Philips Sunrise Simulation Alarm Clock

Brand: Philips SmartSleep
Manufacturer: Philips
Model: HF3500/60
EAN: 0075020035998
Category: Home & Office
Price: $49.99  (127 customer reviews)
Dimension: 7.05 x 5.40 x 7.08 inches
Shipping Wt: 1.19 pounds. FREE Shipping (Details)
Availability: In Stock.
Average Rating: 3.8 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

I'll still probably want to Monkey Fist Philips' Wake-up Light to East Jesus when it begins its simulation of the sunrise at 10:30 each morning, but maybe the gradual brightening of my basement lair will remove some of... [Read more]

Features

  • CLINICALLY PROVEN: Philips wake-up lights are recommended by physicians and pharmacists for establishing a healthy sleep and wake routine
  • NATURAL WAKE-UP: Simulated sunrise and the sound, which gradually increases in volume to complete the wake up experience
  • SMART FEATURES: Tap to snooze and reading lamp
  • MOOD AND ENERGY: Proven to give you an easy and energetic wake-up and improve your mood in the morning
  • MONEY BACK GUARANTEE: 90 Day No Hassle Money Back Guarantee from Philips

Top Reviews

Disappointing product especially for price!
by alw214 (2 out of 5 stars)
January 6, 2017

Since this was a pretty expensive item, I am sad to report that this "wake-up light" did not help me wake up any better than my regular alarm clock or phone. I have had trouble with my sleep/wake cycle for quite some time now, and find it especially difficult to wake up, often having to set 7-10 alarms on my phone, and a manual alarm clock. I thought that since this claimed it was clinically tested for people with sleep disorders, and knowing that light helps trigger the brain to wake up, I was really hoping that this would help me. Unfortunately, the design of the light/alarm itself is a huge issue, as I could not adjust the angle or get it to sit where it would be correctly positioned in front of my face, so the light would be concentrated on my face and signal my brain to wake up. I tried propping it up on different things, but nothing seemed to get it to where it truly should be. In addition, even at the brightest setting, I did not find this light to be that bright where it would cause me to wake up, anymore than opening the blinds on my window (neither work).

In addition, the snooze function definitely needs work, as it is really hard to engage, even if you are talking/hitting repeatedly in the correct spot. I've actually had to unplug the thing to get it to stop.

Another huge issue is with the ease of use or useability of this product. Nothing is labeled on it, the buttons are hard to push, and the snooze mechanism needs work as described above. The biggest issue I found (especially for such an expensive item) is that either it is impossible (or maybe I can't figure out how) to adjust the time on the regular clock- I have to unplug the device then plug it back in in order to be able to set the time (and thus have to reset the alarm...). Also, there is no "AM/PM" on this, so it displays in military time (24 hour clock), which might not annoy some people, but for this price, this really should not be the case, nor should there be problems simply adjusting the face clock (i.e. When Daylight Savings comes around...).

Overall, I am disappointed with this product because it fails to both do what it claims, and also has issues that a $60 clock should NOT have (changing the time, only 24 hour clock mode). I would not honestly recommend this product to anybody due to the basic issues with the clock and the lack of adjustability with the design/shape of the clock. For a reputable brand and claims of "clinical results" this wake-up light seriously disappointed me, especially when I paid over $60 for the item.

Unfortunately I tried to return it too late, just a few days after the (I think 1 month) return policy. So I have just been "using" it since I paid good money for it, and technically the light is a good table type lamp if I want to read anything in bed, so I mainly use it for that. I found it to be an extremely expensive small table lamp, and would be extremely hesistant to buy any of their other "advanced" more expensive models, given this product's serious design flaws, and the unforgiving return policy, so I would not shell out the ~$90 to try the other "more powerful" version of this clock, when it too probably has basic issues that my $10 alarm clock doesn't. Very disappointed in what I hoped would be a great product and help with my issue of waking up.
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After Yrs of Trying, I Can Finally Get Myself Up to Exercise in the Morning -- it's THAT Good!!!
by Cindy (5 out of 5 stars)
November 1, 2016

I was one who hit the snooze button endlessly, so getting up even earlier to do something 'optional' like exercise was impossible -- especially with the shorter days of fall and winter. This has seriously made all the difference in the world. It's amazing, really -- nothing else has worked. I've never been a morning person (and never will be), but this helps you slowly and naturally wake up. The light starts 30 minutes before the alarm goes off and very slowly gets brighter (simulating sunrise). Even though your eyes aren't open, it affects your brain and the waking process. You can adjust how bright you want it to get (I think it's on a scale of 1-9). I highly recommend it and have shared it with friends and family -- even my doctor, who loved hearing it and said he'd suggest it for other patients who had similar challenges with "not enough time to exercise". I've been using it for 6 weeks and have been exercising 5-6 days a week, with plans to make it 7 when I'm in better shape.
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Suggestion for fixing the volume/sound/beeping problem
by Andrei (3 out of 5 stars)
November 1, 2017

The clock has two main cons (I also tried other clocks on the market in the same range and, unfortunately, I had to come back to this one because of the positive features - ease of use, quality of light, screen dimming and light dimming options etc.):

So, the main cons:
1. It has no backup battery and if the power flickers for a half a second your settings are gone. You can easily miss work. I'm still thinking about a solution to create my own power backup.
2. The main problem that other customers seem to have, just like me, is that there is no adjustment for the piercing beeping volume. That is horror. Like everyone else, I tried muffling it with cloth, tape etc. but that didn't really work and I found a better solution (there is another customer who completely removed the speaker but I need it, just in low volume):
- this clock has a simple piezo speaker (see video and pics), which means that the sound is coming out of a very small hole.
- Instead of covering the whole clock with a scarf of pads or whatever I and other people used, I decided to "kill the sound" as it exits the speaker, at the source.
- Thus, I used a dremel (anything else can be used - a hot knife etc - be creative!) and cut a round hole around the speaker. The risk of touching other electronics is very small, as there is a good gap between the cover that you are cutting and the electronic board. Be careful, though.
- As you can hear in the video, by covering the speaker with your finger the sound decreases by 60-70%.
- I covered the speaker with a small but thick piece of rubber (you need mass to block sound, anything thick and dense will work, not cloth or cotton or fluffy stuff) and you can easily apply a sticker to cover the hole you just made.

There's also someone on Youtube who took the whole thing apart if you're interested - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gyd0_qAeUqA

If I find a cheap easy solution for the backup battery I'll make sure to post it here.
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BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP
by CLTGUY (2 out of 5 stars)
April 20, 2017

The soft light that slowly brightens the room to help wake you up so peacefully is overthrown with a giant BEEEP BEEEP BEEEP.

The numbers on the display are a bright red, even at the lowest setting, which is a nice throwback to the 80s.

The 4 buttons allow you to adjust the time via unplugging the clock. Setting the alarm is easy though.

For the price, this thing should have some basic scheduling, and not have the functionality of a $5 hotel alarm clock.
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Disappointed
by Amy L (2 out of 5 stars)
July 19, 2017

Overall, the word I'd use to describe my feelings on this clock as disappointed. Oh don't get me wrong, I think it works as intended and the light is very bright so that isn't the problem. Mostly I'm disappointed with the quality and user-friendliness. I had an older alarm clock (coincidentally also Philips) and it was a dock for an iPod but it died a year or two ago so I've just been using my cell phone. I purchased this, thinking that waking up 'naturally' with light would be better. And it may be. That part is hard to test right now because its getting light pretty early, but WINTER IS COMING so I'll get a better idea of how effective the light is.

My thoughts:

Pros:
* Nice, bright light which can be adjusted if too bright.

Cons:
* Too light, its easily knocked over. Feels cheap
* Controls are ridiculously non-intuitive. I've been using various alarm clocks for decades and I've never had to look at the owners manual --TWICE-- to figure out how to set the time and other functions
* Takes two buttons to completely shut off when alarm goes off---one for the light and one for the beep alarm (and you kind of have to hold the clock while pushing them since its SO light).
* Can't turn off the beep (in case you want to just wake up with the light)
* no ability to set multiple alarms (most alarm clocks have two)

In summary, it is not as easy to use nor does it have as much functionality as i would have expected for a relatively expensive alarm clock. Its like a super basic $10 alarm clock with a light attached.
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So much easier to get out of bed!
by Cyan13 (5 out of 5 stars)
September 24, 2016

Like many others I just wanted this for the wake up light, not the alarm or clock face. I always use my phone for my alarm and didn't want the beeping sound of the Philips wake up light to wake me up so I set my phone alarm to go off two minutes before the clock alarm. This makes it so the wake up light is already at full brightness, I wake up to the sounds I want, and all I have to do is reach over and click the alarm button (which deactivates the Philips' alarm before it goes off but keeps the light on).

I've used this wake up light in combination with my usual phone alarm for two weeks now and I can't believe how much easier it is to stay awake and get out of bed. This thing is worth it! I found this model to be bright enough for me which is good because I really didn't want to pay extra for the newer models that aren't as user friendly as this one.

I ended up nestling the wake up light in a shirt (on its back) so that the front is facing the ceiling. This is a good position to keep the red clock display away from your face and improve the lighting distribution when you wake up. Because it's so light weight it's hard to push the alarm button without moving it if it's upright so positioning it on its back also helps with that!
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Dealing with the sound
by Amazon Customer (4 out of 5 stars)
May 13, 2016

So I was very worried about the beeping as I see most people were. Unfortunately, yes, the only way to disable it is to dismantle it, I attempted to do so thinking I could take it apart piece by piece and put it Nicky back together, wrong! I would have to break the plastic to get to the insides. ABBORT MISSION! Unless you really don't mind braking a $60 alarm clock even if it is just cosmetic. I opted to deal with the noise, just on a much nicer and quieter level. So the speaker is on the back of the stand. I muffled it quite well however it wasn't easy since it is a piercing beep. Basically I took packing tape, put about 4 layers over the speaker and tested, still obnoxious...but better, so then instead of adding 50 layers of tape I took some cotton pads (about 4 so it was pretty thick). Then I took and old headband, you can use more tape to hold it if you'd like but I personally didn't want to see the pads, and used it like a hair tie to hold them in place over the tape. Now it still goes off of course but it is a much quieter, much nicer sound when it goes off.
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I should have read the reviews
by Mike (1 out of 5 stars)
January 5, 2017

I have 3 of the older model Philips wake up lights in my house and they are great. One of my children wanted one too so I thought I'd give this newer model a try but, ugh, as I now see others have mentioned there's no volume control. You are forced to a loud annoying deet-deet-deet alarm! I should have read the reviews 1st!

BTW, this model does not put out nearly as much light as the older models.

I should have tried one of the cheaper non-Philips versions on Amazon (1/2 the price of this one) or gotten one of the older models.

Stay away from this light!!!!!!!
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Sunrise alarms are the BEST - However this has MAJOR FLAWS (you NEED a separate backup alarm)
by Ploon (2 out of 5 stars)
September 25, 2016

Good:
Sunrise alarms help me to awaken more gently than an abrupt fire-house klaxon alarm that sets ones heart racing and jolting out of bed in complete delusion and hysteria. By simulating a sunrise prior to the actual alarm time, I end up waking up on my own - slowly, gently, peacefully. So by the time the actual audible alarm begins - I'm fully awake, if not already up and about. Sunrise emulating alarm clocks are way better than the traditional for waking one up.

BAAAAAAD

For this amount of money, one would expect MUCH better BASIC engineering features:
1 - The clock is not entirely stable. Be careful handling it especially when you are waking and not exhibiting the best hand-eye coordination. It can be easily knocked over. Ergonomics fail.
2 - NO battery back up. Really??? I'm sure the power draw for the lamp is high - BUT if at least the clock itself could maintain its time, alarm settings, and even the audible alarm over a power outage that would be.... EXPECTED. Come on Phillips - computers have been doing this for decades with a coin cell battery. So should I experience an outage in the middle of the night when I'm asleep.... oh noes!
3 - Once you know how to set the alarm, it is fairly simple. The thing is - I'm the only one in my family that knows. Because the interface is that cryptic. Sometimes I forget too... and fumble with it until I figure it out. It's not that hard but again - a fail on ergonomics and cognitive usage.
4 - The alarm settings span only for the 24-hour day. It doesn't have different settings for the 7 days of a week.

So I suppose the high price is mainly for the lamp? Because a lot of basic alarm clock features are missing. At first I thought this alarm clock was the bee's knees. However some of its shortcomings (and at such a premium price) make it not recommended. In fact, I've been experimenting with my phone and a purchased gentle-wake alarm app. Same concept. Battery back up (obviously. Configurable sounds that fade in, and a configurable day-to-day schedule all for just a few dollars. Additionally - the smart device fades to black which I like - helps me to sleep better in a perfectly dark room as opposed to having a lit 7-segment clock display in my face. I suggest anyone reading this review peruse the appstores for their smartphones or tablets to see if that might be a better solution for a fraction of cost (IF you are able to station that device close to yourself overnight). The flipside is that this clock's candlepower is MUCH stronger than any smart device's screen.
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Disappointing product especially for price!
by alw214,Top Contributor: Makeup (2 out of 5 stars)
January 6, 2017

Since this was a pretty expensive item, I am sad to report that this "wake-up light" did not help me wake up any better than my regular alarm clock or phone. I have had trouble with my sleep/wake cycle for quite some time now, and find it especially difficult to wake up, often having to set 7-10 alarms on my phone, and a manual alarm clock. I thought that since this claimed it was clinically tested for people with sleep disorders, and knowing that light helps trigger the brain to wake up, I was really hoping that this would help me. Unfortunately, the design of the light/alarm itself is a huge issue, as I could not adjust the angle or get it to sit where it would be correctly positioned in front of my face, so the light would be concentrated on my face and signal my brain to wake up. I tried propping it up on different things, but nothing seemed to get it to where it truly should be. In addition, even at the brightest setting, I did not find this light to be that bright where it would cause me to wake up, anymore than opening the blinds on my window (neither work).

In addition, the snooze function definitely needs work, as it is really hard to engage, even if you are talking/hitting repeatedly in the correct spot. I've actually had to unplug the thing to get it to stop.

Another huge issue is with the ease of use or useability of this product. Nothing is labeled on it, the buttons are hard to push, and the snooze mechanism needs work as described above. The biggest issue I found (especially for such an expensive item) is that either it is impossible (or maybe I can't figure out how) to adjust the time on the regular clock- I have to unplug the device then plug it back in in order to be able to set the time (and thus have to reset the alarm...). Also, there is no "AM/PM" on this, so it displays in military time (24 hour clock), which might not annoy some people, but for this price, this really should not be the case, nor should there be problems simply adjusting the face clock (i.e. When Daylight Savings comes around...).

Overall, I am disappointed with this product because it fails to both do what it claims, and also has issues that a $60 clock should NOT have (changing the time, only 24 hour clock mode). I would not honestly recommend this product to anybody due to the basic issues with the clock and the lack of adjustability with the design/shape of the clock. For a reputable brand and claims of "clinical results" this wake-up light seriously disappointed me, especially when I paid over $60 for the item.

Unfortunately I tried to return it too late, just a few days after the (I think 1 month) return policy. So I have just been "using" it since I paid good money for it, and technically the light is a good table type lamp if I want to read anything in bed, so I mainly use it for that. I found it to be an extremely expensive small table lamp, and would be extremely hesistant to buy any of their other "advanced" more expensive models, given this product's serious design flaws, and the unforgiving return policy, so I would not shell out the ~$90 to try the other "more powerful" version of this clock, when it too probably has basic issues that my $10 alarm clock doesn't. Very disappointed in what I hoped would be a great product and help with my issue of waking up.
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Not powerful enough for me
by SFL (1 out of 5 stars)
January 24, 2019

I got this a couple of weeks ago because I am trying to get my circadian rhythm on track. I already own a light for SAD but wanted to add this thinking it would help me wake up more gently. At least for me (and it might be different for others), I think having an alarm plus my SAD light is a better combo. I'm not sure this has helped me much in keeping my sleeping schedule on schedule. I did give it a couple of weeks, but I do better just setting an alarm, getting out of bed, and then sitting in front of my SAD light.

My hunch is that it is not bright enough. When they say it is like dawn, it is like dawn. It is a dim, yellow light. In all fairness, my expectations might not have aligned with what this light is designed for. I think I was hoping for a timed light with the brightness of a SAD light (this is only 200 LUX). This is more a night-light with an alarm. Which might work for some, but really doesn't work for me.

So, I think this light is designed as it was meant to be: a dawn simulator with an alarm. It is, however, pretty dim and yellow, which is not what you want if you are looking for a bright, blue light in the morning. I need to look around for something that is more what I want, though I am not sure it exists. Unfortunately I threw away the box, so now I have an expensive nightlight.
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Not recommended.
by Ken (1 out of 5 stars)
March 14, 2019

This is a fairly poor attempt at the wake-up light concept. By its very design, Phillips seems to acknowledge that it doesn't work.

The lamp comes with a mandatory alarm sound. It's the obnoxious, digital alarm that we've all hated since the 80s. It goes off regardless of how you set the light or the alarm settings.

We all have alarm clocks already, most of us use something other than such an obnoxious noise. The whole point of a wake-up light is to get away from that. I understand having a backup alarm sound in case the light doesn't wake you, but I would much prefer to use my existing alarm clock for that. The fact that it's not even an option just ruins my ability to use a less annoying sound on the side.

Furthermore, you can't disable the glowing red LED clock. The wake-up light has to face you all night long, or it won't work as well in the morning. The whole idea is to get enough light to wake you up. As this is the dimmest of the lineup they sell, this light needs to be somewhere easily visible to work.
... This means you have glowing red clock numbers in your face all night, and no option to turn them off.

The light function is actually quite nice. It's a good way to wake up, so long as you're fully awake before the alarm itself goes off. And if you DO wake up before the alarm, you have to disable it completely. Be sure to remember to turn it back on before bed the next night, because this device isn't smart enough to do so automatically.

All in all, it's a bad product. The concept is nice, but Phillips ruin it by adding "features" with no thought as to how the product would actually be used.

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