Now here’s a great idea that gave me one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?” feelings when I first saw it. It’s the Rise & Shine Deluxe Natural Alarm Clock Bedside Lamp from Verilux. This company sells a variety of illumination products. I actually reviewed their HappyLite Mini Ultra earlier this month. The Rise & Shine combines a clock, radio and lamp all in one device.
Available in Ivory and Graphite, the base of the lamp is 6.5 inches wide. The overall height with the shade installed is 20.25 inches and the shade width is 11 inches. The style of this device would probably be considered modern given the built in display and buttons. That said, it should fit reasonably well with most bedroom decoration schemes.
The main controls for the lamp are located on the front and base of the unit. The large knob in the center controls the intensity of the light. Press this button to toggle the light on and off, and twist the knob left or right to dim or brighten the output. The lamp uses a 2000hr 60w natural spectrum Xenon bulb that puts out the light equivalent to a regular 150w bulb.
Below the knob are large easy to access buttons that control power to the radio and built-in ambient sound playback. The Rise & Shine has 8 pre-programmed nature sounds (Birds, Harbor, Town, Brook, Surf, Forest, Rain, and Wind). You can wake or go to sleep to the sounds. Some are better than others though. The Town recording is pretty annoying with it’s crowing roosters and chiming clock noises ;o)
Below the Sounds and Radio buttons is the 3.5in (diagonal) screen. All the information regarding the current time, date and alarm settings are visible at all times on this screen. Another feature of the screen is that it is backlit with 7 cycling colors. You can either allow it to continually cycle or lock it into a fave color by pressing a button on the side of the lamp.
Buttons along the base control the alarm settings. The Wake button lets you choose if you want to wake up to light, sound or both. The large bar button in the middle is the Snooze button. If you hold down this button, it will reset (silence) an active alarm. To the Right of the Snooze button is the Sleep button. You can use this button as a timer for the lamp and / or sounds / radio. After 5 – 60 minutes, the light and / or sounds will turn off.
On the Right side of the lamp you find the radio tuner dial, AM/FM switch, Display brightness dim/low switch, color mode lock / unlock toggle button and the volume adjustment button.
I was a little disappointed when I found out that radio could not be digitally tuned by looking at the display. Instead you have to look at the dial where the frequencies are printed in small type. Bleh…
The AC adapter power jack, speaker jack and antenna wire are all located on the back of the Rise & Shine. Regarding the power adapter, it’s a largish sized brick with an 8ft long cord. There’s also a battery compartment built into the bottom of the base. It holds 4 AA batteries (not included) The batteries keep your time and alarm settings backed up for 48hrs in the event of a power failure. If the power is off, you can’t use the batteries to power the lamp.
A small pillow speaker is included with each Rise & Shine lamp. You can use this speaker to listen to the radio and other sounds without disturbing your bed buddy.
The whole idea behind the Rise & Shine has to do with balancing the Circadian rhythms in our bodies by simulating the rising and setting sun.
The way it works is that you program in the time you want to wake up. Say that’s 6:00am. Then you set the wake time cycle. This can be either 5, 15, 30 or 60 minutes. If you choose 30 minutes for example, the alarm would activate at 5:30am. If the alarm is set to use light and sound, the lamp will turn on at the dimmest setting and the sounds will start playing at the lowest volume. Every few minutes, the light and sound intensity and volume will increase until the light is at full bright (see the images above for light examples) and the sound / radio is at a moderate volume level.
For me, the sounds tend to wake me up before the light does. I think I sleep with my eyes closed pretty tightly. I also have a habit of pulling the covers over my head a bit. If you’re the same type of sleeper, you might not find the light feature of this lamp to be that helpful as far as aiding you in waking up. Also, if you sleep on the opposite side of the bed, you might not notice the light part of the alarm as much as the person that sleeps on that side. I did notice however, that once I was awake that it was easier for me to get out of bed with the room lit up. It helped me feel less groggy.
I did notice a couple of issues using the alarm functions. The main issue is that when the lamp first turns on at the dimmest setting, there is a noticeable humming noise. The noise slowly goes away as the intensity of the light increases.
The Rise & Shine also only allows you to set 1 alarm. Since it has date (day, month, year) settings, it seems like it would be easy to add the ability to set extra alarms based on day of the week. I’d especially like to see a weekend alarm setting.
Then there’s one more minor annoyance with alarms. If you want to silence the alarm, it takes 2 steps. You have to press and hold the Snooze bar till the sound / radio stops playing and then if you also had the light as part of the alarm, you have to manually turn it off by pressing the knob. It would be more convenient if there was a simple Off button that you could press. I don’t know about you, but on the weekends when I’m half awake and want to go back to sleep, I don’t want to have to think all that much about how to turn off the alarm.
After all is said and done, I’ve enjoyed having the Rise & Shine lamp as an addition to my bedroom. It’s nice having a bedside lamp that doubles as a clock. Add the ability to set more than one alarm and I’d like it even more.
Replacement 2000hr 60w Xenon bulbs – $19.95