If you’ve been hunting for the best wake up light, you’ll probably have come across the shining lights of the Lumie Bodyclock range. These are the original wake up lights, built on the idea that disturbing us from slumber with the noise of aggressive airhorns probably isn’t the best start to the day and that a gentle sunrise might be better. Makes sense, doesn’t it?
The Lumie Luxe Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB is at the top of Lumie’s range. The ‘Luxe’ part of the name might have given it away but as the most expensive of Lumie’s offerings, the 750DAB comes in five different colours (including the bright orange ‘Turmeric’), has a built in DAB digital radio, and also works as a Bluetooth speaker. It’s the most feature rich of the set, aiming not just to be a perfect light and alarm clock but good company the rest of the time too, with plenty of added features over its cheaper siblings, which include the Lumie Bodyclock Shine 300.
After just over a month of daily use, T3 is ready to deliver this Bodyclock Lumie Luxe 750DAB review.
Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB review: setup and design
Here it is. Right at the top. The worst thing about the Luxe 750DAB wake up light. For an item designed with one purpose; to be used as an alarm clock – albeit a fancy one – it’s absurdly convoluted to set on a daily basis. As someone with clear memories of having the job of changing my grandparents’ radio alarm clocks over the years, I was vividly transported back to the 'fiddly dials and buttons with four functions' of yore. And, in 2022 I don’t even have my gran to give me a nice slice of cake as a reward afterwards.
There’s no connected app here. It’s all very analogue. And I can honestly say I had to have the instruction manual next to my bed for at least a week as I gradually learned how to twist the dials and knobs in the right direction to set the alarm for the next morning. Even with four buttons and two dials, the Luxe doesn’t have nearly enough buttons for what it wants to do. Unfortunately, as someone who doesn’t have a regular wake up routine, I had to set it on a day to day basis, but if your household gets up at the same time Monday to Friday, you can set the whole week and just let the Luxe run. This means significantly less treating the Lumie like a safe to crack but it’s definitely something to think about in a world where you can just sleepily tell Alexa to set a morning alarm.
Design wise though, the Luxe is pleasing to look at, if surprisingly large. The aforementioned dials are subtle but just don’t blame me when you can’t stop seeing them as two eyes with a numbered toothy grin below. With the aerial down – more on that in a bit – this is a satisfying globe on your bedside table, and the speaker fabric is of high quality.
It’s also very easy to pop on as a regular bedside light. Turn the right dial and you can set it to an ideal brightness for reading and a press of this dial will switch between bright light for a more wakeful feel or a muted one if you’re getting ready for bed. An especially nice touch is the USB port on the rear of the Luxe, which is ideal for an Apple Watch cable or phone charger and means it doesn’t take up a precious additional plug point next to your bed.
Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB review: wake up and sunset functions
Let’s face it, this is a device that lives or dies on its central function as a wake up light. Does it work? Well, yes. You can extend the sunrise function but the default 30 minute setting is ideal to gradually increase the light levels in the room. I didn’t rely entirely on the light to wake me up as I honestly didn’t trust myself not to sleep for eternity so I selected one of the astonishing selection of wake up sounds to accompany the gentle brightness.
Lumie’s sound library is vast and dangerously specific. Whether you want to wake to robins, ospreys, or can only rouse to the very unique sound of an Oriental Scops owl, there’s a sound here for you. There’s even a fairground music option to check if you’re actually an evil clown. Overall the experience does feel very different from a blaring smartphone alarm.
The gentle light function hints that you might actually have just been wakened by the sun, and the gradual increase in brightness is a world away from that horrible rabbit-in-headlights function of just snapping on your bedside lamp. In summer you’ll find it less effective though as even with blackout curtains, I was aware that there was light elsewhere in the world as well as shining from the top of the Lumie.
But while it makes a great wake up light, the Lumie’s sunset function is by far the best addition for me. There’s no need for any convoluted fiddling with dials either. If you’ve got the light on as a bedside lamp – a press of the small sunset button means that the next 30 minutes will see a gradual decrease of warm light until it’s completely dark. This has become a nightly ritual for me and even though I tend to use my phone far later than I should, even putting your phone down and letting the last 15 minutes fade while you gaze at the ceiling is a positively meditative way to end the day.
The warmth of the light and the gentle fade means this is a world away from TikTok fashion sunset lights and even Philips Hue. It’s an exceptionally expensive night light but if you struggle to calm your brain as you get into bed, this could be an excellent investment. There are even a suite of varied sunset noises too so if you want to doze off to the sound of halyards clinking off masts in a marina or the (sometimes surprisingly aggressive) sound of a kitten purring, it’s all here in clear quality audio.
Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB review: radio and speaker functions
It’s the additional features though that make the Luxe different from the significantly cheaper Lumie Bodyclock Shine 300 but should you invest? The main addition is the DAB digital radio which truthfully, sounds great through the speaker when you find a station but is entirely reception and location dependent. Even with the 60cm aerial extended all the way I could only get a handful of very local stations working and given that you’re only going to have it in one place in your house, it’s a bit of a risk to take. It’s another element that makes the whole thing feel like we’re back in the 90s. It’s like wi-fi hasn’t been invented. The speaker has a warm soundscape when you do find a station but you’ll have to be content to make do with what you can get.
Where this wakeup light is much more reliable – and up to date – is as a Bluetooth speaker. You have to select the Bluetooth audio mode, by pressing one of the corner buttons until the Bluetooth symbol appears, but it’s exceptionally speedy to pair with an iPhone and the sound is bright enough for a bedside speaker. Again though, Amazon’s 4th gen Echo is sitting at under £50 so you definitely aren’t buying this for its speaker functionality. As a bonus extra, it’s a nice touch.
Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB review: verdict
As a sunset and sunrise light, the Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750DAB is a genuinely lovely experience, that’s absolutely worth learning to set. The additional functionality though is questionable if you already listen to the radio on your phone and it’s a sizeable investment compared to the much cheaper Shine 300. If you find it on sale and really want that USB and Bluetooth speaker, it’s absolutely worth it but it’s hard to recommend the full package at full price. And just remember to make friends with the instruction manual.