The Lumie Bodyclock STARTER 30 is a simple and elegant dawn simulator from Lumie, the Cambridge-based company who invented the bodyclock wake-up light. Timing light to go out gradually is a technique used to manage issues around sleep and can promote better sleep and healthier sleep patterns. The theory behind the concept is that light is perceived through the eyelids and as the light brightens, your body produced less melatonin and more cortisol. Also, being woken up by light is more natural and soothing than relying on a loud alarm clock.
The STARTER 30 has a 30 minute simulated sunrise. The time set on the device is when the sunrise will start and after 30 minutes the light in the room feels like the equivalent of waking up on a summer’s morning with the curtains open. I moved the unit out of the bedroom and with the door open – it worked for all the upstairs bedrooms – so if you have kids who sleep with their door open, one clock in the hallway could work for all of them – provided they all get up at the same time.
There no programmable feature for the alarm, I had to remember to press the button every evening to activate the light/alarm for the morning.
The evening sunset is on a 30 minute timer as well and is triggered by pressing the middle button, which simultaneously sets the morning sunrise at the same time. It is not possible to use the light in the evening if you have set the alarm already as the light dims out over 30 minutes. It is possible to dim the light to a preferred level, a feature I found incredibly useful as a parent. Half an hour of light is too long for a preschooler’s bedtime and the full light was much too bright, I set it at about 50% brightness when my daughter went to bed and after about 15 minutes, it was emitting virtually no light.
Bedside and night light
The dimmable light works great in the evenings as a bedside light. It remains at the light setting chosen indefinitely and can be turned up or down gradually with two buttons. The display is fully dimmable at night for those who prefer to sleep in complete darkness or it can be left on as a night light.
The STARTER 30 has a digital clock, an optional beep alarm, snooze and a power failure back-up feature. I did not feel the need to use any of these. The light woke me up pleasantly each morning and I felt more alert than usual and had no desire to hit the snooze once in a month.
Size: H15cm x W19cm x D12cm
Weight: 760 g
Battery: Back-up battery for power failure
Certification: Certified Medical Device (Class 1)
Guarantee: 2 years
Plugs into mains outlet socket.
The text on the display is large and easy to read. The visual display is used to set the alarm and shows the time and a single sun indicator, but once the alarm is set, it is not required for day-to-day use. The three buttons used to activate the alarm, decrease and increase the light is easy to find and use. The STARTER 30 is accessible to anyone with colour blindness or a visual impairment, including blind users.
Dawn simulation has great potential for anyone who experienced photophobia (light sensitivity) and I found it invaluable during a migraine episode as I could dim the light to a comfortable level. The full brightness is much too bright for me to tolerate comfortable first thing in the morning, but as I woke up fifteen minutes into the cycle, I just pressed the button to deactivate the alarm and kept the light at about a 50% brightness setting.
The only sound on the unit is an optional audible alarm. It is perfectly accessible to anyone with a hearing impairment or condition like chronic tinnitus as well as deaf users. It makes no audible noise which also makes it accessible to those who experience sensory overload or have hyperacusis (sensitivity to sound). There are models that also include a white noise generator or other sounds which is something to consider for small children and those with tinnitus who may find white noise beneficial.
Input and Touch
The controls are three buttons to press or hold. Holding the middle buttons activates the settings panel and the side buttons affect the brightness. The buttons require a small amount of force to press, but they are on the small side and quite close together, which makes them ergonomic to use for most, but could make it harder for anyone with a tremor or who have issues with fine motor control. There is no requirement for speech, grip or response time and the texture of the buttons and clock in general is solid and smooth.
Ease of Use
The clock is easy to use and the written instructions are easy to follow for setting it up. Small children and anyone with a severe cognitive impairment would need some help to set it up, but once the time and alarm is set, it is controlled with just three buttons all with clear visual feedback when pressed.
Language & Math
Some language requirement to read the instructions when setting up the clock, but after that there is no requirement for either language or math skills.
Price: RRP £59.95
Included In The Box
- Lumie Bodyclock
A dawn simulation clock is a must have for every bedroom. It is particularly beneficial for anyone who experience difficulty around falling asleep and waking up and is recommended for sleep disorders like insomnia and delayed sleep phase disorder. I also found it useful for photophobia as the light is dimmable to comfortable levels, migraine episodes and the sunrise feature was particularly useful to reduce anxiety and anticipation around impending bed time for a long-term insomniac as the gradual change is much less jarring and bedtime felt more natural when it happened over 30 minutes instead of at the flick of a light switch.
I would particularly recommend it to parents of small children. It was fantastic as a night-light and clock for my daughter who found the addition of a gradual dimming light to the bed time routine very soothing and enjoyed waking up to a sunrise in her bedroom each morning. It had enough light to serve well as a night light in her room without making it so bright that she could not sleep comfortably.
The Lumie Bodyclock STARTER 30 is perfect for children and adults looking for a basic dawn simulator without additional bells and whistles that drive up the price. It looks beautiful on a bedside table, works reliably and waking up to a room filled with light is a great way to start the day.
This review is based on a Lumie STARTER 30 dawn simulator kindly provided by Lumie.