As many of you know I work shift work. So getting to sleep during odd hours of the day and night can often be a problem. So I started experimenting with Philips Hue Bulbs to see if I can implement a DIY wake up light system for my bedroom.
The Philips Hue app has a nice free setting that enables you to set up a schedule for your smart lights to come on at a predetermined time and slowly get brighter over say 1/2 hour.
The main reason was that I wanted to test out a Sunrise Alarm clock but I didn’t want to waste my money if it didn’t work for me. So I had some Philips Hue smart light globes which were perfect to test out the newly added feature to the official Hue App.
DIY Wake Up light Cheap
There are a few apps to help you set up your DIY Sunrise Alarm Clock. If you already have your Philips Hue system running, it’s a simple process to add in your app of choice to set it up once. If you haven’t yet set up your light or are looking to purchase some smart lighting check out this post on how to install and configure your Philip Hue light globes.
Philips make some amazing lighting products especially their Hue range, which I am a big fan of. Most of their products we have reviewed on this site, from their normal generation 3 Hue dimmable light globes to:
- Philips Hue Light Strips
- Hue Bloom
- Philips Hue Go lamp
- To mechanical Hue dimmer and Tap switches, if you don’t have access to a phone or tablet.
We show you how to use the Official Philips Hue app to make the DIY sunrise wake up alarm, use IFTTT.com (If this then that) to program your lights for various alarms and scenarios. Finally, we will explain the features of the amazing app Sleep as Android.
Configuring Philips Hue App for Sunrise
Philips Hue, LIFX, and Belkin Wemo are a few or the more quality smart lights out on the market at the moment. Each one has its own pros and cons so its best to stick with one brand for the full user experience. There are a few other brands out there that are cheaper, but the quality isn’t there yet.
- To create a Sunrise wake-up alarm using your Philips Hue lights, start by opening up the official Hue app on your phone or tablet and select “Routines” at the bottom or at the top depending on if you are Android or Apple fan.
- Select “Wake up” and tap on the round plus (+) button in the bottom-right corner of the screen. This will add in a new routine.
- Give the sunrise wake-up alarm a custom name if you will have a few different alarms.
- Next, swipe up and down on the numbers to select a time that you want to wake up. Keep in mind that this will be the time that the lights will be at full brightness once they finish fading in, so adjust this time accordingly.
- Below, that select the days of the week that you want the dawn sunrise alarm set on.
- Next, tap on “Fade in”. You can select either 10, 20, or 30 minutes, which is the amount of time your lights will take to slowly fade in—going from dim to full brightness. So if you set this for 10 minutes and set the time for 6 am, the lights will first turn on and begin fading in at 5:50 am.
- Once you have that set, go back by tapping on the back arrow in the top-left corner and then tap on “Where?”. This is where you will set what rooms or lights to turn on. Place a check-mark next to the room that you want to turn on and activate. Once selected, press the back arrow.
- Go back and then hit “Save” in the top-right corner of the screen.
- Your DIY wake-up alarm will show up at the top, where you can tap on the toggle switch to the right to disable or enable it manually at any time. You can create more than one wake up the alarm if you wish by tapping on the round plus button and going through the previous steps again.
Congratulations if you have followed all the steps you now have a DIY Wake up Light alarm clock for no extra money spent.
Using IFTTT Simulated DIY Sunrise Alarm Clock for Hue
Turn your Philips Hue lights into a simulated DIY sunrise wake-up light alarm clock. When connected to the internet via the Hue Bridge. No need to buy a standalone sunrise wake-up lamp.
This is accomplished using IFTTT (If This Then That by Baszs.)
Just set the time and which days of the week you would like to wake up. Select which hue lights to turn on at the same time. Mix and match to make the perfect sun color. It’s like waking up with the sunrise every day.
Just sign up to an IFTTT account its free, add it to the Philips Hue, and turn on the recipe. As this is an internet-connected recipe make sure you have a stable connection to your Hue Bridge. I ended up having to set up a Static Ip Address for the Hue bridge hub to stop the dropouts.
I have been trailing out the Sleep as Android app for a few months now to help with my night shift work schedule. It’s a Smart alarm clock with sleep cycle tracking that works on a phone or tablet. It wakes you gently in the optimal moment for pleasant mornings depending on your sleep cycle.
Normal buzzer alarm clocks don’t care when they wake you up, you just set a time and it shocks you awake. The Sleep as Android will look at your sleep cycle pattern and wake you, when not in a deep sleep. During the night or day, if you are a shift worker, your body follows its natural sleep cycles. Your body clock sleep cycle will go from a light sleep to a very deep sleep. Occasionally you will fall into the REM-sleep mode, which is where you will begin to dream.
Sleep as Android is fully compatible with Philips Hue lighting so that the smart hue bulb will be controlled by the app to simulate a sunrise. It does this by starting at a low red intensity and gradually gets too bright and yellow over time.
IF you have a smartwatch, you may be able to access some other features. This then enables you to place your phone on your table, not have to have your phone on your bed. Your smartwatch will detect movement and vibrations. Supported watches for Sleep as Android are
- Pebble (1 and 2, all variants)
- Android Wear: will install automatically on your watch
- Microsoft Band (1, and 2)
- Samsung Gear 1, Gear S: install “Sleep As Android – Gear Companion” from Gear Store
- Samsung Gear S2, S3 (not Fit): install “Sleep As Android – Native Gear Companion” from the Gear store
- Xiaomi Mi Band 2
Note : Some smartwatches may require an extra update or patch to work correctly.
Sleep as Android Features:
– Deep sleep cycle tracking with a special smart wake up zone which uses your phone’s or wearable sensors (2 weeks trial).
– Optional Pebble, Android Wear or Galaxy Gear smartwatch tracking support
– Google Fit, Samsung S Health integration
– Smart LED light bulb control dawn simulator with Philips HUE and LIFX (through IFTTT)
– Sleep deficit, deep sleep and snoring statistics recorded and stored.
– Facebook, Twitter sharing of your sleeping habits.
– Gentle volume natural sounding alarms (birds, sea, storm.) as well as phone playlists.
– Nature sound lullabies (whales, storm, sea, chants.) with binaural tones (auditory illusion perceived with two different pure-tone sine waves) for a faster falling asleep environment.
– Spotify integration or online radio music alarm.
– Never oversleep again with CAPTCHA wake up verification (Math, Sheep counting, Phone shaking, Bathroom QR code or NFC tag) Force you to get up.
– Sleep talk recording, snoring detection and anti-snoring triggers.
– Jet lag prevention technology.
– Sleep Apnea pre-screening with many more features added constantly.
At the End of the Day
If you find that you are waking up in a more positive and more energetic way, after using your smart lights to simulate the sunrise, then you may benefit with a stand-alone Philips Sunrise alarm clock. These will be brighter than the globes in the ceiling or a table lamp and can give you a very good dawn simulator sunrise.
I ended up buying the clock linked above. Although the Hue globes were working well, I needed a more in my face bight wake-up light. I also needed a great sound experience along with the time, radio etc.
We also installed an under bed light lighting kit that is motion sensing, which turned out to be a great feature. No more stumbling at night so check out our review and installation procedure.
But experiment with what works best for you in your location and sleep cycle. That way you too can wake a refreshed and ready to take on the world.