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I treated myself to the Philips Wake-up light last winter, after realising that my regular, heart-stopping alarm was getting dangerously closed to being hurled out of the bedroom window! I am a morning person when I'm up, but the process of getting up on a dark morning I find difficult. With the nights beginning to draw in again and the kids going back to school, I decided it was time to dust off the light and get it ready for the coming seasons!
My initial thought was that at an RRP of £140 the wake up light was very expensive, but I purchased this in a sale through Amazon at £98 - still quite dear, but it brought it in line with the cost of other similar products. Plus, the light was to be used on a daily basis, and if it helped me get out of the right side of bed on a miserable morning I reasoned that it was money well spent!
The light has a clock, alarm and radio all built into it so despite the fact that the product was larger than I imagined, there is no need for an additional lamp or clock on the bedside table so doesn't take up too much extra space. It is also a sleek and tidy looking device so looks nice on display.
The theory of the device is a good one - it is well thought out and simple to use, I guess it's just a personal preference as to whether it is liked and more importantly beneficial to individuals. The time is set that you ultimately want to be out of bed at, and about 30 minutes before this (this is changeable) the light starts working gradually. It begins by emitting a very low level of light which gradually increases every few minutes in order to simulate a sunrise. In addition, you can select either a gentle sound of birds singing to accompany this, or simply the radio if preferred. Again, a gradual increase in volume is used. When the time originally set to rise is reached, the lamp is at its full brightness (also pre-set by you) and an alarm sounds. By this time, the body and mind should have been woken up gradually rather than with a start, putting you in good stead to start the day cheery!
To be honest, I do find it easier to get up using this device as opposed to a simple alarm clock, though I'm not sure I would recommend paying £100 for it. There are no lasting benefits for me, as once I'm up I'm fine anyway, so on occasion I simply opt for half an hours extra sleep and just harsh alarm!
I was expecting the light to be a little whiter, I found it a little yellow and not really reminiscent of natural light. The quality of the sound of the effects and the radio I also found a tad tinny, which again, for the price, a very good lamp and quality radio could be bought!
One thing I do like a lot is the way in which the lamp can be used at bedtime in the opposite way. The light can slowly fade whilst laid in bed which I found incredibly relaxing plus I didn't have to worry about falling asleep with my light on and a book on my face as I usually do!
All in all, a good product, just far too expensive.
Philips HF-3485 USB Alarm Clock with Wake Up Light
I bought this as I thought it would help uplift my mood when waking up in the morning - especially on sad, dreary winter mornings. It is listed as a health product and I read some reviews on it before I bought it. When buying something which costs over a hundred pounds I tend to do at least some research before parting with the cash. It is promoted as a device to help with seasonal affective disorder. Just what I was looking for. I expected to wake up feeling refreshed and positive. I had high hopes for the benefits of this product. Ultimately, I was disappointed.
I found setting up the appliance very fiddly and I had to read the instructions through carefully. You can set the light to come on for whatever time you wish. It comes on slowly to simulate approaching day. When I first began to use it I convinced myself that it was a lovely way to wake up - listening to my selection of birdsong, (you could choose radio if you wanted) with the light coming on gradually at my bedside. The time is illuminated on the side. Although the settings took a while to get use to and could be better marked - it seemed a useful device and it had an initial novelty value for me.
After a couple of weeks, however, I began to find this product very irritating. Having listened to it over and over the birdsong sounds tinny and repetitive. The light is yellowy and not really like 'daylight' at all - more like the sun rising and shining in your eyes which is sometimes quite annoying.
The device itself is fairly bulky and takes up quite a bit of space on my bedside drawers. I don't find it particularly attractive in design especially with the metal control button sticking out at the side and when not being used it looks like a cheap plastic item - not something that cost the RRP of this product.
I have no idea how the price for this item can possibly be justified.
Mine is now used as a part-time bedside light, part-time radio and seems to attract more than its fair share of dust. I wish I'd not bothered with it at all. It did little for my SAD in wintertime - a light-box which emits pure white light might have been a better option for this. Having read some reviews on this product it clearly lessens the SAD symptoms of some people - but unfortunately, it was not a success for me. It makes me 'sad' to think of the amount of money I wasted.
Very poor purchase.
Currently (11/07/13) £143 on Amazon.