Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light | Sunrise Lamp Review

Not a Morning Person.

I am definitely, 100%, not a morning person. If you leave me in a dark room with a cozy blanket, I’d probably sleep for 14 hours straight. I’m the type of person who needs to set an alarm or else I’ll wake up at 3PM in the afternoon. (To be fair, I’m a bit of a night owl.) I love my bed, I love sleeping, and I absolutely hate waking up to an alarm in the morning. But the reality is I can’t sit in bed all day, I’ve got to get up at some point. With this, I introduce the sunrise lamp.

A sunrise lamp? Probably one of the more unique items I’ll review on this blog, but one that’s quite interesting none the less. I recently purchased the Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light on Amazon, and quite a number of you have requested a review! So here I am today, sharing my thoughts, opinions, and critiques to help you make a decision, or figure out why so many bloggers are raving about sunrise lamps!

Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light

A sunrise lamp is a lamp / clock hybrid. You set an alarm, and a set amount of time before the alarm goes off, the light will turn on and increase in intensity, kind of like a natural sunrise. At the same time, your alarm sound (sound effects, music, or the radio), will also increase in volume. In this effect, you’re eased into waking up naturally. Gone are the days of jolting awake in a dark room by a sharp alarm sound!

From the Philips website – Coloured 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.

Design & Features

Physical Design

The Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light is a round, speaker shaped clock. It features a rounded face and is made of a hard plastic. There is a small display with glowing orange digits near the bottom which works as the clock’s interface. There are buttons near the screen (touch-activated) which control the alarm settings, as well as physical buttons on the top for activating the lamp, changing volume, etc. The touchscreen buttons are a bit weird to use at first but it’s pretty straight forward.

From left to right, there is the button to activate alarm 1, brightness (-, turn on lamp, +), volume ( -, turn on radio, +), alarm 2, and sunset lamp. My critique with these buttons is that they are very smooth and are not raised, making it quite difficult to distinguish buttons from just touch… This can be quite tricky when you’re trying to change the buttons in the dark.

The lamp plugs into the wall but also retains a bit of power – if you happen to unplug your lamp or the power goes out,

Alarm settings.

The Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light has two customizable alarms that you can set different times/ brightness/audio. In addition to the alarm settings, you are also able to adjust the regular lamp and clock settings.
There are 5 built in nature-inspired audio options as well! The sound effects you can choose from are birds singing, birds + music, ocean waves, soft music, and forest sounds. These are all super relaxing to wake up to, especially when it increases slowly from silence. You can also choose to wake up by FM radio.

Lighting / Brightness Settings

According to the website, the brightness of the display adjusts itself according to the brightness of the room. If the bedroom is filled with light, the brightness increases to keep the display readable. When the bedroom is dark the brightness dims so it doesn’t light up your bedroom when you are trying to sleep.

The Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light can be used as a standalone lamp as well! You can adjust the brightness settings for the lamp, ranging from 20 (full brightness, yellow-toned light), down to 01 (dim, orange-toned light). These options are also customizable for individual alarm settings – for example, my lamp is usually set to a 15 when I wake up. It’s still bright, but not as intense as a 20 because the lamp is on my bedside table and I don’t want to be blinded when waking up.

Sunset Function

There is also a sunset option, which fades from bright yellow light to red – this feature is supposed to help you go to sleep. I love using this function in the evenings to help me wind down. You can change the speed in which the light dims – between 10 – 45 minutes. I usually it set for 45 minutes. I love this feature because the dimming is so subtle, and the fade from yellow – orange – red light is easy on the eyes.

Overall, I love this sunrise lamp. I’m the absolute worst at waking up in the morning, and this lamp makes that whole process a lot more relaxing. I’ll also note that I, like many others, suffer from seasonal affective disorder during the winter. I feel tired, sluggish, and depressed during those dark days – the sunlight definitely has an impact on my work ethic and overall mood! I haven’t used this in the winter months yet since I only bought it a few weeks ago, but I’m sure it’ll help.

If you’re thinking about getting one, I highly recommended. It’s prettttty pricing for a clock, but it’s definitely an investment piece. I mean, it’s something you’re likely going to be using every day, because waking up is a daily practice! I bought mine on Amazon for $119.99 CAD – I’d suggest doing this so you can test it out for a bit, and return it if it doesn’t meet your expectations.

Are you a morning person? Have you ever tried a sunset lamp? Have you suffered from the winter blues?
Thanks for reading! x

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