When my neighbour's iPhone alarm sound wakes him up each morning, it wakes me up too. To top it off he snoozes for aeons, which usually means I'll never get to sleep again, even after he gets up.

I thought to ask him to switch to vibration only, but the walls are so paper thin and our beds are both right up against each side of the wall, that even this is likely to wake me up.

The solution I've been pondering is to find an alarm app that uses the flash light to wake people up. Questions:

  1. Is the flash light on an iPhone sufficient to wake up a person?
  2. Are there other options for waking him that will not wake me?

I reckon for example that the Apple Watch has a vibrating alarm, but this is a rather costly solution. Maybe there's a cheap ($10), small, comfortable, cool-looking wearable that does this specifically?

  • Are you looking for an Apple product specific solution? Has your neighbour tried being woken by the light on an iPhone? Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 13:19
  • I don't have an iPhone, so I can't test it, and I wouldn't want to propose any solutions to him before I've found a good one (thus this posting). He has an iPhone, so the best solution would be an app, since it involves no extra gadgets. A secondary, non-Apple, solution would be some cheap, small gizmo, possibly a vibrating wearable.
    – forthrin
    Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 13:46
  • There is the possibility of you moving your bed...
    – Solar Mike
    Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 14:26
  • Good thinking outside the box, but no can do. The bed is fit snugly within an "alcove" on the mezzanine of the apartment, and there's nowhere else to put it. Same with the neighbour.
    – forthrin
    Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 14:31

4 Answers 4


Not part of the Apple eco-system but inexpensive at under 20 USD and fits your criteria…


Silent Vibrating Alarm Wrist Clock You will never oversleep again! Wear it on your wrist. Wake up without disturbing others. Silent vibrating alarm clock wont disturb others -Lightweight and Comfortable -Large LCD screen -One touch backlight allows for easy time telling -Vibrating or sound alarm selectable -Perfect for a reminder to take medication -Includes a wrist band or belt clip. -Runs on 1 AA battery - not included -Excellent clam shell package

enter image description here

  • The size of that wristwatch reminds me of the oversized back pockets people were imagining for iPads :) If I were to give him a gizmo as a gift, it would have to be something really small, very comfortable and hopefully a bit cool looking as well, like those colourful wristbands you get at spas for opening your locker.
    – forthrin
    Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 12:59

This is also not an Apple solution but it's very popular and not too expensive.

Philips Somneo Sunrise Wake Up and Sleep Therapy Light with Sunrise Alarm and Sunset Fading Night Light. There's no sound at all, just a light that gets brighter as the alarm. I believe they might also have an iPhone app for this.

enter image description here

  • Yes, I know about those things, but they cost at least $100, sometimes as much as $200, thus out of the question. Cost needs to be in the $10 area, $20 max.
    – forthrin
    Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 14:00
  • 1
    I think it will be very difficult to find something that meets your needs for that price. This light has man different styles and prices plus it's often for sale on eBay for cheaper.
    – fsb
    Commented Feb 19, 2018 at 14:04

Among the nicely designed and within the price limit I'd choose Jawbone Up If you can go slightly above, that'd be Mi Band Pulse by Xiaomi

Both have iOS clients and smart vibration alerts.


An easy, affordable solution is to use a speaker that plugs in to the radio/phone/other device already used as the alarm. Before you inform me that this sounds as useless as EtreCheck is malware, let me elaborate..

If possible, find a flat speaker (or headphones like an over-the-ear style which fold flat for storage or detach from the headband). Then simply put the sound system underneath his pillow and find a volume/tone that's loud enough to wake them but won't wake you.

Since the audio only has to travel threw a pillow and will be near his ear already it shouldn't be too difficult to configure. You can take advantage of acoustics as to maximize the perceived loudness at the source like with higher frequencies which attenuate more and loose energy as they travel. Although it's hard to say what would be best for your particular locality.

As an added benefit, if you ever wish your walls weren't paper thin for some purpose this device could even get laid against the wall and play something to imitate some semblance of privacy.

  • That's a great idea! To put a speaker under the pillow. Best "outside the box" sort of thinking I heard in a long while. It would remain to be seen (i.e. heard) if it actually works in practice, but good thinking!
    – forthrin
    Commented Feb 22, 2018 at 7:10

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