I used to have a really cheap alarm clock. Its discordant ear-piercing shriek became the stuff of early-morning nightmares. Then, one day, it dawned on me that if I really want to rise and shine, I need an alarm clock that – quite literally – helps me get up with the sun.
This is the Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light review.
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Philips SmartSleep Light review: What is it?
In its most basic sense, the Philips Smart Connect Wake-Up Light is an alarm clock that uses light to wake you up gently and naturally. However, it’s much more than just a light therapy tool. Philips really takes the “wellness” angle to the extreme here, with additional features like breathing exercises, nature sounds, environment monitoring, sleep tracking, and more. You can even use it as a bedroom speaker and a phone charger.
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There’s a lot to like about the Philips SmartSleep Light. From its well-thought-out feature set to its confidence-inspiring claims for improving your sleep quality and overall health, it’s a soothing bedtime panacea.
At night, you can unwind with light- or sound-guided breathing exercises as you prepare for bed. You can then use it as a reading light before activating a relaxing sunset effect when it’s time to drift off.
The Philips SmartSleep Light is a soothing bedtime panacea.
If sound helps you relax, you can be carried off to sleep accompanied by your choice of relaxing soundtracks, including waves lapping at the shore or gentle rain. You can also play your own audio via a 3.5mm auxiliary cable.
If you wake up in the middle of the night, tap the top of the light to activate a soft orange nightlight. It’s just enough to see without waking up your partner or stimulating your senses too much.
In the morning, you will be gently woken with a customizable sunrise effect and the sounds of nature. I loved waking up to gently graduated light rather than a shrieking alarm, especially in the Autumn gloom. Waking up to a slow change in light is far more natural and refreshing. You really feel it throughout your morning.
If you prefer a more upbeat start to the day, you can wake up to your favorite radio station instead. Have somewhere you really need to be? You can set a more traditional back-up alarm that you definitely won’t sleep through. You can have up to 16 alarms in the accompanying app, all fully customizable.
AmbiTrack sensors record the temperature, humidity, sound, and light levels in your bedroom.
AmbiTrack sensors record the temperature, humidity, sound, and light levels in your bedroom. This lets you hone in on the optimal conditions for a good night’s rest.
The SleepMapper app lets you control everything, from light intensity, bedtime sleep tracking, alarm and light duration, to sunset color schemes, Google Fit syncing, and sound selections for alarms, relaxation exercises, and sunsets/sunrises. (Note: There’s also a non-connected version that doesn’t pair to your phone or come with the AmbiTrack sensors.)
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What’s not so good?
I wish it were possible to download additional nature sounds through the app. I expect to grow weary of hearing the exact same wave or forest sounds every day. A little extra control over the RelaxBreathe settings (to more easily accommodate box breathing or asymmetrical breathing exercises, for example) would be great too.
While you can play music from an external source through the Philips SmartSleep Light’s speaker with a 3.5mm cable, it’d be nice if you could download sleep tracks or songs to the light itself (or play them over Bluetooth). There is a USB-A port in the light but it’s only for charging.
Philips SmartSleep Light review: Should I buy it?
If you’re sick and tired of your traditional sound-based alarm and want to wake up more naturally with light, the Philips SmartSleep Light is a solid investment. This is especially true as winter approaches and the days grow shorter. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it if you plan to use all the additional features it comes with. I will never go back to shocking my senses with a normal alarm clock.
If you’re just after a basic wake-up light, you could find something cheaper with fewer bells and whistles. However, if you want an advanced light-based alarm with tons of extra features to reinvigorate your sleep-wake cycles, the Philips Smart Connect Wake Up Light is hard to beat. Just make like the early bird and act fast whenever it goes on sale.