On the box, it states that 80% of users find this wake up light gives a "more pleasant way to wake up." I guess I'm in the other 20% then. Every morning, I've set the alarm (using the radio as my wake up call) and every morning, I've woken with a jump when the radio comes on and find myself staring at a horrible bright light. So basically just the same as when I used my mobile for an alarm clock, except I didn't have a piercing light shining in my eyes. However, Philips do acknowledge that it doesn't work for everyone, and that's fair enough in my view. I just happen to be one of those people who doesn't find it effective.
I do actually quite like the design though, and it can be used as a bed side light, so having this with a combined radio is actually quite handy. I also use it as a conventional alarm clock, so that's quite good as well. However, there are still a number of features that annoy me about this wake up light.
Firstly, the dials which are used to adjust the radio station and the clock, in my opinion, turn the wrong way! If you want to advance the alarm clock or radio station, my instinct is to turn the dial clockwise. But oh no, this is different! These dials go in the opposite direction! It's a minor point, but it's just one of those little things that could so easily have been corrected at the design stage.
Secondly, the radio gives a hiss before actually tuning into the station. So I actually tend to be woken by a long blast of interference, before hearing some music from the radio. Many other radios don't have this problem, so why does this? Surely the radio could just be silent while trying to tune into the station?
Another minor annoyance is that the bulb flickers while going through the dimming cycle. I know this is what we've come to expect from energy saving bulbs, but for anyone who suffers from headaches from this, the flickering is quite pronounced. I don't personally suffer from it, but it can be annoying all the same.
My final grievance, for now, is actually the one that annoys me the most. The lamp is non-replaceable. Who's idea was that? All bulbs fail, some sooner rather than later. So when the bulb does fail, you're left with a very expensive alarm clock and no light. Philips say this is for safety reasons, but I reckon it is all about profit. If the bulbs fail, you have to buy a new wake up light. After all, some of the lights in the same range have user replaceable bulbs, so how can it be safe to replace those, but not the one in this?
This wake up light could have been so much better if the little things mentioned above had been considered and corrected. Even though it doesn't work for me, I'm willing to accept that there may be plenty of people who do find it useful. However, until Philips sort out the problems with it, I'd be very hesitant about buying this particular model.