Pros: Compact, effective and natural feeling alarm clock.
Cons: The birds!
We don't like being woken up suddenly with loud noises, so traditional alarm clocks are used sparingly in our household (reserved for times where we *have* to be up early e.g. to catch a plane etc.). We have an MP3 playing alarm clock (which I love and will try to review later), but my wife wanted something more *natural* feeling, so we decided to give this a try.
The concept is simple - you set the alarm time for when you want to wake up, then about half an hour before that time the light starts to, very slowly, light up. It reaches the brightness you have set at the time you want to wake up. It's supposed to mimic sunrise. And it does that very well. At the start, there's not really enough light to wake you, but if you do, you could grab a few more Zs. By the time it's reached full daybreak, it's quite hard to sleep through.
However, if you can sleep through the light, that is then followed by a recording of songbirds twittering away. Which would be nice if it weren't for the fact that the recording is quite a short loop, so it becomes very irritating very quickly. Of course, that might be the plan, to make it so irritating that it works like an alarm clock...but that was what we were trying to get away from! Apparently there's a different sound we can use, so we'll have to figure that one out!
It's not too big, so it fits quite easily on a bedside cabinet. It's also bright enough to read by, so you don't need to have a reading light in addition. Apparently the bulbs last a good amount of time - we've been using it pretty much daily since April, and it's still going strong.
The LED display is orange for the time, so that's dim enough to be untroubling, and it's relatively easy to set the alarm and brightness of the light. All we need to find now is a way to turn off the birds!