Philips HF3500 Wake-Up Light

Best Wake Up Light – HF3500 vs HF3505 vs HF3510 vs HF3520

What exactly is a wake up light?

A wake up light is an alarm clock that uses light to gradually wake you up before your alarm sound goes off. Waking up to a regular alarm clock is like being slapped in the face. The best wake up light in our review gently nudges your subconscious, telling your body that it is time to start the day.

Philips’ Wake Up Light models are undoubtedly the best light alarm clocks available today, this is the reason why they are the sole focus of our best wake up light review for 2017. There are currently four Philips Wake Up Light models to choose from, the HF3520, HF3510, HF3505, and HF3500. HF3520 vs HF3500 vs HF3510 vs HF3505!? Don’t worry, we’re here to help you choose the best wake up light.

Best Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock

Other manufacturers simply cannot compete with the quality of Philips’ Wake Up Lights. These wake up lights are rated to last 16,000 hours or more. That is roughly 87 years of daily wake up alarms!

The HF500 and HF505 are less expensive models with fewer features, while the HF3520 and HF3510 are more premium models with far more options.

I’ve put together a feature comparison table below, but feel free to keep scrolling for more in-depth Philips Wake Up Light reviews and my personal experience using the Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light. Each wake up light review contains a pros and cons section to help you decide which of Philips’ Wake Up Light models is the best wake up light for you.


Best Wake Up Light Comparison




Rating

Sunrise Simulation Colors

Sunrise Simulation Duration

Sunset Simulation

Maximum Intensity

Brightness Settings

Dimmable Display

Number of Alarms

Alarm Sounds

Snooze

FM Radio

Philips HF3520

Red, Orange, Yellow

20-40 min

300 lux

Yes, auto

2

5

Yes

Yes

Philips HF3510

Orange, Yellow

20-40 min

200 lux

Yes

1

3

Yes

Yest

Philips HF3505

Yellow

30 min

200 lux

Yes

1

2

Yes

Yes

Philips HF3500

Yellow

30 min

200 lux

No

1

1

Yes

No


What to look for in this best wake up light review?

  • If you need to set 2 separate alarms then you need the HF3520 vs HF3510, HF3505, and HF3500 which only have 1.
  • Higher maximum light intensity is beneficial if your bedroom is lacking in natural light.
  • The brightness of the display on the HF3520 and HF3510 models can be set lower than the HF3505 and HF3500 models. If you are sensitive to LED lights when trying to sleep consider the HF3520 vs HF3505 or HF3500.
  • Sunset simulation is useful if you have trouble falling asleep.
  • Not a fan of the classic beeping alarm tone, or prefer to use your phone as an alarm? Avoid the HF3505 and HF3500, their alarm sounds cannot be fully muted.
  • An alternative to a wake up light is the sunrise settings available on the Flux Smart LED Light Bulb.

What led me to purchase the Philips HF3520 Wake Up Light alarm clock?

Waking up in the morning has never been easy for me (prior to the best wake up light, that is). I’ve always wanted to be that morning person you always hear everyone talking about? The person that wakes up, cooks a full breakfast, gets a workout in, and gets to work early. Instead I’d wake up light headed, devoid of energy, and ready to go back to sleep.

I’d try and try to build a routine. I’d try and set my alarm clock earlier. Today is going to be the day, I’d tell myself before bed, and “Ha!, yeah right” is what I’d think to myself before hitting the snooze button on my phone through blurred vision.

It just didn’t click for me. Sleep was always more important to my brain. And so I wondered “Why can’t I do this? What is wrong with me?” Apparently, nothing was wrong with me. My body was reacting to the terrible environment that I had inadvertently created for myself.

Philips HF3520 vs HF3510 vs HF3505 vs HF3500

And it all finally made sense after a little research:

I stumbled onto some research about the effects of light both before sleep, and prior to waking up. Interestingly enough, your body synchronizes itself to an internal 24 hour clock.

This clock is referred to as the circadian rhythm.

Interestingly enough, the circadian rhythm is heavily influenced by external factors including light and temperature and not influenced by loud and annoying alarm clocks (surprisingly enough).

Aha! The sun obviously provides a drastic change in both light and temperature.

Luckily enough my bedroom at the time had an east-facing window. The sunshine beamed through it and stupid me thought well that’s annoying, and closed the blinds when I first moved in.

So I opened the blinds, to see if the sun could wake me up in the morning. (Crazy, I know)

It worked. It worked so much better than I thought it ever would. (At first)

The sun would prepare me to wake up before I actually woke up. Waking up no longer felt like a complete shock. It felt natural.

So, I continued on like this for my last few months of college. I felt great. Waking up was no longer a chore; I got up and started my day with ease.

Unfortunately, upon taking my first job out of college, I realized the fault in my new approach.

Philips HF3520 vs HF3510 vs HF3505 vs HF3500

The sun is NOT an alarm clock.

The sun can wake you up, but it certainly cannot be programmed to wake you up when you need to be up.

I needed to leave for work by 6:30 AM to arrive at work by 7:00 AM. This meant waking up in the dark; or a dim light at best to get ready on most days of the year. To make matters worse my new bedroom window was facing west, receiving zero sunlight.

The days leading up to daylight savings time were the toughest by far. I’d wake up, get ready, and be at my desk before seeing an ounce of sunlight. I started to feel like my old self again; groggy mornings, with no rhythm to my sleep.

I thought to myself:

There has to be a better way.

And so I began searching. “What if there was a light alarm clock?!” My search led me to what I believe is the best wake up light alarm available.

The Philips HF3520 Wake Up Light (the best wake up light alarm clock)

The Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light features a simulated sunrise setting, which slowly ramps up light from very dim orange light to a warm yellow-white over 20 to 40 minutes before your programmed alarm goes off. While you are sleeping the sunrise will slowly acclimate your body to being away, before your alarm sounds.

Being woken up from a dead sleep, in the pitch blackness of the early morning, by an annoying alarm is a terrible way to start your morning. The simulated sunrise is like a gentle nudge to your subconscious telling you that it is almost time to wake up.

Philips HF3520 Wake Up Light Alarm Clock Review

5 Stars (5 / 5)

 

Available Here

 

best wake up light Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light Review

The Philips HF3520 alarm clock is Philips #1 selling Wake-up Light. It is also my personal recommendation as the best wake up light alarm clock.

With the amount of features and customization available, it is easy to see why the Philips HF3520 is a better purchase than the Philips HF3500 and Philips HF3505 Wake-Up Light models.

The Philips HF3520 features colored sunrise simulation with 20 brightness settings. The light’s brightness will gradually increase up to your preferred maximum brightness 20 to 40 minutes before your alarm time. While the light increases in brightness it is also gradually changing color from red to orange to yellow. The HF3520 is the only light alarm clock that comes with this full range of color in the Philips Wake-Up line, another reason to why it earns the title of best wake up light.

Philips HF3520 Features:

  • Adjustable sunrise simulation duration (20 to 40 minutes)
  • Red, Orange, and Yellow colors in sunrise simulation
  • 2 Programmable alarms
  • No replacement bulb needed
  • Reading lamp
  • Adjustable brightness (1 to 20)
  • Dimming clock display
  • 300 lux maximum light intensity
  • 5 Built-in wake-up sounds
  • FM radio
  • Does not get hot safe for children
  • No assembly required

There are physical buttons across the top of the alarm clock to adjust brightness, turn off the alarm, snooze, turn on the reading light, and tune the FM radio. Touch buttons below the alarm clock display are used to program the alarm times, sounds, and volume.

Pros:

There are several distinct advantages that the Philips HF3520 has over the other models of Philips Wake-Up Lights, making it the best wake up light overall.

Having 2 alarms is an obvious upgrade from both the Philips HF3500 and Philips HF3505 models.

The full spectrum of color during the sunrise simulation is an excellent upgrade over the Philips HF3505 model, it looks and feels much more natural. Sunrises start with red and orange before moving to yellow.

The Philips HF3520 also offers a higher maximum light intensity than the Philips HF3505 model (300 vs 200 lux), so if you plan on using this in a bedroom that receives little or no natural light this may be something to consider as well.

Cons:

I have no complaints about this light alarm clock. It has been excellent overall for my personal use and I highly recommend it. It has positively impacted my sleep habits more than any other product.

A small number of users have said that at times the physical buttons placed together can be hard to locate. This can be addressed by using a marker to place small marks towards the front of the alarm to better locate them. I personally have not encountered this issue.

I use my phone to provide alarm sounds, rather than the HF3520’s built-in alarm clock. So for me it is only a matter of turning off the light rather than the alarm clock’s sound. If you plan on using the built-in sounds it may be an issue for you, and you might want to look into the marker suggestion as a solution. Fumbling around for the buttons while your alarm clock is going off in your face does not sound like a peaceful way to start your morning.

best wake up light Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light Review

My personal settings and use:

I personally set the brightness to half (10 out of 20), and use 30 minutes of simulated sunrise. I also do not use the built in sounds or FM radio, I prefer to use my cell phone’s alarm app coupled with this alarm. All I need to do is press the top light button when the sunrise has completed and the alarm resets for the next day.

Sometimes I wait to reset the alarm and get ready for work in the warm sunlight light provided by the wake up light, instead of the harsher light provided by the lamps in my bedroom. The reading light is also a very nice feature.

I often use it as a light if I need to take a late night bathroom trip. It ramps up slowly over a couple seconds, and is very dim, so it is easy on the eyes at night.

I can’t recommend this wake up light enough.

Philips HF3520 Wake Up Light Summary:

The Philips HF3520 is the best wake up light alarm clock available. The amount of features and level of customization available with the Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520 are unmatched.

If you want the best wake up light for your money, your decision will be the Philips HF3520 vs HF3510.


Philips HF3510 Wake Up Light Alarm Clock Review

4.5 Stars (4.5 / 5)

 

Available Here

 

Philips HF3510 Wake-Up Light

The Philips HF3510 Wake-Up Light alarm clock is an excellent choice over the Philips HF3520, if you are looking for something slightly cheaper.

The Philips HF3510 has a few more options for customization than the mid-range Philips HF3505, but slightly less features than the Philips HF3520. While the Philips HF3520 is my personal recommendation for the best wake up light, the Philips HF3510 is a close 2nd.

Philips HF3510 Features:

  • Adjustable sunrise simulation duration (20 to 40 minutes)
  • Orange, and Yellow colors in sunrise simulation
  • 1 Programmable alarms
  • No replacement bulb needed
  • Reading lamp
  • Adjustable brightness (1 to 20)
  • Dimming clock display
  • 300 lux maximum light intensity
  • 3 Built-in wake-up sounds
  • FM radio
  • Does not get hot safe for children
  • No assembly required

Pros:

The Philips HF3510 features all of the things that make the Philips HF3520 the best wake up light alarm. This includes the colored sunrise simulation and the ability to disable the alarm tone (unlike the HF3500 or HF3505). FM radio and 3 built-in alarm tones are available as well.

The clock display dims automatically in low light, which is easier on your eyes if you plan to use it on your night stand. A maximum brightness of 300 lux makes it excellent for those who live in darker rooms, without any natural light.

Cons:

The Philips HF3510 only comes with a single programmable alarm. This makes it difficult for two people to use, or to set a separate alarm for weekend use.

It also doesn’t include the red color spectrum during its dawn simulation. The red spectrum comes on first before fading to orange and yellow. This makes for a much more natural daylight effect in my opinion. The red color is only available in the Philips HF3520.

Some users have stated that the physical buttons can be difficult to locate in the early morning. A suggested solution for this is making small marks with a marker towards the front of the light that align with the buttons. I have not personally experienced this issue with my Philips HF3520, since they share an almost identical exterior.

Philips HF3510 Wake-Up Light

Philips HF3510 Wake-Up Light Summary:

The Philips HF3510 Wake-Up Light is an excellent light alarm clock. At 300 lux maximum brightness it is enough to light up any bedroom in the morning. The dawn simulation provided by the 2-color spectrum is more natural than the yellow-only spectrum provided by the cheaper Philips Wake-Up models.

If you want a higher quality wake up light, your decision will come down to the Philips HF3520 vs HF3510.

If you can live with only having one alarm available at a time, and the lack of red color spectrum to further enhance the daylight effect, you decision will come down to the Philips HF3505 vs HF3510.


Philips HF3505 Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock Review

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Available Here

 

Philips HF3505 Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock Review

The Philips HF3505 Wake-Up Light is the mid-range alarm clock in the Philips Wake-Up line. With clear advantages over the Philips HF3500 Wake-Up Light, it is my recommendation for those looking for something a bit cheaper than the higher-end Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light.

The HF3505 has an excellent amount of features for the price, and making it an excellent buy for those looking to experience waking up to a sunny alarm clock. This sunny wake up light features a sunrise simulation with 10 brightness settings. The light’s brightness will gradually increase up to your preferred maximum brightness 30 minutes before your alarm time, creating a dawn simulation in your bedroom.

Philips HF3505 Features:

  • Sunrise simulation, non-adjustable (30 minutes)
  • 1 Programmable alarms
  • No replacement bulb needed
  • Reading lamp
  • Adjustable brightness (1 to 10)
  • 200 lux maximum light intensity
  • 2 Built-in wake-up sounds
  • FM radio
  • Does not get hot safe for children
  • No assembly required

Buttons across the face of the clock display are used to adjust the alarm time, alarm sound, turn on the reading lamp, adjust FM radio and snooze.

Pros:

The Philips HF3505 is the only Philips Wake-Up Light available in 3 colors, white, black and silver. The alarm volume is able to be adjusted, unlike the Philips HF3500, however it cannot be turned off completely like the Philips HF3520. It features bird sounds as an alarm tone, if you would rather not wake up to a classic beeping sound. The FM radio is also a nice advantage that this model has over the Philips HF3500.

Cons:

The Philips HF3505 cannot be muted completely. It can be turned down very low but annoyingly it cannot be silenced. I personally prefer to use my phone’s alarm sounds coupled with my Philips HF3520’s colored sunrise simulation, so this would be an inconvenience. Some users have reported that the buttons being so sleek and in the center of the light source can make them hard to see and feel for in the morning. Unlike the Philips HF3520, the Philips HF3505 only comes with a single alarm, and a max brightness of 200 lux vs 300 lux. So, if you need multiple alarms for different people or, if you sleep in a room that receives little to no natural light, the Philips HF3520 may be more effective for you.

Philips HF3505 Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock Review

Philips HF3505 Wake-Up Light Summary:

The Philips HF3505 Wake-Up Light is a perfect choice for users who do not need multiple alarms, and do not sleep in a particularly dark room. It is easy to recommend this sunrise light alarm clock if you will not be affected by any of the previously mentioned cons. The FM radio, ability to adjust alarm volume (but not mute it), and the choice between alarm sounds make this a worthy upgrade over the Philips HF3500.

If you want a cheap but functional wake up light your decision will come down to the Philips HF3505 vs HF3500


Philips HF3500 Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock Review

3.5 Stars (3.5 / 5)

 

Available Here
Philips HF3500 Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock Review

The Philips HF3500 is the budget model of the Philips  Wake-Up Light line. It is lacking in some key features that are available in the Philips HF3505 and Philips HF3520 models, that I feel are absolutely worth the upgrade (see Cons section).But, if you just want a light alarm clock and don’t need the customization available in the more premium models, this may be for you.

Philips HF3500 Features:

  • 30 Minute light simulation before alarm
  • Yellow light with 10 brightness settings
  • 200 lux maximum light intensity
  • 1 Programmable alarm
  • 1 Built-in wake up sound
  • Reading lamp
  • Does not get hot safe for children
  • No replacement bulb needed
  • No assembly required

Pros:

The Philips HF3500 is a basic alarm clock with a light. The only benefits it adds over a generic alarm clock is the gradually brightening yellow light beginning 30 minutes before your alarm and the reading lamp.

It has easy to press, standard buttons on the front of the display. The more premium models (HF3505 and HF3520) have touch buttons and physical buttons which can occasionally be hard to locate.

The Philips HF3500 is the cheapest model in the Philips Wake-Up Light series. This is to be expected due to the minimal number of features.

Cons:

The Philips HF3500 has several missing features that make the upgrade to the Philips HF3505 or Philips HF3520 a no-brainer:

  1. The alarm noise cannot be adjusted or disabled. Some users have opened it up and cut the speaker cables in order to disable the sound. I personally prefer to use my cell phone’s alarm coupled with my Philips HF3520’s simulated sunrise feature. For the price of this light alarm clock, this really should be an included feature. (HF3520 can be set to completely silent, HF3505 can only be turned down to near silent.
  2. The LED clock brightness is too bright. The LED clock is too bright for some users even on the lowest setting. For something that is meant to be placed on your night stand, this is not ideal. Personally, bright LEDs bother me at night so this is a deal breaker personally. (The HF3520 has an auto-dimming LED clock and it is perfect for me)
  3. No FM radio. (vs HF3505 and HF3520, which have FM radio.)
  4. No sunrise simulation. (Available on HF3520 only) Yellow is the only color that the light cycles through. The HF3520 uses red, orange and yellow to better simulate sunrise.
  5. 200 lux maximum brightness. (vs HF3520, which 300 lux) Some users have mentioned that it is not bright enough for them. If you sleep in a very dark room (basement, no windows) this extra brightness may be worth it.

Philips HF3500 Wake-Up Light Alarm Clock Review

Philips HF3500 Wake-Up Light Summary:

Being unable to disable the default alarm sound on this clock without hardware modification is by far the biggest problem with this product. Many users (myself included) prefer to use their cell phone’s alarm sounds coupled with their light alarm clock’s light.

To summarize, I’d highly recommend checking out the Philips HF3505 model over this product, and for those who need even more features the Philips HF3520. If you’re looking for a budget wake up light then it comes down to the Philips HF3500 vs HF3505.

Best Wake Up Light Comparison Summary

In summary the decision to make when choosing the best wake up light boils down to the following:

Philips HF3520 vs HF3510 Comparison

High-end wake up lights with tons of features and excellent functionality. The HF3520 advantages are:

  • 2 alarms vs 1 alarm
  • Red, Orange, Yellow vs Orange, Yellow Sunrise Simulation
  • 5 alarm sounds vs 3 alarm sounds
  • Auto dimming display vs manual dimming display

Philips HF3505 vs HF3510 Comparison

A balance between wake up light features and price. The HF3510 advantages are:

  • Adjustable Sunrise Simulation time
  • Sunset Simulation
  • Orange, Yellow vs Yellow Sunrise Simulation
  • 300 lux maximum brightness
  • 3 alarm sounds instead of 2
  • Mutable alarm sounds vs non-mutable alarm sounds

Philips HF3500 vs HF3505 Comparison

Wake up lights that favor simplicity and function but lack extra features. The HF3505 advantages are:

  • 2 alarm sounds vs 1 alarm sound
  • FM radio
  • Multiple color options

Wrapping Up

The Philips HF3520 has had an amazing impact on my sleep cycle! Try it out for yourself and see.

Happy snoozing!

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