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.
on 2 January 2014
Well, having read the reviews, we decided to buy this as it looked like value for money especially compared with other makes. We've had it several weeks now and the effect is remarkable. We bought it because partner really struggles to wake, and feel awake, in the winter. This has brought about such a change I wanted to write a review. You set it to start the sunrise e.g. over a 20-minute period. It starts off orange then gets brighter until the whole room is filled with gorgeous warm sunshine. We also have it set with birdsong and this just brings a big smile to the face. My partner feels refreshed when he wakes, cos it's so like a sunrise, just the right speed of waking. He feels it's natural, it's not the shock of an alarm, you just gently wake up. He's got more energy throughout the day too which is an unexpected bonus. So, all in all, thrilled with purchase. Would highly recommend. Worth the money.
on 23 October 2015
I have to say I was skeptical, as with all 'this' kind of stuff, but it seriously bloody works. I'd stopped me feeling drowsy or groggy in a morning and for the first time in a very long time, I'm actually feeling awake when I get up.
Since I was about 15-16, I've always felt horrible getting up in the morning - the usual... groggy and lethargic, I love my sleep. This has seriously stopped that feeling and has lead to my overall attitude / feelings in a morning to be fresh and alert, it's great!
The light is seriously bright at level '20' (it's max setting), easily lighting the room. The 'sunset' mode is great for going to bed, with it slowly bringing you down into a relaxed state. The other features work perfectly as described with the device being easy and intuitive to use.
But... why a 4 star and not a 5?
- The radio is STILL FM only, which is useless, I'd expect digital for this price and the fact its 2015!
- The lack of Docking / USB charging means that I still use my Philips AJ7050D/05 as a charging station / speaker set for music, that was not a cheap system either, but at least it has the feature set of something more this price and what I'd have expected to be replicated onto this product.
- The price is a little steep, its certainly well made and really does feel well made (good weight / material choice along with solid buttons and touch input), but for what you get, I'd expect this 'top-tier' product to be at around the £75-£85 mark, not £110 (at the time of purchase).
Other than that, if you are considering purchasing it, buy it. You won't regret it.
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...?
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
on 25 June 2015
This has some nice features and does a good job at waking me up in the mornings. But I give it just two stars because of two minor issues and one major issue.
As mentioned in other reviews, the button are stupidly placed along the sides and it's annoying that you can't just set the alarm for weekdays.
But my major issue with this is that if you have light and sound set for the alarm then to turn it off you need to make THREE button presses to turn it off (turn off light, disable alarm, re-enable alarm). This is particularly annoying when you forget to re-enable the alarm (which is easy to do in the morning when you're tired) or press the wrong button (which is also easy given the stupid button placings) that it won't come on the next day!
How these problems were able to be included in such an expensive product is beyond me.
I know what you're thinking... 'Coloured Sunrise Simulation Wake-up Light? Sounds a bit much'. You need not be skeptical, because in the time that I've been using these products, my mornings have never been so happy. Why oh why couldn't I have had one of these when I was at school.
How does it all work? It's entirely straightforward - this is a device that is designed to produce an artificial sunrise in your very own bedroom, and will therefore wake you up in the most natural way possible (apart from a bad hangover). No 'buzzing', no BRING-BRING, just light.
As soon as you take the product out of its box, it immediately recalls design cues from the 1998 Apple iMac, what with its 'dome' shape, transparent rear casing and vents hidden towards the back. This won't strike you as being a typical bedside clock, and given its large size I would just like to point out that the incredible ergonomics of this device may overwhelm anything else that is on your table. My previous Lumie sunrise clock now looks tiny in comparison.
Does the extra size return any favours for Philips' offering? This has to be a resounding yes, because the light fills the room easier and this means that you can set the intensity to a lower setting. I've also benefited from the larger clock display itself, the space to have a multitude of buttons (each with their own dedicated function, so you don't need to remember combinations) and perhaps best of all, the buttons on the front-face of the device are touch-sensitive, meaning it's silent to press them. The factory setting does include a 'beep' feedback, but you can turn this off.
The quality of the finish is also outstanding, and I haven't come to accept anything less from Philips to be perfectly honest. Each component of the outer casing/enclosure is made from a high quality plastic, and the lighting from clock is beautifully soft. I doubt sound quality was top of their list in this product, but the radio and wake-up effects still project clear dynamics.
This leads on to an interesting USP; you can have a sound recording accompany your sunrise. You've set your alarm time (you get 2 presets - one for week days, one for weekends), the sunrise time (how long it takes for the light to reach its maximum brightness) and volume level for the audio... then you can go on an pick from one of five different built-in sound effects to follow up from your sunrise. These include bird calls, a zen garden, woodland atmosphere, piano/new age sounds and the seaside. Are they actually any good? Well, that all depends on where you live for a start...
The only drawback here is that you can't preview the volume of the sound effects, so it's a process of trial and error this time round. You also have the option to wake up to the built-in FM radio, or of course, you can just listen to it at any point.
Like other sunrise alarm clocks, the main lamp itself can be used on its own without the alarm, which is handy if you just want to use the product as a 'bedside light' per sé. But to extend on this functionality, you can allow the lamp to gradually dim like a sunset too, so if you don't fancy just plunging into the depths of darkness, the device will slowly make the room go dark. Surprisingly, it's a very effective feature.
Compared to the Lumie products, Philips' offering is also far, far easier to use - largely because of the aforementioned controls. Each function has a dedicated button, so once you've learnt to navigate the device, it's much more instinctive to use. Like many Philips products however, the only thing missing is an instruction manual that actually 'is' instinctive, and doesn't require some deciphering. I can understand the need for hundreds of languages (and thank god, English is at the front), but the images and annotations can sometimes be... well, cryptic. Just as well the product's easy to use!
Since I had already owned a sunrise alarm clock for about a year, I had a good deal of knowledge for how to get the most from the concept and what works best for my own body clock. And while the HF3520 is packaged with a better design and more features, the actual wake-up is unsurprisingly similar to my Lumie, although I'll admit that the change in lighting hue was a nice addition. If I was to lean in favour of this product, it would be that the light does a better job of spreading around your space and therefore appearing more natural, whereas the Lumie felt somewhat constricted to wherever it sat. Philips seem to have done a better job of using plastic and film technologies to give the light a different 'glow'; one that is far more satisfying, no matter how simple it is to wake some one up.
All round, the HF3520 just seems like a more refined, purposeful product than others on the market, and although you'll be paying a bit more in return, the value is easily present. This is just a wonderful product from a company that understands the importance of simple concepts.
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.
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.
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.