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How the Philips SmartSleep Sunrise Alarm Clock Changed My Life: A Love Story

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  1. Money
  2. Knowing when to buy

Photo: Sarah Kobos

Not to be hyperbolic, but this alarm clock changed my life. It reached deep into my soul and yanked out someone I didn’t even know I had inside: a morning person. Not the type of morning person who immediately laces up their sneakers and hits the pavement, but the type who gets up before the sun to claim a little of the day for themselves. The magical span of time between 5:30 and 6:30 a.m. is completely and utterly mine (and maybe my cat’s). Most of that I owe to the Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light HF3520 sunrise alarm clock.

Our pick

It’s beauty, it’s grace, it’ll wake you up without screaming in your face. In lieu of a traditional alarm, a sunrise alarm clock helps you gently greet the day by simulating the rising sun, starting with a soft glow that slowly blooms into a bright light. Some sunrise clocks use a white light that can be a bit of a shock to the system, but the SmartSleep HF3520 starts with a red-tinted color that’s much less jarring. Over the course of 30 minutes, that hue gradually grows into a warmer yellow and then finally a bright white light. Overall, the experience is a much more satisfying and humane journey into the waking world.

In addition to the sunrise feature, this Philips alarm clock is equipped with a myriad of alarm tones that trigger after the light. It includes five different sounds ranging from birds to piano music, plus more meditative tones. All of the sounds are reasonably pleasant, but if I’m being honest, the light is effective enough on its own for me. In fact, I’m so unfamiliar with the alarm tones that I once forgot to turn off the secondary alarm and let it play out for about an hour—all the while wondering why there were so many birds outside. (I said I was a morning person—not a high-functioning morning person.)

The SmartSleep HF3520 is simple to use. You can control every function on the clock by touching the face or pressing the small arrangement of buttons along the top and sides. Although hitting snooze on your alarm can be a recipe for disaster (I won’t even check the time if I wake up in the middle of the night), you can trigger it by merely touching the face of the clock. The SmartSleep HF3520 also has a radio (though, admittedly, I have never used it), and our reviewer said it sounded just as good as that of our upgrade pick and can even work as one of the alarm tones.

Besides tools to help you wake up, the SmartSleep HF3520 is equipped to guide you to sleep, as well. It has a sunset function that works in the exact reverse of the sunrise, slowly dimming over 30 minutes until it’s totally extinguished. Whether you’re reading or simply lying in bed, it’s a nice way to ease yourself into sleep versus just shutting off the lights and calling it a night.

The SmartSleep HF3520 isn’t without flaws. As we mention in our guide to sunrise alarm clocks, its ovular, oblong shape is a little bulky and takes up quite a bit of nightstand real estate. It also lacks smart features and ports to charge your phone—though depending on how you feel about keeping your bedroom tech-free, that may be more of a feature than a flaw. Another point to consider is how heavily you sleep. I have a handful of friends who sleep like the dead. It’s an admirable quality, and they will survive the winter, but they said the clock’s gentle sunrise couldn’t get the job done. Not everyone is equipped to be gently roused from dreamland—some folks need to be ripped from sleep with the speed and volume of a freight train barreling down the tracks.

I can’t recommend this clock enough if you’re looking to make small, measurable changes to both your morning and nighttime routines. It’s semi-affordable (as far as sunrise alarm clocks go), pretty intuitive to use, and a kind departure from the traditional alarm clocks of yesteryear. It just might be the missing ingredient you’ve been looking for—it certainly was for me.

This article was edited by Ignacia Fulcher and Daniel Kim.

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Wirecutter Picks to Revamp Your Bedroom on the Cheap(ish)

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Further reading

Wirecutter is the product recommendation service from The New York Times. Our journalists combine independent research with (occasionally) over-the-top testing so you can make quick and confident buying decisions. Whether it’s finding great products or discovering helpful advice, we’ll help you get it right (the first time).

  • About Wirecutter
  • Our team
  • Staff demographics
  • Jobs at Wirecutter
  • Contact us
  • How to pitch
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Radio clock MIR RF-02 and RF-02.A

Radio clock MIR RF-02 and RF-02.A

Description
Specifications
DOCUMENTATION AND SOFTWARE

Specifications

Parameter name

Meaning

Interfaces RS-485, Ethernet
Limits of permissible absolute error of synchronization of the leading edge of the PPS output pulse with the scale of coordinated time UTC, not more than, µs
RF-02. 00
RF-02.A

± 1
±0.5

Limits of permissible absolute error of synchronization of the leading edge of the serial time code at the output of the RS-485 interface in the synchronization mode by SNS signals relative to the UTC time scale, no more than, µs ± 35
Limits of permissible absolute error of displacement of the formed time scale of modification MIR RF-02.A in the synchronization mode by SNS signals relative to the UTC coordinated time scale, not more than, µs ± 10
The limits of the permissible absolute error of the daily rate of the watch of modification MIR RF-02.A in the absence of synchronization with the SNS and the presence of power, should be no more than: ± 0.5 s/day for modification without T function;
± 0.005 s/day for modification with T function.
Limits of permissible absolute error of the daily rate of the real-time clock modification MIR RF-02. A in the absence of synchronization with the SNS, lack of power and ambient temperature in the range from minus 40 to plus 70 ° С, no more ± 0.5 s/day
Power consumption:
– when powered by a 24 V DC voltage source
– when powered by PoE technology (only RF-02.A)

2.5 W
6.49 W (class 2)
Working temperature range:
RF-02.00 with disabled heating and RF-02.A
RF-02.00 with heating on

from minus 40 to plus 70°С
from minus 50 to plus 70°С
The degree of protection against contact with current-carrying parts, as well as the degree of protection against the ingress of solid bodies and the penetration of water in accordance with GOST 14254 IP64
Weight, kg
RF-02.00
RF-02.A

0.7
0.9
Overall dimensions, mm
RF-02. 00
RF-02.A

80x82x185
90x123x255
Calibration interval, years
RF-02.00
RF-02.A

4
16
Certificates and licenses
  • Certificate of approval of the measuring instrument. Clock radio MIR RF-02, 1.8 MB

  • Certificate of approval of the measuring instrument. Radio clock MIR RF-02 in the Republic of Kazakhstan, 0.2 MB

  • Declaration of Conformity TR TS for MIR RF-02, 0.4 MB

  • Description of the type of measuring instrument. Clock radio MIR RF-02, 1.8 MB

Operating documentation
  • Clock radio MIR RF-02. Verification procedure M09.117.00.000 MP arch.4, 0.3 MB

  • Clock radio MIR RF-02. A. Operation manual M15.030.00.000 RE MIR RF-02.A arch.4, 2.2 MB

  • Clock radio MIR RF-02. Verification procedure M15.030.00.000 MP GSI arch.0, 0.6 MB

  • Radio clock MIR RF-02, RF-02.A Method of verification GSI 651-21-066 arch.0, 0.8 MB

  • Clock radio MIR RF-02. Operation manual M09.117.00.000 arch.13 , 0.8 MB

Software
  • Program RADIO CLOCK CONFIGURATOR MIR RF-02 M10.00259-01 (v1.3.8) rev.5, 0.5 MB

background

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