Last Updated on September 14, 2021 by Sandra Allens

If your alarm clock’s beeping in the dark makes you feel stressed and overwhelmed, a wake-up light might help you in the morning. Our experiment examined the burgeoning science of circadian rhythms by using ten best sunrise alarm clocks and two non-clock lighting devices over the course of a month. Our favorite wake-up light is the Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520 for its soft dawn and dusk simulations as well as its soft wake-up sounds.

HF3520 Philips SmartSleep Light Sensor

The Best Sunrise Alarm Clocks

Using this alarm that simulates the rise and setting of the sun to wake you up will help you feel less groggy. With a large selection of alarm sounds, an additional alarm, a power backup, and a sleek design, the device offers a lot of functions.

In the early morning, it can be annoying to use a sunrise alarm that uses white light. As you wake up, a reddish-pink light gradually becomes a white light with the Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520. You may feel less groggy when you wake up if you take this approach since it feels more natural. In addition to its five alarm sounds, backup alarm, and backup power source, the HF3520 lacks an app to program the settings, though you can listen to relaxing sounds to help you drift off to sleep.

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Wake-Up and Sleep Light for SmartSleep HF3670

Wake up To Luxe Light

Bluetooth connectivity, soothing sunrise lighting, and multiple alarms are all included in this model, which has many of the same features as our main pick. Through the intuitive app, the settings can be changed more easily as well.

People don’t only sleep and wake up to sunrise sounds when the alarm clocks go off in the morning. Depending on your preferences, it can serve as an addition to your entire sleep routine. Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light, our pick for best Sleep and Wake-Up light, has many of the same features. Furthermore, you can choose from a variety of alarm sounds, brightening levels, and sunrise sounds. The sensor also measures temperature and humidity. It features a nightlight, USB port, and sensors for measuring temperature and humidity. We believe a new, intuitive app will be more useful than a clock’s buttons. Other features, such as the ability to schedule sunrise and sunset times, are far more powerful. Several “wind down” routines are available in the sunset component that will guide you in making deep breaths. Additionally, you can set more than one alarm throughout the week.

Timer Sunrise from HomeLabs

Easy-To-Use Alarm Clock

It is more reliable than some cheaper models, because it is able to dim the light, has a radio, and can sound the alarm, which makes it a more reliable choice than some cheaper models.

When you cannot afford either of our main choices, we recommend the hOmelabs best Sunrise Alarm Clock. This clock is not as high-end as those from the high-end category, but its quality is no doubt there. It’s less relaxing and sounds tinny than Philips’ dawn and dusk simulations. However, Philips’ cheapest model lacks features like gradual dimming at night and calming alarm tones, while its more expensive equivalent does. Buying cheap ice skates only to discover that you enjoy the sport and upgrade the next time.

For Whom This is Intended

A sunrise alarm may help you feel less groggy if you have trouble waking up in the morning or if the days darken as the seasons change. It is biologically the sun that wakes people up, which is why wake-up-light alarm clocks mimic that with a slowly increasing brightness until the clock is comparable to a spring sunset after 30 minutes.

If you sleep with your eyes closed, you might wonder how a sunrise alarm functions. Using your eyes as well as your seeing will allow you to adjust your biological clock. You can detect changes in light even when closed eyes during dawn and dusk because light-sensitive neurons in the retina are awake and detecting light. When dawn comes, melatonin production is suppressed by sufficient light intensity. Feeling less tired may result from this.

You can wake yourself up in the morning by using a lamp with a timer. The clock that you need isn’t really necessary. The bright light from these clocks may alleviate jet lag, but they also appeal to those who aren’t morning people and dislike conventional alarm clocks. If you’re struggling to overcome sleep inertia, you might find that dawn simulation is useful. There has been preliminary research suggesting that it can reduce heart attack risks.

It is known that the dawn light can suppress your melatonin levels if detected at least an hour before sunrise. You might not feel as tired after taking this.

The best sunrise alarm clock may be useful if you have delayed sleep phase syndrome. There are, however, other treatment options. These alarms use 20-50 times brighter light than the bright-light therapy devices used to treat SAD. An expert in sleep medicine can prescribe a regimen for severe cases of DSPS.

Remember that if you and your partner sleep on different schedules, alarm clocks set for sunrise might not be a good idea. The challenge of waking up earlier will be difficult for those who like sleeping in, unless they’ve been blessed with the ability to sleep through everything.

Picking and Testing

We started by looking at clocks that met these requirements, focusing on clocks that met the most crucial requirement first: brightness.

  • Good appearance in general. A nightstand is visible at a glance, so it should be something that would have no problem holding its own in a well-designed room. In our search for the perfect clock to display on a nightstand, we sought out dependable clocks.
  • Substantial weight. There is nothing worse than swatting your alarm clock around as you are trying to snooze it half-consciously.
  • Display of time that is unobtrusive. You can’t sleep well when you can’t see the wall clock’s numbers. The lighting of the numbers on clocks was something we preferred.
  • Good alarm tones. This type of clock comes with audio alarms as well as light, which are activated when the light is at its brightest. On some weeks, you may wish you were waking up on a beach hearing the sounds of waves. Another possibility is to experience being like a bird in a forest. Choosing clocks with different sounds was our preferred feature.
  • Backup alarm. You could set an alarm for five a.m. on those occasions when you’re ambitious. A second alarm can be helpful when setting a humane time to avoid getting interrupted by your alarm if you got things done only to regret them when the alarm actually goes off.
  • Backup power. A power outage can make it particularly difficult to attend an important event and you do not want to miss it. Clocks that prevent this were what we wanted.

Finally, we selected Humelabs best Sunrise Alarm Clock and Lumie Bodyclock Active 250 in addition to four Philips models. At least one of each model graced my nightstand for a few days. In late-sunset mode, I compared the colors of the clocks in contrast to see how I felt with each alarm in the morning. For evaluation of the selection and sound quality, I listened to both the alarm tone and the radio.

Sleep Light Supplied by Philips Hf3520

Item that Works Well for Sunrise Alarms

Using this alarm that simulates the rise and setting of the sun to wake you up will help you feel less groggy. With a large selection of alarm sounds, an additional alarm, a power backup, and a sleek design, the device offers a lot of functions.

You get all the features you need at the lowest price with Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520. The red-tinted alarms we found seem more natural and may keep you from feeling groggy as you wake up. It was more expensive to find a white light alarm. In addition to having an excellent radio and five alarm tones, the phone looks sleeker and is more durable than models in the same price range.

The HF3520, SmartSLEEP HF3650, and SmartSLEEP HF3670 are the only Philips alarms that feature red-light simulation. There is scientific evidence to suggest that this approach is not merely a gimmick. Researchers at the PLoS Biology journal found that mice exposed to natural light shifted their internal circadian clock more effectively. Humans are not mice, according to Yale University’s adjunct associate professor of psychiatry, Dan Oren, MD.

It doesn’t matter what way I look at it. As a light sleeper I found this clock to be a pleasant change from the orange color of the Philips HF3510, the clock that came next in the comparison. The two types of frozen yogurt that you can buy are gelato and frozen yogurt, but frozen yogurt is lacking a little something.

For days when you need a little reminder, you can pick from five alarm sounds, including yoga music with birds chirping and wind chimes, chirping alone, chirping with a cuckoo, quiet piano music, and ocean wave with seagulls. I would not recommend the Philips model below because it has only three options. In addition to being an alarm tone, it sounds as good as the Philips Somneo, our upgrade pick. In case you aren’t woken by these sounds, you can set a backup alarm. The alarm can be snoozed at any time by simply touching the clock anywhere on the face.

It is hard to argue against the aesthetic appeal of Philips’ glossy orb designs, which certainly contrast with those associated with lower-cost products. The container’s shape and weight prevent it from falling over.

These clocks cost about $60 more than Philips’ highest-end models. Even so, you may be able to get the same item for less than $100 if you look at some major retailers. That’s a remarkable feat, considering how both clocks simulate light in similar ways. We weren’t that bothered by the absence of an alarm speaker with a phone charger, a regular light, and extra sounds in the premium model-we did not mind paying $60 or $100 more for the extra features.

Not a Dealbreaker, but Flaws Nonetheless

Due to the HF3520’s solid, orb-like shape, it was quite difficult for me to lift it from the nightstand during dusting. The extension at the back makes it more stable, but it is not able to be aligned against a wall. Even though it has a doughnut-shape, we preferred Philips’ flat back to the Somneo’s doughnut shape.

As it is the case with all Philips clocks, if the LED in the HF3520 starts going out, you are going to have to replace the entire clock. The Philips product development team came to the conclusion that a colleague has been using her Wirecutter for six years without any problems.

Wake-Up and Sleep Light for SmartSleep HF3670

Luxurious Wakeup Light

Bluetooth connectivity, soothing sunrise lighting, and multiple alarms are all included in this model, which has many of the same features as our main pick. Through the intuitive app, the settings can be changed more easily as well.

Philips SmartSleep HF3670 did not differ in terms of waking us up from our top pick. The Philips SmartSleep HF3670 may be worth the upgrade if you set multiple alarms during the week, create sunrise themes specific to your day, and use the clock as a sleep aid. Besides sleep tracking, the app lets you set humidity, temperature, and light. Nevertheless, these features are merely nice-to-haves.

SmartSleep’s features are easily navigated using SleepMapper. Using it, you can adjust the brightness, set alarm sounds, and set sound volume levels for every day of the week. In addition to this, you can also do everything with the clock’s buttons, but there are plenty of settings and buttons, making it difficult to navigate.

It is possible to use SleepMapper without creating an account. The SmartSleep clock and other data are collected in the app with the approval of the privacy policy. During the agreement process, you will have the option to grant Philips your consent. Philips may use the information for sleeping-related research. You should review the app’s privacy policy if you want to learn more.

Four sun-themed images are available, including a rainbow sunrise in the Caribbean and a winter sunrise in the North. There are additional alarm sounds and a higher maximum brightness. The so-called Power WakeUp alarm is certainly notable, even if I was too sleepy to enjoy any of the extras above. If you are required to be awake by a certain time in the morning, you can program it to wake you up after your regular alarm. The device flashes like hazard lights and emits a sound similar to that of a car not starting when your tough-love moment comes. By 2 a.m., I was fast asleep. Noxious noise kept me awake one night, even after I clicked snooze three times. How can I help? There’s no problem with it.

With its upgraded wind-down feature, the Philips HF 3670 is a better choice for those who need sleep during the night. You can pull up seven “wind-down” programs that go with the gradual dimming of the light, complete with breathing exercises and relaxing sounds, as you set your time interval, say, for 15 or 30 minutes. My aim was to fall asleep before the ocean waves stopped playing for three days straight. As an alternative, you could use a white-noise machine, sleep-tracking app, or meditation app, or simply forego our Sunset Pick. We recognize the virtues of a simplified sleeping tool.

Philips HF3670 measures light and noise in addition to room temperature and humidity. If your routine needs to be adjusted, you can check the app. My room is less bright now that I have turned the lights off. The heat, bugs, and noise were also too much to handle. I haven’t checked the sensors’ accuracy yet, but my bedroom proves they are about on target. It takes me longer to fall asleep if I have a clock with calming sounds like wind-down sounds, which mask the sound of my furnace.

Additionally, the device includes a USB charging port, on-demand nightlight, wake-and-sleep time tapping, a power-efficient donut design, and a more stylish design. As well as registering your sleep and wakeup times, you can record them. We were initially excited about these features, but they weren’t enough to justify the price increase alone.

Clock by HomeLabs for sunrise

Easy-To-Use Alarm Clock

However, it beats some cheaper models due to its dimming capabilities, radio, and alarm sounds, which make it a better choice than some cheaper models.

For those curious about how a wake-up light affects sleep but not ready to invest very much, the hOmelabs best Sunrise Alarm Clock is worth considering. Rather than the red light used by Philips, the white light delivers dawn and dusk. Furthermore, the thin and light weight make it appear cheap because it has a plasticky appearance and tinny sound. Furthermore, this clock has all the features you’d find in a high-end clock while still being reasonably priced.

In contrast to the others, the light seemed more gradual over a 30-minute period, rather than simulating dawn or dusk. It throws 200 lux, whereas our top pick throws 300 lux. In addition to the radio, the light can also be synchronized with an alarm tone. If you turn off the display, you will still hear birds chirping and ocean waves crashing. It was a feature my husband liked, but one online critic disliked it. I think the alarm went off too soon for me, even though deep sleepers might not have been woken by it. You can also set it to dim as you relax, prepare for sleep, or read. It is possible to change many colors in the dark, including those that resemble Gatorade. There is only one alarm light – the white one.

hOmelabs’ alarm sounds even when the power is out. There are only two Philips alarm clocks we tried with backup power in its lineup, the HF3520 and the far more expensive Philips Somneo. HOMELabs’s clock won’t fall off your nightstand despite its relatively light weight, and if you register it, the warranty lasts for 30 months, making it a better option than other models we tested.

Among the many low-cost alarm clocks on Amazon, the hOmelabs best Sunrise Alarm Clock has more than 4,800 reviews at the time of this writing. The customer service team resolved an email regarding the clock’s light value and a brief phone call about the battery within a few days. The difficulty obtaining more information about hOmelabs was not a deterrent to our decision to buy the clock since it costs less than a date to the movies and Amazon allows you to return it after 30 days. In late 2018, after I first published this guide, I tested this clock for a long period of time in my son’s room. So far, it’s given me no trouble.

Casper Glow Lights – How do they Work?

Casper’s Glow Light, a cylinder-shaped light that measures three by five inches and is marketed as “a magical light for better sleep”, received our review in January 2019. While we enjoyed using the device, we found it to be overpriced.

The best sunrise alarm clock can play an alert on your phone like an alarm clock with an alarm clock. There is no alarm clock or audio alert on the Glow Light. Philips Hue Go, an ambient lighting gadget that can be controlled from a smartphone, is similar to the products. Although the products aren’t very robust, and Alexa-enabled smart speakers cannot work with them.

It beats fumbling in the dark for buttons and trying to decipher instructions when the Glow Light is easily accessible. By twisting it, you can adjust the brightness. The off switch has to be flipped. By wriggling the device, you can activate the nightlight. Philips Hue Go is significantly easier to use than Glow Light, since Glow Light is too big to hold with one hand. At dusk, I read until the light on his nightstand went out; previously, we’d spend 30 minutes reading it together. My nightstand became my silent wake-up station after I read it in my living room. As well as being useful for my son’s pillow fort, the lantern-like night light was helpful when he yelled at 4 a.m. for me to come. You might discover that it can be used in more ways than you thought possible. A new mom used the Casper sleeper to feed her baby at midnight, according to its designer. You might want to consider A Glow Light if you appreciate Casper’s simplicity and have a flexible budget.

Although you could save some money if you buy a dedicated clock rather than an alarm clock, if you need an alarm to help you get out of bed each morning, then a dedicated clock would be a better option for you. If you just need a light in the morning, you can save money by keeping a smart bulb or using Philips Hue Go. As for the Hue Go, which we also tested, it costs around $80, but to use it fully, you need the Hue Bridge, which is an additional $60. You can use smart bulbs throughout your home via the Hue Go, bringing it up to the price range of the Glow Light.

Apps to Wake You Up Or Smart Bulbs?

Several dawn-simulating apps are available on Apple and Google Play, but these generate mixed reviews and emit less light than specific clocks. On most nights, these apps don’t provide the kind of light that is most effective in improving sleep-and that is a “bedroom-filling” light. The apps did wake me up on the nights I tried them. We haven’t yet found what we recommend.

We recommend experimenting with smart-home devices and lighting by buying a smart bulb. You should always go to bed without an alarm tone to ensure that you’ll get up on your own. Using LIFX bulbs, you can even emulate the sunset and rising sun. The smart bulb and lamp could be used to control an alarm clock or a smart speaker such as an Amazon Echo or Google Nest. Prices range from $35 to $50 for smart bulbs with color adjustment; white bulbs typically cost $20. Taking up no space on his nightstand, it is convenient for him. He sometimes oversleeps, but has three backup plans if he’s unable to sleep through his alarm or his daughter’s crying. He also shakes himself awake if nothing else works.

The Competition

With its solid design and great sound quality, this clock is a real winner. Even so, the product has mostly been designed as a sleeping aid rather than a waking aid. Like Philips, iHome has a wind-down feature, although it is much less expensive. Create your own relaxing routine with 16 sound and light options. You will be triggered to your sleeping routine if you press “Zenergy”. The iHome has a significantly lower light than any other model in this guide.

This alarm clock offers Mood Lights and Nature Sounds, made by La Crosse Technology. While it has less light and has less responsive customer service than our budget pick, there is no comparison between this clock and our budget pick. There are several things that make the La Crosse stand out, including its intuitive buttons and USB port, both of which are more nice-to-haves than essentials. In addition to the date, the display shows the time. Rather than a gradually swelling sunrise, light is more like a self-brightening bulb. A number of audio alarm options are offered, including a buzzer, but even the strongest brightness level cannot fill the room. The sunrise effect is only available in one color despite the seven color choices.

La Crosse Technology C80994 clock for Soluna Light. The higher price of this clock makes us question whether it outweighs the better wake-up experience compared to our budget pick and our C85135 Mood Light. One alarm tone is provided: a tinny melody reminiscent of those found in wind-up music boxes. The alarm becomes frighteningly loud if it is not turned off within five minutes of the scheduled waking time. Except for the Philips best Sunrise alarm clock, none of the clocks we tested under $100 offered a maximum brightness level. In spite of all of the clock’s “mood-light” options, the wake-up light does not mimic sunrise colors or fill up the room. Light-mode options include sunset simulation and guided breathing, but, due to their blue and purple colors, these did not seem relaxing or conducive to sleep.

Simulator alarm clock for Miami Sunrise from Lexon. In this guide, Philips clocks have alarms that feature similar wake-up features as the elegant half-orb. In contrast to the Philips, its sunrise appears in a paler orange color, although its saturation is lower. As opposed to awkwardly rising in steps, sunlight swells smoothly and gracefully to a white hue. The light at its brightest is accompanied by six pleasant tones. This clock is still flawed because it lacks robust light, which is essential for helping you feel awake. It’s difficult to use the buttons when half awake and snoozing because they are not raised.

The Lumie Active 250. Philips would be competing with Lumie if its products had a greater market share in the U.S. In light of their dawn-simulation research, we appreciate the seriousness with which this company treats its science. An estimated maximum 500 lux is emitted at a distance of 12 inches by the Bodyclock Active 250 bulb instead of an LED. As we tested, the Philips models didn’t feel hot after the light was turned on. The clock features sun-simulating sunset sounds and alarm tones, as well as a built-in radio and power backup system. We found, however, that the Philips HF3520 would be a more appropriate choice in the short run, due to its lower price (typically $140) and easy access in the US.

This LED sleep and wake-up light is by Philips. You can actually get the HF3670 without Bluetooth, which is a slightly older model. HF3670 has several sunrise options, while HF3670 only has one. Getting up and relaxing sounds are fewer. Even though the HF3650 has fewer features and a lower price, overall it’s a better product than the HF3670.

It is one level below Philips’ pick in their lineup, the Philips HF3510. While it appears similar to the HF3520, it is matte and not glossy. Furthermore, it has the same shape as the HF3520. There is no second alarm, there is only one natural wake-up sound, and the simulated orange sunrise is lacking soothing red tones. Despite being similar in price to our pick, this model does not match the performance of our pick.

Philips’ entry-level clock is more stylish than the budget options La Crosse and we tested. As with the sunrise on the above device, the sun’s tone begins warmer and gradually increases to 200 lux over the course of several minutes, so it fills your room with more light. A $50 hOmeLabs card usually has more features, but it’s more expensive. There is just one alarm tone in this app, which is extremely soothing: it sounds like a faint beep, like an alarm in a hospital. In this guide, the model under $100 also felt flimsy among the best sunrise alarm clock.