things to consider before buying a sunrise alarm clock

8 Things To Consider Before Buying a Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock

Wake-Up alarm clocks look really cool. Who doesn’t want an alarm clock that simulates the sunrise for you? For me, a sunrise-simulating alarm clock is one of those few things that I always wanted to buy but I never did the last step to do so. Here are 8 Things to consider before buying a wake-up light alarm clock:

  • Do I really need a wake-up light alarm clock?
  • What do I achieve by buying one?
  • Who will use the wake-up light?
  • Which price category suits me best?
  • Which sunrise alarm colors are best for waking up?
  • Do I need to be able to set multiple alarms?
  • Is a built-in FM radio necessary?
  • Am I even going to use the wake-up light alarm clock?

A few months ago, I had one cheap wake-up light alarm clock myself. Sadly I accidentally broke it by throwing it to the ground. I now know what is worth considering before buying a new wake-up light alarm.

After reading this, you’ll be well informed about all the above questions (and even a little more) and you’ll have the knowledge at hand to decide whether a wake-up light is worth buying or not. So let’s go.

Do I really need a wake-up light alarm clock?

The first question to think about is, whether you actually need a wake-up alarm clock. I know, it looks just really cool and it’s a tempting buy. But for your savings, the most important thing to consider is to check whether you actually need one.

Wake-up light alarm clocks are worth buying when you struggle to get out of bed in the morning. Especially, when you are sleeping so deep, that you can’t even hear your alarm clock in the morning. I’ve actually written about that topic in this guide: What to do when you can’t hear your alarm clock in the morning. And the solution is a wake-up alarm clock.

But it doesn’t need to be that extreme case of not hearing your alarm clock.

I’d say a wake-up alarm clock is worth buying when you feel groggy and tired after your alarm goes off in the morning. Do you? Then let’s head on.

What do I achieve by buying one?

You also need to be sure about what you want to achieve by buying a wake-up alarm clock. This might be obvious in the first place: You want to wake up smoothly and stop feeling like dirt every morning. But for some people, it’s even more than that. For real, people want to get every possible use-case out of their wake-up alarm.

For example, they use it as an FM-radio. Some use it as a reading light before going to bed. And some use it as a regular alarm clock without even enabling the sunrise function.

But wake-up alarms are not specially intended to be used as a radio or reading light. These are small additional features to use along with the sunrise function. But if you plan to get it just for these additional features, you won’t be satisfied.

Because it’s not the main function, a wake-up light alarm clock usually makes a bad reading light and a bad FM-radio. 

As long as you want to use your wake-up alarm as a simple sunrise alarm clock, everything is fine.

Who will use the wake-up light?

Are you going to use it yourself? Or is it for your son or daughter? There are different sunrise alarm clocks available. Most of them are for adults but there are some for small kids. These are usually made of silicone or similar material to be break-proof so your kid doesn’t actually destroy it.

Other wake-up lights usually are more complicated to use and have more customizability options. And on top of that, they are easier to break. Hence, it can even be a good decision to get a kid’s wake up light. They are much easier to handle, break less often and are often exactly what you expect of a wake-up light: Just the alarm and light with no unnecessary extra features. Here’s a 1,800 customer rated wake-up light for kids listed on Amazon that will do the job for you.

But if you are looking for a regular wake-up light, we’ll need to take a look at some more questions.

Which sunrise alarm colors are best for waking up?

Scientists usually say, that blue light blocks off the sleeping hormone melatonin and therefore wakes us up. However, I think that waking up in a blue light would be pretty uncomfortable. And that’s why most sunrise-simulating alarm clocks use sunrise colors to wake you up naturally.

For some wake-up lights, you can customize the colors to fit your preferences. However, please don’t use any other color than the (usually) pre-set sunlight color. Remember, you want to use your sunrise-simulating alarm clock the way it’s intended to.

Also, for the sake of simplicity, it’s often best to just stick to the colors that are pre-set. And if you want you can even buy a sunrise alarm clock where colors are not customizable.

Do I need to be able to set multiple alarms?

Some wake-up light alarm clocks come with the functionality to set multiple alarms while others don’t. Multiple alarms might be useful if you are sharing your bedroom with your partner and both of you need to wake up at different times.

In case you need multiple alarms, definitely take a more detailed look at the product description. If you can’t see the multiple alarms feature listed there, it means your alarm clock comes with just a single alarm.

Oftentimes though you are sleeping alone or your partner has his / her own alarm clock. Therefore it doesn’t matter whether you can set multiple alarms or not.

Is a built-in FM-radio necessary?

Just like for the previous considerations, I’d say: Don’t get a wake-up light alarm clock for its side features. Because you are buying just a sunlight alarm clock in the first place, it is mostly coming with horribly bad and tinny sounding speakers.

If you like to wake up with FM-radio the sound quality should be good enough. But for daytime radio listening, I’d recommend getting a regular FM-radio.

But still, there’s a cool little thing you can do. If you have speakers you can sometimes connect them to wake-up light alarm clocks using an AUX cable. My last sunlight alarm had such a connector.

For most people though, a built-in FM-radio sounds cool at first, but not many will actually use it. If a sunrise alarm clock comes with this feature, great, but it shouldn’t be a buying argument.

My personal experience with wake-up light alarm clocks

I have to say, back then I bought such a cheap and crappy sunrise alarm clock that it was incredibly difficult to set the alarm clock time and to customize the brightness and duration of the sunrise. Also, the positions of the buttons were so weird that I always accidentally reset everything in the middle of the night, although I just wanted to quickly check the time. Having all these difficulties with a cheap sunrise alarm-clock has taught me one thing:

Which price category suits me best?

Don’t try to save money on your sleep. Buying good quality items will help you aid your sleep in the long run. While buying cheap stuff that easily breaks and is difficult to handle will even worsen your sleep quality and duration. And it will destroy your nerves.

On the other hand, don’t waste your money on unnecessarily expensive brand products. Mostly, they are not much better than others. What you want to look for if the middle range. There will be good quality wake-up alarms with all the features you need. Oftentimes they are the exact same product as the expensive one but they cost only half the price.

Here’s the wake-up light listed on Amazon that I would get over all the others. Simply because it has convincing customer ratings, it has all the features you need. And it’s the same product as the expensive Phillips wake-up light, which is well over 100$.

Am I even going to use the wake-up light alarm clock?

And here comes the biggest question of all. Are you even going to use the wake-up light alarm clock? As we’ve all experienced so often, we buy something we find really cool, but after just a few days or weeks, it doesn’t do more for us than collecting dust.

Before buying a wake-up light alarm clock you really need to be sure that currently, your sleep quality is bad and you feel groggy and tired every morning. Then, you will probably be using the alarm clock regularly. You’ll see it will help.

If, however, you already built a solid sleep schedule and you feel fresh and energized every morning, a wake-up alarm clock is most likely just a waste of money for you. It won’t give you any benefits over a regular alarm clock.

Personally, I feel pretty bad after waking up. And using a wake-up light alarm clock has helped me a lot. I hope, I could help you with your buying decision for a wake-up light alarm clock! If you’re interested in more sleep improvement topics, definitely take a look at all the other better-sleep guides I published on this website!

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