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The Gradual Light Alarm Clock for Waking Up Naturally

Updated on April 1, 2018
mulberry1 profile image

I have been researching and writing about consumer electronics for over 13 years.


Most of us have responsibilities as well as schedules. Thus, we often have to set an alarm to assure we wake up on time. Somehow, awaking to the sound of a loud alarm blaring in our ear isn't exactly a good start to the day.

Luckily, there is a better way. Gradual light alarm clocks, also known as natural light alarm clocks, can make sure you wake up on time, every time, without the alarming effects of traditional clocks. These devices gradually illuminate your room over a period of time in the same way the sun does each morning. Most people will awaken with this subtle change in lighting. But just in case you need more after a rough night, there's also an audible alarm if you don't stir before the designated time.

Learn more about these natural light alarm clocks below, find tips for choosing one, and see some popular models.

The Features of Gradual Light Alarm Clocks

There are a number of features to consider before you buy one of these clocks. Here are some important ones:

  • The Display
    Like any alarm clock, you need to be able to read the time. The display size and brightness are big factors in how easy the time will be to read from your bed. Some of these clocks will also project the time onto the ceiling. You may also want the ability to adjust the display brightness, so you may prefer a device with a dimmer function.
  • Source of Light
    Some gradual light alarm clocks use their own light source for providing progressive illumination, others plug into a lamp in your room to do this. Those that use a bedroom lamp tend to be smaller units. In addition, they may allow you to turn on your lamp remotely and can even be used for security purposes; lighting the room at the selected times even when you're gone.
  • Power
    Most of these devices merely plug into an electrical outlet. You need a cord that is long enough of course, but certainly, having battery back up is also a nice feature to have in case the power goes out.
  • Sound and Light Progression
    Most of these clocks provide a progression of natural light (and perhaps sound) to come to full brightness by the time you want to awake. Most users will awake before any alarm sounds. Some clocks start this progression 15 minutes before time to awake, others 30 minutes, 60 minutes, or 90 minutes. Some are adjustable. Many also provide a gradually decreasing sound/light (sunset function) for bedtime if you wish.
  • Other features and functions
    Some gradual light alarm clocks include an AM/FM radio or a convenient night or reading light. A few on the market can also double as light therapy.
  • Ease of Use
    Most of these devices operate with buttons rather than voice activation. Be sure the buttons are large enough and easy to access.

A Demonstration

© 2010 Christine Mulberry


Submit a Comment
  • habee profile image

    Holle Abee 

    11 years ago from Georgia

    This is a wonderful idea! Why didn't I invent it? lol

  • profile image


    11 years ago

    What a great idea! I'm a morning person so I'm usually up before the alarm rings but my husband...

  • Nell Rose profile image

    Nell Rose 

    11 years ago from England

    Hi, what a great idea. I am absolutely useless at waking up! I have an alarm clock that I either wake up before it goes of, or turn over and without realising, turn the darn thing off! but the idea of light waking you is great. In the summer, I tend to leave my curtains open, so the light comes in gradually, but in the winter, I am useless! thanks nell

  • profile image

    Andy Johnston 

    11 years ago

    I would love to test this type of model. I'm not so sure the gradual light would wake me up. But it is a great idea for anyone trying to avoid the "beep, beep, beep" of a traditional alarm clock.

  • Drwibble profile image


    11 years ago from UK

    My body has got into the habit of waking up before my conventional alarm clock goes off to avoid waking up with a major adrenaline rush. I think my next alarm clock will be a gradual light model.

  • reddog1027 profile image


    11 years ago from Atlanta, GA

    Great article about gradual light alarm clocks. The info will help me in picking out the one that's right for me.


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