Coming Out of Hibernation

What a difference an hour makes. Now that the clocks have gone forward it seems to be lighter so much later, it’s already putting a smile on my face, so much so that my face is aching from smiling so much. If only I could be sure there will be hours of golden sunshine from now until late September, it would make the achy face bearable.

It may sound strange to some people but when I woke yesterday it was almost as if I had rested for days not hours and it’s only now that I realise that for perhaps the last 3 or 4 months I’ve avoided doing very much at all when it has come to my self-employed work, personal admin, correspondence, socialising and of course…the garden! However after arriving home last night I took advantage of the light and did a bit of weeding, in an hour I’d done what I’ve been putting off doing since January.

It wasn’t until a few years ago that I really became aware of the term Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), if I’m honest I’d probably heard about it and scoffed thinking it was a load of nonsense, unaware that I happened to tick most of the boxes. A colleague at work has a SAD lamp by his desk at work, I’m not quite sure he uses it as it’s intended; it’s an alarm clock lamp, which I don’t think gives that much benefit from constant exposure.

When my colleague brought his lamp into work a few years ago I started looking into them, thinking I’d buy one but if I’m honest I’ve always been a little bit skeptical of the benefits and put off by the fairly high cost of those manufactured by a trusted brand. When I received an invite to a campaign being run by Bzzagent which included a discounted Phillips Dusk simulation Wake-up Light (HF3480) I figured that it was perhaps time I replaced my old bedside lamp which has given 15 years loyal service. 

I’ve had the unit for a little under a week so I can’t really comment on some of the claims but I can say this:

Given the relatively high price of these units I’m pretty sure they could combine a DAB radio for little to no extra cost to the buyer. My bedroom is a proverbial Bermuda Triangle when it comes to electronic signals, I get little to no mobile phone signal and the FM radio is patchy at best so the built in radio option for a wake up sound is lost on me, which is a pity as it would be nice to combine the lamp with my existing DAB clock radio, losing one item leaves more room for books I won’t finish reading.

The controls are a little fiddly the first time around. Despite carefully reading the manual and programming the alarm as I fumbled to switch the light off  on the first night I inadvertantly switched the alarm off by moving the control lever; just as well I still have the trusty DAB

The light is very bright (300 Lux for those who know about these things), I was surprised just how bright it is when at it’s brightest setting. Then again, the bulb in my old lamp is the original so is probably far from optimal brightness. It has only been in the last few days that I’ve found myself waking to the light which starts gradually increasing 30 minutes before the time the alarm is set to go off. the theory being that your body will be better adjusted to being woken gradually by the light. The first few days I tended to have a restless sleep as I kept waking wondering if I had set the alarm properly!

As I said, it’s very early days but at the discounted price I already think it’s fairly good value for money in terms of being an alarm clock/radio (even tho I can’t make use of the radio function) I particularly enjoy the dusk setting which gradually dims the light over a set period, it’s been good for forcing me to stop reading one of the many half read books on my bedside table (ok, they’re actually nearly all on my Kindle)

Phillips are running a promotion, if you order one from and use the code wakeup2011 at the checkout stage you’ll get a whopping 50% off making it a fairly reasonable £49.99. You can also find them on for around £65.  I’ll let you know in a few weeks if I’m any happier after being woken by sunlight and jungle drums.

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