Most alarm clocks with a sunrise simulation cost upwards of $40. The Homelabs Sunrise Alarm Clock is only $20 and has a great selection of alarm options. The LED light display also doubles as an attractive mood light with its six colorful options. The sunrise simulation starts 30 minutes before the alarm setting and gets gradually brighter until reaching the brightest setting immediately before the alarm sounds. The brightness of the clock display and sunrise simulation are adjustable.
This alarm clock has six nature sounds and a radio alarm option. The nature sounds include ocean waves, chirping birds and lullaby songs that pair well with the sunrise simulation. This is the only alarm clock we tested with nature alarm sound options. The radio alarm has a much higher maximum volume than the nature sounds. We measured the maximum volume from two feet away, and the Homelab alarm reached almost 80 dB with a clear radio station playing. That’s about as loud as a blender and is loud enough to wake even the deepest sleeper. It also has an antenna on the back panel to improve radio reception.
The radio on this alarm clock has a scan feature that automatically finds radio stations with good reception and saves them as presets. The presets help you quickly find a different station if you want to wake up to a different morning program or news station. The durable snooze button on the top panel pauses the alarm and sunrise simulation for five minutes. However, if you want an alarm clock with an adjustable snooze time, the Sony ICFC1T has a progressive and adjustable snooze function.
The Homelabs alarm clock has a lithium button cell backup battery that saves the alarm and time settings but doesn’t allow the alarm to function during a power outage. It also has a unique power cable. The micro-USB port on the back can’t charge mobile devices because it functions as the AC power port from a wall socket. The USB cable is included in the retail packaging and plugs into any USB wall plug that you use to charge your phone or tablet.
The front panel has touch sensitive buttons to control the alarm options, current time and sleep timer. The sleep timer sets to 30 or 60 minutes and controls the LED light display that works in reverse as a sunset simulation. The clock is attached to a metal base with a slip-resistant rubber pad to keep the alarm from sliding around on a bedside table when you are fumbling around looking for the snooze button. The clock design and all the buttons feel durable and should last for many years.
The Homelabs Sunrise Alarm Clock has great alarm options in addition to the soothing sunrise simulation. The setup process is a bit more involved than most alarm clocks we tested, but once you get the hang of it, the controls are easy to use. The $20 price tag is shocking when you consider how many unique and useful features it has.