Product Name: Philips HF3510 Wake-Up Light
Original Review Date: 4 August 2016
Updated Review Date: 14 August 2018
Price Guideline: $$$
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Note: All images used in this review have been kindly provided with the permission of Philips Healthcare
The Philips HF3510 Wake Up Light delivers where it really matters – a fantastic simulated sunrise despite a few other minor flaws.
- Editor Rating 86% 86%
Simulated sunrise wake-up light
Light gradually increases over a period of 30 minutes prior to alarm
Dimming display with 20 brightness settings
Choice of three different natural sounds to wake up to
Dusk simulation – go to sleep to a fading light
Digital clock face with four brightness settings
LED bulb (included)
Rubber anti-slip feet
Product Dimensions: 10.3 (height) x 10.6 (diameter) x 7.9 (depth) inches
Product Weight: 1.8 pounds
Shipping Weight: 3.3 pounds
Number of alarms: 1
Snooze button for sounds: 9 minutes
Light intensity: 300 lux
Sunrise simulation colours: Yellow and orange
Power output adapter: 12W
In The Box
Philips HF3510 Wake-Up Light
Wake Up Light Review
So How Does It Work?
The instructions recommend that the first time you use your Philips HF3510 you place it 40 to 50cms from your head.
You program in your alarm and set the maximum brightness you want it to reach (there are 20 different settings) and then the next morning it will start to illuminate 30 minutes before your desired time.
So say you have it set for 7am, it will start to come on at 6.30am and reach full brightness by 7am.
The alarm also has three natural sounds that can play. These are birds chirping, a light zen-like music and birds chirping with music. If you choose to have these playing then once the light reaches it full brightness your chosen natural sound will play, gradually increasing in volume.
If you don’t want one of the natural sounds to play then you can also choose to be awoken by the FM radio. Hit snooze and the radio or wake-up sound you’ve chosen will turn off for nine minutes before coming back on.
The light also acts as a dusk simulator. Put it on at your required brightness, select the time period you want it to dim over (from five to 60 minutes) and then sit back and read/relax in bed until the light gradually goes out.
The wake-up light itself is really nice and, lets face it, that is the primary reason you buy these things. It uses several LED bulbs and Philips have done a good job of diffusing the LEDs so that the surface produces a uniform smooth glow and not bright points of light.
It has a nice warm glow and changes from orange to yellow, doing a great job of simulating a rising sun.
Many of the more recent models of wake-up lights use LED bulbs which have great advantages over halogen bulbs. Yes they aren’t replaceable but they last 10,000+ hours, have a lower energy usage and higher energy efficiency, give off no radiation and are much cooler than traditional halogen bulbs which get very hot.
Also as it uses LED lights it won’t get hot at all no matter how long you have it on.
The Philips HF3510 offers three different nature sounds to wake up to, or the FM radio. The great thing about the nature sounds offered is, not only are they very pleasant, they don’t have the repetitive sound of being on a loop. It is a loop recording, but the loop is so long that you really don’t notice it.
The sounds offered are birds chirping, some zen-like piano music and a different selection of birds chirping with music. These sounds begin softly after the light has illuminated and then build up slowly in volume.
This is also the first in the Philips range of wake-up lights to give off 300 lux of light and offer a sunset simulation. The sunset simulation is very nice and you can set it to last anything from 5 to 60 minutes. It will then gradually and unnoticeably dim, hopefully lulling you to sleep!
You can use the HF3510 as a bedside lamp, and you can control the lamp brightness separately from the wake-up light brightness. So you could use it at brightness level 10 for reading in bed and have the wake-up light set to go up to brightness level 20 in the morning, which is useful.
One of the main problems with the Philips HF3510 is the fact that the control buttons are hard to find and identify.
The majority of the controls are around the rim of the clock, all the same size (which is quite small) and very difficult to navigate at first when you are reaching from bed, in the semi-darkness and a little groggy from sleep. Finding the right button can be difficult at first.
Secondly this wake-up light is initially quite difficult to use. Be prepared at first to spend a little while sitting down to set your alarm, or turn the light off and/or sound off, etc, etc. The process isn’t as user friendly as it could be and the user manual isn’t a huge amount of help – it is a collection of slightly bewildering pictographs.
But with regards to both of these, like many things, it is something that once you’ve been using the wake-up light for a while they will both cease to become issues as you get your head around how it works.
The model doesn’t have a proper battery back-up – so if you have a power outage you will need to reset everything. However it does keep the time during short power failures, or if you move the clock from one room to another etc.
What might be a slight annoyance to some is that you cannot dim the time display completely so it will continue to glow at night. If you are highly sensitive to any kind of light when you are trying to sleep you might want to bear this in mind. It does have four adjustable settings though and at its lowest level it is dimmed considerably.
The other issues are fairly inconsequential. The bulbs are LED so cannot be replaced, however they have a 10,000 life span so that should not be an issue.
There is only one alarm you can set, so if you have to get up at a different time each day you will need to reset the alarm and there is no ability to preset particular radio stations, use a headphone jack or receive AM radio.
It looks great! Or at least I think it does. It is an attractive product and fits into any home with a modern décor. It has a stylish, simplistic design and is about as pretty an alarm clock as you can get. The one area where the design could have been improved was the placement of those damn buttons around the rim of the clock…
How Does It Compare To Other Philips Models?
|Name||Philips HF3470||Philips HF3500||Philips HF3505||Philips HF3510||Philips HF3520|
|Sunrise simulation duration||30 min||30 min||30 min||Adjustable (20-40min)||Adjustable (20-40min)|
|Colors in sunrise simulation||Yellow||Yellow||Yellow||Orange, Yellow||Red, Orange, Yellow|
|Maximum light intensity||200 lux||200 lux||200 lux||300 lux||300 lux|
|Number of wake-up sounds||2||1||2||3||3|
|Number of alarms||1||1||1||1||2|
And Does It Work?
Yes. User feedback indicates that generally the vast majority of users wake up more gently, feel more energised and in a better mood when they wake.
The gentle rousing by the light is a much less stressful way to rise, with one user saying they love the Philips HF3510 so much they would buy it a million times over! Another said that they had bought many expensive alarm clocks in their life but none had worked as effectively as this one.
Research has proved that wake up lights have a beneficial effect on sleep, waking, mood and energy. There are numerous studies proving this but here are just a few:
Lovely natural light to wake up to
User operation difficult due to poor placement of controls
Three very relaxing and realistic nature sounds to wake up to
Quite complicated to use at first
Great sunset simulation
No real battery backup
Clock display might be intrusive
Lovely design and sleek look
Philips have a great brand name and have put a great deal of time and effort into making the wake-up light as effective and realistic as possible. It delivers on that front with a warm, natural, smooth light that will gentle rouse you from sleep.
They do seem to have spent less time on researching the user experience though as it can be fiddly to set alarms and operate the HF3510. Be prepared that if you buy this there might be a period of frustration as you get your head around how everything works!
It is slightly pricey, but worth the money as the wake-up light is so nice. However if you see this and the Philips HF3520 for a similar price then go for the latter as the HF3520 has an extra programmable alarm, adjustable sunrise duration and an even better (probably the best) wake-up light.
All in all though another very good Philips Wake-Up Light.
- EDITOR RATING 86% 86%
As an alternative you might want to look at the next step up the Philips HF3520 Wake Up Light which has more functions and adjustable settings than this and is cheaper.
If you would like to leave your personal review or experience of this product, or if you have any questions, please do leave them below. I would love to hear your feedback!
About The Reviewer
Lead Editor, Product Tester & Writer
Steve first noticed he might be suffering from SAD in Autumn 2011. After 18 months travelling the world (and following the sun!) he returned to England in March 2011 and was plunged back into grey skies and cloud!
Find out more about the Shine A Light On SAD Review Team.