From what I’ve read, as many as one in three of us suffers from insomnia. That’s having the opportunity but not the ability to fall and stay asleep. The culprits? Blue light from screens, stress, noise, kids, the job, you name it. We spend millions collectively on ways to improve our sleep. So can a simple light help us fall asleep easier and wake up more gently? The Casper Glow light is a brand new light on the market, designed to help you wind down and fall asleep naturally for better, deeper sleep. I had a chance to spend a few weeks with Casper Glow, and here’s what I found.
Casper Glow Sleep Wake lights review
Casper Glow is a small rechargeable wireless lamp that’s specifically designed for the bedroom to help you fall asleep, and wake up more gently.
The lamp, which comes as a single or a two pack (which is what I got to try) ships with a rechargeable base for each lamp. You can keep the lamp on the base so it’s always powered, or use it wirelessly.
How does Casper Glow work?
Casper Glow uses warm white light to lull you to sleep or to wake you more softly. Warmer coloured light, in this case with a slight orange hue can be relaxing; think candlelight, a nice cracking fire or soft incandescent bulbs. While blue light has been shown to stimulate our brains, warmer light does the opposite.
While you can use and control Casper Glow on the lamp itself, you can also get more control via the Casper Glow app.
How to adjust Casper Glow
I spent several weeks with Casper Glow. I’d turn it on at night; you do this by turning it over on it’s end, essentially flipping it upside down. You can adjust the brightness by swiveling the light like a dimmer. The only thing is, that if you’re doing this without the app, it automatically shortens the dim time. So if you want it at 50% brightness, you’re dimming time is cut in half. Not ideal.
Fortunately, you can change this in the app….
Go into your control panel in the app (the sliders on the bottom right) then use the Dimming Time and Overall Brightness controls to make the adjustments.
Using Casper Glow to wake up: missing features
You can use Casper Glow to wake you with light that brightens like a gentle sunrise. You can set how long it takes to come on and at what time, but there are a few flaws for me with this part of the app.
While you can choose the time your light will come on, and you can set different lamps to come on at different times, you can’t choose the days of the week you want the light to turn on. It’s all or nothing. Or you’ll need to remember to manually turn it on and off over the weekend, say.
UPDATE: July 2019: Casper has now added the ability to adjust the days of the week the alarm is set for, but it still doesn’t allow you to set a second alarm. Baby steps.
You can choose how long your Casper Glow should it stay on at wake, but unfortunately, it won’t stay on. At some point it’s set to begin dimming again. So if you’re the type who needs a push to get up, this one might just lull you back to sleep. You can set the auto off after you wake feature to between 10 and 30 mins. There is a way to hack this, though. You can use the pause feature of the light to keep it on… you just need to remember to do it. Stay tuned for a sec for how to pause the light.
Can I use Casper Glow as a bedside lamp?
I love the soft glow of these lamps, but they don’t seem to make effective bedside lamps, and that’s primarily because they’re constantly slowly turning off.
There is what Casper calls that ‘Pause’ feature which lets you hold the dimming at whatever point in the cycle is at. Here’s how to use it:
Casper Glow has two large buttons, one at each end. Pressing either button during a dimming session will hold the light, and you’ll see the light pulse to acknowledge that. To resume dimming the light, just press either button again. So would it work as a bedside lamp, yes, reasonably so.
Use Casper Glow as a night light
Because Casper Glow is portable and operates wirelessly, you can take it with you on that midnight snack run, or to use the bathroom in the dark. An ambient light sensor lets you use Glow in the middle of the night without waking everyone else up. Just wiggle it for a low, gentle light.
To shut it back off again, turn it upside down.
Use lights individually or together
Casper Glow has the ability to sync up your lights or to split them for separate control. Even if you have the lights set to dim you to sleep together, you can still set separate wake up times. If you want full individual control, you can split them up in the app and run them separately.
Battery life & charging: Casper Glow
Off of the charging base, battery life can last up to a few days of regular dimming and waking. The battery will last up to 7 hours of continuous use when Glow is on and paused. The device will blink periodically three times to let you know it’s low on power. You can also check status in the Glow app.
When set on its base, Glow will pulse faintly to let you know it’s charging. if it doesn’t, adjust it until you get a good connection.
These lamps are quite small; they’re only about 5″ high. They’re made of plastic and are light weight. They’re basically super minimalist; no buttons, switches, stands, shades or finicky bits or accessories. I quite like the design, personally.
Does Casper Glow really work?
The big question is – Does it work? It’s hard for me to say definitively if it really does work. I’m lucky to be a good sleeper, but at the same time I absolutely love lighting, and love having soft light in the bedroom. It just makes me feel sleepy and cozy. I’ve used different sleep-wake lights previously and I’ll make sure those are all linked up here…and I do think they do send that trigger that it’s time to shut the brain and body down.
How well does the light wake you up? I definitely notice this light when it comes on and i feel like it does help me to wake up. I wish when it came on, it stayed on, because some days I need the extra boost and incentive to rise.
What’s missing from Casper Glow?
If I pit this light against some of the other products I’ve reviewed, it seems to fall short on features; there’s no added white noise or audio features like Philips Somneo, you can’t choose Whether you want blue or warm light so you could use it in your home office for example, like a lamp I tried from Lighting Science, there’s no rainbow-hued light options like Witti’s Beddi Glow, and it won’t call you an Uber. Seriously, the Beddi will do that.
Overall review: Casper Glow
So the big question to ask yourself is do you need it to do more than lull you to sleep and wake you up or are you happy with just that? The other issue to consider is price here. The Casper Glow lights are expensive; a singe light will set you back $140 CAD and a two pack is $260CAD. That’s a lot particularly because if you want only the drifting off light, there’s a bulb that will do that for you for about $25.
Overall These lights are beautiful, and they’ll definitely fit in your modern, minimalist home, but the price and the lack of features, particularly the ability to make wake up adjustments from weekdays to weekend is frustrating. I’d say wait for the second generation of these lights before you dive in.