Do you struggle to wake up in the morning?
Instead of hitting the snooze button several times in a row and then scrambling around to get to work on-time, there is a better way. Wake up lights and sunrise alarms create a natural balance for your circadian rhythm, triggering your body to begin waking up slowly over time instead of immediately to a loud sound.
It is a product that works for you if you’re a light sleeper, a heavy sleeper, or you’re a champion sleeper who wouldn’t wake up for an earthquake or a tornado.
The best wake up light and sunrise alarm reviews will help you be able to take advantage of these products so you can finally be in control of your morning routine.
Say goodbye to the snooze button.
One Chart for the Best Wake Up Lights and Sunrise Alarms
There are dozens of wake-up lights and sunrise alarms that are available today from a variety of manufacturers and retailers. Each model has hundreds, if not thousands, of positive reviews. We’ve conglomerated all that data to put together this chart of the best models in this category.
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||Maximum Length of Simulation||Number of Sounds||Number of Sounds||Color Options||Price|
|Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light w/ Sunrise Simulation|| 4.2 ||40 minutes||5||Yes||5|| $$$$$+ |
|INLIFE Wake Up Light and Sunrise Simulation|| 4.1 ||30 minutes||7||Yes||6|| $$$ |
|Vansky Wake Up Light and Sunrise Simulation|| 4.2 ||30 minutes||6||Yes||7|| $$$ |
|Vimicy Wake Up Light with Smart Snooze|| 4.8 ||30 minutes||6||Yes||7|| $$$ |
|Flux Bluetooth Smart LED Light Bulb Sunrise Wakeup Light|| 4.5 ||Custom||1||No||Custom|| $$ |
|MagicLight Pro Bluetooth LED Light w Sunrise Wakeup|| 4.4 ||Custom||1||No||Custom|| $$$ |
|Bolansi Wake Up Light and Sunrise Simulation|| 4.8 ||30 minutes||6||Yes||7|| $$ |
|Lightismo Wake Up Light Alarm Clock w/ Sunrise|| 4.7 ||30 minutes||5||Yes||7|| $$ |
|TSTAR Wake-Up Light and Sunrise Simulator|| 4.3 ||30 minutes||6||Yes||5|| $$ |
|Totobay Wake Up Light and Sunrise Simulation|| 4.5 ||30 minutes||6||Yes||7|| $$ |
|Picture||Name||Our Rating||Maximum Length of Simulation||Number of Sounds||Number of Sounds||Color Options||Price|
Reviews of the Best Wake Up Lights and Sunrise Alarms
This sunrise alarm clock is very easy-to-use straight out of the box. After plugging the unit into a standard outlet, all you need to do is program your alarm, get your time set, and you’re ready to go for the next morning. You can also turn this light on to use it as a reading lamp. It doesn’t offer a colored sunrise simulation, but the yellow light that this product gives off is still realistic. There was a definite difference the next morning when waking up to this alarm clock compared to a standard bell-type sound. It was much easier to roll out of bed.
This wake-up light is a little brighter than other entry-level options. It produces just under 100-lux, which serves most standard needs. It provides that light through 18 LEDs, with half being white and the other half being RGBs. The touch keys on this alarm are very sensitive. They sometimes even activate as you move your finger toward the button. You must be extremely precise with your movements to make sure you’re able to set the exact features you want to have with this sunrise simulator.
The speed of waking is quite nice with this sunrise simulator. We were typically awake before the full-volume audio cues would sound. It’s not bulky or heavy, has a sleek design, and offers an FM radio that provides a strong and consistent signal – though the antenna can get in the way on small tables or nightstands. You receive 5 different color options with this alarm instead of 7. The light levels are consistent across the color spectrum, however, and you can scroll your finger across the light to change the color.
We found this sunrise simulator to be a functional and fun alarm clock to use. Although the settings are a little complicated, the setup is standard for this category of product. It took us about 15 minutes to get it up and running. This is one of the few wake-up lights that will allow you to either pick one color or cycle through all the colors if you wish. The time can be set to 12-hour or 24-hour configurations. You’ve got to be careful when pressing the buttons, however, because pressing multiple buttons can cause the device to malfunction.
You can change the brightness of this light when it is in a sunrise or sunset simulation, but that stops the dimming or brightening process. While in a cycle, the light will stay at the specific brightness that was set for the remainder of the timer. It will also work as a table lamp and offers users 10 different brightness settings that can be used. There is a warm-light mode that comes with this feature, making it possible to protect your eyes from a potentially painful light source when it is dark in the room.
Once you have it installed, you’ll find that using the Bluetooth LED light bulb is a pretty simple process. All you need to do is screw the light bulb into its fixture, power it on, and you’re ready to go. You have multiple user options available to you outside of the sunrise or sunset feature. The Vacation Mode might be just as useful, allowing you to create individualized timers that offer variable timing on turning your lights on or off. This makes it seem like you are home, reducing the risk of a break-in.
The smartphone and tablet app is straightforward and easy to use. You will need to have a Bluetooth 4.0 compatible device to use the Flux light bulb. It does not work with Alexa-equipped devices. The start-up sequence for the light is very fast, rated at 0.5 seconds. It’s easily one of the fastest lights that we could test. You can also create custom modes that can be shared with others over email or SMS text, including the sunrise simulation. Transition cycles last for up to 30 minutes. You can also set this light bulb to function as a dusk simulator.
Although you can charge this unit with a USB, it works better when plugged into a standard outlet. The light levels are more consistent when power is being supplied to the unit instead of having it be powered with the internal battery. The nature sounds for this model only sound when it is used for an alarm. It doesn’t give you the option to run the sounds all night long. You also need to cycle through the sounds to find the one that you prefer. You can listen to the FM radio at your convenience and the built-in antenna does a reasonably good job of acquiring a signal.
You have access to 6 natural sounds and an FM radio. It offers a 7-color light that can act as an atmosphere lamp or as a nightlight for your room. One nice feature with this clock is that you can control the brightness of the clock display in addition to the actual light. The controls are on the back of the unit, however, so they aren’t very easy to access when you’re lying in bed and want to make a change. Over the course of 30 minutes, this alarm clock begins at a 1% brightness instead of 10% or 25%, greatly reducing the risks of waking up too early when the light turns on.
The nightlight feature on this alarm clock is one of its best features. The blue and green colors are virtually the same, but the other color options provide the right kind of night ambience. It’s a great option for parents who have their kids come crawling into bed with them in the middle of the night. You can use this light instead of the overhead fixture, letting everyone else stay asleep. The brightness levels of the wake-up light could use a little more variation. The difference between 25% light and 50% light is minimal. It is most useful at its 100% setting as a lamp.
Why Do We Even Use Alarm Clocks?
Even when we didn’t have electricity, we had alarm clocks. Just ask Mr. Rooster, who still crows whenever the sun decides to rise.
The human body is conditioned to wake up when it experiences sunlight. It then begins to feel tired when that sunlight disappears. Alarm clocks are useful for those times when we might need to wake up before the sun decides to rise.
It is a problem that has been addressed by human civilizations for centuries. Plato allegedly used an alarm clock that was like a kettle, using draining water to create a whistle that would wake him up.
We’ve put bells into churches. Chimes went into clocks that would sound on the hour. In the 18th century, you could even get a job as an alarm clock. Called a “Knocker Upper,” you’d go door-to-door, making sure people got up and made it to work on time.
Of course, if you said today that your job was to “Knocker-Up,” you’d get an entirely different response than you would in early industrial Britain.
Thankfully, new technologies and fresh ideas have created a modern alarm clock that can better meet our wake-up needs. Sunrise alarms and wake-up lights create an artificial dawn. This allows the body to get into a rhythm that feels natural, balancing out your circadian rhythm.
How Does a Wake-Up Light or Sunrise Alarm Work?
A wake-up light or sunrise alarm has a clock just like any other alarm clock you may have owned. The difference is that there is also a light built around the clock that will begin to glow about 30 or 40 minutes before you set a sounding alarm.
Some models use a Bluetooth interface to a gradually rising LED lightbulb instead of a traditional alarm clock design.
Once the light turns on, it will increase in brightness over time. The goal is to simulate a sunrise, triggering the natural waking mechanisms of the human body. At its brightest, most models will provide about 200 lux. At the end of the sunrise cycle, you can set a sound alarm.
Many sunrise alarms and wake-up lights offer various nature sounds instead of a repeating alarm for this part of the cycle. You may also be able to tune the alarm to your favorite FM radio if you prefer. Some models will gradually increase the noise as well.
This way, you’re not jarred out of your REM sleep, which can leave you feeling groggy and exhausted – even after a full night of rest.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Wake-Up Light or Sunrise Alarm?
The primary benefit of using this type of alarm clock is that it triggers a natural wake-up response. Assuming you haven’t buried your head into your pillow or dragged your blanket above your head, the artificial dawn creates a natural response that will have you feeling better about waking up compared to a standard alarm.
There are several additional benefits that can be experienced when you use a wake-up light or a sunrise alarm on a regular basis each morning.
- You reduce the risks of adrenal fatigue. Adrenal fatigue occurs because your body cannot produce a balanced level of cortisol. Cortisol may be the “stress hormone,” but you still need it present to get your body moving. If you rush for an energy drink or a massive espresso in the morning, then you’re facing this issue. A sunrise alarm or wake-up light can help your body work to restore a hormonal balance.
- You can balance your melatonin levels. Melatonin should work in the opposite way of cortisol. You want it to peak at night. By waking up to an artificial sunrise, you can trigger a body response that will balance out this hormone throughout the day so you don’t need to fight it off with some caffeine.
- You can reduce the symptoms of SAD. Seasonal affective disorders (SADs) are often present in the Autumn and Winter seasons. Symptoms that are similar to depression begin to appear because there may be a lack of sunshine or a change in schedule that keeps you indoors more often. In conjunction with the best light therapy boxes, you can better manage your symptoms with this type of alarm.
One final benefit is the fact that many models allow you to use the alarm as a bedside lamp if you wish. Instead of needing to get out of bed to turn a light on or off, or using a disruptive portable mechanism like “The Clapper,” you can just reach over and use this bright light at your convenience.
It is like having an alarm clock, a lamp, and a light therapy option all in one convenient package.
The Benefits of a Balanced Circadian Rhythm Go Even Further
The inner-workings of the circadian rhythm is complex. In basic terms, sunrises and sunsets are hardwired into our brains. When it is out-of-balance, it can do more than just make you feel tired all day. It can interfere with the natural aging process.
MIT published a study in the June 20, 2013 issue of Cell that shows a specific protein plays a key role in controlling circadian rhythms. Called SIRT1, this protein has also been shown to protect against aging diseases.
When a person’s circadian rhythm remains out-of-balance for an extended period of time, it can create metabolism problems as well. This can lead to issues with obesity, metabolic disorders, and even the development of diabetes. If you want to maintain your health, you need to focus on establishing a routine that balances your circadian rhythm.
That is why a wake-up light or a sunrise alarm can be so beneficial. Every day, the sunrise and sunset occurs at a different time. In the Summer, the days are incredibly long. In the Winter, the days are incredibly short. Each change can cause seasonally-related insomnia or increase the risk of experiencing a seasonal affective disorder.
In a darkened room, you can restore the timing of sunrise with this product. It’s up to you to establish a healthy bedtime routine. Achieve both and you may end up feeling a lot better over the next couple of weeks then you have in a long, long time.
Why Do Wake-Up Lights and Sunrise Alarms Have Nature Sounds?
Listening to your favorite nature sounds isn’t just a useful tool for when you’re struggling to get to sleep. It can also help you wake up naturally and provide you with a better focus for your morning routine.
If you continue the exposure to nature sounds, you can maintain that higher level of focus throughout the day. When nature sounds are present, it becomes possible to have a better level of sustained attention. It is even more effective than having white sound pumped into an environment.
This is because nature sounds provide our cognitive abilities with a restorative effect.
The best wake up lights and sunrise alarms typically provide 5-7 different nature sounds that can be used as part of the alarm process. This variety is provided because different people prefer different natural sounds for their focus.
One person may find the sound of crashing waves on a beach as the most effective way for them to find their focus. Others may prefer a mountain stream, jungle sounds, or even a crackling fireplace. Experiment with each sound that is provided by the best wake up lights and sunrise alarms and you’ll be able to find a positive wake-up experience.
If you have a pair of stereo headphones, you could also listen to Nature Sounds Radio to see which option improves your focus the most.
The sounds are calm. They’re not played loudly. They come on after the sunrise simulation in virtually all makes and models. It is a simulation that brings you as close to camping and nature as you can get in the comfort of your own bedroom.
Is a Wake-Up Light or a Sunrise Alarm a Therapy Light?
If you have been diagnosed with SAD or you’re just dealing with some cabin fever after a few gray days, then you may be looking for a therapy light to help you feel better. Unfortunately, this is not a product that offers a full therapeutic benefit.
Most therapy light boxes need to provide 10,000 lux to offer a therapeutic effect. Some doctors may prescribe light therapy sessions in the 2,000-7,500 lux range instead. The average sunrise alarm provides about 200 lux in comparison.
Therapy lights are also designed to meet a specific purpose. Some are created to help people cope with seasonal affective disorders. There are also therapy lights that are designed for skin disorders which produce UV light.
The best wake up lights and sunrise alarms may not be able to replace a light therapy box, but they do work very well together. Here’s why. Try closing your eyes right now for a brief second. What did you see?
Many people say they see “nothing” when they close their eyes, but this isn’t true. If you are facing a light source, you can see that light through your eyelids. Look at a light source with your eyes closed and then turn your head away from it. There is a noticeable darkening effect.
Your brain can recognize what season it happens to be based on the patterns of sunrise and sunset. With our modern world, we have different shifts that are worked and lifestyle needs that have us staying up late and getting up early. By using an artificial dawn, you can still maintain a healthy circadian rhythm, even if you sleep all day and work all night.
Pricing Expectations for the Best Wake Up Lights and Sunrise Alarms
You’ll find that most sunrise alarms and wake-up lights are priced in the $40 range. At this price, you’ll receive the alarm clock, an FM radio on most models, an access to a handful of nature sounds. Some of the models may also provide an aromatherapy option that can be triggered in the morning with the artificial dawn as well.
Premium wake-up lights and sunrise alarms are priced in the $60-$100 range. You’ll receive a longer simulation with most of the premium alarms, 1-2 additional nature sounds, and other features that may provide you with specific benefits.
The best wake-up light and sunrise alarm reviews will help you be able to find a better alarm clock that will allow you to rise up to face your day in a natural way. It’s time to get rid of those loud, blaring alarm clocks that startle you awake. Enjoy a simulated sunrise, go to sleep with an artificial dusk, and you will likely notice a positive improvement in the quality of your sleep.