I recently bought the SKYVIEW 2 lamps to try for myself to run through our usual battery of tests, so if you’re looking for info on this light, you’ve come to the right place!

skyview day mode on desk
It’s difficult to capture on camera how cool these look in real life, the color gradients across the globe are very beautiful in person.

While I was using them, my wife kept on saying “ooo that’s pretty” and she was not wrong!

skyview on bedside table
The base model works really well as a bedside lamp as well as a sunrise alarm clock!

I’ve been using them for a while now both at my desk and as a bedside lamp, and in this article, we’ll go in-depth into the SKYVIEW’s spectral properties, features, and my opinion on their usefulness as a lighting wellness product.

At a Glance

The SKYVIEW 2 lamps offer a beautiful and effective solution to anyone looking for a more visually comfortable and dynamic SAD lamp.

Pros

  • The only smart circadian lamps on the market
  • Stunningly beautiful light and great build quality
  • More visually comfortable than traditional SAD lamps
  • Well-polished app experience with plenty of customization

Cons

The SkyView 2 Circadian Lamps

The SKYVIEW lamps claim to recreate the health benefits of sunlight through optimal circadian scheduled lighting right at your desk or bedside.

But do they?

There are currently two SKYVIEW lamps available, the SKYVIEW 2 and the SKYVIEW 2 Pro:

skyview 2
SKYVIEW 2 – $349
skyview 2 pro model
SKYVIEW 2 Pro – $699

The difference between the two is mostly in build quality, with the Pro model being made out of glass and a heavy aluminum base, while the normal model is a bit more plastic-y.

At this time the Pro model offers a “Dynamic Cloud Cover” option that the base model doesn’t.

Specifications

While BIOS claims the Pro model gives off more total lumens, I measured the lux from both lamps to be about the same.

The cord length on the Pro is about

Base:
22w
2.4lb
116in or 9.7 ft

Pro:
23w
9lb
63in or 5.25 feet

How Does the SKYVIEW 2 Work?

The SKYVIEW 2 uses several different LEDs to flow through different lighting modes throughout a 24-hour period:

  • Sunrise
  • Daytime
  • Sunset
  • Evening
  • Night
skyview sunrise-sunset
Sunrise/Sunset
skyview daytime
Daytime
skyview evening
Evening
skyview night
Night

These settings can be customized further which we’ll get into later. I’ve also tested everything with a spectrometer so we can see exactly what kind of light the SKYVIEW 2 is giving off!

The SKYVIEW 2 Pro Model

The pro model is a bit different in that you have to put it together:

skyview 2 pro parts
The base, light engine, and globe all come separately in the box.

Putting it together is very easy, just plug the light engine in and screw on the glass globe.

skyview pro in daytime mode

The brains of the operation:

skyview 2 pro light engine module
This is what BIOS calls the Light Engine, the smarts behind the lamp.
top of light engine module
Top
bottom of light engine module
Bottom

Setting up Your SKYVIEW

When you get your lamp, the first thing you have to do is connect it to the app. Once plugged in it will begin to flash red indicating it’s ready to pair.

The included manual walks you through this process well and I had no issues with the pairing process with either of my lamps.

Basic Scheduling

The biggest standout feature of SKYVIEW is its automated circadian rhythm scheduling, which is ver simple to set up.

After pairing you’ll be presented with this screen:

skyview scheduling welcome screen

Just click and swipe through to here:

skyview scheduling customize or continue screen

You have the option of setting your lamp to mimic your local sunset and sunrise, which you’re more than welcome to use, however, I’d recommend using a schedule that fits your lifestyle.

To do this, select Customize. You’ll then be asked when you wake up and go to bed, for me that’s about 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.

sleep and wake time selection screen

After this SKYVIEW will create a dynamic circadian schedule for you!

Custom Scheduling

You can however go on to the Detailed Setup if you want to customize the day-by-day rules:

15 minute sunrise setting
The default sunrise lasts 30 minutes and starts 15 minutes before your wake time.
sunset timing screen
The default sunset lasts 30 minutes and starts 3 hours before your bedtime.

After finalizing this you’ll be shown the summary of your personal circadian schedule:

circadian schedule summary

The Circadian Schedule

Once your lamp has been fully set, you’ll be shown the Home screen which gives you a nice visual representation of your lamp’s lighting schedule.

home screen showing circadian scheduling

I think it’s time to dive into some science!

Sunrise/Sunset

A typical sunrise starts with a dim blue sky followed by a warm orange/red/purple light.

The SKYVIEW’s sunrise transition does a pretty good job of mimicking this!

The sunrise starts out as a dim light blue color and the bottom of the lamp slowly illuminates the red LEDs giving it a slightly purple glow that becomes a bit more red/orange as the sunrise continues.

It’s very difficult to capture this on camera, but the sunrise looks kind of like this at the end:

skyview sunrise-sunset

You can edit the duration of the sunrise in the app.

From the main screen, under Settings click on Edit Schedule.

settings screen
day edit screen

From here the top option Saturday Sunrise will show you the customizations you can make. For Sunrise, it’s really just the start time and duration.

sunrise settings page
You can select anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes as the duration.

And that’s about it! I think this is a cool feature and it’s one of the most unique approaches to a sunrise I’ve seen yet.

If you haven’t checked it out, we have a good article on how beneficial waking up to a simulated sunrise can be.

Daytime

This is the mode your SKYVIEW lamps will spend most of their time in.

It’s dominated by a blue light at the top followed by a transition into a slightly warm white light on the bottom.

skyview daytime
It’s very pleasant! Pictures and video don’t quite capture it.

One thing worth noting is that the Pro model gives you the option to introduce what they call Dynamic Cloud Cover while the base model doesn’t have this feature.

daytime customization screen
I like to keep the daytime mode at 100% brightness!

This gives the lamp a very subtle variation change over time that I think subliminally makes it feel a bit more comfortable and realistic.

You can choose how much blue light you want in your daytime mode. I’d keep the blue light maxed out since this will help the SKYVIEW be as effective as possible.

day mode from top to bottom spectral power distribution graph
The spectrum of the SKYVIEW during day mode when measuring from the top of the globe to the bottom.

Sunset

The sunset is basically the sunrise in reverse, and it can also be changed from 5 to 60 minutes. It does have one extra setting you can change though…

sunset settings page

You can select between Full Sunset and Half Sunset.

Full Sunset features 1 second of complete darkness before the evening mode kicks on, while Half Sunset forgoes the complete darkness and jumps right into the evening.

There’s not a huge difference here, just personal preference. Half Sunset is the default setting.

Evening

The evening mode is defaulted to being on for around 3 hours before your bedtime, so it functions well as a visual reminder that you should begin to wind down for the day.

You can adjust this mode to be anywhere from red to a fairly white color.

evening customization screen
I found 60% brightness nice for this mode.

I found I preferred the color just above red, once you mix in just a little bit of the soft white LED it gives off a really nice calming rose gold sort of color.

skyview evening

Here’s a reading I took of the evening mode from the white setting over to the red/orange side.

evening mode spectral power distribution graph gif

As you can see you probably don’t want to be using the white setting on the right side of the dial, there’s quite a bit of blue light over there!

Night

The night mode allows you to set anywhere from pure red light to a red/amber light.

night customization screen
I’ve decided to go with 30% brightness for the night setting.

I opt for only red light since as soon as you mix in amber on the SKYVIEW you’re adding in blue and green light which I lie to avoid late at night.

skyview night

Here’s a look at what’s being emitted from the SKYVIEW when only the red LEDs are turned on:

night mode spectral power distribution graph

Not bad! Not a super narrow red LED which I kind of like.

Quick Modes

The SKYVIEW 2 lamps come equipped with 4 quick modes that can be enabled from within the app.

These allow you to temporarily bypass the circadian schedule with one of 4 settings:

  • Sleeping
  • Reading
  • Relaxing
  • Working

Sleeping Mode

Sleeping mode is just the red light.

skyview night

This could be handy if you want to skip ahead to this setting earlier than usual in your evening routine.

Reading Mode

This turns on a 3000K white light, great for reading in the evening.

skyview reading mode photo

Here’s a spectral graph of this light:

reading mode spectral power distribution graph

Relaxing Mode

Relaxing mode turns on a 2200K warm white similar to how I like to set my evening mode.

skyview evening

And here’s the spectrum from this:

relaxing mode spectral power distribution graph

Working Mode

This just enables daytime mode on full brightness! Pretty simple.

Testing Results

How effective is this lamp really?

Well BIOS recommends using their lamps at 3 feet away from you, which seems really far to me.

None the less we tested these at 1, 2, and 3 feet.

Spectrum

I wasn’t expecting it but the SKYVIEW 2 and Pro models emit slightly different light:

skview 2 daytime spectral power distribution graph averageskview 2 pro daytime spectral power distribution graph average

As you can see the pro model emits a bit more of a broad range of colors than the base model.

The base model emits around 6600K while the Pro is more like 7700K so they’re both quite blue.

Total Light Output

Here’s a graph comparing the relative spectral output from both lamps:

skyview lamps comparisson graph

It looks to me like the Base model emits a bit more total light even though the Pro is advertised as doing this.

Comparing the lux output at 1 foot for both lamps, we see that they perform relatively similarly.

total lux at 1 foot for skyview lamps

As you can see at the recommended 3-foot usage distance they’re outputting less than 200 lux which is quite low, but I don’t think most people have desks this large anyway…

Measuring circadian light, a spectrally weighted metric to show how much melanopically sensitive light is present, we see they also perform about the same here as well.

total circadian light at 1 foot for skyview lamps

These are much dimmer than most SAD lamps, and that’s okay!

This makes them far more visually comfortable and since the light is heavy in blue it’s also plenty effective, meeting all the minimum requirements for circadian activation.

My Experience Using the SKYVIEW 2 Lamps

The setup is super easy, and the lamps are beautiful. I enjoyed using mine at my office desk and as a bedside lamp.

I’ll still be using my DIY SAD lamp though, because it’s much brighter and more effective at making me feel energized during the day.

However, if you’ve tried other traditional SAD lamps and found them too bright and uncomfortable, this might be the solution you’ve been looking for!

SKYVIEW 2 Pro

skyview 2 pro model

Pros

  • Only circadian lamp on the market
  • Absolutely beautiful light and great build quality
  • More visually comfortable than traditional SAD lamps
  • Well-polished app experience

Cons

  • Less effective than most SAD lamps
  • Quite expensive

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