9

votes

Has anyone tried 'Simulated Dawn' alarm clocks?

Answered on September 12, 2014
Created March 22, 2010 at 4:02 PM

Has anyone had any experience with the so-called 'simulated dawn' alarm clocks such as the Bio-Brite, Wake-Up Light or Soleil? It is possible that I may start using one in the winter when I cannot leave the shutters on our windows open because of the cold, but are they worth the expense?

03b67d2b8e9e878147cb3f225c864207

(766)

on October 13, 2010
at 12:08 AM

I had one of those apps but during the night it would have to keep the backlight on (with a black screen) and the phone unlocked. Does yours emit ANY light at all during the night?

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 26, 2010
at 08:34 PM

wow, this sounds v.cool. I wonder if they have it for iPods too, I don't have an iPhone.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 22, 2010
at 08:56 PM

my brother in law is an electrician - perhaps I should get him to look at this article.....

93f44e8673d3ea2294cce085ebc96e13

(10502)

on March 22, 2010
at 05:29 PM

Great question. I have been thinking about these for some time. Wonder if they are hype or actually worthwhile.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 22, 2010
at 04:58 PM

Yeah, I have read about this, the light bulb is an issue and also it looks pretty ugly, not sure whether I am up to having that lump of plastic on my bedside table. But on the other hand, you can set it to 'birdsong' in addition to the gradual light.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 22, 2010
at 04:57 PM

Yeah, I have read about this, the light bulb is an issue and also it looks pretty ugly, not sure whether I am up to having that lump of plastic on my bedside table.

65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

(6092)

on March 22, 2010
at 04:09 PM

I haven't, but now I am intrigued.

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13 Answers

best answer

5
5cd18bfcafadc56292971e59f2f1faf6

on March 22, 2010
at 05:50 PM

I've used a borrowed BioBrite SunRise in the past. It's pretty nice and works as advertised. The light is bright but not even close to the intensity of real sunlight through a window so results will vary depending on your particular sensitivity to light. Also, as far as I understand it, the perception of light intensity falls off greatly with each increment of distance so you'll get best results if you can put this lamp on a nightstand next to the bed versus across the room on a dresser. When I used the lamp, it was about 2 feet away from my head. It's pretty big for an alarm clock so not necessarily easy to fit on a nightstand.

I haven't purchased one of my own mainly because I allow myself to wake up naturally now and have a cheapo alarm clock that's sufficient for the rare occasion where I need to be up by a certain time. If I ever find myself in a position in life where I have to wake up at a regular time, I'd certainly consider one of these lamps.

It's a rather expensive alarm clock and individual results seem to vary greatly so I'm hesitant to recommend it too strongly. If you find that sunlight through a window is effective for waking you up, it might be worth a shot, particularly if you can get it through a retailer with a good return policy!

4
C4d4a9db7ee3b315eae97795555a1177

(623)

on March 22, 2010
at 06:20 PM

I have a BioBrite one and it works. I wake up to it every morning and it helps me to snap out of the deep sleep Im usually in if the room is dark. The craftsmanship isnt the best but it hasnt broken on me. I also sometimes use the Sounds of Nature Lite app (free) on my iphone (plugged into my computer speakers). Since the lamp takes 30 min to gradually lighten the room Ill set the alarm to go off 5 minutes after the Nature Alarm. That way I wake up to the sounds of birds and the outdoors and a bright room. Pretty primal awakening :-)

3
89e238284ccb95b439edcff9e123671e

(10299)

on March 22, 2010
at 08:44 PM

I have got the Philips mentioned, and it works fine. So far at least...

And I must say, that during the winter, it was nice to wake up with this alarm clock. Although, with two kids (age 2y4m and 8m), you sometimes don't need an alarm.

It was rather expensive, but worthwile. I hope not to get any problems, like the ones mentioned on amazon.

3
Fc7712b6a931b618ffaf4d6475b5d8f4

(200)

on March 22, 2010
at 06:58 PM

You can always roll your own.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 22, 2010
at 08:56 PM

my brother in law is an electrician - perhaps I should get him to look at this article.....

3
B4313b18cc03036a6147543d7b0872d6

(566)

on March 22, 2010
at 06:15 PM

I have used one for a couple of years now and would not want to wake up pre-dawn without one. The Verilux Rise and Shine was by far the best, but the bulb burnt out, is difficult to locate, and rather expensive. Right now, I'm using one called "Wake Up Naturally." It is less than stellar as the light is not bright enough, but it was cheaper than the specialty light bulb. As soon as I can overcome my sticker shock, I'll be purchasing the bulb and returning to the Verilux.

3
65125edd5aafad39b3d5b3a8b4a36bb7

on March 22, 2010
at 04:12 PM

Apparently, there are some product quality issues with the Philips Wake-up Light.

http://www.amazon.com/Philips-HF3480-Wake-up-Light/dp/B002CGSYPS/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1269274164&sr=8-1-fkmr0

I would suggest doing thorough research before buying.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 22, 2010
at 04:57 PM

Yeah, I have read about this, the light bulb is an issue and also it looks pretty ugly, not sure whether I am up to having that lump of plastic on my bedside table.

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 22, 2010
at 04:58 PM

Yeah, I have read about this, the light bulb is an issue and also it looks pretty ugly, not sure whether I am up to having that lump of plastic on my bedside table. But on the other hand, you can set it to 'birdsong' in addition to the gradual light.

2
0e2772604bdb3627525b42d77340538b

on March 26, 2010
at 05:06 PM

For those with an iPhone, I bought the app 'Wake-Up Pro' which gets brighter and brighter for 30 minutes before it wakes you up with your choice of noise (I have farm birds). I usually wake up a few minutes before the birds. It works great for me and was only $3 or something. If you get it, make sure you read about how to turn the brightness down for the rest of the night.

03b67d2b8e9e878147cb3f225c864207

(766)

on October 13, 2010
at 12:08 AM

I had one of those apps but during the night it would have to keep the backlight on (with a black screen) and the phone unlocked. Does yours emit ANY light at all during the night?

33b6c516904a967ef8ecb30f1dbd8cf2

(7073)

on March 26, 2010
at 08:34 PM

wow, this sounds v.cool. I wonder if they have it for iPods too, I don't have an iPhone.

2
27701ea3ac398a0336f0263c1f39e7a3

(138)

on March 24, 2010
at 02:17 PM

I gave a BioBrite as a birthday present to my boyfriend who really struggles to get up in the morning. It often wakes me up 5 or 10 minutes into the artifial dawn even though it's over on his side of the bed. It's a nice feeling when that happens because it wakes me naturally durig a light sleep phase before my own alarm goes off. On the other hand my boyfriend sleeps through the whole dawn phase and can easily go through 10 minutes of the audible alarm before he finally stirs.

The verdict is: It works really well for some people but maybe not for those who really need help with waking up :)

1
7c379a865738d2b373a362dc0f1d9459

on September 05, 2012
at 11:02 AM

I use a moonbeam alarm clock and have for several years. It is a verycool retro looking alarm clock and was originally created for the blind. Actually after converting to it I have not required an alarm clock in quite a long time, my husband however does and now he uses it. He has to get up before I do and even though it does wake me it isn't that awful feeling a normal alarm causes. I would highly suggest it.

1
Bc9cea24cf72c4703aec3e6b566b2c47

on March 23, 2010
at 06:03 AM

While this solution is not a gradual wake-up it works very well, just a 150 watt torchier floor lamp shining to the ceiling with a timer.

0
F652b96a3bcf646d8dad56cb1d035101

(205)

on October 12, 2010
at 07:45 PM

I have one of the ugly plastic Philips ones. I'd say it was expensive for the quality of it and it has some issues - it occasionally goes off on a frolic of it's own and turns itself on in the middle of the night. (Amazon reviews seem to show that this is a common problem. It seems to straighten itself out if you switch it off at the wall for a day or so.) It also has very short looped sound effects which you cannot turn off - you can turn them "down" but not off. I can still hear them and they seriously mess with my calm :/

Having said all that, when it works; it works. Before I was Paleo I used to wake up feeling gut wrenchingly sick in the mornings when woken by an alarm. I am not and never will be a morning person. This clever gadget makes winter mornings bearable for me and I wouldn't be without some form of one ever again.

My thoughts? If you can find one that is a decent balance between cost/ugly & you have serious morning issues - go for it.

0
Cf1189fc2e0acdd49ce566e43238ffb6

on October 12, 2010
at 06:28 PM

I use an Apollo Health DayBreak Duo Dawn/Dusk Simulator I got off of ebay. It works great. You can use your own lamp/s and bulbs. This allows better control of brightness and color and allows you to upgrade when possible.

0
1e68c6909db3ce6c272a7a0bf2c2978b

on March 25, 2010
at 02:54 PM

I recently bought a Lumie Starter clock (UK brand?) for ??58 (free next-day delivery) from bodykind.com. I have to say it's great, a much less shocking way to wake up. Although it doesn't allieviate any grumpiness from having to get up at 630am! Also the Lumie customer service (again, UK-specific) was fantastic, our initial bulb didn't work out of the box and they sent another no questions asked, next-day delivery.

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