Having a hard time waking up in the morning? Maybe you should get a wake-up light. Wake up lights are specially designed alarm clocks that use light rather than noise to wake you up. Since the circadian rhythms that are regulating our sleep and wake cycles are controlled by natural light, wake-up lights should be effective for most sleepers. This method is particularly recommended to those who struggle waking up in the morning or find the noise of the alarm rather unpleasant. Wake-up light alarms mimic natural sunrise by gradually becoming brighter, and awakening you. The colors of the lights are usually yellow or white, but some models may come with a wider color selection.

Wake-light, like traditional alarm clocks, have snooze functions, adjustable volume and multiple presets. Some also have a radio and a light timer. In case the model you select has a light timer, you can program the light for half an hour or longer before waking. The average product costs around $50, but you can also find many wake-up lights priced less than $20 or more than $150. The costlier models typically come with a sleep trial and a warranty.

If you are thinking about purchasing a wake-up alarm, take a look at our buyer’s guide and top picks. In our short guide, you will learn how these products function and what to consider when shopping for one. As always, our choices were made based on verified customers reviews and thorough product research.

Best Wake-Up Lights – Top 4 Picks

Electrohome Retro Alarm Clock

Highlights: white light color, temperature and calendar functions, AM/FM radio, snooze option, one-year guarantee

Electrohome is a very affordable alarm clock and wake up light, and you get it for as little as $20. Although it’s pretty cheap, it comes with the features and functions offered by its pricier competitors such as nap timers, snooze option, and AM/FM radio playback with multiple presets. The clock needs two white bulbs in order to function as a wake-up light. The device has a battery back-up to preserve the clock’s settings in case of a power outage.

Source: electrochrome.com

When it comes to advanced features, the Electrohome Retro Alarm Clock has lighting and snooze functions that are sensor-activated. The Electrohome’s LED interface displays indoor temperature and a full calendar. In case you don’t like to be awakened by alarm sounds, you can set up a vibrating alarm. Couples will love this clock because it comes with a dual alarm option.  

Recommended for:

  •    Sleepers who don’t like alarm sounds
  •    Sleepers who like falling asleep to music or ambient noise
  •    Couples

Lyght Wake-Up Light

Highlights: 7 light colors, 8 wake-up sounds, FM radio, 10 brightness settings, ninety-minute dimming timer, USB charging port

The Lyght Wake-Up Light is considered to have one of the best wake-up light features. It has a very customizable alarm that allows the owner to program a gradual sunrise that lasts fifteen minutes or half an hour. Automatic dimming can be set in intervals of ninety minutes. The product offers seven light colors making it suitable for every taste and preference. Lastly, the device also comes with an FM radio with 20 stations presets

Source: ilyght.com

Apart from awakening you in the morning naturally, the Lyght Wake-Up Light also features music and ambient sounds that will help you wake up feeling completely relaxed and refreshed. Ambient sounds include birds, ocean waves, and thunder. The product has a USB charging port for your phone and an audio jack. You are probably wondering how much all these features cost? Believe it or not, the product is available for less than $30.

Recommended for:

  •    Sleepers who prefer multiple light color options
  •    Sleepers who like falling asleep and waking up to ambient noise or music
  •    Children and adults

Philips Wake-Up Light

Highlights: Colorful sunrise, 20 brightness settings, FM radio, 5 wake-up sounds, 8-hour battery back-up, best travel wake up light, 90 days’ trial and a two-year guarantee

Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520 is considered one of the most luxurious wakes up lights. It comes with a multicolored sunrise simulation, 20 brightness options, and gradual sunrise option that can be programmed to last from 20 to 40-minutes. The display will automatically dim once the room gets dark, and the sounds will automatically reduce in volume. The clock comes with five wake-up sounds, FM radio, and a smart one-touch snooze alarm.

Source: philips.ca

In case of a power outage, Philips Wake-Up Light alarm clock has a backup battery that lasts up to 8 hours. The light is cool to the touch making it ideal for children. When it comes to the price, it’s on the more expensive side, with an average price of $140. Although you may think this is a product more suitable for shoppers with bigger budgets, don’t forget that included in the price is a 90-night sleep trial and a two-year warranty, which are significantly longer than average.

Recommended for:

  •    Sleepers who prefer multiple light color options
  •    Sleepers who like falling asleep and waking up to ambient noise or music
  •    Children and adults

totobay Sunrise Alarm Clock

Highlights: 7 light colors, FM radio, 6 wake up sounds, sunrise and sunset simulation, one-touch controls, suitable for traveling

The totobay wake up light comes with many beneficial features and multiple functions. It comes with seven light colors for the most colorful sunrise simulation, the clock gradually increases light intensity in 30 minutes, and automatically turns itself off in the evenings.

Source: totobay.net

If you love to fall asleep while listening to music, the totobay’s Sunrise Alarm Clock is the best wake up alarm for you because it offers 6 built-in sounds, such as birds and ocean waves. FM radio with multiple preset options is also included. The wake-up light can be charged with USB, batteries or a wall cord. The price is very affordable to every budget, and it’s typically widely available for less than $30.

Recommended for:

  •    Sleepers who prefer multiple light color options
  •    Sleepers who like falling asleep and waking up to ambient noise or music
  •    Those looking for best value options

Best Wake-Up Lights Buyer’s Guide

Nowadays, many sleepers prefer using a wake-up light instead of traditional alarm clocks. Wake up lights are devices that mimic the sunrise by gradually brightening before the set alarm time. By the time you should wake up, your room will be partially or entirely illuminated, helping you to feel more wakeful and refreshed each morning. Since our internal body clock is naturally regulated by light and darkness, wake-up lights should help you get up in the morning feeling well-rested, not groggy or irritable. In case you require audible stimuli, some of these devices can produce light bleeps or play various ambient sounds or music. Since most wake up lights are priced below $50; they are available to every budget. However, high-end models may cost up to $150 or more.

In this part of the article, learn how wake-up lights work, the advantages and disadvantages of using them, as well as some shopping considerations for first-time buyers.

How Do Wake-Up Lights Work?

As mentioned in the beginning, our bodies sleep and wake cycle are regulated by an internal clock called the circadian rhythm. When it’s dark, our brain releases melatonin and signalizes our body that it’s time to sleep. High level of melatonin makes us feel drowsy and tired. In the morning, bright light suppresses the production of melatonin, signalizing our brain that it’s time to wake up.  Normal functioning of our internal body clock also explains why we feel more tired during the winter and fall (when daylight is reduced) and more alert during the spring and summer.

Traditional alarm clocks are typically effective for most sleepers, but they are rather unpleasant, and we can even say harsh. If you are sensitive to noise, loud beeping can make waking up in the morning more like a chore than something that normally occurs.

If the alarm goes off and you are still feeling tired, you will most likely hit snooze, and continue to nap. However, you won’t experience this with wake up lights. Since you will be stimulated by light, once awaken, you will feel more alert. Most models produce light roughly 30 minutes before the audio alarm starts beeping.

Wake-up lights available on the market today come with different features and settings. Most models have between three and ten brightness settings, but high-end models can have up to 20 different brightness options. Light brightness is measured in ‘lux’ units, and most provide 200 to 230 lux, which is comparable to a low-lit office. High-end models can produce up to 10,000 lux which is very similar to outside light on a bright day.

Other features worth mentioning are multiple color options, various alarm options, adjustable volume, radio, snooze option, sunset settings and much more.

Multiple light color options: Although most products have only one option – white or yellow light, some models allow you to change the color of the light into blue, pink, yellow, green and so on.

Multiple alarm options: Like traditional alarm clocks, almost all wake-up lights are equipped with various alarm options, such as ambient sounds and other sleep music.

Adjustable volume: The volume of the alarm may be adjustable or set

Snooze option: Most wake-up lights have a snooze option if you catch some precious ZZZs a bit longer.

Radio: Some models have FM radio channels, and/or feature AM options. However, most wake-up lights don’t have this option.

Sunset settings: Some wake-up lights are designed to imitate a sunrise. The light will dim as darkness falls and start changing colors to mimic a realistic, colorful sunrise.

Essential Considerations for Wake-Up Light Buyers

When shopping for wake-up lights and comparing different brands and models, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The most important factors you should focus on are your budget and product features such as multiple light color options, backup alarm option, adjustable volume, snooze option, and of course, sleep trials and warranties.

Budget: Although most wake-up lights are very affordable and can be found for less than $20, some models may cost more than $100. Due to the wide price of the product, it is best to determine a budget and strictly stick to it.

Adjustable brightness and/or color settings: If you have varying preferences, a product that provides only one brightness and color setting may be somewhat limiting.

Backup alarm: Most wake up lights come with a back-up audio alarm. However, some of them don’t have this feature. In case you are not sure whether or not the gradual light will wake you up in the morning, you should find a device that also has an audible alarm.

Adjustable volume: If you are sensitive to noise or share a bed with a partner, volume and sound adjustment may be something to keep in mind. Before purchasing, make sure you check the product’s settings to see if it will suit you.

Snooze option: Snoozing is generally not recommended because it makes you feel groggy, nervous and tired. However, some sleepers need to hit snooze at least once in the morning before actually getting up. If you are a snoozer, you should look for a device that comes with this option.

AM/FM radio: Most wake-up lights do not offer AM/FM radio.

Sunset and sunrise settings: Some wake-up lights have a sunset setting, meaning you can use for falling asleep more comfortable at night. However, the sunset feature is quite rare. If your chosen product has multiple color options, it most likely also has the sunrise option.

Sleep trial and warranties: High-end wake-up light may have sleep trials and product warranties. In case the device comes with a sleep trial, you will be allowed to test out the product for a certain time period and decide it whether it meets your needs or not. In case you are not satisfied, you can return it for a refund. However, keep in mind that cheaper models don’t have sleep trials or warranties. Warranty coverage is essential for models with non-replaceable light bulbs. If you are thinking about buying such a product, make sure it has a guarantee span of at least one year.

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