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When I first opened the box to the Lumie Zest Alarm Clock, I wondered if it would be a bit too fancy to use as a night-light for Monkey whilst we were abroad in Spain. It’s small, compact and attractive – and really is portable because it comes with several attachable adapters to use at home and abroad, which I found useful.

After plugging it in and following the simple instructions to set the correct time, we didn’t really notice its powerful glare until we later returned to our apartment for bedtime. In the pitch black, the light shone bright and was the perfect glow for Monkey to fall asleep.

Lumie Zest Reviewed

So, in that aspect, the Lumie Zest was a useful travel accessory for our holiday – and Monkey slept very well and didn’t feel scared of his unfamiliar surroundings.

But, in essence, the Lumie Zest is much more than a night-light. In fact, its main use is to provide light therapy to combat SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), and to be used as a wake-up light for a natural start to the day. Waking up with a gradual sunrise is a signal for your body to ease the production of sleep hormones and increase those that help you get up and go.

It can also provide light therapy during the dark, winter months – bright light is proven to put you in a better mood and make you feel more awake and help ease SAD symptoms such as tiredness, over-eating and a lack of energy and motivation.

Reviewed: Lumie Zest Portable Alarm ClockAnd the best thing for travellers? It also helps as part of a jet lag programme – so for all you long-haul flyers, this could be the perfect tool to get you back in the right time zone.

Back home, I must admit, I was sceptical at first if the wake-up light would actually, well, wake me up. After all, I normally need a loud noise to rouse me from my slumber. But after scanning through the easy-to-follow manual, I set the gradual sunrise to come on for 30 minutes, choosing not to use optional beep alarm.

Next morning, I was pleasantly surprised to open my eyes when the light had reached its maximum brightness and the bedroom was bathed in what appears at first to be daylight. Be warned, it really is bright! Normally when I wake up with a traditional alarm, I am pretty groggy and my eyelids feel heavy. I’m also unable to tear myself away from the bed. Since using the Lumie Zest for the past week, I have not only got out of bed within minutes of waking but had a lot more energy in the morning which can only be a good thing when I have to get myself and Monkey ready and be on time for work.

I haven’t yet tried the light therapy, but when winter really sets in, I am hoping a few bursts will leave me feeling not so lethargic and run down. You can even plug it into a laptop via a USB and use it whilst working!

Are there any downsides? Well, the price – it’s not cheap and retails at £125 but does come with a three-year guarantee. Any doubters can also use it for a 30-day free trial and if you’re not happy, return it to Lumie for a full refund.

Reviewed: Lumie Zest Portable Alarm ClockSo all in all, a really surprising piece of kit which not only acts a great alternative to a night light whilst travelling, but helps combat SAD and jet lag. If you travel a lot, Lumie Zest is well worth the investment. I’m most definitely a convert – and feel much more alert when I wake in the mornings now.

*We were gifted a Lumie Zest for the purposes of this review but as always my thoughts and opinions are my own