The winter landscape may be picturesque most of the time—imagine acres of fluffy, white snow enveloping rows of quaint houses and fields, with a matching muted gray sky as backdrop. It’s soothing to the eyes indeed. However, cold, somber weather has drastic negative effects on some people. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) is real and like any condition, requires effective treatment. One of the best remedies to ease SAD symptoms is by using regular light therapy lamps. For more information about what these lamps can do, do read this guide.
- Are light therapy lamps really effective?
Answer: The purpose of light therapy lamps is to replicate sunlight, and sufficient exposure to this light leads to a chemical change in the brain, improving moods and easing the symptoms of SAD. However, apart from using light therapy lamps daily for several weeks, in order for light therapy to work, the lamp needs to have at least 10,000 lux.
- What factors should I consider when buying light therapy lamps?
Answer: You need to check if the lamp is made to tackle SAD since there are light therapy lamps which are only meant to work on skin conditions and not for SAD itself. You also need to consider the brightness of the lamp—as mentioned earlier, the most effective lamps have bulbs with 10,000 lux. Effective light therapy lamps are also built to filter out majority of ultraviolet or UV lights. If the product description is not clear on this, make sure to ask the manufacturer regarding this aspect since exposure to UV light can do damage on your eyes. Light therapy lamps also come in a good range of styles—there are table lamps, upright models and even light therapy floor lamps.
- How do you use light therapy properly?
Answer: The length of time you need to be exposed to the light will depend on the brightness of the light therapy lamp. For example, a lamp with 2500 lux entails 20 hours of exposure while ones with 10,000 require only half on hour. Light therapy typically lasts from 30 minutes to 2 hours every day. If you are a beginner with this kind of therapy, you can start with a 15-minute light therapy session. Increase the time gradually. The best time to use light therapy is in the morning according to experts. You don’t really need to just sit in front of the lamp in every session—watch TV or shows on your phone or computer, read books or any choice table activity.
Our Top Picks
SunBox SunRay II 10,000 Lux Light Therapy
- It has two light settings
- Leg pieces of the desk stand are easily detached and reattached
- Energy Efficient
- No heat and no bulb flutter with advanced electronics.
The SunRay II has moderate price and has made it a very popular unit among the larger boxes. As recommended by leading researchers, the light is delivered at a downward angle for maximum effectiveness.Spectrally transparent prismatic diffuser that blocks UV, does not filter the quality of light and will not yellow. Made in the USA, it comes with a lifetime warranty on the light box and a two year guarantee on bulb. The high setting (both switches turned on) provides 10,000 lux @ 23″; 5,000 lux @ 34″; or 2,500 lux @ 49″. The low setting (only one switch turned on) provides 10,000 lux @ 14″; 5,000 lux @ 24″; or 2,500 lux @ 36″.
Philips GoLite BLU Energy Light Therapy Lamp
- 100% UV-free blue light
- Improves overall mood and energy levels
- Has 200 lux of light
- Safe for the eyes and skin
The Philips GoLite BLU Energy Light Therapy Lamp make use of blue light to help improve moods and energy levels. Thus, if you want something that will help lift your spirits and put a little spring in your step, this Philips light therapy box might be the device for you. It emits only 200 lux of light but according to the brand, the light has the power to effectively combat winter blues, fatigue and lethargy in the same manner as its white light counterparts.
Nature Bright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy
- Uses SkyEffect Technology
- Releases 17,000 Kelvin UV-free light
- Includes built-in timer
- Portable and compact
The Nature Bright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy has a portable, compact built which is good to take along in case you need to travel to wintry, cold areas. It also fits nicely on your nightstand or your desk at work for an instant mood lift. The device makes use of the company’s effective SkyEffect technology to release 17,000 Kelvin lights without harmful UV. Proven and certified safe for the eyes by the by Age-Related Macular Degeneration Center in the University of Texas.
Northern Light Technologies Flamingo 10,000 Lux Bright Light Therapy Floor Lamp
- Releases 10,000 lux of light
- Blocks UV lights
- Includes rotating head
- Offers Full Spectrum Lighting
Now you are looking for a floor lamp that can serve as a light therapy box, this one from Northern Lights Technologies will do you plenty of good. It will not use plenty of power (48W model) and it can release 10,000 lux of light, a rate which is considered to be the most effective unit of illuminance in light therapy. The lamp also includes a rotating head so you can get your healing lights at any angle you prefer.
Aura Day Light Lamp
- 10,000 lux of light
- Includes patented lux-adjusting dial
- ETL-tested and FCC-certified
- For U.S.A use only
The Aura Day Light Lamp excels due to the inclusion of a patented lux-adjusting dial so you can get the light output that you need. The lowest lux output for this device rates at 3500 with the highest being 10,000. The light this lamp emits is completely free from UV. Your health is the company’s highest concern as well so they made this one certified by the FCC and tested for safety by the ETL. However, this one is designed to work in the U.S. only.
Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Light Therapy Lamp
- Has 10,000 lux brightness
- Completely UV-free
- Includes rotating light panel
- Durable LED lights
The Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Light Therapy Lamp releases 10,000 lux of light for maximum effectivity. Regular exposure to this lamp’s rays makes for an overall better mood and improved energy levels. The rotating light panel makes sure that you get to have your dose of light at several angles. Its LEDs are quite durable and will last up to 50,000 hours.
Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp
- 10,000 lux at 12 inches
- Glare-free screen
- Includes flexible angle stand
- Blocks 99.3% UV light
The Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp is a good choice since it brings 10,000 lux of light at a distance of 12 inches. The lamp is built with the brand’s LED Brightzone technology assures sufficient doses of healing, bright light without the annoying glare and damage done by UV light. It can block out 99.3% of UV, in fact. For the best angle, the lamp is also equipped with a flexible angle stand.
Do not be overwhelmed by the winter blues. Make your moods sunnier and your energy levels maintained at a productive rate using light therapy lamps.