Like other sunrise alarms, the Amazon Halo Rise uses a built-in light to gently wake you up by mimicking sunrise. However, it’s also equipped with integrated sensors for sleep tracking, allowing it to monitor your sleep cycle on top of the sunrise alarm functions, making for a more versatile sleep gadget.
First things first, it’s not a speaker. That means, you won’t be able to use voice commands to set alarms directly using the device. Instead, you’ll have to do that on a separate Alexa-equipped speaker (if you have one on your nightstand) or the Alexa app on your phone, which is convenient enough. What it is, though, is a sunrise alarm and sleep tracker, allowing you to enjoy both sleep-focused functions with just one gadget on your nightstand.
The Amazon Halo Rise consists of a disc-shaped case with an arc-shaped light strip running across the sides and top, as well as a clock display and alarm indicator on the bottom, with the whole thing mounted on a metal stand. To use, simply place it on your side of the bed, with the metal stand either at the same height or up to eight inches above the mattress. According to the outfit, it should be facing towards your body at around an arm’s length away with no objects in between to ensure it can properly track your sleep patterns.
The sunrise alarm feature works much like similar alarms, simulating the colors of sunrise by gradually brightening to wake you up in a natural manner. When you need help sleeping, it can also simulate the colors of the sunset, slowly dimming to help you relax and drift off to slumber. The white light, by the way, has a maximum brightness of 300 lumens, while a piezo speaker onboard can be used if you want to accompany the light with audible alarms.
The Halo Rise is also a contract-free sleep tracker that uses a low-energy radar sensor to monitor your breathing and body movement all through the sleep cycle, while using environmental sensors to keep track of temperature, humidity, and ambient light in the room. It passes off all its readings to the companion app, which analyzes the data and provides feedback on how you can improve both your sleep quality and your sleep environment. Do note, parts of the sleep tracking analysis seem to be passed off to cloud-based systems, so Amazon requires a Halo membership subscription to use it (which is free for the first six months).
If you don’t pair it with an Echo (or similar Alexa-equipped speaker), the device can be controlled using taps. It comes with a snooze function (single tap on the light sensor) that lets you pause the sunrise sequence if you want a bit more time on the pillow, as well as an option to adjust the brightness setting. When paired with an Echo, by the way, it can give you a nightly sleep summary via Alexa, wake you up with music, and integrate into various smart routines.