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Best wake up lights 2023: Create your perfect at-home sunrise from just £50

Transform your dozy mornings with our pick of the best wake up lights

Being a naturally early riser is a fantastic feeling – but some of us still need an extra push to get out of bed and start the day. Instead of repeatedly hitting the snooze button, though, you can use the slowly brightening glow of a wake up light to significantly aid your wake-up routine. Essentially alarm clocks for your eyes, they’re designed to gently pull you from sleep by mimicking the sunrise – the most natural way in which our bodies know to wake – over a prolonged period of time, alerting your subconscious to the idea of morning before your eyes open.

We’ve put together a guide to the best wake up lights on the market, as well as a short guide to how these lights work for those after a bit more detail.

READ NEXT: Our favourite desk lamps on the market today

Make savings on this AMAZING Beurer WL50 deal

Our best mid range wake up light is now only £68. You can save a tidy £7 on this handy little lamp, equipped with adjustable brightness, in-built Bluetooth speaker and 360 degrees of cylindrical light. See our mini-review below and on why you should nab this deal before 13 April.

John Lewis Was £75 Now £68 View deal

Best wake up light: At a glance

How to choose the best wake up light for you

How does a wake up light actually work?

Our body’s circadian rhythm is a repeating 24 hour cycle that helps us to carry out essential daily functions, including the regulation of when we sleep and wake. As it’s influenced by environmental cues, our ‘normal’ wake up time naturally occurs in tandem with the rising sun – and the same thing can also be achieved with artificially brightening light.

The secret is in the speed, which is miles away from a sudden blaring alarm clock. If the light gradually brightens over a prolonged amount of time it helps prepare the body for waking up, so when your eyes finally open you’ve already made the transition from sleeping to waking internally.

Any features I should look out for?

The main features you’re looking for are the following:

Light range – how long the light takes to brighten or dim. Most lamps have a standard range of 30 mins but some allow for longer/shorter settings.

Lumens – how bright the light will eventually get. If you’re a particularly heavy sleeper you may need a higher lumens level, and similarly if you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

Alarm function – Most lamps will have some kind of audible alarm, which is usually a choice of interesting sounds and/or radio.

READ NEXT: These are the best SAD lamps to buy right now

How much should I spend?

Wake up lights tend to get quite costly, starting from around £40 and going up to £200 or more. It’s a piece of technology that includes more features and aesthetics the more you spend: at the higher end are smartphone apps, a choice of multiple light colours, dozens of alarm sounds and extended sunset and sunrise timer settings. The cheaper options tend to do without an attached radio and have only a few alarms on offer.

The best wake up lights to buy in 2023

1. Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB: Best luxury wake up light

Price: £195 | Buy now from John Lewis

Lumie is well known for its medical-grade lamps and light devices, and we’ve mentioned a few of its lights here – but the Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB is Lumie’s pride and joy. You can choose your morning sunrise to last anywhere from 15 to 90 minutes, and if you’re a serial dozer who’s likely to tap their Lumie for some extra snoozing, the sunrise can be accompanied by a range of 31 sounds or your preferred DAB radio station through the Bluetooth speakers. It also works as a reading lamp at night with a fading sunset setting and a special low-blue white light – perfect if you’re the type to read or scroll for hours in bed.

The Lumie Bodyclock comes in five shades with wonderful names like charcoal, paprika and turmeric – otherwise known as grey, red and yellow – and design wise it fits in perfectly with bedroom decor.

Key specs – Dimensions: 20 x 23 x 13cm; Weight: 1.10kg; Radio: DAB/DAB+

Buy now from John Lewis

2. Philips Sleep and Wake-up Light with Relax Breath: Best wake up light for poor sleepers

Price: £190 | Buy now from Amazon

We love the unique RelaxBreath feature on the Philips Smart Sleep light, which helps you regulate and slow down your breathing in tandem with a choice of seven rhythms of light intensity or sound. In the morning, the sunrise setting starts to glow a deep, low red and gradually brightens through orange to yellow over a 10 to 45 minute period.

Visually, this lamp looks a little like a doughnut and has a smart touch display of virtual buttons on the front. Using these is straightforward, although not particularly simple – pressing the home menu opens up a range of picture options like a bell, a clock, and various plus and minus buttons. Although the display can’t be completely switched off, there’s a handy button at the back of the lamp stand that alters display brightness, and there’s a touch snooze button on the lamp’s top that gives you an extra nine minutes of sleep. We’re particular fans of the two-alarm system (one for weekdays and another for weekends) which not all wake up lamps feature. You choose from eight different sounds, but won’t find a standard beeping alarm among them.

Key specs – Dimensions: 22.5 x 22 x 12cm; Weight: 900g; Radio: Yes

3. Lumie Sunrise Alarm: best budget wake up light

Price: £50 | Buy now from Boots

Sticking with the renowned Lumie brand but at a much lower price, the Sunrise Alarm still offers lots of Lumie goodness in a smaller package. Both the sunrise and sunset lights have a thirty minute duration, and if you’re still in need of an auditory alarm, you can choose from five natural sounds and a standard alarm beep. Choose from a blackbird, goat, kitten or tree frog to rouse you from slumber. It doubles up as a bedside lamp, too: there are ten available white light levels, as well as mood lighting in six colours. The clock display and buttons sit in the light’s centre, and their illumination can be switched to low or off if you find them jarring. The buttons are pretty small which may be tricky to operate when half asleep.

While the Sunrise Alarm is a fraction of the price of other Lumie products, the main difference is in its brightness. The Lumie Bodyclocks range is powerful enough to help with symptoms of SAD, whereas the Sunrise Alarm offers a more gentle level of light.

Key specs – Dimensions: 18 x 17 x 9cm; Weight: 385g; Radio: no

Buy now from Boots

4. Hatch Baby Rest Sound Machine, Night Light and Time-to-Rise: Best wake up light for parents and young children

Price: £70 | Buy now from Amazon

Known as a ‘smart sound machine’, the Hatch Rest is an all-in-one powerhouse that looks after your child’s restful hours – be they sleeping, waking, or a mix of the two. And yet it’s still simple enough to set up and use, mainly thanks to the companion app that allows you to control everything remotely using your smartphone. There, you can switch between eleven soothing sounds including rain, birds and lullabies, create dream schedules, and use the Time-to-Rise program that helps children associate different colours with whether they can get out of bed or not. The lamp itself has hidden controls so curious fingers can’t prod too much, and even the brightest setting is low enough to not be too distracting.

Hatch also sells the Rest+ for around £30 extra, which offers additional features like a built-in battery, Wi-Fi connectivity, a dimmable clock and hands-free voice control using Alexa.

Key specs – Dimensions: 10.16 x 15.75 x 10.16 cm; Weight: 720g; Radio: no

5. Beurer WL50 Wake Up to Daylight Table Lamp: best mid range wake up light

Price: £75 | Buy now from John Lewis

The slimline WL50 light from Beurer is a solid mid-range option, particularly if you’re keen on waking to the sounds of your favourite radio station. Equipped with FM auto-tuning, thirty radio memories and a built-in Bluetooth speaker, you can also use the aux input to play your own music if you fancy it.

Light wise, the lamp’s integrated LED has an adjustable brightness intensity and a colour changing mode of six hues – and, best of all, the cylindrical shape of the lamp means 360 degrees of light. That means it can double up as portable mood lighting instead of solely being relegated to the bedside table, and it can run via either the power supply or about three hours battery life. If you get this lamp from John Lewis you’ll also get a three-year guarantee, while spending £20 than you would at Amazon.

Key Spec – Dimensions: 10.8 x 13.2cm; Weight: 600g; Radio: FM

Buy now from John Lewis

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