this alarm can be adjusted anywhere between 15 and 90 minutes. This makes it stand out from most other sunrise alarms, and gives you the highest level of flexibility for how you start your day. You can choose to be flooded with light over a short period of time as a jolt to the system, or you can choose to let your eyes gradually adjust to the light over a long period of time. You can even adjust the final sunrise intensity, so if you haven’t gradually woken up like you’d hoped, you can be woken up by a beam of bright light.
There is more than 1 LED light in this wake up light, which means you can get a more authentic sunrise colour. After all, it’s rare that you see the sun’s rays and describe them as plainly being yellow or orange. If the light isn’t enough to get you up though, there is also the option to throw in the sound of the radio or 15 different ambient sounds. If that still doesn’t work, then you have a snooze function available at a simple tap of the finger. You can then set your perfect alarm for up to 7 days, so you’re set for the week.
As an extra function this sunrise alarm will also help you get to sleep at night. The sunset simulation works like the sunrise one, and can be adjusted to be as few as 15 minutes or as many as 90 minutes. You will also benefit from the mixed LEDs again, and you can play some calming sounds to melt into the bed and get a good night’s rest.
- Adjustable sunrise/sunset duration 15-90 minutes
- Mixed LEDs
- FM Radio with 5 presets
- 15 Ambient sounds
- 7-day alarm
- Snooze function
What To Look For When Selecting A Wake Up Light
So you’ve decided that you want to wake up in a more organic manner. The next step is to find a wake up light that has just the right amount of settings and functionality to suit your rhythm. There’s more to these alarms than just a light after all.
This is a big one. If you invest in an alarm of any description you’ll probably want some settings you can tinker with. It’s rare that you buy an alarm that works perfectly the very first time you use it. That’s why it’s important to have adjustable settings so you can make it work for you.
There are a whole host of settings that can come with a wake up light, so it’s good to know what’s important to you. You should ask yourself if you care about adjusting the light colour, or whether you need a sunset setting as these aren’t 100% necessary.
One setting you should look out for though is the brightness of the light. This is critical as you might prefer a less offensive glow first thing in the morning or you might want a stark light to get you out of bed fast.
Light is measured in units of lux, and you will find settings that range from around 200-10,000. How particular you are about the brightness might as a result be a factor in which model you choose.
Safety Net Features
So you’ve set the brightness just how you want it and the alarm goes off just when you tell it to, but you still don’t wake up. This is a problem. If you are a habitual snoozer, then you might consider investing in a wake up light that has some built-in safety net features.
What I mean by safety net features is anything that will kick in after a while of not having switched off the alarm. A snooze function is one such feature. Though you might feel like a wake up light will eliminate the need for snoozing, it isn’t necessarily always the case.
Another option is to buy a wake up light with a back up alarm. That way, if for some reason the light doesn’t get you out of bed, you have the tried and tested alarm sound to do the job.
Some wake up lights will also come with an array of fun optional extras. A few will give you the ability to mimic the light at sunset, should you wish to create a nice evening or restful ambience. Others will let you listen to the radio the moment you first open your eyes in the morning.
While some extras like being able to change the colour of the light may seem trivial, there are some which can add real value. Ambient sounds can be especially useful for adding relaxation to your morning routine.
If you like the idea of waking up to sunshine and birdsong, then it’s worth finding a model that can make that happen. Or maybe you would prefer to hear rain pattering on the window or the gentle sounds of waves caressing the shore. Whatever your ideal morning looks like, you have the option to recreate it with certain wake up lights.
Finally it’s important to consider the warranty of the wake up light to see whether you’re getting a good deal. While you would hope that it doesn’t break on you, there are light bulbs involved so you never know. This rings especially true if you buy a wake up light with a non-replaceable bulb.
Frequently Asked Questions About Wake Up Lights
What color light helps you wake up?
Generally wake up lights are designed to mimic the morning glow cast by the sun. As such, they will more often than not have a yellow light setting.
The idea behind a wake up light is that it can trick you into thinking the sun is rising, which should give you some urgency first thing in the morning.
Most of us tend to hit the snooze button on our irritating phone alarms before sinking back into bed, whereas a wake up light will force you to take action with a yellow glow that will gradually get brighter.
Are wake up lights good for you?
Yes, wake up lights can be good for you. It’s useful to think of using such a light as reprogramming your body and sleep schedule. If you are willing to mix it up and nail those early morning starts every day then you could definitely benefit from using a wake up light.
More concretely, wake up lights imitate natural morning light in a way which your body responds to more strongly than the sound of an alarm clock. If you use the light regularly for a while, it should be no different than waking up with an alarm clock. Though it’s a much less jarring experience which makes waking up less dreadful.
If you determine good for you in terms of quality of life, then there’s a strong argument for using a wake up light. Once your body calibrates to this new way of waking up, there’ll be no stopping you. Your productivity can skyrocket and you will likely feel well-rested as you wake up with what your body thinks is natural light.
Is the Philips Wake Up Light worth it?
The Philips wake up light is well-regarded by many and rightly so. The model we covered in this guide, the SleepSmart, is outstanding. Full of useful features, this device can really make a difference to your ability to wake up in the morning and boost your productivity in a big way.
What we love about Philips’ wake up lights is they include everything you could want to beat early morning resistance. Pleasing ambient sounds, FM radio, and automatic brightness adjustment all help to create the perfect morning to get up to.
What are the best sunrise alarm clocks?
The best sunrise alarm clocks are the SleepSmart from Philips, and the HeimVision Sunrise Alarm Clock.
The former is the high-quality premium option, and the latter is a fantastic all-round model offering great value for money. Both are great wake up lights, and you could argue that both are better than the majority of traditional alarm clocks.
If you have a larger budget, and you’re looking for one of the best premium sunrise alarms, then the Lumie BodyClock Shine 300 is a fantastic option. It has 15 ambient sounds, great adjustability, and mixed LEDs for a more authentic sunrise experience. It also allows you to program in alarms for the next 7 days so you can plan the week ahead.
A Final Word on Sunrise Alarm Clocks
Sunrise alarm clocks provide a natural way to wake up in the morning, without all the stress associated with a traditional shrill alarm clock.
You can get wake up lights to suit your morning perfectly, so it’s worth spending some time weighing up your options carefully. There are potentially very powerful implications from nailing your morning routine, so pick the device which has everything you need to succeed at getting up.