Sunlight alarm clock, or remote controllable LEDs? Adult & Kid editions
October 16, 2014 11:04 AM   Subscribe

I want a sunlight alarm clock for me and one for my four-year-old. We've all been having trouble getting up in the dark and it's been negatively affecting our morning routine. So I could buy a couple. On the other hand, those remote controllable LED bulbs intrigue me. Maybe that would be more fun? Please share your experiences with either/or, and help me decide.

Basically, I'm considering a Philips wakeup light vs. the Philips Hue line of bulbs and lamps. Morning fade-in and evening fade-out are both important.

Points in favor of the wakeup light over the Hues:
- Ready to use out of the box
- Don't need to fuss with any extra internet connection or setup
- No app required
- Don't need lamp to plug it in to
- won't turn on full blast after a power outage (apparently the Hues do this)
- Morning and evening lighting routines already roughly configured, with just a few parameters to set

Points in favor of the Hues:
- more fun
- more versatile
- can be scheduled (apparently you have to manually switch on the alarm on the wakeup light every night. I can see this being hard to remember. Also the wakeup light doesn't have a weekend option.
- Maybe easier to program because of app?
- Won't have to reset a clock after a power outage, which I hate doing.
- Easer to replace individual components if one fails.

So: Should I get the wakeup lights, or some lamps + programmable bulbs? Should I get one of the Iris or Bloom lamps for the kid's room, or will he be better off with a regular lamp?
(Tangent: What do you recommend as a good robust lamp for a kid's room? We'd like there to be enough light for him to read by as the light dims out. He doesn't have a night stand but his dresser isn't too far away. We could get a nightstand, but maybe would just as soon not?)

I think I'd probably want to spring for a Hue bulb for us, because fun! But maybe he could get away with a Lux bulb?

Tell me about your setup, please!
posted by telepanda to Shopping (5 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
We have the previous version of the Philips wakeup light you linked. It does the job for us, with a 6am wakeup that's already pretty much completely dark outside. You can adjust both the peak brightness, and (I think) how long it takes to get to that level. Very pleasant diffuse glow for moving around in the morning.
posted by jeffjon at 11:17 AM on October 16, 2014

I was recently making the same decision and ended up with the Hue Lux, basically because it was cheaper than the standalone wake-up light, already had all the features I wanted, and is extensible later if I feel like it. I got the Lux version because I don't care about the color-changing, but AFAIK the same wireless bridge works with both the Lux and standard Hue bulbs. There are some neat IFTTT recipes for it if that's your bag.

The setup was absolutely trivial (like, push-one-button trivial). Only downside I've found so far: occasionally I'm a moron and accidentally turn off my wireless modem because it's on a switched outlet and then I (horrors) have to use the actual switch on my lamp to turn it off and on.
posted by dorque at 11:28 AM on October 16, 2014

I also have the previous version of the Philips wakeup light (the same one that jeffjon has). I second that it is a very pleasant glow. At its brightest it is bright enough to read by, but the brightening is very gradual and it gives you a chance to wake up at a good point in your natural sleep cycle. You do have to turn on the alarm every night, but after a week or two it becomes a reflex to turn it off and then on again as soon as you wake up-- so much so that I need to check at night on Fridays to make sure I haven't set it to wake me up at 5:00 am on Saturday.

It isn't the most intuitive to set, but overall I'm pretty happy with it.
posted by matcha action at 12:07 PM on October 16, 2014

While you were dithering, you missed the 30% off deal of the day on the lamps today on Amazon! Boo! I have the deluxe version of the wakeup light and it's great (today's price was $110!). It really helps to transition into the day. I like the songbirds alarm option, personally, and the radio is useful, I guess. With something like this, which is more or less a household commodity (i.e., alarm clock/light), I don't need, want, or have the patience for a high tech solution I may need to troubleshoot, reboot, upgrade or reinstall. I plugged in the clock, and it was ready to use in five minutes.

It's true you need to turn the alarm on each night, and there is no weekend alarm--two design flubs I think are somewhat mindboggling--but there is a second alarm you can set for your weekend wakeup. Instead of turning on Alarm 1, turn on Alarm 2.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 12:51 PM on October 16, 2014 [1 favorite]

I had the previous version of the Phillips wakeup light as well. While it worked great for about 2 months, after that, the radio couldn't be turned off entirely and the light failed to turn on at the scheduled time. I googled and contacted Philips and couldn't get the item fixed. For the cost of the item, I expected more durability. I would not recommend this product.
posted by wcmf at 7:10 PM on November 13, 2014

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