PiSquare SunRizr & SunUp Dawn Simulators

Update April, 2011: These products seem to be out of production. If you're looking for a similar controller, please check out our review of the Biobrite Sunrise Controller. It's similar to the SunRizr/SunUp, but with more features! Thanks.

The SunRizr and SunUp are nearly identical dawn simulators. The less expensive SunRizr has a fixed "dawn" (45 minutes) and "dusk" (15 minutes). The SunUp allows you to adjust how long it takes for the light to reach full brightness (or darkness, for dusk).

Neither model includes a LAMP - you must supply this yourself.

These dawn simulators are manufactured by Pi Square, which is a bit of a mystery. The PiSquare website, listed in the product "Instructions" - redirects to a company that appears to be in a different state, and which sells several different brands of dawn simulators. As a consumer, this concerns me, and makes me wonder whether it would be difficult to contact the company for warranty issues or technical help.

Both the SunRizr and SunUp normally run upwards of $100. Unlike the other sunrise alarm clocks on this site, they do NOT include a lamp, back-up audio alarm, or back-up batteries. Thus, for most people, dawn simulators such as the Biobrite Sunrise Clocks will be a better value and will include more features.

However, the SunRizr or SunUp may be perfect in situations such as:

1. If you absolutely need BRIGHT light to wake up. Most of the sunrise clocks have adequate, but not overwhelming, lights. With this system, you use your own lamp, including halogen lamps, up to 400W. This should provide a much brighter wake-up experience.

2. If you have an elaborate lighting system that you want to use for your wake-up light. The instructions, for example, note that the ideal system is track lighting above your headboard. This gives you a more realistic morning experience.


Update April, 2011: These dawn simulators are no longer available.

    Pi Square SunRizr - Fixed dawn (45 minutes) and dusk (15 minutes).
    Pi Square SunUp - Allows you to set the length of dawn and dusk.


- Lamp Restrictions: You must use incandescent, argon, or halogen lamps (less than 400W). Using fluorescent lamps, CFLs, energy efficient bulbs, low-voltage bulbs, or any lamp connected to another dimmer may cause damage to the light and the dawn simulator.

- No Audio Back-Up: These dawn simulators do not provide an audio alarm back-up.

- No Back-Up Batteries: They do not have any battery back-up. If your electricity flickers in the middle of the night, you will lose your time and alarm settings.

- No Snooze Function: This is less important without the audio alarm, but worth noting. There is no "snooze" function. That means, no way to turn the light off, and have it become bright again in 10 or 15 minutes, without reprogramming the unit.


These units are simply dimmers that include a timer. You can use them to control your lamps (i.e. to turn the lamps on or off, or to dim the lamp during the day), to dim and turn off automatically in the evening, and to brighten in the morning. They do not offer any of the extra features of the Biobrite or BlueMax systems.

User Comments

"I have had one of these boxes for about 4 years... It really works great in simulating the sunrise!! However, after a while the rubber keys wear out--they get old so when you press them down to change time or dawn time, nothing happens."
- user on, 2010

Instruction Manuals

Instructions for the SunRizr are here. (PDF).
Directions for the SunUp are here (PDF).