Casper’s first tech gadget produces some of the warmest, nicest light you’d ever want in your bedroom – but it’s way too expensive

The best thing about Casper Glow is the quality of the light.

The light put out by the Glow is extremely warm; it made my bedroom immediately feel more cozy. It’s also great to read to — just enough light to so your eyes don’t strain, but not enough to keep you awake.

The Glow uses built-in sensors to match the brightness to the room you’re in, so it changes from environment to environment. It doesn’t provide enough light to illuminate a dark bedroom, but I thought that was a feature as opposed to an issue. After all, my room has an overhead light, and if I needed more illumination, I’d put that on.

Share Slide

My second favorite thing about the Casper Glow is its gestures.

Casper Glow basically doesn’t have any buttons. Instead, it uses a series of clever gestures.

 To turn on the light, for example, all you have to do is flip the orb. Turning it over once again turns it off. To brighten or dim the light, you twist it, like the entire orb is a dimmer switch. And if you pick it up in the middle of the night, and you shake it a little bit, it turns on very dimly, so that you can use it as a flashlight to navigate your house. There are two physical buttons, one on the top and one on the bottom. When you press them, it tells the light to stay at the same brightness — it usually automatically dims over the course of 45 minutes by default.

I loved these gestures. Within a day, I was flipping the light like it was second nature. I also liked the “wiggle” gesture to become a nighttime flashlight. I used to use my phone to navigate my room and apartment, but it was too bright, and I was too tempted to read my emails if I got up for a late night drink of water or to go to the bathroom.

Share Slide

However, the Casper Glow didn’t help me sleep.

However, the Casper Glow didn't help me sleep.

Casper’s biggest selling point for the Glow light it that it will help you get better sleep. The main two ways it says it can help you sleep is through its warm, attractive light, as well as through an automatic dimming cycle. When you turn it on, by default it slowly dims for 45 minutes until it’s off. (You can change that time setting in the app.)

Ultimately, though, I chose to continue to do stuff like read my phone in bed, which I’m sure ameliorates any of the benefits of the dimming light. When I read using the Casper Glow, the dimming light didn’t lull me to sleep — it just annoyed me. I would have to adjust the light to keep it bright enough to read. Ultimately, I would turn off the light by flipping it, and then try to fall asleep the way I’ve always done.

It can also be used as an alarm. Through the app, you can tell the light a certain time to turn on. But I preferred my window and daybreak as a gentle way to wake up.

I did have one amazing night of sleep last week — but I don’t think it had anything to do with the Casper Glow. I simply made the choice to go to bed early.

Share Slide

The app is bare-bones, and you can use the Casper Glow without it.

 The app is bare-bones, and you can use the Casper Glow without it.

Like many smart lamps and lightbulbs, Casper Glow comes with its own app. Inside the app, you can pair two lights together, set alarms, and change the amount of time before it dims and automatically shuts off.

I ended up not installing the app on my phone until the Glow had been sitting next to my bedside for a week. Not everything needs an app, and I found the default settings to be great for my purposes.

But when I installed the app, I found myself wishing it had additional features. Other smart lightbulbs let you choose the color it displays — the Casper Glow doesn’t. I have some HomeKit goods in my house, and the Casper Glow isn’t operable with Apple’s smart home software.

The orbs also theoretically have a battery life, but I never encountered it. Nearly all of the time my Glow sat on its charger next to my bed, so I never knew if it was running low on battery.

Share Slide

Ultimately, the $89 price is too steep.

Ultimately, the $89 price is too steep.

For far less than $90, you can buy a bedside lamp from Amazon, plug in a smart lightbulb, and use your preferred smart home software to do automation like automatically dimming or turning on at a certain time in the morning.

It’s difficult, in my opinion, to pay significantly more for a device that has so few functions just because the design is nice. But the quality of the light is excellent, so if I were looking for a better night’s sleep and cost were no object, I would seriously consider buying a Casper Glow — or maybe a package of two.

Wired reports that Casper, in its efforts to continue to become a technology company, has several other, different sleep gadgets in development in its labs. Based on how elegant and nice this first offering is, I’m excited to see what it releases next.