Earlier in the year we questioned if there was a better way to go to sleep, and in turn tested a Lumie Bodyclock to conclude, well actually, yes there is. The brand has just launched a new model - the £199 Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750D. With the combination of greater realism from its lighting and the introduction of sound, we wanted to know if it is the perfect all-in-one wake-up light console that could also help with seasonal affective disorder (SAD)?
A rounded glass lamp cover and black speaker grill establishes the shape of the Lumie light as a rather friendly restful looking bedside accompaniment. Plastered with buttons and two knobs, you may have guessed there’s quite a lot of functionality of which we’ll get into shortly. Whilst the screen itself is generous in size for legibility, we think the time font could be a tad larger. Yet it was really nice to see a USB port sitting around the back (next to aux-in + power) for charging a device or playing audio from a USB stick, as this was something we previously mentioned was sadly missing from the earlier Lumie we reviewed.
Four circular buttons surround the display offering quick access functions like toggling the alarm, night-time sunset mode, settings and DAB/Bluetooth modes. Ultimately the entire set-up is made easier through the two knobs that make quick work of adjusting the volume, the brightness of the light and navigating through the system menu settings, where you’ll find the ability to adjust intricate details of the sunset and sunrise routines - like the duration time, brightness of light, brightness of display, volume and audio source choice. All-in-all we found the controls, in combination with the interface, fairly easy to get to grips with.
Radio, Speaker and White Noise
As a speaker it has ample frequency balance and won’t discredit your music library via Bluetooth, aux-in or USB. If you’re someone who spends lots of time in your bedroom, you’ll appreciate this additional functionality that has plenty of volume to boot. Furthermore there are 20+ white noise presets installed to be used as a backdrop to waking up or nodding off - ranging from rain to bird song, to cafe ambience. Finally we have the DAB/DAB+ tuner, which is speedy to change station and doesn’t hiccup out of the blue like some. The quality of sound transmitted over DAB and DAB+ is concise and the speaker set-up does well to promote the spoken word, making it a good choice for night-time podcast listening too. Additionally the radio function doesn’t explode into an audio frenzy the moment the sunrise routine is activated, but instead the volume gently increases with the intensity of light. This is particularly useful because you’ll probably want to schedule your wakeup period on the hour, when most broadcast radio stations have news bulletins, and you don't want to waste the advantage of any helpful SAD light effect through being bombarded by immediate loud and bleak pieces of news.
Does it make it easier to wake up?
Being awoken by sunlight has a strangely energising response when you’re camping outdoors, and the Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750D recreates that environment better than anything else we’ve used. The concept works, and we felt that on these dark and shivery winter mornings, the improved sunrise functionality over the Bodyclock IRIS 500 we reviewed earlier in the year, makes the 750D more effective; and it had most of our testers conscious within the light cycle, unaided by any audible alarm. Noted by our testers is that the ambience of light from the Luxe 750D captures the sun's cycle and saturation with greater accuracy, although the previous model admittedly outputted a cooler tone. With the 750D the LEDs move from an accurate orange hue, like the sun as it begins to rise, to a bright cooler white; as opposed to the sunset where a low-blue light option is automatically present. Both can be configured to run between 15 to 90 minute durations, with the above mentioned additional preferences used in our review.
Not everyone is the same, and one of our testers felt an audible alarm was still necessary, opting for a singing robin. In fact, because they were so enthusiastic about the audio function, the rest of us gave it a whirl - although originally thinking it was just for tinnitus sufferers and deeper sleepers. It turns out it’s rather calming to awake to bird song when the outside is actually pitch black! One criticism: some white noise pieces are segregated from the sunrise presets and vice-versa, why? We want to choose rainfall to wake up to; it’s strangely calming! One thing we did miss with the Bodyclock Luxe 750D over the previously reviewed model, is that it doesn’t feature the aromatherapy functionality that also helped sooth us in and out of the land of nod.
The latest Lumie Bodyclock Luxe 750D comes with notable improvements, making the case for owning a wake-up light ever more attractive, and the new light sequence better emulated the realism of a sunrise for our testers on these dismal dark mornings. Of course, underpinning this new variant is Bluetooth functionality for audio streaming your music, DAB+ radio and the 20+ white noise sound cycles to aid your sleeping habits - something that tinnitus sufferers will rejoice in having. The inclusion of aromatherapy functionality would be the cherry on the cake in future models.