Our reviewer says the Philips alarm clock comes out top
Product: Lumie Bodyclock Active 250 and Philips Wake-up Light HF3510/01 www.lumie.com, www.philips.co.uk Price: £100.00 Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
We were sent two alarm clocks designed to wake sleepers with simulated sunlight - with only a 5p price difference between them - and asked to deliver our verdict...
Lumie Bodyclock Active 250, rrp £99.95
Lumie's product is designed to be half light and half plastic, with a blue light display that helpfully turns itself off during the night so you can sleep in total darkness.
The instructions are rather daunting and you have to give the whole booklet a good read through before attempting set-up, because the same set of buttons control all the functions.
You can set your light to dim, to help you fall asleep, and when it slowly lights to wake you, there are a range of accompanying audio options including birdsong, waves, white noise, and even the radio.
Save money and buy a refurbished model for £79.96 (ours was refurbished and we had no problems).
Pros: The display light switches itself off, and there are a good range of options to choose from when deciding how long you want the light to take to dim or light up. A security light setting can turn the light on and off while you're away for longer periods.
Cons: Written instructions are complicated, and you might need to read them through several times before you're confident about setting up the system. Some users have said one of the bird sounds is repeated on a very short loop, which could be irritating if you're listening to it for a long while.
Philips Wake-Up Light HF3510/01, rrp £100
This Philips model looks very impressive, with a sleek shape that nearly all lights up, and orange digital display. The front is touch-sensitive but small lights temporarily indicate where you need to place your fingertip to make selections.
Full written instructions are available but there is also a booklet with picture instructions included, which makes for an easy and quick initial set up. The buttons to control the alarm, radio and light are all situated on the top of the light in the band of plastic. All the touch-sensitive buttons on the front therefore always have the same function, which we found easier to operate.
There are three wake-up sounds to choose from or you can set the radio to come on with the light in the morning. As with the Lumie model you can choose for the light to dim to help you sleep, too.
Pros: The buttons have raised markings - easier to detect if you have sight problems or are half asleep. It's also possible to select the eventual brightness of the light, depending on how sensitive your response is.
Cons: The display stays lit all night, so you will need to adjust to this. However it is a very dim light and we got used to it after a few days. And, there are less sound options to choose from than the Lumie.
Both clocks do their intended job well; they helped us wake up with significantly less fuss and more vim and vigour!
So the only way to choose between them is to go with ease of use. And for that reason, it's the Philips for us.