Verilux® HappyLight® Luxe - UV-Free LED Therapy Lamp, Bright White Light with 10,000 Lux, Adjustable Brightness, Color, and Countdown TimerView on Amazon
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Last update on 2023-06-02 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
Winter can be a particularly miserable time for those suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), with the days getting shorter and darker, but the best SAD lamps can help to alleviate this suffering. SAD patients may experience difficulty concentrating, as well as decreased energy, confidence, and, in severe cases, depression. Fortunately, bright-light therapy in the form of a SAD lamp can save the day by compensating for the condition's lack of SERT (a serotonin transporting protein). Whether you're looking for a lamp to use at your desk or a wake-up light to help you get out of bed in the morning, finding the right one for you shouldn't be difficult. To make things easier, we've compiled a list of the best SAD lamps available, as well as a short buying guide that should help inform your decision.
There are numerous SAD or light therapy lamps and light boxes on the market. Not all of these products are effective or suitable for this application. Because SAD lamps are not regulated by the FDA, it is critical to purchase one that provides enough light and is intended to treat SAD. Here are some characteristics to look for:
Purchase a light box that is not intended to treat skin conditions. These devices are not intended to treat mood disorders and will be ineffective. Make sure the lamp is UV-free and filters out ultraviolet (UV) light. UV rays can harm your eyes and skin.
The lamp should produce 10,000 lux of fluorescent cool-white light. A 10,000 lux output is approximately 20 times greater than the light output produced by most indoor lighting. Lamps with lower lux levels may need to be used more frequently than brighter ones. Choose a glare-free lamp or one that can be angled downward to reduce or eliminate eye glare.
Look for a lamp with a light surface area of 12 by 15 inches or more. The higher the lux, the larger the surface area. Larger lamps also provide you with the option of moving around more, so you can be farther away from the lamp without compromising its effectiveness.
Smaller lamps are less effective and may require more frequent use for longer sessions. However, if you travel frequently, you may want to invest in a second, smaller lamp. Individualized lamp use instructions can be provided by your doctor.
Personal preferences and requirements
Consider what activity you want to perform while using the lamp and buy one that will allow you to do so. Light boxes, for example, have been shown to help with jet lag. If you travel frequently, you should consider a small, portable option.
Lamp styles differ. You might be better off getting an attractive lamp that matches your decoration and can stay in place for use. You'll want to use the lamp at least once per day for maximum benefit, so having it out and easily accessible can be beneficial.
Can SAD lamps damage your skin or eyes?
UV light should be filtered out of SAD lamps, preventing them from harming your eyes or skin. However, light boxes used to treat specific skin conditions do emit UV light, so make sure your light box is intended to treat SAD.
How visible are SAD lamps?
SAD lamps are typically recommended to have a brightness of 10,000 lux.
How long does it take for a SAD lamp to turn on?
According to the University of British Columbia, people can begin to respond to light therapy within a few days and should see improvements within two weeks. If your body does not respond to a SAD lamp after two weeks, consult your doctor.
Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as major depressive disorder with seasonal pattern, is a condition caused by a decrease in sunlight exposure or a change in seasons. This condition primarily affects women and young adults. A SAD lamp, also known as a light box, can help relieve symptoms and improve your mood. SAD lamps can be effective when used alone or in conjunction with other forms of treatment. In any case, always use these lamps under the supervision of a doctor.