Really Dim Clock Radio?
August 28, 2007 4:09 PM   Subscribe

Please help me find a clock radio which can be switched to really really dim.

I'm tired of putting bits of cardboard over my clock radio's LED and snooze buttons, even set to "dim" they're too bright. I want a clock radio which has a battery backup, isn't hideous, has intuitive controls and which has a "dim" setting which is ACTUALLY DIM (or even better, one which only shows you the time when you ask it to somehow). Thank you!
posted by biscotti to Shopping (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
I just bought this Sony from Amazon (a special deal where it was significantly cheaper than now advertised, and still qualifying for free shipping). However, it does what you want: you can dim the LED all the way to off if you prefer.
posted by AwkwardPause at 4:19 PM on August 28, 2007

I bought this one for the same reason: Boston Acoustics Receptor. Some people still find it too bright, but it's the dimmest one I've found. I also have a projector clock with red light, which makes a difference for me (and the clock face isn't lit, so the only light is the projection). As a benchmark, the charging light of my electric toothbrush in the next room bugs me.

In more desperate times, and before the days of computerized graphic design, I used rubylith on all my clocks and electronics.
posted by cocoagirl at 4:22 PM on August 28, 2007

I have this. It has 3 brightness settings, one of which is dim and one of which is very dim. On it's lowest setting it makes very little impact on a pitch dark room.
posted by fire&wings at 4:27 PM on August 28, 2007

I just bought this Sony from Amazon (a special deal where it was significantly cheaper than now advertised, and still qualifying for free shipping). However, it does what you want: you can dim the LED all the way to off if you prefer.

I have this same thing. Rather than having a switch, it has a dial, with the lowest setting essentially being "off", as AwkwardPause says. Even fully "on", it's not all that sleep-disturbing or bright, but I don't have a problem reading it in sunlight either. Also helpful is that the snooze is the only button on the top part of the unit, so you can just slap it while half-asleep without worrying about whether you've actually turned off the alarm.
posted by LionIndex at 4:31 PM on August 28, 2007

Alarm clocks that have LCD displays that are not negative (i.e., the background is bright and the numerals are dark) are a crime; those that don't have amber or red backlights are doubly so.
posted by marionnette en chaussette at 4:34 PM on August 28, 2007

Another option is to look for an LCD clock (rather than LED). Those have a face like a digital watch, and they don't need any light at all. Some have a button you push to get a backlight, which seems like it would be ideal for you. Unfortunately, other just have a dim backlight which you don't notice in the daytime... the problem is you have no idea how dim it is.

Personally, I would just buy a couple candidates at Walmart, play with them, and then return the ones you don't like. They'll take anything back.
posted by smackfu at 4:35 PM on August 28, 2007

Alternative to cardboard: my mom puts color gels over her too-bright-though-adjustable blue LED clock. Red cellophane would work too.
posted by xueexueg at 4:42 PM on August 28, 2007

I'm glad to know I'm not the only one bothered by those lights. I drape a washcloth over my clock's display to hide it. Works pretty well.
posted by cooker girl at 4:50 PM on August 28, 2007

IKEA clock.

My fiance has this clock, and I love it. It only lights up when you press the top button. Better yet, you can record your own message for your alarm if you want!
posted by Becko at 4:53 PM on August 28, 2007

Oh, I'm dumb... the IKEA clock doesn't have a radio...
posted by Becko at 4:55 PM on August 28, 2007

I used to use old negatives taped over the LED to curb the brightness.
posted by rolypolyman at 5:24 PM on August 28, 2007

I'm thirding awkwardpause and lionindex.

I'm also betting that sentence has never before been written anywhere, in all of history.
posted by TonyRobots at 6:27 PM on August 28, 2007

Although on the spendy side, the Sanjean clock radio has a dial that will set the brightness to any level. It also has 2 alarms, an aux input jack (for your MP3 player) and sounds great.
posted by pgoes at 6:35 PM on August 28, 2007

By some translucent plastic from the crafts store, blue, or red or amber.
posted by furtive at 7:17 PM on August 28, 2007

"Ever been kept awake by a clock that's too bright? Luna solves this problem by letting you adjust the display brightness from completely off to full intensity. You can even set the brightness for sleep mode and alarms, so you can sleep easy with the display dimmed or off and wake up to a brighter setting automatically. If the display is completely off, touching any of Luna's controls will automatically brighten it to a minimum level temporarily so you can see to adjust volume, sleep time, and more."

(I don't own one, but I'm very tempted to replace my utterly crap iHome with it.)
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:47 PM on August 28, 2007

I use this Emerson alarm clock. There is a setting that allows you have the display completely off, then you just wave your hand in front of the sensor to turn the display on for 10 seconds. That was the whole reason I bought it.

I honestly don't remember if it has a battery-back up or not.
posted by Zarya at 10:27 PM on August 28, 2007

I have this Timex Indiglo dual-alarm clock radio. The backlight goes all the way from bright to off. It automatically becomes brighter as the room darkens, but you have total control over how bright it actually gets. Individual buttons for changing the time (either forwards or backwards, fast or slow in either direction - none of that stupid worry about overshooting your target time!)

Radio reception isn't bad. Battery backup works fine (a cross-country move, with the clock in storage for a week, didn't drain the battery!). Very large and easy to hit snooze button on the top. Alarms can be set to go off individually (Alarm A or B) or to both go off (A + B) using a simple switch.

My wife's clock is too damn bright. I used to throw a cloth over it, because it was too bright from across the room. I've had this one sitting right next to my pillow and it never bothered me. Plus, if I remember correctly the thing is really quite cheap.
posted by caution live frogs at 7:44 AM on August 29, 2007

I've also got a Timex Indiglo alarm clock. It doesn't sound as nice as the one that caution live frogs has, but it does the job, and the brightness can be turned right down to zero.
posted by box at 8:31 AM on August 29, 2007

I use my iHome as an alarm clock and there are something like 4 different light settings. I have mine on the very lowest and while I can make out the time, I have to concentrate on it and it certainly does not wake me up with the overwhelming brightness of any other clock that I've had. This is a testimony from a woman who has miniblinds, sheers, and drapes over the windows in her bedroom and still wears an eyemask.
posted by banannafish at 8:36 AM on August 29, 2007

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