Does a wake-up light really work?

Six months ago I purchased a Philips HF3485 Wake-up Light with USB port and FM radio and I must say that I am quite content with it. Before I owned this futuristic device I used a cheap alarm clock to get up every morning. This didn’t work out very well for me because it waked me up with a shock of to loud beeping sounds, which is annoying, to say the least.

After reading a couple of reviews on the various kinds of wake-up lights, I decided to buy the HF3485 (the one with usb and FM radio). The reason for this was because it costs only about 20 Euro’s more than the least expensive version, the HF3470. This last one has less options and I advice against buying this one because it has no possibility to play your own songs when waking up. This is one of the reasons why I bought the HF3485 model: you can choose a song that plays when you wake up. It is also possible to buy a third type of wake-up light: the HF3490, it has an iPhone/Ipod/Idevice docking station instead of having an USB port. This can be useful so can charge your iPod while sleeping.

Having a wake-up light has two main advantages over regular alarm clocks. First, you can set a sunrise simulation time: it is the time in which the light intensity of the lamp gradually increases to the set level before the alarm sound is played. The default sunrise simulation time is 30 minutes, because this is said to be the optimum time for your body to prepare for waking up. As the sensitivity to light differs from person to person, it is possible to adjust the sunrise simulation to your own preference. You can reduce the sunrise simulation time to 20 or 25 minutes or increase it to 40 minutes. Second, you can set a sunset simulation, which is more or less the same as the sunrise except that it works the other way around (the brightness of the light gradually decreasing), this is useful to help you sleep better.

There are a number of things that could be improved on the Philips HF3485 Wake-up Light:

  • There is no internal memory that can be used to store songs. Instead, you have to sacrifice an USB-stick which has the music on it.
  • The standard sounds that come with the device are quite boring except for the bird-tweeting sound (which is actually quite soothing).
  • The music files can only be played if they are either a *.mp3 or *.wma format, it would be nice if it could play more, like *.ogg files.
    A wake-up light does really work but please note that despite the fact that it might help you fall asleep and get up better, it is not a miracle device that will help you wake up fresh after three hours of sleep!

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