wake up light

Best Wake-Up Lights 2021: Top Picks, Reviews & Buying Guide

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A good night’s sleep and waking up all fresh and energized in the morning can have lasting impacts on you the entire day and significantly improve your health, mood, and even productivity at the workplace.

While alarm clocks do a perfectly good job of waking you up, they also start mornings on a rather chaotic note with mostly ear-piercing tunes.

On the other hand, a wake-up light is much calmer and subtle but just as effective as an alarm clock when it comes to waking you up.

Why Do You Need a wake-up light?

When we use an alarm clock, we put our body in an emergency or better known as the flight-or-fight mode, right from the start. So it is hard to expect a relaxed or fresh morning.

If you want to wake up fresher or struggle with sleeping issues, you should seriously consider a wake-up lamp.

It works in combination with an alarm and can even perform as a standalone to wake you up by imitating dawn. This means your body and mind wake up in a more relaxed and natural environment as opposed to the frantic sound of a blaring alarm.

A wake-up light can also help keep your cortisol levels in check. Some models are even medically certified to help with particular conditions like SAD, and they are designed as such that they are often used for light therapy as well.

What's In This Buying Guide

To help you purchase the ideal wake-up light, we review some of the best wake-up lights in this guide and list the pros and cons of each so that you make an informed choice.

You will learn how wake-up lights work and how to use one.

We also list the factors you need to look for when purchasing a wake-up light.

In the end, we answer some common questions that buyers usually have about these lights.

Best Wake-Up Lights

Disclaimer: All links below go to Amazon.com

  1. Best Overall:Hatch Restore
  2. Best Sun Imitator:Philips HF3520
  3. Best Luxury Wake-up Light:Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB
ProductTimerPre-recorded soundsAppWind-down FeaturesWarrantyAward
Hatch Restore
wake up light

See Price on Amazon

Yes31YesRelaxing sounds1 yearBest Overall
Philips HF3520
wake up light

See Price on Amazon

No5NoRelaxing sounds and sunset simulation2 yearsBest Sun Imitator
Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB

wake up light

See Price on Amazon

Yes31NoRelaxing sounds and sunset simulation3 yearsBest Luxury Wake-up Ligh

1. Best Overall: Hatch Restore

best wake up light

The Hatch Restore is a luxury and premium wake-up light with tons of unique and highly impressive features and quite a range of personalized options. It has different colors that you can choose from for a smooth transition in the time frame you want.

The Hatch Restore also serves as a reading light and has a huge digital clock display with customizable brightness settings for ease of use and increased convenience. Also, it features built-in sounds and content for its premium users and is well worth your money!


  • Several sunrise variations with a smooth transition from one color to the next
  • Huge digital clock with adjustable brightness
  • Doubles as a reading light with steady brightness level and choice of color
  • Can be operated via app or manually through the device’s buttons
  • Many sleeping and meditation sounds


  • Most meditation sounds are exclusively for premium users, which requires an additional payment
  • Not suitable for traveling because of its large size

Our Review

The Hatch Restore promises users the ultimate experience in terms of customization. Instead of just having one default setting, it allows you to choose the exact colors you want to transition through and the time span you want it to happen. This creates a personalized experience!

Along with light, the Hatch Restore also has a sound alarm with quality speakers. It also has some pre-programmed sounds for sleeping and mediation that you can use to create a relaxing environment. So with this wake-up light, you neitherneed a white noise machine nor a separate app.

Due to the flexibility of the light settings and customization options, the Hatch Restore can also serve as a reading lamp. It has stable brightness levels instead of fading, and you can choose the color that soothes your eyes the most.

You can control the Hatch Restore via the light touch buttons present on the device itself or through the app available for iOS and Android. The app requires Wi-Fi or Bluetooth, though.

There is an in-app subscription too for premium users and has an additional optional payment. However, Hatch provides a free premium trial so that you can see if the subscription payment is suitable and viable for you.

Premium users gain access to an ever-expanding library of new content, soundscapes, sleep stories, and much more.

2. Best Sun Imitator: Philips HF3520

wake up light

As you can expect from Phillips, the HF3520 is a rather wonderful wake-up light that simulates the sunrise and sunset with its color transition in an almost seamless and natural manner.

You can choose from 20 brightness levels, and the HF3520 has 5 pre-recorded sounds, an FM radio, a contemporary design, touch snooze, and an automatic dimmable display.


  • Maximum brightness level of 300 lux, ideal for waking you up
  • Mimics a sunrise cycle transitioning from red to orange to white with 20 brightness levels
  • Weekend and weekday alarms can be different
  • Has an FM radio and 5 sound options, including birdsongs and ocean waves
  • You can choose when to trigger the sunrise effect along with the maximum brightness level


  • Top buttons are small and not visually accessible from the front, so changing the setting can be a little difficult
  • Cannot replace the light bulb

Our Review

The Philips HF3520 stimulates a sunrise and sunset astonishingly well as it transitions smoothly from red to orange and then to white rather seamlessly. It is pretty gentle and creates a relaxing environment for you to wake up.

But if you still need a sound alarm, you can set that as well and even control when you want the sunrise effect to start. This helps create the perfect environment in your room before it is time for you to wake up.

The Philips HF3520 also has 5 built-in sounds of music and birds, crashing ocean waves and seagulls, piano music, screeching of birds, and rainforest sounds.

While the sunrise is perfect for waking up to, it also imitates a sunset, making an atmosphere ideal for you to wind down after a long day and fall asleep relaxed. You can also choose from 20 brightness levels.

The HD3520 also has a few smart features, including an FM radio, an automatic dimmable display, and tap snooze.

Because of the automatic dimmable display, the light gradually grows dimmer within 30 minutes in sunset mode and grows brighter in sunrise mode.

So, you can watch a soft morning red hue transition into orange and see how a bright yellow light consumes your room. This gradual and almost natural process, along with its nature soundtracks, helps wake you up refreshed.

Phillips is one of the oldest brands on the market, with over 100 years of lighting expertise and more than 3 decades of leadership experience in sleep and healthcare knowledge.

This has enabled them to devise a wake-up light that is clinically proven and has a success rate of 92% when it comes to users’ experience.

3. Best Luxury Wake-up Light: Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB

wake up light

Being the first brand to introduce wake-up lights in 1993, Lumie has perfected the art of such lights.

The Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB has distinct and adequate light settings for sunrise and sunset options. It allows you to set alarms with over 20 pre-recorded voices ranging from military drills, white noise, waterfall to chirping birds, and it features a DAB radio.

Being one of the leaders of this industry since the very beginning, Lumie has also gained medical certifications for this device to be used for SAD patients.


  • Has a medical certification for a SAD device
  • Comes with 20 pre-programmed sounds
  • Features a DAB radio instead of a conventional one
  • Highly graduated and customizable wake-up light


  • Doesn’t allow you to use Bluetooth for audio for your alarm
  • Display might be too small for some

Our Review

The Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB has a sunrise duration that can last between 15 and 90 minutes with mixed LEDs to create a more realistic impression where you can choose the final sunrise intensity.

You can wake up with only light or couple it with an alarm sound or radio.

The 750DAB even allows you to set the alarm for the upcoming week and also features a tap-control snooze option.

The Bodyclock Luxe has a few different sleep features and is not just the reverse of its morning settings. While the timer for your sunset, LED lights, and sleep sounds or radio options are the same, the sunset features are noticeably different.

The 750DAB has a low blue-white light that relaxes your eyes and creates a sleepy atmosphere. The display is light-sensitive, so it adjusts to suit the light level in your room and turns off once the room is fully dark.

However, if the dark makes you uncomfortable, you can keep the display turned on at the LOW option.

The Bodyclock Luxe’s audio features are also quite impressive. Instead of an FM radio, it has a DAB/DAB+ radio, so you have more channel options to browse from.

The device features high-quality, Bluetooth-enabled speakers. It has over 20 sleep and wake sounds, including Blackbird, Owl, Movie Projector, Beep, Café, Crickets, Waterfall, Waves, Tropical birds, and White noise.

The 750DAB’s other features include a completely dimmable bedside light, a power failure backup option, and a glass lamp cover.

Another great thing about this wake-up light is that it is a Class 1 medical device and conforms to Directive 93/42/EEC. It is medically certified to help patients deal with the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and work as light therapy.

Although it might not be everyone’s cup of tea, those who like to wake up with a jolt should know that the Bodyclock Luxe also features a military drill option.

Wake-Up Light Buying Guide

What is a Wake-Up Light – and How Does it Work?

wake up light

While an alarm clock uses sound to wake you up, a wake-up light uses gradually increasing light to wake you up, which is more natural. Many people prefer this over traditional alarm clocks that startle you with their jarring tunes and are unnatural.

A wake-up light has varying colors, intensity, and time durations. It creates a much more relaxed and comforting environment in the room and wakes you up a lot more refreshed and relaxed. It usually also features some pre-recorded ambient sounds like waterfalls, birds, or white noise.

Some models also have a sunset mode that allows you to fall asleep better. The level of control over light intensity, colors, and other features also varies from model to model.

A wake-up light has a rather simple mechanism. It imitates a sunrise – or a sunset in some cases – by gradually emitting more intense light, thus creating a smooth transition.

How to Use Wake-Up Lights

Wake-up lights are quite user-friendly, which makes anyone and everyone can easily operate them.

If you are using a sound alarm along with a wake-up light, you can set when you want the sunrise effect to start.

Plus, if your model allows it, set the colors, transitioning, and time period. You can also pair the light up with the provided sounds to create the perfect natural atmosphere.

After that, just place the wake-up light on your bedside, and in just a few days only, you will notice that you fall asleep and wake up more relaxed and refreshed.

What to Look for in a Wake-Up Light

wake up light

Wake-up lights are available in many designs and with a lot of features, making it daunting to choose the right one.

So that you make the right choice, make sure you keep in mind the following:


Generally, a wake-up light costs anywhere between $40 and $200. The more you pay, the better features you get, like higher levels of customization, pre-recorded sounds, touch display, radio, and much more.

Wake-Up Features

This is the primary function of a wake-up light, but you will see that many models have varying wake-up features. You have to decide how much sophistication you want and how much you are willing to pay for it.

Some, like the Hatch Restore, specialize in high levels of customization, while some, like the Lumie Bodyclock, have more advanced features like a timer, mixed LEDs to make a realistic impression, and the option to choose both or switch between sound and light as your alarm.

Wind Down Features

Most wake-up lights, like the Hatch Restore, have at least some wind-down features in the form of relaxing sounds like chirping birds, white noise, crashing waves, or waterfalls that help you sleep better.

However, others like the Phillips HF3520 and the Lumie Bodyclock have separate sunset modes that gradually dim the light and create a relaxing atmosphere for you to fall asleep easily.

Battery Backup

Generally, wake-up lights are AC or USB-powered. However, some of them, like the Lumie Bodyclock, have a battery backup or power failure option as well to make sure that the light does not shut down in case of power loss.

Remember, the backup battery is not a primary power source and needs replacement regularly.

Smart Features

Smart home integration is now rather common for household devices. Many wake-up lights are now compatible with Google Home or Alexa.

However, some manufacturers like Hatch have introduced their own apps with additional in-app subscriptions, which means you can program and control them even when they are not in close vicinity.


Most manufacturers provide a warranty, especially for electronics, to gain their consumer’s trust.

It’s best you go for a wake-up light that comes with at least a 1-year warranty.

Generally, the warranty for a wake-up light ranges between one and three years.


Every wake-up light is distinct and has its own design and style. If you are particular about how a model looks, make sure that your chosen device goes well with the overall décor of your bedroom or fits your personal style and taste.

Some models feature multi-colored lighting, so you can see which one goes with your room’s theme.


Some wake-up lights have a digital clock like the Hatch Restore. More advanced options may include a touch screen, touch snooze, or more display information.

Some also feature a night mode or may turn off completely if you like to sleep in the dark, like the Lumie Bodyclock.

Cost to run

The running costs of wake-up lights are closely tied to your device's features and the power it uses.

If the light intensity is high, and the light uses sound and radio features, it will draw more power and have a higher running cost.

However, if it only illuminates a low-intensity fading light, it will consume less power.

Running costs also include battery backups.

Pros and Cons

wake up light

While wake-up lights have many benefits and help you wake up more naturally, they have a few drawbacks.

Here are both aspects so that you make a well-informed choice.


Wake-up lights are a much more natural way of waking up as they stimulate a sunrise and use light rather than a raucous sound to wake you up.

Instead of waking you up with a jolt, a wake-up light makes the room’s atmosphere more comfortable and relaxing, and you wake up feeling more refreshed.

Options like the Hatch Restore are good for your cortisol levels, while the Lumie Bodyclock is of great help to SAD patients.

Most wake-up lights are programmed with meditation or nature sounds that do not only serve as a better alarm tune but are perfect as wind-down features as well. They allow you to relax so that you fall asleep sooner. Some also have sunset options for this purpose.


Wake-up lights generally cost considerably more than a standard alarm clock. The price increases as the features get better, like more customization and brightness levels, and radio.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which color works best if you want to wake up?

A bright yellow, like that of the morning sun, is the best color to wake up to as it simulates the sun and wakes your body up even if it is dark outside. Your body is naturally aligned and synced with this bright and energetic color.

Can wake-up lights have benefits for your health?

Our circadian system is tuned to light and dark, so a wake-up light helps you to wake up and fall asleep better. Some models, like the Lumie Bodyclock, are medically certified and can help with SAD symptoms.

What is the mechanism of a sunrise alarm?

Wake-up lights give your body a gentle reminder that it is time to wake up and prepare your body for it. A little while before your alarm rings, the device turns the color bright orange or yellow in your room to simulate dawn.

What is the life of a wake-up light?

This depends on several factors. The warranty of a product is a good indicator of its life. Generally, a wake-up light should last for you for a couple of years at least.

Final Verdict: What is the Best Wake-Up Light Sold Today?

We believe that the Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB is the best wake-up light you can get today. It has distinct features like a DAB radio, 31 sounds, distinct wake-up and wind-down features, an interesting mix of LEDs for a realistic impression of a sunset or sunrise, and much more.

However, what’s best for us might not be the best for you, so make sure you go through all the models on our list to find the most suitable option.

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