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Bodyclock finally in order!
on 21 September 2011
Although Lumie fail to advertise it well, the product in question can behave as both an 'alarm clock' (with sunrise & sunset lighting options, as well as an audible alarm for back-up) and an ambient light, meaning that if you once had a bedside lamp, you could simply ditch it and use the space for this product. This in itself is a wonderful concept since I previously had a habit of waking up to an alarm and feeling around for the right device to bash. Using the product as an ambient light is not a bad idea either, and I have to give kudos to Lumie for making it such a subtle but simple feature.
I'll get straight to the point; Just how good is it to wake up to a simulated 'sunrise'? Really, really good... For myself, it is the equivalent of someone slowly opening the blinds in my bedroom and letting a warm sheen of light enter, which slowly makes me more and more alert to the point that when I do open my eyes, I think to myself "Yikes, did I leave the light on?". The difference I've felt compared to the more startling "BEEP-BEEP... BEEP-BEEP' almost giving me a heart-attack is ridiculously positive. Its incredible to think that a simple light has stopped me from waking up with persistent yawns and a heavy head.
Operating Instructions are included in a very simple and easy to read manual that, unusually for English labour, appears more akin to an Apple product. A 42 watt bulb is obviously included (with a 2000 our lifetime!) and which you are required to easily screw in, as well as a Support Line card (in case you have any unforeseen problems) and the U.K power cable, which is attached to the device and not un-pluggable.
The only caveat (if you could call it that) this product has is that in principle, its not as straightforward to operate as a traditional alarm clock. Whereas the latter will usually have dedicated buttons to control the alarm being on or off, the Lumie product requires that 90% of is operation be through navigating its 'menu'. And since the display itself relies on feeding back words through its 4-digit panel, you'll be wanting to keep the manual handy in-case you need to make further adjustments to your settings.
The Good news however is that once you're set-up, you shouldn't need to fiddle much with the product. The menu button also acts as that to turn the alarm on and off, while you can manually raise or dim the light with the + and - buttons. And thats pretty much it! Although in an ideal world, I would have still suggested using a matrix display that could clearly represent letters/numbers rather than the older 'digit' style.
You can even choose the digital display to turn off by itself when the device is not in use, which is a nice feature not only because it saves energy, but I've found at the night the display to be just a bit too bright to keep on constantly. And if you want to know the time, just tap the menu button and it appears temporarily!
If Lumie were to improve the product in one particular area, then I'd have to settle for something quite specific and thats the buttons themselves... They're noisy! Particularly when you're in bed and the individual next to you can hear loud 'clicks' as you start fiddling. A simpler, or should I say softer push button system would have been nicer.
I should also like to mention that the top surface of the product will get hot after prolonged use, so don't let little fingers play with the admittedly absorbing glow! Vents are placed at the back of the shell to allow some heat to dissipate.
Reflecting on its price, this is a genuinely excellent value product based purely on my improved enthusiasm and reduced 'grogginess' when I wake up. Its all to easy to wag away what the product essentially is - a bulb in a large dome - but the science behind our sleep patterns cannot be disputed. Its the reason our eyelids allow some natural light to pass through since receptors tell the brain "Oi, you can get up now!" when enough light is present, and thats what this product aims to do - to simulate natural sunrises. And it clearly works.