Do you feel refreshed and energized each morning? If the answer is no, you are like the the majority of Americans. What do you think contributes to your lack of energy in the morning? Ever consider that it could be the way that you wake up? The shock of an alarm clock is not the best way to start your day. Hitting the snooze button can be even worse. Getting that 10 extra minutes messes with the natural sleep rhythm that your body needs to feel rested. So, what’s the solution? Perhaps waking gently with the Philips Wake Up Light. Can a wake up light really help me rise and thrive each morning? I gave it a test drive and here’s what I think.

Since I live in New England, winter is especially challenging. My alarm sounds when it’s still totally dark outside. My body says, “No way! I should still be sleeping!” I’d heard about wake up lights, but actually thought they might bother me and wake me up too soon. In doing research, I found that this is false logic as it’s much better to wake gently than by a jarring alarm.

Basic Features of the Philips Wake Up Light:

Sunrise Simulation wakes you naturally

Inspired by nature’s sunrise, light gradually increases within 30 minutes from soft morning red through orange until your room is filled with bright yellow light. This process of changing an increasing light stimulates your body to wake up naturally. By the time light has filled the room your chosen natural sound completes the wake up experience, leaving you ready for the day ahead.

The Philips Wake-Up Light has a bit of a space-age look to it that is orb shaped. I suppose it’s meant to look like your own mini sun. It’s a bit big (close to 8 inches tall and wide), but it fit fine on my night stand.


I found managing the settings a bit confusing as first, but I finally figured out how to set the clock, alarm and wake up sounds. The wake up sound choices are as follows:

  • Bird Song
  • Birds in the forest
  • Zen Garden
  • Gentle piano
  • Seaside Sounds

I chose seaside sounds and a 20 minute sunrise setting. Since I am light sensitive, I was worried that a 40 minute sunrise might wake me up to soon. I also tried a brightness to 10 as the 20 setting is super bright. I found the sunrise in the morning to be a pleasant experience. Feeling like I was near the ocean with the seaside sounds was kind of fun too.

A simulation of the sunrise settings:




According to the folks at Philips, “The Philips Wake-up Light not only wakes you more naturally, but also more energized and that it improves your mood in the morning.” I do like waking up with the sun so this really helped me avoid the alarm going off in the dark at 6:30am when I need to wake my son for school. Here are the activities I found easier to “rise and thrive” each morning:

  • Get my kids ready for school
  • Take a morning walk either outside or on the treadmill
  • Play with the dog instead of telling her to go away until after my second cup of tea

The Drawbacks of the Philips Wake Up Light

  • No smart phone connection to play your own music or charge your phone
  • A bit pricey at $169 retail, although there are cheaper models as low as $69
  • Managing settings is confusing

Overall, I’d recommend the Philips Wake Up Light. My daughter has given it a try and LOVES it. She keeps trying to steal it from me. You might consider giving this light as a gift, especially if you have a friend or loved one who really has groggy or cranky mornings.


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