Lumie Bodyclock STARTER 30 Review
- The Good: The Lumie Bodyclock STARTER 30 is a fantastic product for anyone who suffers with seasonal affective disorder (SAD). For everyone else, the medically certified ‘sunrise simulation’ will help you wake up with more energy and improve your productivity and mood throughout the day.
- The Bad: This is very much Lumie’s ‘introductory’ range and as such lacks some key features such as a snooze button. It’s also a bit fiddly in terms of set-up and controls and has a slightly cheap-feeling plastic construction.
- The Bottom Line: If you don’t want to spend a fortune and you just want to find out whether a ‘daylight alarm’ can help you to feel better in the mornings, then this is a great starting point. Most importantly, it’s enough to make a huge difference for many people’s quality of life.
The Lumie STARTER 30 is a device that aims to help combat the symptoms of SAD by providing an approximation of ‘natural light’ in the mornings. This is an alarm and a ‘sunrise simulator’ that will gradually wake you up with light over a 15-30 minute period before sounding an alarm and the bright light falls within the spectrum necessary to convince your brain that it’s really coming from the sun.
SAD is a condition characterized by depression and tiredness presenting itself during the winter months as the nights draw in. This is caused by a lack of bright sunlight to stimulate the release of cortisol and suppression of melatonin in the brain. Even those who aren’t diagnosed with SAD will often feel groggier in the mornings when it’s darker outside for this same reason and ‘natural light therapy’ has been demonstrated to drastically improve productivity in several studies.
At the same time, the gradual brightening of the Lumie helps to rouse you from the deeper stages of sleep rather than ‘jolting’ you awake with a start like most alarms. This can prevent ‘sleep inertia’ that can typically dampen productivity and energy for up to two hours otherwise.
In short, the Lumie STARTER 30 should help to treat SAD but it will also benefit everyone by providing a more natural wake up. If you ever struggle to get up out of bed, or if you find yourself feeling rough in the mornings, then the Lumie STARTER 30 might be a worthwhile investment.
The Lumie STARTER 30 is the cheapest option available from Lumie compared with the ‘ACTIVE 250’ or the ‘ELITE 300’. As such, it lacks some of the more advanced settings and features of those products.
Nevertheless, you do still get a few nice features with this model. These include:
- 15 or 30 minute sunrise settings
- Dimmable LED clock so you aren’t kept awake by the time
- A ‘sunset’ feature that gradually gets darker while you read in bed to get you ready for sleep
- Internal memory that stores the time and alarm settings when unplugged
There are a few features that are notable in their absence, however. These include a snooze button and the option to change the sound of the alarm. Unfortunately, the alarm is a somewhat unpleasant bleeping noise that seems to go against the whole point of the Lumie brand. It would be much better if you could set the alarm to wake you up with the sound of birds or something else a little more ‘natural’ – but as you’re mostly awake by the time the buzzer comes on, it isn’t too much of a deal breaker.
The lack of a snooze button is also a little bit of an omission and is something that a lot of customers might miss. This could be a blessing in disguise seeing as ‘snoozing’ is actually the surest way to make yourself feel worse when you do eventually get up.
Customer Reviews and Scores
Features aside, the most important thing is that the device works in making you feel better in the mornings. Fortunately, the reviews for the product seem largely very positive and the device currently has four stars on amazon from 515 customer reviews. Here are a couple of excerpts from reviews on the site:
“I’ll get straight to the point; just how good is it to wake up to a simulated ‘sunrise’? Really, really good… For myself, it is the equivalent of someone slowly opening the blinds in my bedroom and letting a warm sheen of light enter, which slowly makes me more and more alert to the point that when I do open my eyes, I think to myself “Yikes, did I leave the light on?”. The difference I’ve felt compared to the more startling “BEEP-BEEP… BEEP-BEEP’ almost giving me a heart-attack is ridiculously positive. It’s incredible to think that a simple light has stopped me from waking up with persistent yawns and a heavy head.” – Picard
“After considering the more expensive light alarms, I plumped for the Lumie……so glad I did. I normally struggle to get up as soon as the dark mornings come around, big time, but this has transformed my mornings. The sunrise gradually lights up over about half an hour and I awake gradual and refreshed. Don’t know the science behind it, just that it works. I don’t use the audible alarm sound, don’t need to. If you have difficulty waking up in the dark, give this a try. So worth the money, couldn’t recommend it highly enough……brilliant!” – ArleenW
Of course not every review is positive and a few users have complained that the device is easy to break or that the controls are fiddly to get used to. Overall though, it seems that a lot of people now swear by the Lumie STARTER 30 for waking up each morning.
Accessories and Other Products
There are no real accessories for the Lumie STARTER 30, other than the bulbs which last a long time and are relatively cheap to replace.
Alternative models include the two other Bodyclock alarms from Lumie which are the ACTIVE 250 and the ELITE 300. These offer more audio options and a radio/MP3 player respectively and also have more comprehensive and straightforward controls. Lumie also sells a desk lamp (Lumie Desklamp) with the aim of improving workplace productivity, though it is a little on the pricey side for what it is.
The Philips Wake-Up line is a similar range of products with slightly different features including the ability to customize your preferred level of brightness. The reviews and prices are similar, so ultimately it will probably come down to which design and additional features you prefer. The Lumie Model is somewhat sleeker, though neither are about to win any design awards.
Overall, the Lumie STARTER 30 is a smart product that may well help you wake up feeling more energetic and to overcome any SAD symptoms. The concept is based on solid research and the reviews are outstanding. It really is worth giving it a go if you’ve ever struggled waking up in the morning as it could really make a difference to the way you feel. If you’re looking for more functions, then it might be worth shelling out a bit more for one of the other models but as a starting point this is a clever and well-designed device.