Post sponsored by Philips; opinions my own.
It’s no secret that I’m not a morning person. Despite repeated attempts over the years at trying to adjust my schedule, I’ve always been a bit of a night owl. I hate getting up before 9 a.m. and I’d probably sleep until 10 or 11 if I could. Unfortunately, hauling the kids to school in the morning and dragging myself to work doesn’t really support such a schedule. So when I got a chance to try out the new Philips Wake-up Light, which offers a nice alternative to the blaring klaxons usually required to rouse me from my slumber, I jumped at the chance.
Of course, the timing worked out that I got my Philips Wake-up Light (Model HF3520) just a few days before Daylight Savings ended. So in addition to combating my usual morning doldrums, I would also be dealing with kids waking up way too early, and a thoroughly confused inner clock. Maybe waking up to a nice, soothing simulated sunrise was just the ticket?
Setting it up was easy. It’s a little larger than a standard alarm clock, and before plugging it in, looks almost like a featureless white globe. The design is very Kubrick-esque. Thankfully, it doesn’t talk, never called me Dave, and didn’t offer to open any pod bay doors.
After powering up the Philips Wake-up Light with the included AC adapter, you’ll see the clock digits display in reddish-orange on the white surface. Unlike many alarm clocks, this one won’t light up your room with an ever-present reminder of how late you’ve stayed up. The brightness of the display is adjustable, and the dimmest setting is easy to ignore.
I followed the directions to set the clock and the alarm time—you can supply up to two different wake-up times, which are easily enabled through two separate buttons on the top of the unit—and then picked the sound I wanted to wake me. You can use either the built-in FM radio or five wake-up sounds: birds chirping, jungle noises, wind chimes, piano, and some New-Age-y music. No horrid alarm buzzer here, thankfully.
Another cool thing I noticed at this point was that the Philips Wake-up Light can be used as a bedside lamp. Touch a button on the top and the light fades in with plenty of brightness to read by. You can even adjust the intensity of the light. There’s also a “Fall Asleep” mode, which simulates dusk: set a time (5 to 60 minutes) and it will start with the light on (and sounds, too, if you’d like) and it fades out to darkness over your set period.
My wife and I set our phone alarms for a few minutes after the Philips Wake-up Light, just as a backup, and we got into bed. This morning, 30 minutes before our 6:30 a.m. alarm, the lamp slowly began its illumination. Five minutes later, she was up. And fifteen minutes after that, I was stirring, waking up to its simulated sunrise. When the birds started chirping from the Philips Wake-up Light’s speakers, I tested out the snooze function by groggily slapping at the front of the light. Sure enough, the sounds turned off, but the light remained.
I won’t lie and say that I hopped out of bed, fresh-faced and ready to take on the day. We’re all still a bit off due to the time change, and the falling temperatures outside aren’t helping things. And my wife woke up way before I did. But it was a very different and much preferred way to be roused from sleep: a gentle and calming reminder that the day is starting, versus the heart-stopping shudder of a clanging alarm or the shrill nuisance of a smartphone ringtone.
We’re definitely going to stick with it over the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned to the blog as I share my family’s experience with the Philips Wake-up Light.