The 10 Best Wake-Up Lights

Updated March 09, 2018 by Sheila O'Neill

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We spent 43 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top selections for this wiki. If you have difficulty getting out of bed in the morning, you should consider trying one of these wake-up lights. They are designed to mimic a sunrise and trick your body into rising in a more peaceful and natural fashion. You'll start off each day with a smile and never want to go back to a conventional alarm clock again. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best wake-up light on Amazon.

10. Electrohome Retro

New technology meets a vintage aesthetic in the Electrohome Retro. This model looks like a classic alarm clock, but the "bells" on top are a pair of lights that gradually get brighter in the mornings, and can be turned on and off with the wave of a hand.
  • can be set to a weekly schedule
  • radio reception isn't great
  • doesn't get loud enough for some
Brand Electrohome
Model CR35
Weight 1.4 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

9. HomeLabs 6 Color

The HomeLabs 6 Color gives you plenty of ways to customize your mornings. You can set the sunrise to turn on 15, 30, or 45 minutes before the alarm starts up and choose from a variety of sounds or FM radio stations rather than being stuck with a jarring beeping noise.
  • clock displays 12 or 24 hour time
  • gradually gets dimmer at night
  • controls are difficult to operate
Brand hOmeLabs
Model 4330349651
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

8. Glime LED

If you're looking to make room on a small bedside table, the unique design of the Glime LED might be just what you need. Its base takes up less than 4 square inches of surface space, so you don't have to choose between your tissues, your water, and your book.
  • built-in rechargeable battery
  • gets very bright
  • no snooze option
Model pending
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 3.5 / 5.0

7. InLife E10

The sleek design of the InLife E10 should fit in nicely with any modern bedroom. Its simple control panel makes it easy to set the clock, light, alarm, and radio station. And if you need an extra five minutes of sleep, you can always hit snooze.
  • time display is dimmable
  • comes with micro usb cable
  • no preset option for the radio
Model E10
Weight 1.5 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

6. MagicLight Smart

The MagicLight Smart may look like a regular light bulb, but it is loaded with features that make it anything but normal. It has over 16 million color options, variations of cool and warm white, a sunrise/sunset alarm mode, and can also function as a convenient nightlight.
  • comes in different wattage options
  • can pulsate to music
  • controlled via a smart device
Brand MagicLight
Weight 0.3 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. Patch Products OK to Wake

The Patch Products OK to Wake is a popular choice among parents who are teaching their kids to wake up on their own. It glows a pleasant yellow color for use as a nightlight and turns green at whatever time you want your child to start getting up.
  • helpful timer for naps
  • adorable interchangeable faceplates
  • hidden panel for parental controls
Brand PlayMonster
Model DP8091Z
Weight 1.3 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

4. Flux Bluetooth

If you're not a morning person, the Flux Bluetooth offers an ingenious way to wake up in a good mood by keeping your sleep/wake cycle on track. It works effortlessly with your smartphone to accommodate your lifestyle and personal preferences.
  • app controls one or multiple lights
  • efficient and energy-saving
  • installs like a standard light bulb
Brand Flux
Model FLUX-BT-700
Weight 8.8 ounces
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

3. Nature Bright Sun Bliss

The versatile Nature Bright Sun Bliss is a 2-in-1 device that can be used as a wake-up alarm clock or for light therapy. It is capable of replicating a glorious sunny day with a 10,000 LUX rating, and also has an advanced LED diffusion lens that protects your eyes.
  • compact size is perfect for travel
  • includes a universal power adapter
  • user-friendly controls
Brand Nature Bright
Model E7070
Weight 15.5 ounces
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

2. Mosche Sunrise

At under $30, the Mosche Sunrise fits the bill for function and price. It ofers six soothing sounds, including birds, waves, and forest. Or, if you prefer music, there's a built-in FM radio. You can even turn the sound off altogether and wake up to the light in silence.
  • runs on usb or batteries
  • easy-to-use touchscreen
  • 10 brightness settings
Model Sunrise Alarm Clock
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 5.0 / 5.0

1. Philips Somneo

Begin and end each day feeling happy and relaxed with the Philips Somneo. Wake up to a natural sunrise and drift into slumber with a combination of light and sound that's meant to help your body transition from a busy day to a peaceful night of sleep.
  • can be used to charge a phone
  • multiple nightlight settings
  • aux port for personal music
Brand Philips
Model HF3650/60
Weight 3.5 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

Unexpected Consequences Of Not Getting Enough Sleep

You already know that sleep is important, although it's a lot harder to remember that when it's midnight and you're binge-watching Netflix. But not catching enough Zs has a bigger impact on your body than you might think, with more dire consequences than simply feeling groggy at work.

One of the most unexpected effects of sleep deprivation involves weight gain. This seems counter-intuitive; how could spending less time in bed make you fatter? However, sleep helps regulate the hormones leptin and ghrelin, which affect your feelings of hunger and fullness. So, if you don't spend enough time hitting the hay, you're likely to spend more time hitting the buffet.

Conversely, one thing which probably won't surprise you about lack of sleep is that it can cause mood disorders. This much is obvious to anyone who talks to me before I've had my fourth cup of coffee in the morning. But beyond basic irritability, not getting enough shuteye affects your brain's ability to process information, which can lead to depression, impulsive behavior, paranoia, hallucinations, and more.

Your ability to fight off sickness is also affected by your rest habits. While you sleep, your body produces things like cytokines, which are basically the foot soldiers in the war against infection. If you don't get your forty winks in, your immune system won't be able to assemble much of a fighting force. Think about that the next time you wonder why you're always the one who catches the flu every year.

There are myriad more ways in which lack of sleep can sabotage your health, and researchers are learning more about slumber's effects on the body every day. The most important takeaway you can make, however, is that you need to get enough sleep every night if you want to be your best.

In fact, that's what you should tell your boss if he catches you napping on the job. Let me know if it works.

How Light Affects Your Sleep Cycle

Now that I've convinced you that you should make sleep a priority (I have convinced you, haven't I?), you should know that the best way to get the proper amount of rest is to establish a sleep schedule and stick to it. Yes, that means going to bed and getting up at roughly the same time every day, but trust me, it's worth it.

Of course, if you've already tried and failed to stick to a sleep schedule, then you know it's not as easy as just setting an alarm or slipping between the sheets at a certain time. Your body is regulated by your circadian rhythm, which is basically your brain's best guess as to what time it is. One of the biggest factors in your mind's ability to determine time is how much light it's getting.

Makes sense, right? After all, our ancestors didn't have watches, so they used the sun to determine when to get up and when to go to bed. But you know what else our ancestors didn't have? Cell phones and TVs and tablets blasting light in their faces at all hours of the night, confusing their delicate internal clocks about what time it really was.

Of course, they also didn't have to wake up literally before the crack of dawn to beat traffic and get to work on time.

While human technology might have evolved by leaps and bounds over the centuries, our circadian rhythms haven't caught up, so you're going to have to trick yours. That means unplugging from all bright lights (especially blue ones) at least an hour before you go to sleep, and it means waking up to warm, refreshing light shining on your face.

That last part is where wake-up lights come in.

The Benefits Of Wake-Up Lights

As mentioned above, you can't always count on the sun to wake you up in the morning. You might need to get up before sunrise, or you may have a bedroom that doesn't face the dawn. In that case, you need to cheat, and a wake-up light is the best way to do it.

The clocks start by emitting a warm glow a little while before your alarm is set to go off. This allows your body to process the fact that dawn is breaking, and you'll begin to transition into lighter, non-REM sleep. This is important, because if you wake up immediately out of deeper sleep, you'll feel extremely groggy, and it will take you longer to get ready to confront the day.

The light gets gradually brighter the closer it gets to your designated wake-up time, and then, when it's time to wake up, your buzzer will go off. At this point, it's as bright as a summer morn in your bedroom, so it's hard for even the most dedicated snoozers to sleep through their alarm. Fair warning, though: if you sleep with your eyes covered, the brightness may not affect you at all.

Wake-up lights are great for non-morning people who nevertheless have to wake up early for work, or for city-dwellers who can't leave their drapes open all night because the city lights affect their ability to rest. People who are naturally early risers may not see as much benefit, unless they just want to add a little brightness to their mornings.

Regardless, waking up to a room bathed in a warm, refreshing glow is significantly more satisfying than being jarred awake by an obnoxious beeping. After all, if I wanted to wake up to blaring noises, I wouldn't have taken the batteries out of my smoke detectors (note: please don't do this).

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Last updated on March 09, 2018 by Sheila O'Neill

Sheila is a writer, cosplayer, and juggler who lives in Southern California. She loves sitting down with a hot cup of tea and coming up with new ideas. In her spare time, Sheila enjoys drawing, listening to podcasts, and describing herself in the third person.

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