Tech Made Simple

Hot Topics: How to Fix Bluetooth Problems | Quell Pain Relief Review | Best TVs Under $500 | Complete Guide to Facebook Privacy

Choose It

author photo

The Best Broad-Spectrum Therapy Lights

posted by on December 29, 2016 in Health & Fitness, Health and Home, Guides & Reviews :: 2 comments

How to Cure the Winter Blues

For many people, wintertime can mean feeling tired despite a full night’s sleep, craving sweets and carbohydrates or getting moody over things that typically don’t bother them. When symptoms are more intense, this seasonal syndrome may be diagnosed by a doctor as Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).

The likely culprit behind both winter blues and SAD is a decrease in the amount of sunlight you’re getting. The change disrupts your internal body clock, leaving you feeling blah.

Now, light therapy has joined exercise and getting outside as much as possible during the day on the list of ways to fight this wintertime problem. Light therapy can also aid those who do shift-work or experience jet lag. Light therapy products include desk lamps, floor lamps, light boxes, dawn simulators, special light bulbs and even lighted visors.

The idea behind light therapy, also known as phototherapy or bright light therapy, is fairly simple. Exposure to special indoor lights that emit full-spectrum light that mimics sunshine activates certain chemicals in your brain, researchers believe, that play a role in mood regulation. The light also helps adjust your body’s circadian or 24-hour body-clock rhythms.

In an interview with Alfred Lewy, M.D., PhD and professor emeritus of psychiatry at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU), he explains that although natural sunlight is usually best at keeping the blues at bay, during the shortest days around the winter solstice, you may need to augment that with technology. He says for most people, morning is the most important time to get that light exposure.

As interest in the field of light therapy grows, so does the number of available products. Because most lights and light boxes don’t require approval or regulation by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), it’s important to understand the options before you make a purchase.

Many lights emit white light, sometimes with a warmer yellow or cooler bluish glow. Some ophthalmologists warn that too much blue light could cause retina damage. Although research has not confirmed that claim, we’re holding off recommending any products that emit concentrated blue light.

Light therapy for winter blues

If the shorter days near the end of the year leave you feeling a mild case of the winter woes, sunlight simulators can help put some pep back in your step. These devices are basically alarm clocks that start off with a gradual light that increases in intensity — kind of like a miniature sunrise. Plenty of people use these bulbs just because they find them a more pleasant way to wake up all year long!

Philips Wake-Up Light With Sunrise Simulation

Philips Wake-Up Light with Surise Simulation

Philips’ Wake-Up Light with Sunrise Simulation uses LED light to create a colored sunrise simulation. The “sunrise,” which is a slow change from red to orange to yellow light, can be timed to take between 20 and 40 minutes. At night, a dusk simulation can help you doze off. The Wake-Up Light can also act as a bedside lamp, with 20 different brightness settings up to 300 lux. The light has two alarms, tap-to-snooze, five different wake-up sounds and an FM radio. This full-featured best-seller has everything we'd recommend in a wake-up light, it's beautifully designed and it gets 4.3 stars on Amazon.

Price: $135.50 at Amazon

Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit

Philips Hue

You can turn a regular lamp into a therapy light with Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance smart bulbs. The bulbs, each controllable by your smartphone or tablet — work with a bridge that also makes them controllable by Amazon's Alexa-enabled products.

Program the bulbs the change the color of white light they produce depending on time of day—morning (blue-toned, around 6000K), midday (bright white, around 5000) and evening light (orange-toned, around 2700K)—in order to help synchronize your body’s circadian rhythms. The color “temperature” helps regulate your body’s production of melatonin, the hormone that helps your body maintain its circadian rhythm and plays a key role regulating when you fall asleep and wake up. 

Price: $199.99 on Amazon for 3 bulbs and a bridge

Light therapy for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

For some people, seasonal doldrums may be much more intense and actually be symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD, a type of depression related to changes in seasons. According to the Mayo Clinic, SAD may include fatigue, irritability, moodiness, significant weight gain or the need for more sleep.

If you suffer from SAD, you too may benefit from light therapy. Time spent with a light box (a metal frame holding fluorescent tubes) is one of the most common treatment recommendations. Most people use light boxes for a minimum of 30 minutes each morning.

Note: If you think you may be suffering from SAD, please seek professional medical help. While treatments for SAD often include light therapy as a first-line of treatment, psychotherapy, medicine or a combination of treatments may also be recommended by your doctor.

If you’re looking for a light box to treat SAD, consider what type of device might work best for you.

  • Some light therapy products look like traditional lamps (upright, desk or floor style). Many products are smaller and more portable. Mayo Clinic recommendations say most light boxes need to be within about two feet of you to work most effectively.
  • Brighter lights may require less time to use each day, but it’s important to find a light or light box that provides the right intensity of light at a comfortable distance — so be sure to talk to your doctor. “The manufacturer should have calibrated the distance between your eyes and the fixture to achieve about 10,000 lux, but no more,” Dr. Lewy said. If you do have SAD, you’ll want to look for labeling on the product or manufacturer’s information/user guide accompanying the product that shows it’s been designed to treat SAD.
  •  Light therapy lamps or boxes designed to treat skin disorders or other problems may emit higher levels of ultraviolet (UV) light and could damage your eyes if used incorrectly. Ideally, you should be looking for lights that filter out much of or all of the UV light.
  •  Many doctors recommend fluorescent bulbs for SAD light therapy, because incandescent lights can get hot. And while the doctors we spoke with said they’re not against LED’s being used, they also noted it’s still a fairly new choice, so there’s no long-term research. Look for a product with a Plexiglas diffuser or diffuser lens.

Products to combat SAD

You doctor may advise you to invest in a larger light box to provide the maximum exposure to bright-light therapy. While larger light boxes typically cost more, they also should last many years. Contact your insurance company to see if they may cover a portion of the cost if you have a doctor’s prescription.

Best for at home: Alaska Northern Lights NorthStar 10,000

Alaska Northern Lights NorthStar 10,000

This broad-spectrum light box is a bestseller, having been on the market (albeit updated) for 21 years. It stands both horizontally and vertically and is 10,000 lux at a distance of 24 inches. It weighs 10 pounds and measures 12.5 inches tall by 22.5L inches wide by 4.5 inches deep. The box has a handle for carrying it from place to place. A reflective mirror finish spreads the light evenly across the sub-surface of its diffuser, helping eliminate harsh glare. This light box comes with a 60-day trial and a full money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty to the original owner. What sets this light apart is the fact that you can place this light at up to two feet away (most lights require you to sit within 8-12 inches), it has a handy carrying handle and 4.2 star rating on Amazon.

Price: $299.77 on sale from Alaska Northern Lights or Amazon

Best for travel: Sphere Gadget Technologies Lightphoria, 10,000 Lux Energy Light Lamp

Sphere Gadget Technologies Lightphoria, 10,000 Lux Energy Light Lamp

This lamp contains 72 “eye-optimized” LED lights adding up to 10,000 lux of broad-spectrum white light at 12 inches. The compact design is easy to pack up for travel and offers a tilt-back stand. The LED bulbs do not emit heat, and the device has a programmable timer and different intensity settings. A nylon travel pouch is included with the purchase as well as a 110v/240v worldwide-compatible AC adapter. We are impressed by this light's compact size, travel accessories and 4.2 star rating on Amazon.

Price: $64.99 at Amazon

Updated on 12/29/2016 with new product picks

[Image credits: sad woman looking out window via Shutterstock, Philips, Alaska Northern, Sphere Gadget Technologies]

Discussion loading


Very interesting. Very informative. Always

From Henry C on December 18, 2015 :: 11:44 am

Very interesting. Very informative. Always nice to have a little help during those long winter months.



Tour Tết Dương Lịch

From Duong Quang Tri on January 02, 2017 :: 11:12 pm


LET’S FLY TRAVEL với kinh nghiệm 6 năm làm du lịch, chuyên tổ chức du lịch Nha Trang Tết với chất lượng tour cao nhất, thực đơn hải sản chất lượng nhưng giá tour lại rất phù hợp. Quý khách có thể đặt tour online hoặc liên hệ Mr. Thuận 09167 456 83 để được tư vấn và đặt tour.

Nha Trang được biết đến là một nơi du lịch cực kỳ lý thú, Du lịch Tết Nha Trang du khách có những cảm nhận riêng phong cảnh sơn thủy hữu tình ngây ngất lòng người. Biển Nha Trang hiện lên với nắng vàng, cát trắng trải dài trên biển, nước biển trong xanh cùng với hệ sinh thái biển đa dạng và phong phú như: màu sắc rực rỡ của các loài cá bơi lượn xung quanh những đám san hô lộng lẫy dưới đáy biển đại dương Nha Trang làm nên một Nha Trang đẹp như trong tranh. Du lịch Tết Nguyên Đán 2017 là thời gian rất tuyệt vời để bạn cùng gia đình có những ngày nghỉ tuyệt vời bên nhau tại thành phố biển Nha Trang. Nếu bạn không thể đi tour Tết Dương Lịch 2017 thì Tour Tết Nha Trang là sự lựa chọn tốt nhất cho bạn để có thể thư giãn cùng gia đình.

Cùng với Du Lịch Tết 2017 Và Tour Lễ 30/4, Let’s Fly Travel luôn đồng hành cùng khách hàng với tất cả các tour và dịp lễ trong năm. Khuyến mãi cực lớn với Tour Tết Dương Lịch

Nha Trang không những nổi tiếng là bãi biển đẹp nhất trong những chuyến đi du lịch Việt Nam mà du khách không thể bỏ qua, đến với Du lịch Nha Trang 2017 bạn được ngắm cảnh biển mộng mơ,nước biển trong vắt một màu,tham gia các hoạt động như lặn biển ngắm các rặng san hô,thả diều…,khách du lịch còn được thưởng thức các món đặc sản của bãi biển nổi tiếng này như nem nướng ,bánh canh, bò nướng lụi, bún cá, hoành thánh mỳ, nem nướng,…mang nét đặc trưng, hương vị riêng tạo sức lôi cuốn mạnh với người thưởng thức, ăn một lần là nhớ hoài khó quên.

Nha Trang là một trong những bãi biển được mệnh danh là đẹp nhất du lịch Việt Nam, với nhiều điểm vui chơi du lịch được đầu tư để phục vụ thu hút khách du lịch, du khách khi đến đây hết sức trầm trồ khen ngợi và họ dễ dàng bị “đánh gục” bởi sự quyến rũ, trẻ trung và năng động của thành phố biển xinh đẹp này.

Cùng khám phá tour Nha Trang Tết 2017 được tổ chức chuyên nghiệp, chất lượng, luôn nhận được sự hài lòng từ du khách trong và ngoài nước. Hãy liên hệ ngay với chúng tôi. Mọi thắc mắc được giải đáp chi tiết và đặt tour nhanh chóng.
Last post:


© Techlicious LLC. Home | About | Meet the Team | Sponsorship Opportunities | Newsletter Archive | Contact Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy

Techlicious participates in affiliate programs, including the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which provide a small commission from some, but not all, of the "click-thru to buy" links contained in our articles. These click-thru links are determined after the article has been written, based on price and product availability — the commissions do not impact our choice of recommended product, nor the price you pay. When you use these links, you help support our ongoing editorial mission to provide you with the best product recommendations.

site design: Juxtaprose