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110 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost Like Magic!
++++Unhappy Update: The bulb died. I called Philips. The rep sweet talked me; saying I would soon have a replacement lamp and prepaid labels to ship back the dead unit. As the audible alarm still worked, I continued to wake up on time. Sadly, although it is now several weeks later, Philips has not done a thing. Worse yet, the darn thing made me late for work when the...
Published on September 22, 2009 by S. Potter

versus
337 of 363 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Utterly shocked and let down
I was actually about to give this a five-star review. Barring a few ease-of-use problems, and things I thought should be customizable but were not, I was immensely satisfied. It would not be an overstatement to say that this unit provided the best wake-ups I'd ever experienced, and in long, dark winters, that's incredibly valuable. A few days ago, that's the review I...
Published on November 4, 2009 by Jesse D. Watson


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337 of 363 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Utterly shocked and let down, November 4, 2009
This review is from: Philips HF3480 Wake-up Light (Health and Beauty)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I was actually about to give this a five-star review. Barring a few ease-of-use problems, and things I thought should be customizable but were not, I was immensely satisfied. It would not be an overstatement to say that this unit provided the best wake-ups I'd ever experienced, and in long, dark winters, that's incredibly valuable. A few days ago, that's the review I would have written.

Unfortunately, today, it did not turn on to wake me up. The birds were singing, but the light was off. I was confused. I fiddled with it all morning before the sad truth dawned on me. The built-in light bulb was dead, broken or defective. After a month of use, my wonderful new alarm clock no longer functioned.

As it stands, this is a soulbreaker. I realize these things happen, but, as a reviewer, I have to be honest about it. I don't know how frequently this occurs, but potential buyers should be aware, even if this scores me "unhelpful" votes. I was unable to ascertain how to replace the lighbulb, if it's even possible, or what the cost of such a replacement would be.

I'm saddened and dismayed to have to submit this. I thoroughly enjoyed waking up with this alarm clock, but if its longevity is so brief, I cannot recommend it, and unless that somehow changes, this review will remain, unfortunately, as is.

If I have any luck with Philips tech support and/or replacing the bulb, I will gladly change this review and go back to joyously using the product.

UPDATE: While I was hoping to return with a customer service success story, it's simply not the case. I used Philips appropriate website, described my issue in detail, and gave them all my information. I was told I'd receive a reply within a day, but it's been two, and I've received none. For a product at this pricepoint, bulbs that cease functioning after a month (which would be outside Amazon.com's return policy) and unresponsive customer service is unacceptable. If I'd purchased this outright, I would be extremely upset. As it stands, I'm rather displeased and now have to shop for a hopefully much more reliable replacement.
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110 of 115 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Almost Like Magic!, September 22, 2009
This review is from: Philips HF3480 Wake-up Light (Health and Beauty)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
++++Unhappy Update: The bulb died. I called Philips. The rep sweet talked me; saying I would soon have a replacement lamp and prepaid labels to ship back the dead unit. As the audible alarm still worked, I continued to wake up on time. Sadly, although it is now several weeks later, Philips has not done a thing. Worse yet, the darn thing made me late for work when the audible alarm, without any warning, stopped working. It is disappointing that Philips seems not to stand behind this product.++++

++++Update on June 14, 2010: I've given up on getting a free replacement lamp or bulb. I have to believe Philips is not sending me a new lamp because I got mine through the Amazon Vine program. I really miss the lamp.+++++

The Philips HF3480 promises to wake one gently from a night's sleep. And that's exactly what it does for me. During the 30 minutes before the alarm's set wake-up time, the Philips' lamp gradually increases in brightness, to a user set level, until one simply wakes up with (or without) the help of a pleasing audible alarm.

Out of the box, the unit has a sleek appearance; most unlike a typical alarm clock. For now, the Philips has a home on top of a hard back book on my night stand. As per the instructions, it is about 16 inches from the center of my pillow. Set up was quick and intuitive. 3 function selectors control all lamp's setup functions. By pressing and moving the selectors, one can change light intensity, set the time, and choose one of the audible alarms. It took me less than five minutes to remove the HF3480 from the box, set its functions, and position it on my night stand. The test feature allows one to get a preview of the lamp intensity and alarm volume; allowing one to easily adjust those levels, if necessary.

With the lights off, the time is illuminated by a soft, pleasing pale orange glow. Unlike my inexpensive Sony Dream Machine (a great basic alarm clock) Sony ICF-C218 Automatic Time Set Clock Radio (Black) the Philips does not overly light the room. The real joy of the Philips, though, is in waking up to its warm light and relaxing preset sounds. So far, my favorite wakeup sound are the meditative, gently wakeful sounds of the wind chimes. The bird sounds are pleasant, as well. Although I enjoy the sound of the jungle drums (the Jungle Sounds setting) I am not eager to wake up to them; at least not yet. The radio functionality works well, especially with the lengthy antenna. However, I prefer not to wake up to radio sounds so I do not use it.

With the default brightness and volume settings, I wake up to a warmly bright room with the sounds of gentle chimes filling my mind. It is a near perfect waking up experience. My body took the entire 30 minutes until the actual set wake time to rouse itself from sleep. It feels incredibly easy and natural to wake up this way. The snooze function will give an additional 10 minutes of light (without the audible alarm). For me, however, the wakeup is so invigorating I rarely use the snooze function.

The Philips HF3480 is a great product. For those willing to spend the money, it will certainly deliver the promised wake-up experience.

*****For those who would like a wake-up light that works with an iPod, Amazon has this: Philips HF3490 Wake-up Light with Dock for iPod*****
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56 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Light Bulb Can Be Replaced!!!, May 4, 2010
By 
N. Walker (Virginia Beach, VA, US) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Philips HF3480 Wake-up Light (Health and Beauty)
Like many others, my light bulb burnt out within a few months. Rather than send it back and get another one that will burn out just like my last one and wait a few months for the whole process, I took matters into my own hands and started taking it apart.

Here is how you replace the light bulb.
-Remove 4 rubber pads on feet and remove 4 screws.
-Try and not break plastic as you start prying the cover apart at the seams(I had to cut mine in one spot above the controls to get it to come off).
-Remove cover.
-Inside you'll see another white cover, remove the 4 screws and then the cover.
-Remove 4 small screws holding two white brackets that hold the cfl bulb down.
-Remove the two white brackets.
-Remove the metal jacket that covers the cfl bulb.
-Bend two black plastic clips back and start prying bulb off base.
-Use a flathead screwdriver to free the cfl bulb pins from the receptacles on the circuit board.

For installation just go in the reverse order.
The light bulb is a standard CFL 4 pin G24q-3 base, 26W/827.
I found one made by Sylvania at Lowe's for $7. Hopefully the Sylvania bulb lasts longer than the Philips.
From what I understand, CFL bulbs are not meant to be dimmed, they need to be full on or off to get the expected life out of them. I suspect the gradually brightning of the bulb by the alarm clock is what makes the bulb life so short.

The metal jacket that went around the bulb did not fit perfectly over my new bulb so I just clipped the wire and threw it away. The light still works with it removed. The CFL has mercury inside of it so dispose of it accordingly.

Hopefully this helps some other people bring their wake up lights back to life.
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64 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars On second thought..., September 24, 2009
This review is from: Philips HF3480 Wake-up Light (Health and Beauty)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
***1-8-10 Update***

I really liked this device initially. I gave it five stars in my original review because it worked like a charm and it was such a wonderful alternative to traditional alarm clocks. Both my wife and I loved it. Unfortunately, like many other users, mine eventually malfunctioned prematurely. I got nearly four months of great use and reliable wake-ups, but the light failed to turn on this morning. It worked for my wife, however, when she reset the clock for my wake-up, the light dimmed for good (by the way, dual alarms might be a good idea for the next version, as well as obviously increasing reliability or making the light user-replaceable). Attempts to get the light working again were futile. Given the number of complaints about the light prematurely failing, there is obviously an issue with this device. I can no longer recommend this until/unless this issue is resolved. It's such a shame because it really is a great device when it works. Unfortunately, I would not invest in an unreliable device with so many complaints for the same issue. I have not yet called Philips, so their warranty repair service had no impact on this modified review. If I could rate it again, I'd give it one star. Although I don't "hate" the device, there is just no way I could recommend such an unreliable product, especially since the bulb is not user-replaceable. After being spoiled, I now have to retrieve my old irritatingly loud alarm clock until Philips resolves the issue. It's not worth the substantial risk to purchase this. It's not even simply the fact that the light is not user-replaceable. I have several devices with internal lighting that may or may not go south one day (laptops, LCD TV's, iPods, etc). The difference is, these items have been reliable for years. The wake-up light apparently has a problem merely lasting six-months for a lot of folks.

Original review left intact below, so you can see how I felt when it worked
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I've used an extra loud (literally the name of the device) alarm clock for the past four years. Even then, I still usually hit the snooze at least twice every morning. I also started using a Philips GoLite Blu light therapy device during the fall and winter months last year. I find it helps with my sleeping issues as well as seasonal affective disorder. I usually have little trouble waking early in the spring and summer, when days are longer and the sun rises earlier. Light is nature's alarm clock and it just happens to be the best there is. Fall and winter have always been my difficult seasons. While the GoLite Blu has helped tremendously, it's more like an energy boost after you use it. I still needed my ear-piercing alarm clock for mornings. I was very eager to give the Philips wake-up light a try. After receiving the device, I followed the quick setup instructions, adjusted the settings, and selected my desired wake tone. The menu was simple to use. There are four selectable tones you can wake to. I selected what the device specifies as "African Jungle", although it sounds more like a warm Caribbean steel drum tone. It seemed to have the best mix of loudness while still being relaxing. I set the volume at 15 (goes to max of 20). Afterward, I tested the device in demo mode and will admit, I initially had my concerns. It was three in the afternoon and the light was almost completely washed out by the afternoon sunlight. Also, even at 15, the drums sounded quiet and a little too soothing for me to believe they would be capable of waking me. Fearing it might not work, I set my old alarm clock to go off five minutes after the wake light (little did I know, I'd never need the old alarm again). The next morning, I actually woke after the light started glowing dimly, but before audible alarm of the wake up light. When I realized the audible alarm hadn't yet sounded, I looked at the time and saw I had an additional 15 minutes to sleep. As the light got brighter and brighter I could gradually feel myself awakening more until I heard the soft sound of the drums begin very quietly and gradually raise in volume until reaching my preset maximum loudness. The best part is, due to the gradual awakening instead of the abrupt snatch-you-out-of-your-sleep-like-a-baby-out-of-the-womb waking I'm used to, I had no lingering drowsiness and I did not feel the need to hit the snooze once. I merely flipped the alarm lever to "Off" and hopped out of bed, feeling surprisingly refreshed and well-rested instead of groggy. It was like waking naturally on a weekend.

I can happily report that I had the same result the remainder of the week. By the third day, I didn't get to bed until 2am. The wake-up light still managed to wake me at 5:30 with only one press of the snooze button. Not only did I only have to press it once, I woke on my own before the 9-minute snooze period was up. (By the way, the pre-determined snooze time is non-adjustable).

I see there are some concerns about the light being non-user replaceable. While I completely understand this very valid concern, it's also a chance we take with many things. We don't know if that $400 MP3 player or digital camera will function as long as we hope. The most popular (and expensive) line of MP3 players still come with non-user replaceable batteries (and backlights). LCD televisions and laptops all use backlights, so you're putting your trust in the life of a lamp at some point for many things. This light comes with a two-year manufacturer warranty, so you can take comfort in the fact that you will get at least two years of use out of it. If you're really worried, purchase it with a gold or platinum credit card and you can tack on a third year of warranty coverage free of charge. I'm not certain this is a deal breaker.

So far, I can't really find any negatives (other than maybe not being the most aesthetically pleasing device to some people. My wife says it looks like a humidifier with a dot matrix clock on the side). Philips light therapy products have really impressed me up to this point. You see so many rip-offs and health products promising results that usually don't deliver. Just like the GoLite Blu (which still impresses me after a year of ownership), this wake-up light does what it says it will do. Of course, everyone's chemistry is different and I can't predict it will necessarily work for everyone. I just know, after four years I'm glad I no longer feel like I want to shoot straight up out of bed and cling to the ceiling by my claws like a scared cat when my super-loud alarm clock goes off in the mornings.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor quality, even worse service., January 4, 2010
By 
A. Wilhelm (washington, dc) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Philips HF3480 Wake-up Light (Health and Beauty)
Buyer beware!

I purchased this alarm clock (and felt quite splurge-y about it) on 11/1, but the light stopped functioning on 12/15 - after less than a month and a half of use. (Up until that point, I was really enjoying it. I only used it for waking up in the morning, and only tried the radio once - never tried the dimming option. It's pretty hard to believe that the light bulb couldn't last even 45 days of light use.)

I immediately contacted tech support at Philips, was told that they would send a replacement right away, as soon as they confirmed that my defective alarm clock was on its way. I emailed them the day it was sent (with my tracking info), but I did not receive a response. The didn't send a replacement either. I sent another email when I got confirmation that the defective unit was delivered - again, no replacement or response. Terrible customer service.

It has been 13 days, so I called them again today. Cathy, their "support" person, said she would be in touch. Just a few minutes ago, she emailed me (instead of calling; I guess she has my email address after all!) and said that the item is on back order - no apology and no ETA. I called her and inquired about the ETA - she said she could not provide one, and she said she can't send the defective one back to me. (Amazon says I can't get a refund without giving them the defective unit, which I no longer have.) Grr!

I indicated my disappointment over the lack of communication and customer service, but the Philips employee just mechanically said she was sorry I felt that way and took no responsibility for her lack of follow-through. If I don't hear back from them in the next week or so, I will dispute this charge on my credit card.

If you've had a similar problem, work with Amazon instead of Philips. I would caution against purchasing in the first place, though, because I've been jumping through a lot of hoops over a stupid alarm clock!
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Poorly manufactured product, November 10, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Philips HF3480 Wake-up Light (Health and Beauty)
Be warned. I have gone through two of these in so many months and am now waiting to receive my third (under warranty for replacement but beyond the point for a cash refund). Both times the light has failed. I believe this product is inherently poorly designed and problem prone and would reinforce other reviews that say that controls are unnecessarily complicated. I enjoyed the wake up light function...while it worked (sarcasm). All I can do now is hope the third one works without problem. This product could be improved with the inclusion of a back-up battery in case of power outages, and of course correcting the electrical problem that causes the light to die prematurely.

Update: The third one malfunctioned in the same way. When Phillips Customer Service learned that it was my third malfunctioning unit they offered a replacement or a cash refund. They even admitted they were having problems with the product. I purchased the product with Amazon and it was still within the warranty period. I took the cash refund and am waiting for delivery of the check at this time.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Does one thing well, everything else poorly, October 22, 2009
By 
April King (Minneapolis, MN USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Philips HF3480 Wake-up Light (Health and Beauty)
I actually own the sister version of this product (the Philips HF3490), although most of this review also applies to this unit as well - with the exception of the iPod functionality, of course.

First, let's cut to the chase: this product does one thing really, really well. Luckily for this product's rating, its single proficiency is its main selling point: waking you up with a gentle progression of increasingly brighter light. Over the course of 30 minutes, the lamp in the alarm clock will get brighter until it reaches the maximum brightness setting you have selected previously. I find that the amount of light that I need to wake up varies - sometimes I wake up about 15 minutes in, other times, it takes the full 30 minutes to wake me up. So, I just leave it on its maximum setting (20) and wake up when I wake up.

BRIGHTNESS INFORMATION: I find that the technical information that Philips provides on the bulb is a bit difficult to relate to, without any context. This bulb is rated at 300 lux - not bad, but that brightness is typically given without context. It is 300 lux at *45 centimeters* - only about a foot and a half of distance. 300 lux is a pretty standard indoor room brightness. However, since brightness drops off by the square of the distance, a doubling of the distance (to 3') will halve your brightness. What this boils down to is that the light inside the lamp is roughly equal to a 60W incandescent bulb - good enough if the lamp is on a bedside stand, but because of the covering on the lamp, it might not be bright enough for you if you place it on a dresser across the room.

BULB REPLACEMENT: The reviews here that are claiming that this alarm has a LED lightbulb are clearly mistaken. You only have to look inside the holes in the top of the unit to see that it has a compact fluorescent (CFL) lightbulb - not an LED lightbulb. The manual that comes with the unit even says not to throw it away with your household waste - I can only assume because of the mercury inside the bulb. Now, I haven't disassembled the unit, but it does look like a standard (14W?) dimmable CFL - the sort of thing that you *might* be able to replace at the end the bulb's lifespan. I can't say for sure, of course, since I don't want to void my warranty.

Unfortunately, I think this product does quite a few things poorly, so the list of Cons is pretty long:

* iPod Functionality: The iPod functionality is pretty limited. It basically just plays whatever you're currently listening to on your iPod. I purchased the HF3490 over the HF3480 because I wanted an extra dock to charge my iPod Touch in at night. When you plug the iPod in, the unit will always switch to the iPod input and start playing whatever your iPod had last left off at - even if your iPod was stopped. Whenever I plug my iPod in for charging, I have to stop the iPod and then switch back to the radio. Needless to say, this is pretty irritating.

* Alarm (Wake-Up) Sounds: I really want to like the wake-up sounds - especially the birds and the drums. The birds are cheerful and the drums have a good beat. However, the clips for these sounds are annoyingly short - I would be surprised if they are longer than 30 seconds in length. As such, they tread that infuriating middle-ground between purely repetitive (beep beep beep beep) and music - after hearing the same clip a few dozen times, you will really want to get up and MAKE IT STOP. Whether that's a good thing or a bad thing in an alarm clock is purely a personal preference. :)

* Sound Quality: Why they chose a rear-fired speaker is completely beyond me. Now, maybe I'm just spoiled by the sound from my previous alarm clock (a Tivoli Audio Model Three), but the sound emerging from this alarm clock is just bad. Pushing the alarm clock up closer to the wall improved things somewhat, but in general, the sound is muffled and muddy. There's a reason why audio systems fire bass from the rear/side and other frequencies from the front/top - because it sounds much clearer.

* Button Layout: This is a complaint that a lot of reviews here have, and it's true: the way the button/knob/lever system works is far more confusing than it needs to be. I've had this alarm for a while now, and I *still* press the wrong buttons from time to time.

* Radio: I get surprisingly good reception with this unit's built-in antenna. My house is made out of stucco, and it can be difficult to tune into radio stations without static. However, this unit has no AM tuner(!!) - only FM. If you're like me, and like to lie in bed while reading a book and listening to the baseball game on AM, you're out of luck. No AM for you!

To sum it up - this product is great for waking you up on those dark, winter days. I live in Minnesota, and it's a real treat to wake up in the morning and not feel bone tired because of the darkness. Just be aware that it's a good wake-up tool, and pretty poor at everything else. I would absolutely recommend this version over the version with the dock.

UPDATE (11/3/2010): I've had this product for about 14 months now, and the bulb has died on me twice. It appears that issues with reliability are widespread.
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44 of 54 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Expensive Alarm Clock and Lamp Combo, October 12, 2009
By 
monkuboy (Temple City, CA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: Philips HF3480 Wake-up Light (Health and Beauty)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I'm afraid I will get lots of "unhelpful" votes because of my non-glowing review, but I'm not going to make up something. This wake-up light affects me no differently than a normal alarm clock. I've used it for over a week and don't wake up feeling any more rested than I did before I began using it.

The device itself is pretty large and would make a decent lamp. You can adjust the light intensity over 20 steps, with the brightest setting being very bright. It does have a nice array of alarm sounds: birds, wind chimes, tropical drums, some musical tones or the FM radio. There are three dials on the right side of the unit. The top dial turns the light on and off and also is used to adjust the intensity. The middle dial is for setting the time, the alarm time, and the alarm functions. The bottom knob controls the radio.

I find that the middle dial that controls most of the settings isn't the easiest thing to use. You press the dial in to move from function to function (setting to setting) and then to adjust the individual settings you turn the dial. The dial doesn't always seem to move that smoothly for me, and I wind up pressing it in, rather than turning it which makes it go to the next function.

Most of the reviews of this product have been very favorable, with everyone saying the light really makes a difference as far as waking up pleasantly and energetically. The chimes are indeed pleasant but I'm the type who wakes up right away and doesn't use the snooze button so I don't care what kind of sound emanates from the alarm. The light does nothing at all for me - I actually seem to feel more sleepy than normal when waking up. Of course, your mileage may vary. It's a reliable alarm and makes for a decent lamp but for me it is no better than any other alarm clock.

[edit - December 2, 2009] I've been using this product for a while now and so far feel that it doesn't seem to make a difference to me. Your mileage may vary, as I said before, but some days I wake up feeling refreshed and some days I don't, but I can't attribute any of that to the clock and light. Sometimes the light wakes me up early, though. I have it set on 7 now and it is still plenty bright.

[edit - March 2011] - I have thrown this thing away. Sometime around the middle of 2010 the light burned out so what was supposed to be a major feature of this product was no longer functional. Yes, I know I could just replace the light but it seems to me that the light should last longer. Then sometime around the end of the year or beginning of this year, the clock itself stopped working - or rather, began working intermittently. Half the time it would show the correct time and half the time not; the alarm also stopped working. I tried resetting it but nothing seemed to help so I just threw it away. I would not recommend this product. Perhaps when it is working properly it will help some people to wake up feeling more refreshed. It didn't for me but that's just me; everyone is different. My "beef" is that an alarm clock of all things should be dependable and this didn't seem to fit that bill.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Rise & Shine!, October 21, 2009
This review is from: Philips HF3480 Wake-up Light (Health and Beauty)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I already use the Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy Device during the many dark Pacific NW mornings we have, for about 20-30 minutes while I'm getting ready for work. Not only does help me with my mood, it also helps regulate my body clock. So when I saw the Philips Wake-up Light, I thought the idea of being woken up to light therapy would be an excellent option.

As with all Electronics I think it best to read through any user manuals and/or quick start guides before using to make sure you get the full benefit of the product. I did and it allowed me to figure out what options and setting might be best for me to start out on.

I placed the light on the nightstand attached to my bed. It sits about 6-8 inches below the mattress. I have to say I think this was a good thing, because any higher and I think the light might have been more of a nuisance in the morning. I also went with the highest light setting because I'm used to using my goLITE and a mid setting for the alarm, which I set to a local Jazz station that has very little talk in the morning. (I've never been a fan of the nature sounds unfortunately)

Fast forward about three weeks and this is my experience as of today. The first few mornings I found myself waking up about 20 minutes into the light slowing increasing, which was about 10 minutes before the actual alarm would go off. Because I thought it might be due to the brightness setting I decided to lower it from that point. Over the next several days I didn't wake up until the alarm sounded, but instead of my usual "hit the snooze 3 or 4 times" I found myself ready to get up almost immediately. After several days of that I did go back to waking up before the alarm, but only by a few minutes and still feeling awake and not groggy.

The other feature I wanted to try was the "Dusk" setting. Truthfully most nights I don't have a problem falling asleep, but I wanted to give it a try. And just as I expected I was fast asleep before it went dark. I thought that this might be a good tool for a child learning to sleep without a light on, but probably not reasonable because of the cost.

All in all I do like the Philips Wake-up Light, but I have continued to use my goLITE several times a week because I do feel like I'm lacking something when only using this. I believe it to be the difference in the type of light being used. I think this may work for some people with minor sleep issues, but not necessarily for those with more significant SAD symptoms.

Additionally the concern that myself and many others have about the non-replaceable bulb is a very valid issue when considering this for purchase. The warranty is great for short term, but when investing a good amount of money on what some say is just a "fancy alarm clock" you want to know that you're going to be covered a bit longer. Hopefully Philips is listening to the consumers and will revisit this problem, because what could have been a 4 star can only be 3 star for me.

UPDATE - As others have previously reported, the lightbulb in my unit stopped functioning at around 9 months of use. I contacted Philips and they were very helpful. A new unit was mailed out to me along with a pre-paid label to return the defective unit. So far the replacement one seems to be functioning fine for now.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A Nifty Gadget To Help You Wake Up BUT Non-replaceable Bulb, October 4, 2009
This review is from: Philips HF3480 Wake-up Light (Health and Beauty)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
PLEASE REVIEW MY UPDATES BELOW - 2 STARS after 1 week of use - a bulb burn out!!!

I need to start right off and mention that the size of the Philips Wake-Up Light is a little larger and rounder than what I noticed in the stock photo. This is not a bad thing, it is just something worth noting when you look at the dimensions of the light and decide where you are going to place it. As far as aesthetics, it is a pretty neat looking light that fits in with my contemporary decor, so I was happy about that.

I used the light last night and this morning and woke up to a bright light and the sound of chirping birds at 7:15 a.m. What I noticed immediately was the light which was not assaulting on the eyes and the sounds of chirping birds. The sounds brought two of my cats promptly to my bed stand to see what the new gadget was and where the birds were. Besides chirping birds, you can also choose to awaken to the sound of an FM radio station, and some other chimey, bongo-ish types of sounds. I chose the birds and was not disappointed. The sound is crisp and the light is very nice and mellow. The device brightens the light over a 30 minute period and this is supposed to help to create a more peaceful type of awakening. I did find myself waking up and I am not sure how it happened ... whether it was the sounds of the birds or the light itself. Regardless, it was an interesting experience and I will keep using the light.

The unit is highly configurable regarding intensity. You can choose light settings that range from 1-20 and the wake-up light can also serve as a nice and decorative reading lamp at your bedside. I like this extra functionality and will definitely find it very useful as the unit sits on my night stand.

The directions are easy to follow and the Wake-up light comes with a nice set of quick start instructions so you can get going right out of the box. There is also a more in-depth manual. The snooze switch is easily accessible (a rod-like switch that you can easily feel for and access).

Overall I like this lamp very much and would recommend it.

Update: 10/9/09 - the light has been a wonderful reading light (one of the features I actually enjoy a lot) and a great wake-up took. The fact that the light brightens over a 30 minute period and the birdies chirp along with it is actually very soothing and effective. I love it!

Update: 10/15/09 - the light on the unit has totally died and the setting knobs have gotten wobbly and feel "junky". I was enjoying the lamp tremendously as a reading lamp. I spoke with customer service and the unit is covered under a 2-year warranty (but I received mine under the Vine program and am not covered). The bulb in my unit has burned out after one week of use! There is no way for the user to get into the unit themselves and replace the bulb. Philips will replace the entire unit because the bulb is specific. :( Not nice on landfills, not nice for me. Customer service was very accommodating, friendly and quick to respond. They required a "receipt / proof of purchase" in order to replace it. What would they do about those who received the lamp as a gift??? All other parts of the lamp work (sounds, FM radio) but not the light. If I could re-star this review, I would knock it down to 3 now knowing that there is no way for the user to replace the light bulb themselves and that the entire unit must be replaced.

If I had to do it again, I would look for a unit that allows the user to have more control over the bulb (to replace as needed). This is a unit with a limited lifespan given the bulb cannot be replaced. Since Philips provides 2 year warranty, how much longer than that should a consumer count on the unit lasting?

No replaceable parts. Not good.
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Philips HF3480 Wake-up Light
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