Users have the option to choose from several sounds, all remarkably clear in tone at any volume (we could hear one of our neighbor's bird chirps as we passed by their room), our personal favourite being an ambient and warm repetitive note that sure beats the pants off the typical high pitched kick in the ear drum that makes waking each morning less about waking into the day than being yanked right into it. Of course, the wake up chime itself may not be enough to wake up sleepyheads who use the snooze button regularly, the innovation being the alarm's sunrise simulating light system that increasingly brightens into your programmed wake-up hour. Impressively, the light did exactly what it advertises to do, using both an increasing volume partnered with the progressive lighting over a 30 minute span to ease us into consciousness. And although the Philips' Wake-Up Light cannot make up for the lack of sleep we experienced during our stay, the system did make the process of waking up an easier and more pleasant experience (it also might have had something to do with the fact we were sleeping in a luxe king sized mattress).
The form factor is minimal and handsome, albeit a bit larger than a typical bedside alarm clock. We'd love to see a horizontal-rectangular version for those of us with limited bedside space. But considering this double as a bedside lamp, the Philips Wake-Up Light may save room by eliminating the need for a separate lamp. The user interface is simple enough to operate with nary a gander at any instructions, with a red display which glows from behind its milky white plastic housing with icons and numbers that are all practically self explanatory for use. The Wake-Up Light is a bit easy to accidentally change hour/alarm settings in the process of programming a new hour, but we reckon this is mostly due to being newly acquainted with the clock. A metallic switch on the lower right seems a little out of place on the otherwise flush mount form (note, we're not as fond of the HF3461 model, but it removes the out of place switch), but otherwise the Philips Wake-Up Light's utility as unintrusive alarm and bedside lamp make it a more than worthy option as a bedside alarm.