Top positive review
25 people found this helpful
If you suffer from S.A.D. this small light might be worth a try
on 11 April 2011
The lab where we work doesn't have any windows just strip lights, so my work colleague has one of those little 'artificial sun-light' lamps, which she uses a lot. She tends to find winters can be a bit hard and suffers symptoms listed under 'Seasonal Affective Disorder', or SAD. Waking up in early Winter in complete darkness is likely to be part of the problem, so I got her this little wake-up lamp [which apparently her mum had recommended to her as well]. Personally I can't stand the bright 'artificial sunlight lamp' she has, as it's too bright [some SAD lamps are adjustable though], but this little bedside lamp comes on slowly to mimic daybreak/sunrise and so is far more gentle. My colleague thought it a good idea, and gave it a go.
And she said it's really good, although she only needs to use it during darkest winter, between say November and March [like me she has thin curtains so daylight naturally wakes her up during the rest of the year - we both don't need alarm clocks]. If you have to rise very early in the morning I guess the lamp would still be useful at other times of the year as well. So it's a massive hit. She doesn't use the radio alarm [FM/VHF not DAB unfortunately] or MP3 playback via a USB stick that often, but it's there is you want to try it - it's the daylight sunrise bulb feature that gets used. The audio alarm replays restful bird tweet tweet type MP3s that get more insistent [4 are built in], and to supplement these there are various downloads from Philips to help with the waking experience by providing audio tracks via a USB stick in the side of the lamp [e.g. Heavenly Angels, Beach Mood, African Savannah, Rhythm of Life etc.].
The unit also plays any audio tracks provided they are on a cheap USB data stick inserted into the lights USB2 socket - the audio files must be in Windows MP3 or WMA format only [not Apple AAC]. The maximum number of folder [albums] supported is 99, holding up to a maximum of 999 audio tracks in total. Although it's just + or - buttons to scan through the tracks simply numbered 0001 up to 0999, holding the button down increases the scan speed. The songs are numbered by the date the file was written on the USB stick, with the earliest audio file being number 0001. Any audio track can be selected from the USB2 stick to use as the alarm sound. Likewise you can use the FM radio for the alarm. There's also separate buttons for volume +/- and Alarm on/off. Sound quality is adaquate not great, similar to a cheap radio-alarm clock. Modifying the lamp's alarm/sleep settings is a bit fiddly until you get used to it, so it helps to keep the manual close to hand.
There's a 9 minute snooze [audio/music/FM only], the daylight bulb is user replaceable [lasts ~4000 hours], there's a 15 min battery backup for the digital clock, and the sunrise simulation is adjustable from 20 to 40 minutes. The lamp can also be set to give a gradually dimming 'dusk simulation' to help you get to sleep, adjustable from 15 to 90 minutes. This Philips unit is 25.2 cm (height) x 17.0 cm (diameter), and it weights a hefty but stable 1.45 kg and draws 85 W when on [0-250 Lux at 40-50 cm]. The power cord is 200cm and the discrete digital clock display has 4 brightness settings. You can switch the main lamp on and off like a normal bedside light as well. It comes with a 2 year guarentee. So 4* as it seems to work for SAD sufferers, and it is a well thought out design - bit expensive and fiddly for music playing though. Size wise, although its certainly not minute, it is smaller, squatter, and more discrete than some other SAD lamps I have seen, and many shaded bedside lamps for that matter.