5 wake-up lights to make autumn mornings easier

Banish the beeping alarms and wake up as nature intended with our pick of the best wake-up lights

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Never heard of a wake-up light? They're the clever devices designed to replace alarm clocks. Why? Well, dragging yourself out of bed can be (is) difficult at any time of the year, but once the days start getting shorter, getting up can become even more of a challenge. This is not aided by a startling, beeping alarm which can break the sleep cycle at the point at which your body is least ready for it. 

All of us can (and should) benefit from a slower, gentler start to the day and that's where wake-up lights come in. Replicating the sunrise that would have naturally woken our ancestors, but year round, it cancels out the circadian rhythm-confusing lack of morning light in winter and carefully coaxes you into wakefulness using light and sound. Take a look at our pick of the best and find a model that suits your sleep style (as well as your aesthetic).

Lumie wake up light 250 with long sunrise and sunset options

1. Lumie Bodyclock 250

Lights, sounds, ready for action

Specifications
Best for: Customisation
Power type: Mains with back-up battery
Lux: 250
Reasons to buy
+ Adjustable sunrise/sunset times + Doubles as bedside light 
Reasons to avoid
- Not as good-looking as the Philips 

Lumie are the inventors of the original wake-up light, and to our judgment, their Bodyclock is still the best. A certified medical device recommended by sad.org.uk, the Bodyclock Active 250 wakes you with a gradually brightening light whose speed you can control within a range of 15 to 90 minutes, for the mornings when you really need to get going, and those when you can afford a little more lie-in time. Doubling as a bedside light and nightlight, it has a snooze function, dimmable display, FM radio, and wake-up noise options including white noise, waves, birdsong and a rooster call. For its seemingly endless customisation options, it’s our top choice.
 

2. Philips Wake Up Light

Choose nature or natter with this clock radio meets wake-up light

Specifications
Best for: Gentle wake-up
Power type: Mains
Lux: 300
Reasons to buy
+ Variety of light and sound settings  + USB phone charging 
Reasons to avoid
- No automatic time set 

A very close second to the Lumie Bodyclock Active, the Philips Wake Up Light is another highly recommended and reliable option, with the added distinction of looking really good on the bedside table thanks to its sleek, almost seamless design. It’s clinically proven to make getting up less of a chore with light settings, plus a bank of seven natural sounds and radio function, so whether you prefer birdsong or your local station to get you out of bed in the morning, you’re all set. The USB port for mobile phone charging is also a helpful feature, eliminating the need for wires trailing under the bed.
 

wake up light from amazon

(Image: © Amazon)

3. Withings Aura Sistema Smart Sleep

Use sleep cycle analysis and room environment tracking to enhance sleeping habits

Specifications
Best for: Tracking your sleep and adjusting your environment accordingly
Power type: Mains
Lux: 300
Reasons to buy
+Sleep enhancement backed up by science+Go to sleep and wake up functions
Reasons to avoid
-Can be arduous to set up

Effectively combining a speaker, bed side lamp and alarm clock, the Withings Aura Sistema Smart Sleep uses sleep cycle analysis and room environment tracking to optimise sleep. Its combination of scientifically designed blue light and music programmes are intended to ensure users wake up energised during the best point of their sleep cycle. 

In addition to helping users wake up, the Withings Aura is also designed to aid the process of falling asleep, with sleep-inducing programs and access to an unlimited choice of music with Spotify.

wake up light from amazon

(Image: © Amazon)

4. Lumie Bodyclock Iris 500

An SAD wake-up lamp with built in aromatherapy feature

Specifications
Best for: Immersive sleep experience
Power type: Mains
Lux: N/A
Reasons to buy
+Additional aromatherapy feature
Reasons to avoid
- No radio option

A unique take on the traditional Lumie wake-up light, the Lumie Bodyclock Iris 500 offers an aromatherapy option in addition to the basic features. Capable of taking up to two diffusers, it's now possible to wake up to a scent of your choice, in addition to a light and sound setting that suits. 

5. Philips HF3500/60 Wake-Up Light

Combines the bedside lamp and alarm clock for the best of both worlds

Specifications
Best for: Simple design
Power type: Mains
Lux: 200
Reasons to buy
+ Stylish minimal design + Adjustable for evening and morning 
Reasons to avoid
- Some found the alarm a little grating 

If you’re undecided about light alarm clocks, not fussed about nature sounds, and just want a simple model that builds on a standard sound alarm, the Philips HF3500/60 may well be it. It’s a handsome stand-in for a bedside light and alarm clock, and its light settings are ample and varied, with ten different light intensities to choose from and adjustable brightness for the time display. However, there’s just one alarm setting, so if you prefer to be gently enticed into wakefulness with birdsong, it may not be for you. One final downside that some reviewers have flagged up is that the snooze feature can be quite tricky to activate, although if it saves us from ourselves, we suppose, then all the better... 

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