Author Topic: Alarm clock light?  (Read 7650 times)

AlanStache

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Alarm clock light?
« on: September 16, 2014, 05:10:38 AM »
Now with the sun coming up later it is no longer light out when I get up and I dont much care for getting up in the dark and I tend to hit the snooze a few more times.  I took a look at the alarm clock lights off of Amazon but anything well reviewed is over 100$, does anyone out there have one or could recommend one? 

I would be happy to use a cell phone app, but with the white noise app I keep on all night and the speaker on the back I am not sure I could have both the white noise and brightness; guess I could build a mount to keep the speaker off the table...  and the screen lighting up would be like a flash light not a natural room light.  but it would be free or nearly so...

thoughts?

Thegoblinchief

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #1 on: September 16, 2014, 05:51:49 AM »
Table lamp + a simple mechanical timer.

RichLife

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #2 on: September 16, 2014, 06:07:38 AM »
Could always look at second hand or refurbished versions of such alarms. I got gifted one of the basic Philips models some years ago and I would not like to go without, it is such a gentle way of waking up and if I wake up early I can easily see if the light is on a bit already or not yet. It also doubles as bedside lamp as I like to read in bed before dozing off to sleep. Some features like the radio I do not use, I switch between the various sounds such as bird song or wind chimes.

schimt

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #3 on: September 16, 2014, 07:10:54 AM »
I love my wake up light from Philips, i have had it for years now, I see many used choices on eBay, that is where i would look to pick one up at.

AlanStache

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #4 on: September 16, 2014, 07:30:34 AM »
Table lamp + a simple mechanical timer.

I think that would be about as gentle and pleasant to wake up to as wiring a car airbag under my pillow.

Have never really used EBay, will have a look, thanks.

scottydog

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #5 on: September 16, 2014, 08:10:38 AM »
Table lamp + a simple mechanical timer.

We've been using this with a short string of LED Christmas lights in my kids' shared room for nearly 2 years.  It doesn't give a ton of light, and it does provide a clear signal for when they're allowed to get out of bed.  I'm using an electronic timer, and have to change the backup batteries every 4-5 years but it's silent except for a click when the lights are turned on or off.

I'm sure you could experiment with different lamps to find an acceptable (enjoyable?) brightness level.

Daley

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2014, 08:57:24 AM »
Alan, I've never done business with these folks before, but I found a link to them off of a comment from a DIY sunrise lamp make kit from someone else who bought one. If you don't want the abruptness of an instant-on timer, buy a LightenUp timer to add on or use instead. It's basically an adjustable timer switch for any lamp that increases the brightness slowly. Only caveat, you need to use an incandescent or halogen bulb in the lamp. They've got three models ranging from $20-40.

Prairie Stash

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #7 on: September 16, 2014, 09:12:30 AM »
Alan, I've never done business with these folks before, but I found a link to them off of a comment from a DIY sunrise lamp make kit from someone else who bought one. If you don't want the abruptness of an instant-on timer, buy a LightenUp timer to add on or use instead. It's basically an adjustable timer switch for any lamp that increases the brightness slowly. Only caveat, you need to use an incandescent or halogen bulb in the lamp. They've got three models ranging from $20-40.
I recently purchased a LED bulb that works with a dimmer. I can't say all LED bulbs will work, they're not all the same. 

This is a great link, I'm going to get one as well, thank you I.P. Daley.

AlanStache

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2014, 09:16:52 AM »
Alan, I've never done business with these folks before, but I found a link to them off of a comment from a DIY sunrise lamp make kit from someone else who bought one. If you don't want the abruptness of an instant-on timer, buy a LightenUp timer to add on or use instead. It's basically an adjustable timer switch for any lamp that increases the brightness slowly. Only caveat, you need to use an incandescent or halogen bulb in the lamp. They've got three models ranging from $20-40.
I recently purchased a LED bulb that works with a dimmer. I can't say all LED bulbs will work, they're not all the same. 

This is a great link, I'm going to get one as well, thank you I.P. Daley.

thanks, will check it out. 

Yes some LED/CFL's will work with dimmers, have not done it myself but it seems like a non-issue so long as you get the dim-able kind.

AH013

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2014, 09:35:14 AM »
Table lamp + a simple mechanical timer.

I think that would be about as gentle and pleasant to wake up to as wiring a car airbag under my pillow.


Would recommend doing this in a series if you can spare the lamps & $5 mechanical timers.  So one light, either something like a 30W equivalent or a fair distance away from the bed to go off first.  Then a 60W equivalent right near your bed a few minutes later....followed by a loud alarm for those days where the light doesn't shake you out of bed.

Daley

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #10 on: September 16, 2014, 09:37:28 AM »
Alan, I've never done business with these folks before, but I found a link to them off of a comment from a DIY sunrise lamp make kit from someone else who bought one. If you don't want the abruptness of an instant-on timer, buy a LightenUp timer to add on or use instead. It's basically an adjustable timer switch for any lamp that increases the brightness slowly. Only caveat, you need to use an incandescent or halogen bulb in the lamp. They've got three models ranging from $20-40.
I recently purchased a LED bulb that works with a dimmer. I can't say all LED bulbs will work, they're not all the same. 

This is a great link, I'm going to get one as well, thank you I.P. Daley.

thanks, will check it out. 

Yes some LED/CFL's will work with dimmers, have not done it myself but it seems like a non-issue so long as you get the dim-able kind.

I would be cautious using an LED with those timers. From their FAQ:

Quote
Why are CFL, or LED, bulbs and dimmers a problem?

These all have internal electronic circuitry that interacts with our dimming technology. This sets up a feedback loop that scrambles our computer chip, often destroying it in seconds.

A 29W halogen bulb (40W equiv.) running for one hour a day, 365 days a year full blast only uses ~10.58kW a year ($1.58 at the current national average of 15/kWh). Real world usage of the bulb itself will be less given the dimmer cycle. Granted, there will be a draw from the timer, but that's going to be constant no matter the bulb you use.

We're talking peanuts in the larger perspective between a halogen and LED bulb (around 6W for a 40W equiv. LED) for actual electrical use, and the halogen isn't likely to damage this $20+ electronic device. I reckon it comes out in the wash given there's less e-waste and rare earth minerals used in the halogen over the LED anyway, and the dim-on cycle will extend the life of the halogen/incandescent substantially given the typical failure point of filament bulbs occurring during the initial turn-on.
« Last Edit: September 16, 2014, 01:20:40 PM by I.P. Daley »

frugalnacho

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #11 on: September 16, 2014, 09:37:43 AM »
Table lamp + a simple mechanical timer.

This.

And I don't understand the aversion to using a table lamp.  It's not that disruptive.  You don't have the put it right next to your face.  You also don't have to use a high powered bulb.  You can put any size bulb you want in it, and you can located it anywhere in the room, and you can aim it away from your face.  It can be a small reading lamp too.  Just enough light to trick your brain into waking up gradually. 

Daley

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #12 on: September 16, 2014, 09:44:01 AM »
Table lamp + a simple mechanical timer.

This.

And I don't understand the aversion to using a table lamp.  It's not that disruptive.  You don't have the put it right next to your face.  You also don't have to use a high powered bulb.  You can put any size bulb you want in it, and you can located it anywhere in the room, and you can aim it away from your face.  It can be a small reading lamp too.  Just enough light to trick your brain into waking up gradually.

Agreed to this point. It's also a cheaper method to try initially. If you still don't like it after giving it a shot, only then buy the LightenUp.

AlanStache

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #13 on: September 16, 2014, 10:49:17 AM »
My bed room is fairly small & Spartan and I would have to buy a lamp that is not all 'old ladyish'.  Might could be done but I think I will try a cell phone app to start.  Only need to prop up one end to keep the white noise audible, this will be much easier than buying a new lamp + timer.  Have booked marked Lighten Up-thanks, will see how the app's go first, if software fails will then go the hardware route.

schimt

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #14 on: September 16, 2014, 11:28:31 AM »
i like the idea with the Christmas lights, you could get 3 cheap mechanical timers, the first one would light a short string of lights or a warm white color, second a long one or a bright white and third another long bright strands, can string them on the ceiling too, that the only complaint i have about my wake up light, is that my bed is taller then the table it is on so if i'm facing the wrong way, it doesn't have the same effect. LED christmas lights should last for a very long time and are efficient.

Amazon has a 2 pack of timers for $9 and LED strands for $5-$7 depending on the color. So should be around $35 for everything.

RelaxedGal

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #15 on: September 16, 2014, 11:29:57 AM »
Definitely let us know if you find a good app.  The Samsung Galaxy S2 had a great built-in alarm clock that would do a slowly increasing sound and light, for an adjustable number of minutes before the 'real" alarm.  I looked into android apps to replace it on the new phone but never pulled the trigger / got complacent.

Alternately: if you know someone who still has their S2 (and the battery works, they had a problem with batteries) try that out.

oldladystache

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #16 on: September 16, 2014, 11:42:40 AM »
I once had 3 florescent ceiling lights with timers set to turn on 5 minutes apart. That worked well for me for several years. It helped me wake up in the morning, and it solved my SAD (seasonal affective disorder) problem too. Now that I'm making a point of getting outside every morning for at least 45 minutes I don't seem to have SAD anymore. And if I don't wake up on time I don't care.

dodojojo

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #17 on: September 16, 2014, 12:15:00 PM »
I've used the lamp/timer method.  It works...but it's not gentle and really it's not quite the same.  I'll probably use it again this winter because I'm cheap...but you really don't get the gentle gradual sunrise affect.  So if that matters to you, you may want to invest in another method. 

galliver

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #18 on: September 16, 2014, 12:25:04 PM »
My bf found a phillips one on sale (still expensive, but not $100). It works very well: it wakes me up, and then I elbow him awake while making angry sleepy grunts. ;)

I think all the DIY ideas are great. But I wanted to add for your consideration: my CD/Radio alarm clock that I got when I was 13 still works 12 years later. If you assume an alarm will last even 10 years (which being a pretty stationary electronic device, it should), you're looking at less than $0.04/use for 5 uses/week of a $100 alarm. Not saying you *should* get it, at all, just that I think part of frugal vs cheap is considering value, not just price. You sound like you have minimalist tendencies, maybe a single device will suit you better than lamp+timer+alarm. Or maybe you're a badass mustachian who won't spend more than they absolutely have to. Or maybe you know you don't ever finish projects. Just have to go with your personality and values. Unless you're in a debt emergency, in which case get a thrift store lamp and switch it on yourself before hitting snooze the first time :)

btw, here's a used one for $40: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Philips-HF3470-Natural-Wake-up-Light-Alarm-Clock-/281440975445?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4187307a55

GuitarStv

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #19 on: September 16, 2014, 12:29:12 PM »
Table lamp + a simple mechanical timer.

I think that would be about as gentle and pleasant to wake up to as wiring a car airbag under my pillow.

I really think this is the best solution.  Just put a very low wattage light bulb in it.  You don't need 20,000 lumens to wake up and stumble out of bed in the morning.

Jellyfish

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #20 on: September 16, 2014, 12:29:44 PM »
Table lamp + a simple mechanical timer.

This.

And I don't understand the aversion to using a table lamp.  It's not that disruptive.  You don't have the put it right next to your face.  You also don't have to use a high powered bulb.  You can put any size bulb you want in it, and you can located it anywhere in the room, and you can aim it away from your face.  It can be a small reading lamp too.  Just enough light to trick your brain into waking up gradually.

Agreed to this point. It's also a cheaper method to try initially. If you still don't like it after giving it a shot, only then buy the LightenUp.

I've used a table lamp with small wattage light bulb and timer in my son's room since he was young. He hates waking to music and loves waking to his light.  Cheap and effective. 

AlanStache

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #21 on: September 16, 2014, 01:07:45 PM »
My bf found a phillips one on sale (still expensive, but not $100). It works very well: it wakes me up, and then I elbow him awake while making angry sleepy grunts. ;)

I think all the DIY ideas are great. But I wanted to add for your consideration: my CD/Radio alarm clock that I got when I was 13 still works 12 years later. If you assume an alarm will last even 10 years (which being a pretty stationary electronic device, it should), you're looking at less than $0.04/use for 5 uses/week of a $100 alarm. Not saying you *should* get it, at all, just that I think part of frugal vs cheap is considering value, not just price. You sound like you have minimalist tendencies, maybe a single device will suit you better than lamp+timer+alarm. Or maybe you're a badass mustachian who won't spend more than they absolutely have to. Or maybe you know you don't ever finish projects. Just have to go with your personality and values. Unless you're in a debt emergency, in which case get a thrift store lamp and switch it on yourself before hitting snooze the first time :)

btw, here's a used one for $40: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Philips-HF3470-Natural-Wake-up-Light-Alarm-Clock-/281440975445?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4187307a55

I would prefer the small self contained solution.  Just looking at Amazon this seemed to be one of those things that you have to make the upfront investment on and go in all the way; where the (Amazon) 50$ solutions got only ok results but 100$ were well received.

Yeah only debt is the mortgage (recently refinanced!!!) & savings rate over 70%; so 100$ per 10 years is not a problem, hell I might likely be FIREd in 10 years and can just wake up with the natural sun :-)    what a nice thought.

Frugal vs cheap: If we were talking about a reciprocating saw I would have picked one up last weekend.  But I know what that does and if I need one or not and for my causal usage they are a commodity.

Also thinking more about it I travel a lot for work (four more trips before the end of the year) and a cell phone solution would travel nicely, where a lamp + timer/plug would not and would need a power converter.

Will setup an app tonight to see how it goes and report results.

galliver

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Re: Alarm clock light?
« Reply #22 on: September 16, 2014, 02:21:39 PM »
My bf found a phillips one on sale (still expensive, but not $100). It works very well: it wakes me up, and then I elbow him awake while making angry sleepy grunts. ;)

I think all the DIY ideas are great. But I wanted to add for your consideration: my CD/Radio alarm clock that I got when I was 13 still works 12 years later. If you assume an alarm will last even 10 years (which being a pretty stationary electronic device, it should), you're looking at less than $0.04/use for 5 uses/week of a $100 alarm. Not saying you *should* get it, at all, just that I think part of frugal vs cheap is considering value, not just price. You sound like you have minimalist tendencies, maybe a single device will suit you better than lamp+timer+alarm. Or maybe you're a badass mustachian who won't spend more than they absolutely have to. Or maybe you know you don't ever finish projects. Just have to go with your personality and values. Unless you're in a debt emergency, in which case get a thrift store lamp and switch it on yourself before hitting snooze the first time :)

btw, here's a used one for $40: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Philips-HF3470-Natural-Wake-up-Light-Alarm-Clock-/281440975445?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item4187307a55

I would prefer the small self contained solution.  Just looking at Amazon this seemed to be one of those things that you have to make the upfront investment on and go in all the way; where the (Amazon) 50$ solutions got only ok results but 100$ were well received.

The one I linked you is the $150 philips one, but used. :)