After nearly fifteen years of service, my alarm clock broke and needed to be replaced. I stood in the store eyeing two models. One had a digital display that glowed red. The other had a digital display that glowed blue.
Between the two options, the blue display seemed so soothing, so calming, so appropriate for a setting that's specifically designed for sleep.
My decision was settled. I bought the clock with the blue display, took it home, opened the box, threw away the packaging, and plugged it in.
Just right, that is, until nighttime when I turned off the lights. The blue display, so mellow during the afternoon, morphed into an inhumanely bright glare that illuminated the bedroom walls and seared through my shut eyelids with a center-of-the-sun intensity.
Part of my bedtime routine now involves strategically covering the alarm clock with a pillow. My husband shakes his head at this, but gosh, I threw away the packaging on trash day so it can't be returned. Looking on the bright side (literally and figuratively), besides from the fact that it hinders sleep with its obnoxious blaze and will require me to cover it with a pillow every night for the next fifteen years, it's a perfectly good alarm clock.
Just in case you're on the market for new clock, though, remember the adage about how the hottest flame burns blue. The same goes for alarm clocks.