Seasonal affective disorder (SAD), also known as the “winter blues” is a seasonal depression than many people suffer from. This type of depression is typically seen in the fall and winter months, as it is related to decreased levels of sunlight.
Changes in sun exposure cause a decrease in the feel-good hormone serotonin, and disrupt levels of the sleep-regulating hormone melatonin.
A popular treatment for seasonal affective disorder is light therapy. During this treatment, a special light box is placed just a few feet away so the person can benefit from the therapeutic light. These lamps are meant to be used for a short time, about 20 to 30 minutes per day.
Luckily, someone who suffers from the winter blues can use this sort of treatment at home-it is not strictly used in a medical office. There are several home-use lamps available that have been approved and supported by medical research.
Before deciding which lamp to buy, there are certain aspects to consider. This guide will cover all of the features offered by different light therapy lamps, so you can decide which is best for you.
All of the lamps here are highly rated and have received excellent reviews from SAD sufferers, and we think they are some of the best light therapy lamps available.
Before we look at each of the light therapy lamps in details, here’s our favorite 3:
For a more detailed breakdown of each light therapy lamp keep on reading:
Nature Bright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp
This bestseller in light therapy boxes provides 10,000 LUX of UV free light that the whole family can benefit from. The 14” x 9” box lights up the entire room and has a span that is wide enough to accommodate more than one user at a time.
The Sun Touch Plus also features negative ion therapy that can be switched on or off depending on preference. For added benefit, Nature Bright offers an aromatherapy capsule that can be attached to the negative ion diffuser.
- Large light base
- One of the more economical options
- Unique negative ion therapy included
- Stationary-user cannot change angle without moving entire device
- Bulkier than other designs
Verilux Happy Light Liberty Personal, Portable Light Therapy Energy Lamp
This personal use, highly portable light lamp is the perfect solution for those who need to save space or use their therapy light away from home. The Happy Light emits 5,000 LUX of UV filtered, natural spectrum light and can easily fit on an end table or a crowded desktop.
The Happy Light’s moderate LUX output is suitable for extended use, although good results have been reported with just 30-60 minutes of use. This lamp is also ideal for those with sensitive eyes, as it includes an Optix lens to reduce glare and eye fatigue.
- Good for extended use
- Moderate LUX won’t hurt eyes
- Some assembly required
- May not be suitable for severe cases of SAD
Aura Day Light Therapy Lamp
The Aura Day Light lamp provides 10,000 LUX of 100% UV free light to combat the winter blues, sleep disorders, and low energy that can occur during the fall and winter seasons. This light therapy lamp has been ETL and FCC tested for safety to ensure the best quality of therapy.
The patented intensity dial and built-in timer make this lamp suitable for every user’s needs, and allows you to gradually adjust to the higher intensity light therapy. Lightweight and sleek, this therapy lamp can easily fit into any home or office.
- Adjustable LUX for customized therapy
- 100% UV free to protect eyes
- Easily portable
- Can be easily knocked over by pets or children
- Lamp angle cannot be adjusted beyond 85° or 70°
Carex Health Brands Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp
The Carex Day Light Classic Plus lamp provides optimal light therapy, and its design in based on lamps used by medical researchers. This model emits the maximum 10,000 LUX as recommended in light therapy for effective treatment of mild to severe cases of seasonal affective disorder.
The large 12” surface provides a wide span of therapeutic light, making this design suitable for more than one person or those who need more freedom of movement. As is recommended by experts, the light projects downward for maximum benefit and eye protection.
- Angle and height adjustable
- Uses stand to take up minimal space
- Large 16” span good for multiple users
- Larger design not suitable for crowded spaces
- Does not include timer
Pure Bliss Energy Lamp
The Pure Bliss light therapy lamp provides safe and effective alternative to natural sunlight with 10,000 LUX that is equivalent to full daylight. This easy-to-use lamp uses technology that is proven to help with fatigue and the winter blues that so many people suffer from when the season changes.
The compact design of the Pure Bliss therapy lamp makes this design ideal for travel or use in the office. The angle of the lamp is easily adjusted for maximum versatility.
- Automatic shutoff after 2 hours of use
- Includes magnetic storage for stand for great portability
- Space saving design, versatile positioning good for tight spaces
- The user needs to be very close to this lamp for the full benefit
Sphere Gadget Technologies Lightphoria
Sphere Gadget Technologies has developed a highly portable therapy light lamp that provides 10,000 LUX wide spectrum light. This lamp is perfect for those who travel frequently, as its compact 6”x6.5” design can easily fit into most bags.
The light intensity of this therapy lamp is adjustable, as is the treatment time for increments of 15, 30, and 45 minutes. For safety, the long-lasting LED bulbs do not emit any heat, and the product includes a globally compatible 110V/240V AC adaptor.
- Compact design perfect for travel
- Energy efficient, no need for bulb changes
- Treatment time and intensity are adjustable
- Not possible to change angle of lamp
- Stand not very sturdy
Circadian Optics Lumos Light Therapy Lamp
The Lumos light therapy lamp is revolutionary in its minimal footprint and conservative power requirements. This lamp provides the maximum amount of 10,000 LUX of high quality light, yet it is powered through just a USB port.
A built-in diffuser filters out UV rays to provide a full spectrum light that is close to natural sunlight as possible. For optimal space-saving, the lamp’s battery base rotates to also function as a stand.
- Long life span at 50,000 hours with LED bulbs
- Space-saving design
- USB power supply eliminates extra cord and AC adapter
- Easy to knock over
- Requires special USB cable that can only be replaced by manufacturer
Philips GoLITE BLU Energy Light
This light therapy lamp is unique in that is uses blue light that is equivalent to 10,000 LUX white light to combat seasonal affective disorder, sleep problems, and fatigue. Its light is meant to mimic a sunny blue sky, and provides treatment in just 20-30 minutes per day.
There are three light intensities to choose from to suit individual needs and to aid new users in adjusting to the light. The GoLite Blu is compact and very portable, requiring either a rechargeable battery of an AC adapter for power.
- Easily portable
- Rechargeable battery eliminates need for cable
- Three light intensities to choose from
- Blue light is not suitable for everyone
- Too bright for sensitive eyes
Nature Bright Sun Bliss 2 in 1 Portable Light Therapy and Wake-Up Light
The multi-function Sun Bliss light therapy lamp by Nature Bright is the perfect solution for those who need a bit of extra pep in the morning. Built into the lamp is a programmable clock that uses light to gradually and gently wake you up, similar to a sunrise.
The device can also be used as a light therapy lamp, with adjustable intensities to suit individual needs. The Sun Bliss provides the 10,000 LUX recommended for light therapy with an LED diffuser lens to protect the eyes from glare.
- Multiple uses
- Adjustable intensity
- Compact design ideal for travel
- Restrictive angle of lamp
- Small surface area doesn’t permit wide range of movement
Lumie Bodyclock Active 250 Wake-Up Light, Alarm Clock with FM Radio
Another great option with multiple uses, the Lumie Bodyclock Active 250 device can function as a sunrise alarm clock, a therapeutic light lamp, and a bedside reading light that dims gradually to help the sleep rhythm.
The gradual sunrise and sunset settings range from 100 to 300 LUX, while the therapeutic setting can emit up to 10,000 LUX. To suit preferences, the sunrise alarm clock can be adjusted to run over 15, 20, 30, 45, 60, or 90 minutes. For additional therapeutic effects, there are soothing and energizing sounds to choose from, or an FM radio setting.
- Multiple uses
- Sound function unique to light therapy lamps
- Easily portable
- Clock only works on military time
- Small buttons can be difficult to operate
These are just a few of the best light therapy lamps that are available, but they are the very best of their category. As we can see by the wide variety of features and designs, one does not have to settle for a one-size-fits-all option, but select one that suits their own needs and preferences.
Selecting the appropriate light therapy lamp comes down to function. If you plan on using the maximum brightness as recommended for therapy, the larger versions like the Nature Bright Sun touch or the Carex Day Light Classic provide the brightest, widest range of light.
Or, if you are looking for versatility and compact design, the Philips GoLite Blue is highly portable and has more functions than any of the other models.
Whichever design suits your needs in the best way, all of the models in this guide use the same technology as medical researchers.
This technology has been proven to be effective for light therapy, and will hopefully give you relief from the winter blues, sleep disorders, or fatigue that many suffer from during the fall and winter months.