Philips Wake-Up Light HF3520 Review

Philips Wake-Up Light Overview

The Philips Wake-Up Light is an alarm designed to emulate the sunrise in the morning, which stimulates the brain to release specific chemicals that tell the body “it’s time to get up.”  So it’s a much more natural way to wake up in the morning.  In studies, 92% of users found that the wake-up light improved the quality of waking and had more energy throughout the day.

Watch the video below to get all the details:

See the Philips Wake-Up Light on


  • Colored sunrise simulation
  • 5 different natural wake-up sounds
  • Tap snooze feature
  • Dimming light and sound to help you fall asleep


As far as positives go, first I have to say that I love this thing.  I will never go back to a traditional alarm.  It works so much better and is a much more natural way to wake up.  The light is bright and really will illuminate your whole room, especially if you’re waking up when its still dark outside.  It’s as if you’re waking up outdoors in a sense.

If you have to get up super early in the morning, this will really help you in a major way.

Another positive is that it really helps create a very natural and seamless transition from sleep into wakefulness, it’s not jarring, it’s not going to give you an adrenaline rush in the morning like most obnoxious alarms do, and you’ll find that you won’t need to reach over and hit the snooze as often.  You’ll actually feel like getting up.  What a concept, right?


As far as negatives go, some people might find some of the bird recordings to be slightly jarring.  I didn’t like the one I was using for the first few days, but then switched to another sound that I liked a lot better.  There can be a bit of trial and error with this alarm in the beginning.

It can be slightly frustrating to figure out how to turn the alarm off in the morning.  See the video for instructions for how to do this.

It’s also fairly hard to find and doesn’t seem to be sold in many stores.  As far as I know the best place to get it is from


The Philips HF3520 Wake-Up Light is great and by far one of the coolest inventions ever.  I highly recommend picking one up.  I’ve found that it really does make getting up a lot easier and you actually feel better throughout the day.

See the Philips Wake-Up Light on

Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links.  This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive a referral fee at no additional cost to you. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I’ve used and tested personally.

  • Marie

    I bought one and all the display contrast settings look the same once I get out of the menu. I can see a difference when choosing a setting but even when choosing 1, it goes brighter when I get out of the menu. I think it might be defective. Does yours have a very obvious difference between brightness settings?

    • Hi Marie. Well, I checked mine and sure enough I thought mine wasn’t working either. It seemed to be making no difference once I got out of the menu. So I chatted with Philips customer support and asked them about it, and they just offered to send me a new unit, which was cool. I ended up canceling that replacement because I tried adjusting the contrast again later when my bedroom was pitch black, and then I noticed that it *was* actually working, it’s just that the effect is somewhat more subtle than what you see when you’re selecting the different numbers in the menu.

      It took me a while to figure out what was going on. Once you select a lower number, say “2,” it will dim briefly to give you an ‘example’ of how dim it will be. The menu then goes back to normal so that you can see what you’re doing. Once out of the menu, it still takes a minute to take effect, and you won’t really see it until the room is completely dark. Even laptop light will affect it because the display lighting is actually responsive to ambient light. Earlier when I was trying to figure it out, I had my laptop near and my bathroom light was on, so it was throwing the display off.

      I tested all 4 settings in a pitch black room, and after staring at the display closely, I could start to see the difference. You can really see the difference with the light around the numbers, on settings 1 and 2 there’s barely any but it’s pretty pronounced on setting 4. – Sean

      • Marie

        Oh so it’s a lot more subtle than the preview. I thought I could see maybe a small difference in the overall glow. The room I tried it in was pretty dark but I’ll try again in a pitch black room. They offered to replace mine as well but I wasn’t quite sure if it was working properly or not. I do wish it would go as dim as the preview though! Thanks for your reply.

  • delphinidae

    So I am looking for an alarm that will help me adjust better to working third shift. UP at 8 pm and in bed no later than noon. I will need sunrise and sunset functions to get the most out of using one of these. I am an insomniac, probably why 3rd shift is easy for me but my sleep is just awful as I have a hard time getting to sleep during the day. My room is dark but it was recommended that I try to use the sunset and sunrise alarms. Will they work by your alarm or will you need to set the clock opposite on AM/PM settings to get it to work properly?

    • I’m pretty sure it would work for you. It has a “fall asleep” function, so you could emulate a sunset for a set period of time, between 5 to 60 minutes before you go to sleep. If your room is blacked out, you could experiment with this feature to see if it helps. Good luck! I imagine 3rd shift would be very difficult to adjust to.

      • delphinidae

        Thanks. I will give this one a shot. The adjustment has been ok with the exception of sleep disturbance and quality of sleep. This was a recommendation from a coworker to try. My kids actually got this for me for mothers day. Lol…wondering is that was a hint.
        So I’m looking forward to trying it out this week. I’ll let you know after using it a month or so.