sunrise

Philips Wake-Up Light

I am thrilled to announce that Philips has released a new version of the Wake-Up Light: the HF3485. The HF3485 now includes a replaceable light bulb! Thank you Philips!

In the past, I wasn't able to recommend the Philips Wake-Up Light (model HF3480) because the light bulb was not replaceable. This meant that if the bulb burned out, you were out of luck. You could continue using the alarm clock, but had no way to use the lamp, or dawn simulator.

The Philips clock has always had some really cool features that aren't offered in other sunrise simulators. Now that the light bulb issue is fixed, I can happily recommend the new version. More details below...

See the NEW Philips HF3485 Wake-Up Light Plus at Amazon.com...



Models

Philips produces several versions of the Wake-Up clock, with slightly different model numbers. I am currently working to decipher the differences between each model. Until then, take a look at the HF3485 - this is the newer model that includes a replaceable light bulb.

Buy or learn more at Amazon:

    Philips HF3485 Wake-up Light *Recommended*

    Philips HF3480 Wake-up Light (NOT recommended. Can not replace light bulb.)

Note: To replace the light bulb in the HF3485, look for a Philips Halogen lamp, 100W, 12V, GY6.35. This is a so-called self-shielded halogen lamp.



Concerns

Even the best products have some potential issues. It's better to hear know about them upfront before you buy anything, so you can make an informed decision.

The old HF3480 had a couple of HUGE issues, most importantly the non-replaceable light. Although the bulbs were supposed to last about 7 years, several users have reported the light burning out. A sunrise alarm clock without a light is just an expensive alarm clock. Some customers also reported issues with the buttons - when they tried to press "snooze", they accidentally turned off the alarm itself. That's great if you want to get more sleep, but very bad if you need to get up for work!

Happily, the new HF3485 solves both these problems. The light bulb is now easily replaceable (estimated cost of a new bulb is only around $4). The new snooze function is brilliant - you simply tap your clock to activate snooze. I personally love this, as I'm not at all coherent first thing in the morning, and not nearly conscious enough to make fine distinctions between buttons.

So, do I see any concerns about the HF3485?

- Confusing to Set Up?: There are quite a few things you can adjust. That's good - it lets you set everything exactly the way you want it. But, it can also create a system that's difficult to use without a reference manual. It looks like Phillips has taken that into consideration with a very clean, simple design. I'd like to get my hands on one of these to try out, and see how easy or hard it is to actually use!

- Snooze Light: When you snooze, the sound goes off, but the light stays on. While this has the potential to be annoying (the whole point of the light is to wake you up!) it also makes sense. If the light were turned off, there would not be time during the 9-minute snooze to gradually increase the brightness again, and it would have to snap on like a lightswitch - not a pleasant way to wake up.

- Time Display: I've seen comments that the display is not easy to read. The numbers are created with orange dots, and there is plastic over the dots to diffuse the light.

- Poor Speakers: There are some complaints about the quality of the speakers. The low quality speakers may make music sound "muddy" and unclear.

- Difficult to Read the Display with the Light On: Because the display is in front of the light, it can be difficult to read when the light is on (especially at maximum brightness).



Features

My favorite part! The new H3485 has a TON of very cool features. I try to be impartial, so I can present the best information possible, but honestly after reading about this - this is the one I want!

- Touch to Snooze: I love this. Rather than fiddling with tiny buttons in a half-unconscious state you simply tap the alarm clock. Anywhere on the alarm clock. Presto - the sounds stop and you get 9 more minutes to sleep!

- USB Sounds: You can choose the sounds you wake up to. The clock includes an FM radio and 4 basic sounds (birds, yoga, cowbell, and forest). But, you can put any sounds or music (mp3 or wma files) on a USB drive to play, or to use an alarm sound. You could even record your own sounds on your computer to use.

- Audible Alarm Increases in Volume: If you choose to use an audible alarm, it gradually gets louder over about 90 seconds. This prevents you from being completely startled by music suddenly blaring as an alarm.

- Adjustable Lamp Brightness: You can select the maximum brightness of the light when you wake up (up to 250 lux.) This is useful if you are waking up too quickly during the simulated sunrise.

- Adjustable Display Brightness: You can select the brightness of the clock display (4 levels). It does NOT automatically dim at night, but you can set it to a dim level if you prefer.

- Dusk Duration: The light and sounds can be set to fade to dark/quiet as you fall asleep. You can choose for this to take 15, 30, 45, 60, or 90 minutes.

- Clock Memory: The clock will remember its settings for a brief period of time (about 15 minutes) if the electricity goes out.


User Comments

The old HF3480 had mixed reviews from users. As I've pointed out, there were some problems, and I don't recommend buying that model.

I'm currently reading and researching to see what people are saying about the new model. Since it's so new, I'm not finding very many reliable comments out in cyberspace yet (I'll keep looking). The following comments are from Amazon.


"I just don't have that kind of money to waste on things I don't LOVE. And there's nothing about this I don't love."
- user on Amazon.com, 2011



"The lamp gives off a nice warm light and glow to the room."
- user on Amazon.com, 2010



"Some people may find the Smart Snooze feature to be gimmicky, but I really like this approach of tapping anywhere on the body of the unit to activate the 9-minute snooze..."
- user on Amazon.com, 2010



"...when either listening to the FM radio, or waking up to the FM radio or USB sound source, music sounds really muffled as if it was coming from inside a barrel..."
- user on Amazon.com, 2010



Instruction Manuals

Directions for the HF3485 from Philips (PDF).
Product Information Leaflet from Philips (HF3485) (PDF).

Directions for the HF3480/HF3490 from Philips (PDF).
Product Information Leaflet from Philips (HF3480/HF3490) (PDF).



See the NEW Philips HF3485 Wake-Up Light Plus at Amazon.com...