There's a well established theory that it's considerably easier to get up and out of bed in the morning if your body's tricked into thinking the sun's risen. As such there are a whole host of bedside lamps and clock radios that gradually lighten your room as you slumber before setting off an alarm. The latest to join that group is the Pure Twilight, which combines the company's established expertise in DAB radios with a powerful multicoloured LED lamp.
As we have come to expect of Pure devices, the Twilight is an attractive and well built machine. The lights are housed in a domed sand-blasted glass section that sits atop a black plastic body with the speakers for the radio sitting behind the fabric covered side sections. The light section is made of thick glass that generally feels very solid yet smooth and rather satisfyingly tactile. The other plastic sections again feel well finished and put together, and the curves of the whole machine are maintained throughout, with no flat surfaces letting the side down.
What do let things down, though are the cables. The aerial for the radio is a piddling thin wire that protrudes from the back. Compared to a screw-in telescopic aerial it's easier to break, not easily replaceable, annoying to setup, potentially ugly if you have to Blu-Tack it to a wall, and generally less effective at finding a signal. Not that we actually had any problems in finding stations but those in poorer reception areas may struggle. The other issue is the somewhat short (1.5m) power cable, which will struggle to stretch the width of a double bed.
With dimensions of 36 x 18 x 12cm the Twilight has a footprint that will fill about a third of most bedside tables and, weighing 1.65kg, it's a fairly hefty device but once in situ bulk is hardly a concern. What's more, the unit's weight is a sign as to its audio capabilities, as the old adage "the heavier the better" still often holds water nowadays.
An array of rubber buttons flank a high quality yellow-on-black OLED screen. They consist of, from top left to bottom right, four dedicated alarm buttons, Sleep, Source, Vol+, Vol-, Moveup, Select, Movedown, Daylight, Mood, and Power. Explaining a few of these, Moveup, Select and Movedown are for navigating through the menus, Daylight puts the lamp to white light mode at full brightness, and Mood selects a choice of Mood lights, which we'll come back to in a minute.
The screen itself is as good as we've come to expect from Pure. It's bright, sharp and generally easy to read from any angle. As well as a large and clear clock display it can show up to five lines of detailed information for when you're scrolling through radio stations and such like. Some might struggle with the smaller text without popping their reading glasses on but such is the compromise for extra features.
Four more touch sensitive buttons sit below the screen. These are dynamic buttons, whose role changes depending on what's on screen (except for the arrow-shaped one which always takes you back a level in the menu). Thankfully, they don't suffer the all too regular problem of being unresponsive and laggy.
However, all told the control system is a bit schizophrenic – are both touch buttons and physical ones needed, are four dedicated buttons for alarms required, wouldn't a volume knob be easier, where's the remote? It's not difficult to use per se but we think Pure could have refined it a little more.
It's a shame as there's one aspect of the control system that we love. Simply place your hand on the glass dome and the light will turn on. Conversely, a gentle caress will turn the light off when you feel you're ready to slumber. You can also hold your hand on the lamp to dim it, or remove and replace your hand to brighten it. Incidentally, the light is plenty bright enough to read by so forgoes the need for a separate bedside lamp. The company has also implemented its signature touch-to-snooze feature whereby a gentle tap of the lamp sets it into snooze mode.