Some people believe that a blaring alarm shattering the silence of our slumber and tearing our eyes open in the still-blackness of a winter morning isn't so good for the body. Philips, makers of the Wake-Up Light and alarm clock, are members of those some people. So instead of rousing snoozers with a jarring buzzing or beeping or brrrr-ing-ing sound, their podlike device does it with a gentle light that simulates a cloudless sky's sunrise. It grows brighter over the course of 30 minutes, and peaks at users' designated awakening time, at which point it is joined by sounds of either nature or Lionel Richie on the radio.
The Wake-Up Light's mock sunrise technique has been approved as an Official Light Therapy Product of the National Sleep Foundation. Its primary benefits include improving users' mood, energy, and willingness to get out of bed. Philips says independent research studies have shown 80% of those who made the switch to a sunrise alarm report having an easier and zippier go of it in the morning. 1,000+ Amazon reviews seem to concur.
In addition to its customizable sunrise intensity settings (up to 250 LUX), the Wake-Up Light offers a choice of morning birds, a beep, wind chimes, or FM radio sounds to play in conjunction with the light amplification process. The light itself turns on and begins to brighten gradually over the course of the 30 minutes leading up to a selected alarm time. At the selected alarm time, the sounds kick in, playing quietly at first, and crescendoing to their full volume level (also user-selected) at 90 seconds in. Hitting the snooze button quiets them for 9 minutes.
Turning the sounds off doesn't turn the light off; it remains lit to facilitate getting out of bed without the need to turn on another lamp. The Wake-Up Light has 20 different brightness settings, and can also serve as a reading light.
Bonus: Not only will this alarm's direct sunlight instigate a peaceful roll-out from under the covers, but it will also refrain from giving you cancer. The Wake-Up light is safe for daily use and 100% UV-free. It churns on a replaceable 100-watt, 12-volt halogen lamp.