Alarm Clock Glossary
Analog: These clocks typically have an hour hand, minute hand and second hand. There are numeric and marked lines to view the time. Most second hands make a ticking noise, but quiet sweep second hands are available.
Ascending Alarm: An alarm that starts out low or normal volume and increases in pitch and volume as the alarm continues to sound.
Atomic Time: A clock that is radio controlled for the U.S. official clock in Boulder Colorado. Just set the time zone and the clock will automatically set the correct time.
Auto Set: Also known as Automatic Setting. This clock is set at the factory at the correct time. When the clock is powered up for the first time, just set the time zone and the clock will automatically set the correct time.
Backlight: Typically only on battery powered clocks. This will light up the background so the time can be seen in the dark. Most backlights last only for up to 5 seconds; however there are some clocks available that have an auto sensor that will illuminate the clock face and stay on while the room is dark.
Battery Backup: A feature of an electric clock that allows the alarm to sound at the set time during a power failure. It will also restore correct time and alarm settings when power is restored.
Battery Powered: A clock that runs entirely on batteries. No electricity needed. This is ideal for travel or when an electric outlet is unavailable.
Digital: A clock that has a numeral only display. No hands.
Crescendo Alarm: See Ascending Alarm
Dual Alarm: A clock that allows you to set two independent alarms. This is ideal for waking up two people at different times.
Electric Clock: Plugs into a standard U.S. household outlet. 110v/220W
Large Display: Usually a digital numerals from .9" to 2.5" in height. Ideal for visually impaired people.
LED Display: Light Emitting Diode. A numeric display that is capable of being lit all the time or just on demand.
Loud Alarm: Usually is at least 90 decibels. Ideal for hearing impaired and deep sleepers.
Nature Sounds: Sounds like Ocean Waves, Thunderstorms, Babbling Brook, Birds Singing and many others. These have been proven to help some people relax and fall asleep.
Projection Clock: This clock has a feature that allows the time to illuminate on the wall or ceiling. The projection angle can normally be changed up to 180 degrees.
Smart Set: See Auto Set.
Sweep Second Hand: Does not tick. Great for people who want a quiet analog clock.
Talking Alarm Clock: By pushing a button or automatically programmed, this clock announces the time, alarm set, date, and other features. Some are interactive.
Vibrating Bed Shaker: Used for hearing impaired and deep sleepers. The vibrator attaches to the alarm clock with a power cord and can be placed under the pillow or mattress to shake the bed to awaken hearing impaired and deep sleepers.
White Noise: Sound of Rushing Air. Has been proven to help some people sleep.
Wind-up / Key-wind: These clocks have a spring loaded key in the back that can be turned until stopped to allow for up to 36 hours of time movement. These clocks require no electricity or batteries.