Customer Reviews: Philips Hf3470 Wake-up Light, White
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 28, 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
***6 Month Update*** Had a lot of questions about burning out lights and whether or not I still enjoyed the alarm clock, so I just thought that I'd offer a quick update to my review. At nearly 6 months, I still use the alarm clock every day and have yet to be dissatisfied and my original review still stands. The light bulb has so far not burnt out and that's even with me using it for hours at a time as a reading lamp (note that the bulb is replaceable should it ever burn out). The bird noises still sound natural and pleasing to me (I was afraid I'd eventually associate bird tweets with groggy mornings and want to kill anything with feathers) and, in fact, I still occasionally wake up and think: My goodness, some bird is going to town out there... before realizing it's only my alarm clock. As always, if there are any further questions, please leave them in the comments section and I'll do my best to answer them.


With the exception of the somewhat alarming price tag, this alarm clock alternative is actually really wonderful! I've been using it for a while now and find it every bit as effective at getting me up in the morning as my old BEEP!!!!!! BEEEP !!!!!!!! BEPPPP! alarm clock, without the mini heart attack I used to have every morning. Annnnd, in addition to the pleasant factor, it's also very handy. I've found myself turning on the lamp constantly in the middle of the night should I need to get up. The FM radio is really impressive, too. The device has great reception (comes with a wire antennae) and has surprisingly good audio quality. The video doesn't do it justice exactly, but there's actually some pretty good bass.

Here's a rundown of what I love about the Philips wake up light:

- Pleasant way to wake up
- Easy to use controls
- Lamp multi-purposeful
- Excellent quality radio

The only cons I can see are the price - a little hefty for an alarm clock, but you know if it's worth it. And the fact that it's a fairly big device and won't travel with you easily. It may not sit on your nightstand well, either, depending on how much room you have - BUT since it doubles as a lamp and radio you can actually replace those things with this one compact contraption!

Overall, I'm in love! I'm not at all a morning person so anything that can start my day better is worth its weight in gold.
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VINE VOICEon September 21, 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
For the most part, I really like the Philips Wake-up Light. The modern design is great. The lighting itself is beautiful. The product features are adequate. The orange LED display offers four levels of brightness. The control buttons blend in nicely with the trim. The snooze button, appropriately, sticks out like a sore thumb so if I'm still drowsy I can just reach over and activate it without lifting my head all the way up off the pillow to find it.

The elegant halogen illumination is the heart of what this product is all about. You can use the Wake-up Light as a bedside lamp and adjust it to any of several intensities. Powering down, it smoothly transitions to darkness. Awesome!

The radio sounds nice, comparable to your standard clock radio. Unfortunately, it's FM only, and I'm one who likes to make the most out of my space. With no AM band to choose from it loses a bit of value for me.

As a wake-up light, this product is fantastic! With the unit placed within a couple feet of your head, it does a fine job at convincing you that the sun has risen. There are three choices of alarms: FM radio, chirping birds or a "beep" as it is referred to in the manual, but it really sounds more like a lazy kettledrum concerto. I love waking up to the chirping birds...very natural.

If you're typically miserable when being abruptly awakened to dark surroundings, then I highly recommend this item. It's a luxurious waking experience, which can contribute to a more positive start to your mornings. It really is a cool thing to have.
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on January 26, 2012
The short version of this review is as follows: You could accomplish the same thing with a cheap electrical outlet timer with a lamp plugged in and keep your existing alarm clock and save a whole lot of money, but it is a decent alarm clock.

My motivation for purchasing this item, which I have been using for a month now, was because we are currently in winter and my normal waking hour in the morning is before sunrise currently. This means the room is pitch black and it is awfully hard to get up when it's both cold and dark in the bedroom and the bed is nice and warm. As always, I was finding myself having a hard time "getting it in gear" in the mornings because of this, and I generally do better during the summer months when sunrise is around the same time or earlier as when my alarm goes off. For about 4-5 months of the year, though, it's just tough. I had been thinking how nice it might be to have an artificial sunrise of sorts to help me get up and at 'em. Then I stumbled across this idea and just KNEW that someone else was thinking the same thing. I eagerly anticipated this alarm arriving and set it up the very first day I received it. I thought it would be perfect because I was going into a week of call and knew it was going to get progressively harder to get up for 2 weeks (no weekends) due to working straight through.

After the first week, I was sort of disappointed, but I thought that perhaps it was simply a matter of getting back on a non-call schedule rotation that was needed. So I have given it another 4 weeks and am still rather ho-hum about it.


This is basically a simple alarm clock with radio, buzzer, and birds chirping options for wake up sound. It has a pleasant, amber, reasonably large time display on the front and is capped by a conical lamp shade with what seems to be an incandescent light inside. This lamp has 20 stages of brightness and a separate on-off switch from the radio on-off and bracketing the switch are the brighter/dimmer buttons which mirror the volume up/down buttons beside the radio button. You can set the lamp to any of the 20 levels of brightness and turn the lamp off. At this point the alarm remembers what the brightness setting was last set to as the target brightness for the next time the alarm goes off. The same applies to the volume settings on the audible portion of the alarm.

Once the brightness is set, and the alarm is set, the alarm will turn on the lamp at the lowest setting 30 minutes before the set time for the audible alarm to go off. It will then progressively increase the lamp brightness over that 30 minutes to the pre-determined brightness, at which point the audible portion of the alarm will sound (in my case, the radio turns on) with a nice, gentle, ramp-up to the volume. You can, alternately, set the volume to be off, as mentioned above, and only have the lamp turn on with no sound associated with it.

The trick to figuring out what brightness setting you need is to set it to full bright (#20) the first time and then, when you wake up the next morning, take note of how bright the lamp was when you "registered" that it was on and awoke. Set it to that number for the next night and you should then time it roughly so that you wake up when the audible alarm goes off.


- Volume ramp-up on the radio is very gentle. Much slower than most alarms but still hits target volume in 30 sec or so. This is how it should be done.
- Display is easily readable at night but not overly bright/room illuminating. I like my room to be dark, and the amber light is minimal enough to not disturb.
- Can double as a night stand lamp, helping you reduce some of the clutter over there.
- Light is sufficiently bright to get your attention when asleep if you happen to be turned that direction. It also helps me get to the other side of the room to the overhead light switch.


- Light output is not very bright. At full illumination, it's not really bright enough to comfortably light up my 20'x20' bedroom. It seems equivalent to perhaps a 30W light bulb or so. If you are not facing the lamp at least somewhat, you may not notice the light being on. It basically means I have to leave it set to max brightness for the alarm because half the time my back is to it and it's effectively, then, just a simple radio alarm.
- Light is extremely yellow. Much more yellow than most incandescent bulbs and not at all like a real sunrise light color temperature.
- Uses a proprietary lamp module, apparently, that has to be ordered from Philips. I have no idea how long to expect the included bulb to last, but it will eventually need replacing, and who knows if you'll be able to purchase one at that point. After all, they just outlawed incandescent bulbs, effectively.
- The unit is huge. It takes up about as much space as a table lamp with shade does, though doesn't put out as much light as one. It's mostly vertical volume, so that helps some, but it towers over most other alarms.
- The radio is poor. Reception for even nearby, strong stations waxes and wanes and is even severely affected by my position in my bed.
- Sound quality is limited. This is your tinny little radio sound with no depth or volume. I can't tolerate listening to music on this unit, though talk radio (NPR) is acceptable. Thankfully this isn't that much worse than your average alarm radio, so most folks won't be taking a downgrade here.
- Only a single alarm setting. No dual/multiple alarms for those who have varying daily schedules (e.g., college students) or for those who prefer a weekend setting and a weekday setting (myself).
- All controls are on the front or side, none on top. This makes them all difficult to reach/use, especially when half-asleep.
- You don't really feel any more rested when you wake up with the light on. It just makes it easier to turn on a real light in the room.
- Very expensive for what you get. You could replicate most of this system simply by keeping your existing alarm and table lamp and adding a timer to the outlet the lamp is plugged in to in order to go off at the pre-desired time, a minute or two before the alarm does. That'd cost you about $5.

If it were me, I would do several things to improve the device.

1. Change the light source to something with a more white light and brighter light. an LED system would solve this, probably by having a preset number of LEDs, each one lighting up progressively. This would, if done properly, light up the whole room AND provide a much more natural light closer to the real world sunrise I was hoping for. I know they have LED based light therapy lamps at Philips, perhaps they could borrow those? Or, at least, let me plug in a higher wattage incandescent lamp with a whiter light output.
2. Shrink the unit by about 50-70%. Again, switching to LEDs would probably help this.
3. Provide at least dual-alarm capability.
4. Improve radio sound quality. With as large an enclosure as this thing has, it ought to sound much better than it does, even allowing for the lamp portion.
5. Drop the cost. This is a $20 alarm, basically. If they could make the above changes, it would be about a $50 alarm clock.

This is not a bad alarm, or a bad lamp. It's just not worth what the asking price is and it's certainly not much better than a standard alarm clock.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon September 27, 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've wanted one of these lights for a while. In the winter waking up in the dark always got me down. St. John's wort helps, but I think light would help even more. So I was lucky the Vine program gave me an opportunity to evaluate one of these lights. The price shown for this item was inline with all the ones I've seen out there.

To those of you that don't realize why you want one of these, it is to facilitate the waking process and make it feel more natural. When we evolved; we relied on the sun to wake us up. Now in our time-starved world. we have clocks to do this. On top of all that, us Northerners have even shorter days and cooler sunlight in the winter months. So this light is just one way to fake our brains into thinking, it is not so bad to get up at 6AM. Below, I let you know if it worked for me.

First of all it was bigger than I expected. Check the dimensions if you have limited space and remember it is a light that needs a housing to protect you from the bulb, a radio and an alarm clock all in one. However for me, it was not a problem. It will not fit in a standard bookshelf headboard. I have mine on the end table next to my bed.

The light once taken out of the box, had warning instructions right on the top...Man they were confusing. Later, when I read the instructions, I realized it was indicating when the light is on or just recently turned off the top of the light was very hot. Given that it is a halogen bulb not surprising. However guys, you have to work on the warning info. The graphic shows a two tier flat saucer shaped piece that I had no idea that related to the light in any way. However, once I removed the top of the light, I realized what it was referring to. It would be better, to show a side view of the light itself and then show, that that fingers touching the top when it was on, can be burned. "On" can be signified by light rays leaving the light. Where you don't want fingers to touch can be signified by either flames or exed out areas...It just stumped me trying to figure out what it was trying to convey. In fact, I thought it wanted me to touch the top to do something. Not good.

Setting the time, the type of alarm was all pretty straightforward. Even the radio tuning wasn't so bad. You use the up/down radio controls for volume. The +/- on the front of the light (normally used for the menu, for the tuning).
This light has several buttons:
Menu, Plus, Minus and Select on the front (not in that order)
Light On/Off, Plus, Minus Intensity on the side top.
Radio On/Off, Plus Minus Volume on the side middle
Alarm On, Alarm Off, Snooze on the side bottom

The first morning of usage, I noted this light is really bright . Thankfully this is adjustable. However I'm going to give it a few more days. In the instructions they tell you to put the light at max brightness and then adjust it down to the brightness it is when you wake. But, you also can adjust it as you see fit as well.

If you are considering a light like this, I'm going to state what might not be obvious to you. You need to be the last person up in the room. Unlike an alarm clock that you reach over and smack after it is on for a few seconds, this clock light gradually turns on over a half hour. If someone sharing the room with you does not get up when you do, their sleep may be affected.

My boyfriend gets up 1 hour before me and in the half hour before I get up, he stumbles around the bedroom getting dressed in the dark. This light afforded him not only enough light to get dressed but enough to match his socks which are either blue or black... I'm sure his co-workers will be thankful.

Well, saying I could fill you in on it's effectiveness in the beginning of this review, was a little shortsighted. I need about a month of use to speak to affects. Right now I know it is not obtrusive, nor does it wake me up while it is increasing in intensity. I will update this after using it for a bit.

I have used this light for about 13 months now and I really think it helps the winter blues. On the oft chance I forget to set it in the evening, the next morning, I really miss waking up to a room bathed in light. Funny how I know it is not the sun, but it still makes me feel like I have slept in. Great product!
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on October 21, 2010
I've had this Wake-up light for about a week now, and I am very satisfied. I get up very early and always have a hard time getting going. This light greatly helps ease the transition into wakefulness.

While using this wake-up light, I often gently wake up just a few minutes prior to the audio alarm sounds start, which gives me the luxury of lying in bed for a few more minutes as I think about the upcoming day before I need to get out of bed. I really enjoy the bird-chirping alarm sound as well as the beeping which actually sounds more like a steel drum. I haven't used the radio, so I cannot speak to its quality.

Additionally, I feel much better when waking up to a lighted room. I know longer have to fight the urge to hit the snooze button over and over again.

Final note: I decided on this model after reading the reviews of a similar model (the Philips Hf3480). The reviews of it were initially very good, but a disturbing number of reviewers had come back to edit their reviews. Apparently the light bulbs were burning out quickly and could not be replaced. On this model, light bulb is replaceable, so if it burns out quickly, it will not be too much of an inconvenience.

Edit (on April 11, 2011): After about 6 months of use, the light bulb is still going strong, and I still love waking up to the light.

Edit again (on December 20, 2011): The original light bulb is still going strong. I'm still extremely satisfied.
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VINE VOICEon October 13, 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I HATE getting up in the morning, and this thing has made it a little less painful, especially as we move into the winter months when it's still dark when I get up. I've always been able to wake easier when the sun is up, and that's the philosophy behind this wake up light.

Set a wakeup time, and the light will gradually start brightening to the setting you've picked over a span of about 20 minutes. You can choose the light brightness you wake up to - brightness goes from 1 (very low) to 20 (ridiculously blindingly high). Mine is set at about 7, though it could be a couple notches lower (maybe when it's not dark out when you need to get up, you need a higher setting). This gently and effectively wakes me up. I usually wake up before the brightest part (which is why I need to adjust it), but can easily go back to sleep for a bit as it brightens up and then wake up with the final brightness at the alarm sound, and I feel much less horrid than I usually do when I get up to a radio alarm.

If you need it (you don't HAVE to have it on), you can also add a sound. The sound only comes on at the alarm time (say, if you set your alarm for 7, the light will start at around 6:40, but the alarm sound won't come on until 7), but gradually gets louder. You can wake to FM radio, chirping birds, or (what I picked) the "lazy kettle drum band" as another reviewer described it. All very nice and not jarring.

I really like this alarm. It wakes my hubby up as well on days that I'm working and he's not, but the regular alarm woke him up, too, and this is less jarring to both of us. I much prefer it to the sudden jolt of the alarm, or even a gradual sound alarm alone. I used to find myself waiting and bracing myself for the sound of the alarm if I half-woke-up not too long before it, but now I can actually go back to sleep and not feel like I have to prepare myself for it. When you hit SNOOZE, the alarm sound goes off, but not the light (I'm honestly not sure what happens if you snooze and you don't have an alarm sound set, though!).

It loses one star because for the price, the alarm could be more fully featured. It's missing some simple features: dual alarm, weekday/weekend settings, auto reset (though you can train yourself to do this manually by flicking the alarm switch back down every AM after you turn it off), digital FM tuner, and memory for the light level so that the alarm can be at say 7, but the light alone at 15.

You can also use the lamp alone or the radio alone, so I was able to condense 2 things on my bedside table (alarm clock and light) into one, and this one is fairly attractive (some of these light alarm things are pretty ugly).

Extra note: the LCD setting also has 4 brightness settings, which is nice. I can't stand a super-bright LCD, and the lowest one is fine for me.

Hope that helps. I really like this thing. Though it's WAAAAY more than I would normally pay for an alarm clock, it's made my mornings so much nicer that I'd definitely buy another one if I needed to.
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on November 2, 2010
Though it's expensive compared to many lamps (or alarm clocks), the Philips HF3470/60 is still at the lower end of the budget spectrum and offers excellent value for money.

Why it's great

- Does what it says on the tin. Wakes you up in a state of near-perfect calm. I supplement the light function with the 'bird' alarm sound, which is delicate but assertive, and like the light builds from a low to more intense level. Haven't used the regular 'alarm' sound, or radio function

- The aesthetic quality of the light is very soothing. It's got a warm, buttery, heavenly glow.

- Feels solidly made (not cheap).

- Design is modern and clean - will probably work with most decor, apart from the most traditional. Light is emitted from its entire surface, which is probably a good way for it to get around. Still, it should be kept within about 1 - 1.5 feet of your head.

- Setting the time and alarm time is easy (but...)

One star taken off because:

- Though you can use this as a night light, whatever setting you use is automatically used as the intensity level for the morning `wake up' light function. I like a dim light at night, and a bright one in the morning. Also, you have to manually turn it off at night, there's no timed 'sleep' function.

- It's probable that you'll accidentally turn off the alarm if you're careless when you flick the 'snooze' lever in the a.m., which means it won't work the next day. That one lever means radically different mornings for you - it's both the 'snooze' and 'alarm off' control. Check its position before going to bed! (Note for designers: in your next version at this price point, please just make two levers and put them in different places. Or make a lever and a button. Something!)

Nevertheless, I couldn't find anything comparable at this price. Cheaper models use 60 watt bulbs, which isn't strong enough. More comprehensive ones are just too expensive (Philips does a song-and-dance version that's also used for SAD, at I think triple the cost!). I shipped this to Canada and it was still cheaper than the next one up, locally.

Overall, this thing takes a bit of getting used to (again: before sleeping, 1) turn off the lamp, and 2) make sure the lever position is at 'on') but once it's set, is great at what it does.
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on January 17, 2011
I'm giving this alarm five stars for the wake-up experience alone. Yes, the clockface could be a little brighter, the controls a little better or more intuitive, the sounds with more variety. But who cares? For the first time in my life I enjoy waking up! I have never, I repeat NEVER, been a morning person, the bane of my life due to living in a morning world. Have always struggled awake to the blaring, jarring sound of an alarm clock, hit the snooze a jillion times, dragged myself out of bed feeling like mud and only a couple of hours later really started to feel awake. And those first few jarring moments, when the alarm first goes off, are the worst.

Now, I can enjoy waking up. The very gradual gentle light (30 minutes of transition from dark to light) combined with, once the light has come up, the gradually increasing gentle sound of birdsong or rhythmic marimba (I haven't bothered with the radio yet, the marimba is great), has made waking up a gentle pleasure instead a harsh wake up call. I can still hit the snooze a few times if I want. But when my eyes first open, I feel good - not like I've just been hit with a dentist's drill. I like it so much I'm thinking of getting one for the guest room, too. I just wish they'd make a small travel version - now that would be sweet! Wake up gently and pleasantly, no matter where I am!

UPDATE: I've been using this for several months now, and am completely happy. Gotten used to the controls (I do wish they were larger and easier, but the positive wakeup experience more than offsets this one negative), set it to radio, and find that with the gradual wake-up light can keep the radio on fairly low volume, usually wake up just by the light before the radio even comes on, and then can lie there and enjoy the soft radio for a bit before getting up. Like it so much I went ahead and got a second unit for the guest bedroom. It is a winner.
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on October 19, 2010
I bought this alarm clock because I was consistently hitting 'snooze' on my regular alarm clock about 5 or 6 times before actually waking up. If you think waking up at 5:30am is bad, imagine waking up at 5:30am to a loud, crass alarm and a pitch black room. Snooze just 4 more times? Yeah that sounds good.

After getting over the initial sticker shock, I was pretty psyched to give the unit a shot. Unboxing and set up were a piece of cake, and I had the clock/alarm set up and ready to go in about 5 minutes or so.

The unit itself is attractive enough, but somewhat resembles a trash can with a clock embedded in it.

But I don't really care *that* much about aesthetics if it can do its job. I opted for the bird chirping noises for the audio portion of the alarm, as I there is no way I'm going to choose the beep option and I'd rather stab myself repeatedly in the ear with a rusty fork than wake up to the radio.

As lame as it sounds, I was excited to see how things turned out, so I woke up numerous times throughout the night waiting for the light to start coming on. And sure enough, it began to get brighter 30 minutes prior to my alarm time. Once it hit full intensity (and the birds started chirping), I decided to snooze once.

Unfortunately, it seems that you can only snooze the audio portion. In my less-than-awake state, I managed to not only turn off the light, but the alarm itself. Woke up at 6:38am. Was supposed to leave for work at 6:30am.


Thankfully, after some trial and error, I've had nothing but success with this alarm clock. It is a million times nicer to wake up to light and some birds than an alarm clock that makes me want to keep a sledgehammer next to my nightstand in order to turn it off every morning.

My only gripes about the unit are that the light is not 'snoozeable' and that there aren't more nature sounds included to wake up to.

Beyond the hefty price tag, this alarm clock rocks.
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VINE VOICEon October 25, 2010
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I've been waiting for a few weeks to review this wake-up light - I wanted to give a review based on long-term use. In a nutshell, I LOVE THIS LIGHT! Even though it looks exceedingly awkward with my bedroom decor, I tolerate its modern appearance because it is the best way I can ever imagine to wake up! I chose a chime setting for the "alarm," but you can't really call it an alarm, even though it wakes you up. The light comes on slowly - you can choose the level you want it to approach from 20 levels - and somehow, when the alarm goes off, it is actually enjoyable. Yes, I said "enjoyable"! I wake feeling rested and ready to face my preparation for the day. Sometimes I feel like I am just on the edge of waking when the lovely chimes sound - that's the effect of the gentle, gradually increasing light. Because the light is adjustable, you choose how much is just enough to help you wake gently and refreshed. There are a few alarm settings, but the chimes are fine with me. I have recommended this light to everyone in my family. Now, I have two children who are very, very hard sleepers and can sleep through an extra-loud alarm. I don't know if this light would work for them. But I still have been singing its praises far and wide! This morning our power was turned off for a short time because of a maintenance issue. I didn't have my Phillips wake-up light to wake me, and I really missed it! (Yes, I said I missed my alarm!) This would be a great gift for "the person who has everything" because of its unique and useful nature. It has made a believer out of me - even with its high price tag! In fact, I think it's unfair to call this high-priced - when it is so very useful and enjoyable. Let's call it "worth the money."

UPDATE: I love this product so much that I gave it to both of my sons for Christmas, 2010. One, the nurse, began using it immediately and loved it immediately for his very early-morning wake-ups. He feels it's pleasant and effective. He uses the chime, while I switched to the bird call in the spring. Meanwhile, the other son resisted using it for six months, declaring that there was no way it would wake him up. He was going to sell it on an auction site without trying it. He just began a new job last week, though, and decided to give the alarm a go. He really loves it! So here are two more ENTHUSIASTIC recommendations from my family!

UPDATE: It's now June 13, 2012. I've been using this wonderful light for over a year and a half. It is still on the first light bulb. I still love it. My sons still love theirs. I convinced my hair stylist to get one and she is in love with it. She has convinced friends and family to buy this light. I feel like I should be getting a commission! It's a truly great product!!!
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