9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on 12 February 2015
I bought this alarm clock mainly for the sunrise/sunset light feature, as I really struggle through the dark winter months. Lots of people had suggested SAD lamps, etc., and I was fairly sceptical, but I think this has genuinely helped improve my sleep & mood, and certainly made it easier to get out of bed in the mornings.
HOWEVER, there are some pretty major, and utterly incomprehensible flaws/limitations:
* No beep/alarm tone: I was kind of looking forward to waking up gradually to nature sounds/music, but I had assumed that, after however-many minutes of build-up, there would be an actual, 'yes, it's really time to get up now' alarm tone. But that doesn't seem to be the case, and so I still have to use my standard alarm clock (set for 5 minutes after this 'alarm') in addition to this clock. (I'm quite a deep sleeper, so unfortunately I've had to switch it over to the radio, as the nature sounds weren't even registering-- but that's really a Me problem.) While there may be people who prefer a non-alarming alarm, it seems like it would have been pretty trivial for them to add the option of an alarm tone.
* No USB input: I'd much rather wake up to my own music playlist, but there's no way to play mp3s (Seriously? In 2015?). This seems like a really stupid thing not to have included, especially when you can get mp3-capable alarm clocks for 1/10th the price of this one!
* Awkward settings controls: The time/programme controls are located just below the display, and are *very* touch-sensitive, so the slightest brush can activate the settings mode/menu. When that's active, the sound/alarm program gets paused, so be very careful in where you place this rather large clock; if you happen to brush the controls with the edge of your pillow, etc., you could wake up hours late, with the thing sat there flashing at you, waiting to be re-programmed.
* Odd lack of programme flexibility: The programme settings seem very poorly thought out. For example, you can set the max volume/brightness level for the 'sunrise'/alarm (i.e., how loud/bright you want it to be at the final alarm time), but not the duration of the programme (i.e., length of the build-up). On the other hand, you *can* set the duration and starting brightness of the 'sunset'/sleep mode, but not the volume, because there's no sleep mode for the radio/nature sounds at all; you can have the light dim & turn itself off, but not the audio. (Again, a feature that can be found on most any £10 model.) Why not? I suppose I could leave the nature sounds going all night, and sleep right through them--- except no, I can't, because there's actually no way to just set them going on their own, just to listen to them. They're only available as part of the alarm programme.They've obviously got the technology-- if it works one way, it'll work the other-- so why not apply it as broadly as possible?
Overall, I really expected better, particularly given the price tag. I've kept the product because it's fulfilling the main purpose for which I bought it, because I can't be bothered with return postage, and because I paid for it with a gift card. If I'd purchased it locally, or had spent my own money on it, I'd have exchanged it for a SAD lamp and a basic USB clock radio, and saved myself £75.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 20 October 2012
I purchased this in past few weeks along with a SAD light for home and work as part of my strategy to cope with SAD and depression in the winter months.
This product is helping me ease myself into the day and waking up to a mini sunrise at 530am each day is much better than rising in the dark to stumble about looking for an alarm clock. It isnt to treat SAD ( see Lumie and Lifemax products for that ) but it is a useful addition to the arsenal ! The first interaction with the day hs to be positive and relaxed to help kick depression into touch first thing.
Its easy to set up and i like the choice of different sounds you can get to rise too. My only criticism is that although it usefully has seperate buttons for Alarm 1 & 2 placed either side of the light rim i have found that its easy to deactivate the alarm if you accidently touch them when feeling around for the light intensity buttons. The solution is to wear your glasses and make sure you have a light on. I would like to see future versions have touch sensitive on & off controls to set light intensity similar to other bed room lamps on market.
All in all a good product.
53 of 57 people found the following review helpful
on 16 October 2012
We got this lamp because our 4-year old daughter cannot get up and has a terrible mood in the morning.
It took us two days to get finetune the installation, but now we definetly see a good result. She's usually awake before we enter her room and her mood has definitly improved. She's not a ray of sunshine every morning, but it has happened, which made us very happy!
In the weekend we use the lamp as a 'stay in bed' light (in weekends, the daughter is always up earlier...). She has to stay in bed en be quiet until the light is on and the birds are singing. And it works like a charm. We get almost an hour more sleep in the weekends!
At night, it is used as a slumber light. She doses of the light. Very effective and more economic than the light we nightlight we left on all night before we had this lamp.
We, the parents, also tested te light for 2 days and we also liked waking up to it.
Installation, buttons, design are all vert good and customer friendly. quality of the radio is ok.
The different light intensity levels are great.
The only thing missing is sound with the slumber function.
What to do when the leds are broken, is also a bit hazy... they should work for 7 years, but what happens if they die after 2.5 years...?
60 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on 26 September 2012
Upon taking this out of the box, I was VERY impressed with its build quality...it's basically made in white plastic, but covered with a further clear Perspex case....it wouldn't look out of place, design~wise in an apple shop.
This thing is sizeable, heavy and very sturdy.
It's easy to set up, wake up to one of 5 different nature sounds (well two of them are more like New Age music than nature sounds) like the dawn chorus, seashore, etc....sound quality is great from the rear speaker too, whether you choose to wake up to nature sounds, or the digital f.m. Radio.
There's two alarms, so you can set one for the week, and a later one for the weekend.
As the alarm nears its time to come on, the light starts to glow dimly in a very deep reddy orange , simulating sunrise...slowly going orange, before slowly turning to daylight...and the birds start chirping....it's a very civilised way to start the day.
The clocks light feature also doubles as a lamp, having its brightness fully adjustable over 20 settings....plenty bright enough as a decent reading lamp, etc.
The digital display glows a soft orange, having 4 brightness settings...a lot of people complain about the brightness of alarm clocks digits these days...well this one isn't one of the overpowering ones, with the lowest setting almost not visible....no disturbed night from this clock.
There the added feature of sleep mode...where you can set how long you want to sit and read for, for instance...then it'll slowly start dimming its reading lamp...as if sun setting...before finally turning to its deep reddy orange, and then finally going dimmer until its off altogether...supposedly allowing your passage to sleep to me a nice calming experience.
A great feature of this item it the touch sensitive buttons on the front...if its nighttime, and you put your hand near to the touch sensitive control buttons...they light upshot you can see them....handy in the dark...you can see them when you need to and when you don't need to they go off so that there's Not extralight which will keep you awake at night.
If you want to snooze the alarm just touch anywhere on the front of the clock, a great little feature
This is a really quality product from Philips, looks like it will last forever, easy to use, and so far, very effective in waking me up gently.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 10 December 2013
I had a Lumie, and this Philips version hasn't yet once woken me up before the alarm goes off (at full 20 brightness) I would advise putting it at head height or above and as close to you as possible.
The buttons at the side are stupidly placed - you can't see them with a light right in your face, and often you press the wrong one.
Setting it up though is much better than the Lumie. Almost no manual needed at all.
It isn't the stablest of things, it can easily tip over if brushed past - it has a high centre of gravity so be careful if it is up high.
As for the different colours - it's a gimmick and you wont notice these as you will be fast asleep. I only bought this version because it has two alarm slots.
I don't like when manufacturers shut out simple features to anything but the "premium" model. It's a con. No reason two alarms slots couldn't be offered to the cheaper models.
A quality product, but i feel it falls down is certain pretty key aspects, and can be annoying. No auto shut off function means you need to manually turn off the light and then the radio.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 1 November 2013
For those doubters all I can say is this really does make waking and getting up easier now the nights have drawn in. The product is sound, easy to use and nice looking but the price tag for such simple technology does hurt!
35 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on 17 October 2012
I think for the price £110 at time of purchase, It is rather expensive. I mean Ultimately It is an alarm clock with a light bulb and very basic radio.
HOWEVER, If it was say, 70 pounds then that would be much more reasonable.
Saying that though, despite the price. It is almost perfect if it had a few things:
dim lit control buttons so you can see in the dark..
a better radio, maybe DAB and with a store function would be handy!
and lastly, a remote control would make this perfect. (Some of us don't have bedside cabinets!!) :(
Additionally I would like to say that the feature where it lights up when the room gets brighter is pretty cool, and the dusk simulation makes me feel like a baby again haha. very cosy light.
But I would definitely recommend this item if you have sleep issues or hate waking up in an alarmed manner (literally). Probably worth waiting for a price reduction however, and definitely opt for coloured sunrise model* !
Hope this has helped.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 20 January 2013
I was uncertain about this, but bought it after a lot of research. I needed a clock that could go on the floor as my fiancee doesn't have a bedside table but wants to have a clock that she can see in the night. With this being angled, it can easily be read on the floor from the bed. I also wanted something that wouldn't keep us awake with bright glowing LEDs. The fact that this has a sensor that can tell how dark the room is and adjust the LED accordingly is great. It works well.
As for the alarm itself. It wakes my lass fine. She tends to wake when the birds tweet rather than with the light, but she doesn't jump with shock at least. The light doesnt wake me at all from my side of the bed either. Maybe it only works well if its on the same level as the bed. The light is more than enough for us to use in the room in the dark mornings too. I also leave the light on for her at a low setting if I go to bed early. She can see to get into bed and it doesnt keep me awake.
The clock is a little unintuitive though and my partner has not set it right once and that means I am setting the old alarm daily as a just incase. lack of battery backup also is a concern.
The clock looks nice - hence it being sold on the Apple website now - and the glow as it comes on slowly or turns off is nice. You can set the duration of sunrise or set and you can set the volume of the alarm. There are 5 different alarms and you can also select radio which works fine with the attached aerial. The attached aerial is a "wire" though and this detracts a bit from the look and cheapens it a bit. As has been said, its FM only. The alarm has two alarms that can be set at different times obviously and with different alarms. Its got a simple to use snooze.
The buttons are small on the side and a little bit of a pain as you can't easily see them - nor initially remember which ones are which.
So, pretty good, but not perfect.
32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
on 21 September 2013
We bought this to replace the £100 Lumie Bodyclock Advanced 200, which lasted for 6 years but didn't survive its first bulb failure. There were things we loved about the Lumie - the subtleness of the light, the 'sunset' feature - but there were also things that were surprisingly awful: the clock gained about 30 seconds every day, setting it up felt like using a digital watch from the 80s, and the whole thing felt flimsy and badly made, and worth nowhere near the asking price.
The Philips has all the strengths of the Lumie and none of the weaknesses. It feels like a premium product (as it should for this money), with a reassuring weight and obvious build quality. The sunset/sunrise feature is if anything better graduated than the Lumie, and the change in colour tone, although I thought it might be a gimmick, in fact adds to this and makes the sunrise feel more natural and less abrupt, although we never used to think the Lumie was poor in this regard. The LEDs that the Philips uses appear to be just as effective, if not more so, than the halogen lamp that the Lumie relied on, and we're hoping will also have a reasonably lengthy life, since I don't think they can be replaced.
The user interface is much more fitting for a £100 clock - it boasts a dimmable display that appears to float on the surface of the clock, and four tiny LED marker lights for the principal controls, which increase in brightness as your finger approaches the clock. We've got more options in the way of sunrise/sunset times, and two independent alarms. There are apparently a host of bird noises it will emit as the light comes on, but you should be reassured that these can be silenced, and the wake-up effect of the sunrise is perfectly sufficient for getting us out of bed. The only feature which we miss from the Lumie (or at least haven't yet found on the Philips) is the automatic shut-off of the sunrise alarm, which happened approximately 10 minutes after reaching maximum illumination. This is particularly useful to prevent the bulb burning out if you forget to switch off the alarm whilst on holiday, and also if, like us, you have small children who occasionally wake you up and force you to begin your day before the sunrise alarm has come on...
We've only had it a couple of weeks, and there are a few features we've not used, and probably never will (the built-in FM radio, aforesaid bird noises) but it feels like a luxury item and I sincerely hope that our very positive first impressions are borne out by long service. It's very expensive, but it's so good that you don't feel you've been fleeced. From our experience, definitely buy it over the equivalent Lumie.
31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 10 November 2012
Cracking little gadget that makes waking up less painful and almost a joy.
Using this I am no longer taked from fast asleep to fully awake in a nano second, but rather eased into the day (or night) with the combination of gentle light and relaxing sounds or the radio.
Looking like a TV without a surround, this alarm clock is unlike anything I have used before. Firstly, it looks more like a bedside light than an alarm, and instead of a loud ringing, buzzing or other such noise,you wake to birdsong, a piano or the sound of the seashore. As the alarm sounds, so the light turns on and slowly brightens to illuminate your and the room without burning your retinas off. You can even set the FM radio to be the alarm so you can wake to some banging tunes on Radio 1 or Vanessa Feltz on Radio 2. The choice is yours. If you need a little help drifting off, there is a reverse function where the light dims and the sounds/radio fade away. The display dims and brightens depending on the ambiant light.
OK, that's the good so now the things Philips should look at. Firstly, it's mains powered with only an internal battery to keep it working in the event of a power cut. In tests, this lasts no more than 10 minutes so if you live in an area that suffers power cuts on a regular basis, make sure you have a back-up alarm. There needs to be something like a PP3 battery to keep it running just in case. Also, when it comes back, all previous settings are lost. As other reviews have mentioned, the buttons are a bit fiddily and an IR remote would help a lot.
Personally, I have noticed that since using this I am much less tired in the mornings and don't feel the urge to nod off again. Yes, £110 is not cheap, but what price for "five more minutes".