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Nowadays, the blue light given off by our electronic devices — including smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers — poses a serious threat to the quality of your sleep.

However, manipulating light can also be used in a positive way to help alter your sleeping pattern and wake you up more consistently at any time.

Light has a very special and important effect on the human body. When the day winds down and it grows dark, the body produces melatonin, a hormone produced by the pineal gland which signals to the brain that it’s time to go to sleep. When it’s time to wake up, light causes melatonin production to slow down and the body signals to the brain that it’s time to wake up.

By manipulating light in just the right way, you can trick your brain into waking up whenever you want, or at least make it more likely that you’ll do so.

Enter the dawn simulator, a device invented to help you do exactly that.

A dawn simulator is a lamp which can be set to gradually produce an artificial sunlight over a set period of time, typically over thirty minutes to two hours, that helps coax you to wake up in a natural fashion.

How could a dawn simulator be useful to you? Chances are you, you’re trying to wake up early more consistently. Or you might have Seasonal Affective Disorder (a kind of depression set off by the winter that impacts many) and want something to better regulate your circadian rhythm when winter hits.

In either case, a dawn simulator can be a useful tool that allows you to wake up naturally, more rested, and simultaneously at a specific time you decide (plus, they’re incredibly easy to use).

How we chose the best dawn simulators

To choose the best dawn simulators, we took into consideration a few basic criteria:

  • Lux (lx): Most importantly, you’ll want to take note of the lux, or light intensity, of the lamp. The higher the lux, the stronger the concentration of light. Look for a lamp with a lux of 10,000 if possible if you’re looking to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder. If not, just 250-300 lux is fine for basic dawn simulation.
  • What additional features does it offer?
  • Is there manufacturer support / a warranty offered?
  • Does it filters UV rays?
  • Price (Also what is its energy cost?)

With that out of the way, here are the seven best dawn simulators currently available:

Lumie Bodyclock Active 250 Wake-Up Light


This wake-up light by Lumie has a pleasing globe shape which emits dawn simulation, making it one of the more stylish dawn simulators. Also, it has a neat feature which allows you to turn off the LED display of the clock section so it doesn’t disrupt your sleep.
>> See it on Amazon.com

Rise & Shine Wake Up and Color Changing Light

This square-shaped dawn simulator double as an a dawn simulator and a ‘SAD’ lamp. It offers natural sounds you can set to go off in tandem with the dawn setting to simulate a complete natural setting, such as tweeting birds of the flowing of ocean waves.
>> See it on Amazon.com

Philips Wake-Up Light


The Philips Wake-Up Light offers an alarm clock on a thirty-minute dawn simulation timer. This dawn simulator is useful because it has a sound feature you can set as a backup in case the dawn simulation function doesn’t wake you up on a particular day.
>> See it on Amazon.com

Electrohome Retro Alarm Clock Radio


This dawn simulator offers an old school alarm clock design with tons of features including a backup alarm, motion-sensor night light, and LED display.
>> See it on Amazon.com

AMIR Wake-Up Light


This unique cube-shaped dawn simulator can be set on a thirty-minute timer with a combined alarm clock feature. This lamp is unique because it has three different brightness settings, so if one is too bright for you or another too dim and ineffective, you can adjust the lamp to your liking.
>> See it on Amazon.com

MOSCHE Sunrise Alarm Clock


Mosche’s Sunrise Alarm Clock has a pleasing sun-like design and not only has a wake-up dawn simulation light but also a sunset feature that makes it easier to fall asleep at the end of the day, something not seen in other daw simulation lamps.
>> See it on Amazon.com

iHome Zenergy Aroma Bluetooth Therapy Speaker


This dawn simulator by iHome doubles as a bluetooth speaker, aromatherapy, and sound therapy device all at the same time. The dawn timer can be set to thirty to ninety minutes and it has one of the most pleasing designs of the dawn simulators on this list.
>> See it on Amazon.com