Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock

Last updated date: March 25, 2019

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We looked at the top 1 Alarm Clocks and dug through the reviews from 9 of the most popular review sites including Tuck, Top Ten Review Pro, Gadget Viper, New York Times Wirecutter, Runner Click, Seek for Best, Indenpendent, Homethods and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Alarm Clock you should buy.

Overall Take

The Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock uses simulated sunlight to gradually rouse you from sleep. Thirty minutes before your desired wake-up time, the clock begins to glow, giving you the effect of waking during sunrise. You can also use this alarm clock as a reading lamp at night. It will gradually dim to help you fall asleep. In our analysis of 71 expert reviews, the Philips Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock placed 3rd when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note March 26, 2019:
Checkout The Best Alarm Clock for a detailed review of all the top alarm clocks.

Expert Summarized Score
9 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
4,358 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
The sunlight simulation is a far more pleasant and natural way to wake up, can be used as a bedside lamp, sunset simulation to help you fall asleep
- Business Insider
June 26, 2017 | Full review
The sunrise setting in the Philips Wake-Up Light is also highly advanced, transitioning from red to orange to bright yellow.
- Tuck
October 10, 2018 | Full review
It stimulates the conditions of sunrise to wake the user up in the most natural way possible using light therapy and 5 different natural sounds, leaving the user refreshed, instead of confused and disoriented like other abrupt alarms sounds.
- Top Ten Review Pro
The Philips HF3520 dawn simulator alarm clock is a wake up light featuring colour changing LED lights that replicate the changing tones of the sunrise.
- Gadget Viper
This alarm has the most soothing simulated sunrise and sunset, which may help you feel less groggy. It has a good range of alarm sounds, a second alarm, power backup, and a sleek design.
- New York Times Wirecutter
February 1, 2019 | Full review
One of the coolest features about this particular light alarm clock is that it doubles as a bedside lamp.
- Runner Click
The way the Philips Wake-Up Light works is simple and easy. You set up your preferred wake up time for your personalized sunrise.
- Seek for Best
Before you go to sleep you can set the light, which also works as a bedside reading lamp, to dim slowly. The LEDs inside are not replaceable but are designed to last for many years.
- Indenpendent
May 29, 2018 | Full review
The clock will slowly bring light in around as the time comes to awaken, which has been proven to help with that transition by mimicking a natural circadian rhythm.
- Homethods
What experts didn't like
Buttons are poorly positioned, pricey
- Business Insider
June 26, 2017 | Full review
Although it’s a beautiful alarm clock, it lacks multimedia/aux/USB support (although it has an FM Radio) and is not recommended for deep-sleepers or college students.
- Top Ten Review Pro
The solid, orb-like shape of the HF3520 made it difficult to lift away from the nightstand when I was dusting. Although the rear extension makes it more stable, that also means you can’t align the clock against a wall.
- New York Times Wirecutter
February 1, 2019 | Full review
A bit pricey
- Runner Click
LEDs are not replaceable. Control buttons can be fiddly
- Indenpendent
May 29, 2018 | Full review
It’s a bit expensive, Round shape is fairly easy to knock over in morning confusion
- Homethods

From The Manufacturer

Wake up naturally with a wake-up light and colored sunrise. Inspired by nature's sunrise the Philips Wake-up light uses a unique combination of light therapy and sound to wake you in a more natural way. The color of the morning light changes from soft dawn reds through warm orange to bright yellow light. Developed with Philips’ Clinical Sleep & Respironics knowledge and 100+yrs of Lighting expertise. Frequency is 50/60 Hz.

Overall Product Rankings

1. American Lifetime Digital Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 9.8
Expert Reviews: 4
2. RCA Digital Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 9.3
Expert Reviews: 5
3. Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 9.1
Expert Reviews: 9
4. iHome Bluetooth Color Changing Dual Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 9
5. Sonic Alert Travel Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 8.6
Expert Reviews: 1
6. Sonic Alert Sonic Bomb Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 8.1
Expert Reviews: 11
7. Travelwey Home LED Digital Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 8.0
Expert Reviews: 6
8. Electrohome Projection Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 7.8
Expert Reviews: 10
9. Sony Radio Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 6.9
Expert Reviews: 5
10. Kkafu Wireless Bluetooth Alarm Clock
Overall Score: 6.6
Expert Reviews: 2

An Overview On Alarm Clocks

Waking up is never easy, especially if you don’t get to do it on your own. Alarm clocks have been used for more than a century for pulling people out of a deep slumber, evolving in sophistication along the way. Many people today use a smartphone to wake up, but there are still benefits to an alarm clock. It frees you from the burden of having your smartphone next to you as you sleep, for one, while also giving you a wider range of options as to how you’ll be awoken.

If it’s been a while since you’ve gone alarm clock shopping, you may be surprised to hear about the many options now available. You can still get the standard digital alarm clock that lets you choose between disruptive beeps and other noises versus waking up to a local radio station. But there are also alarm clocks that sync to your phone, letting you wake up to music from your playlist.

There’s another option that you may have missed along the way. The Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock uses light therapy techniques to wake you up gently and naturally. It simulates the natural light from the sunrise, working with your body’s circadian rhythms to gently nudge you awake. Even some digital clocks use changing colors as a wake-up technique to combine this new approach with traditional alarm clock design.

One thing to consider is the ease of use of your alarm clock. You’ll likely want a digital readout that you can decipher when you roll over in the middle of the night, but you also don’t want it to be so bright that it lights up your entire room. If you’ve ever struggled to set the time or change your wake-up alarm time, you likely know the importance of ease of use. It’s important to consider that feature when you’re shopping, especially if you wake up at different times every day.

Review Melt Fun Fact

The need to wake up at a designated time predates alarm clocks. In ancient Greek and ancient Egypt, sundials and obelisks were used to tell time, but that didn’t help with the need to rise and shine. In ancient China, timers in the form of candle clocks were used for the purpose. A candle clock combined wax and nails, with the nails hitting a metal plate once the wax melted beyond a certain point. The noise served to wake up nearby sleepers. In 725, an engineer in China came up with something known as the “water clock,” which used a water wheel and gears to set off gongs at specific times.

The Alarm Clock Buying Guide

  • For visually challenged consumers, the American Lifetime Digital Alarm Clock stands out above all others. Not only is its display the easiest to read, but it also gives you details you can use after waking up, including the day of the week and whether it’s morning, afternoon, night or evening. If you want to use it for reminders, it even offers an alert that reminds you when it’s time to take your medicine. The information on the screen on the American Lifetime Digital Alarm Clock is clear from every angle.
  • If you’re looking for something simple and straightforward, consider the RCA Digital Alarm Clock, which is small but features the numbers prominently enough for you to make them out even in your sleepiest state.
  • Brightness preferences can vary dramatically from one person to the next. The RCA Digital Alarm Clock has a high/low brightness control that lets you find exactly the level of light you want your clock to put out. The iHome Bluetooth Color Changing Dual also has that feature, but the minimum brightness still may put out too much light for some.
  • There’s an alarm clock for every budget, from the RCA Digital Alarm Clock, which retails for less than $20, to the Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock, which tops $100. Between those extremes are the American Lifetime Digital Alarm Clock and iHome Bluetooth Color Changing Dual, which each sell for less than $50.
  • Simple designs also mean easier operation. The RCA Digital Alarm Clock has easy-to-use buttons and a full-width snooze buttons for those mornings when you just can’t get going. The only downside to this alarm is that the minute and hour buttons go in only one direction, so you’ll often find you have to run the full cycle to get to the desired time.
  • Although it sounds complicated, setting the Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock is surprisingly easy. You simply choose the wake-up time and select from one of five wake-up sounds. You can also customize the light to the intensity that works best for you. Thirty minutes before your scheduled wake-up time, the simulated sunrise will begin, reaching full intensity at the end of that time period.
  • Morning isn’t the only time your Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock will help you. Use it as a bedside lamp to read at bedtime each night. As it gets closer to your preferred bedtime, the lamp will dim slowly to gradually ease you into sleep.
  • The iHome Bluetooth Color Changing Dual has a unique round design with five different light-emitting colors that you can change at the touch of a button. In a dimly lit room, the chosen color can set a mood.
  • If you want to be able to wake up to FM radio, you’ll need to choose between the Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock or the iHome Bluetooth Color Changing Dual. The iHome Bluetooth Color Changing Dual has the best sound, as well as strong FM reception.
  • If you want to wake up to your own music, the iHome Bluetooth Color Changing Dual is the best choice. You’ll get Bluetooth connectivity that will allow you to stream music from your smartphone. The built-in speakers will make the songs on your phone, mp3 player or tablet sound great.
  • If the power dies overnight, what will happen to your alarm the following morning? With a battery backup, you’ll be covered no matter what. The American Lifetime Digital Alarm Clock, RCA Digital Alarm Clock, Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock and iHome Bluetooth Color Changing Dual all have battery backups. With the Philips Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock, you’ll get backup for up to eight hours after a power failure. The RCA Digital Alarm Clock’s backup uses a 9-volt battery that isn’t included.