Seasonal Affective Disorder Lights – Buying Tips

by MarenEliz

What medical research suggests, what hasn't been sorted out, features of the light boxes, and websites to check.

Seasonal Affective Disorder Sun Spectrum Replacement Lights

Light Boxes for SAD

 People with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) living in the United States surely get a whammy of challenge.  The autumn and winter bring fewer hours of potential daylight.  Please note the word “potential.” Although the times for sunrise and sunset are prescribed, alas, one has no guarantee that the window of “day time” will be sunny.  Furthermore, some areas of the country receive less than the national average of sunlight (include the state of Pennsylvania in this region), so there is a disadvantage before the seasonal factors enter.

Sunlight Jr. Therapeutic Light Box

SB-682 Features: -Sunlight Jr. therapeutic lightbox.-10,000 lux full spectrum therapeutic lighting.-High speed electronic ballast that eliminate any flicker and have very low he...

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55W Bulb for Sunlight Jr., Sunbox Desk Lamp, and Sunsation

SB-689 Features: -Appliable to sunlight jr., sunbox desk lamp, and sunsation light boxes.-Researchers recommend replacing all the bulbs in your light box every 2 years to mainta...

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Lack of Good Current Research

Come on, doctors, help us!


My research shows a SAD (pun intended) lack of current research regarding proven health benefits of specific qualities or features of lights on the market.  Perhaps that is good news: as in, all of them can do a decent job?  Unfortunately, there are several blog sites which seem very self-serving and biased.  On two unauthoritative sites using Amazon sales figures as the measure of effectiveness, the Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy Device is touted.  I am already doubtful. 

A Mayo Clinic article posted in 2010 advises that light boxes for treating SAD “…aren't approved or regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Research on light boxes is still limited, so it can be challenging to sort out which ones are safest and likely to work.”   This page does outline factors, however, which may be useful in evaluating what light box to purchase.

Verilux HappyLight Full-Size 10,000 lux Light Therapy Energy Lamp

We often don't get enough sunlight or even daylight for that matter. Our hectic work and home lifestyles tend to keep us indoors and away from an essential element we can't live...

$99.95  $78.94

Four Factors to Evaluate

Factors to Consider

1.  Ultra-violet Light – One generally does not need or want UV light to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder symptoms.  UV light can damage the eyes and cause skin damage.  Therefore, comparing the amount of UV emitted at the highest light setting is recommended.

2.  Blue light – What little research exists suggests that Blue Light may be slightly more effective at ameliorating SAD symptoms. White light has been the more commonly used wavelength in these boxes.  CAUTION: Blue light may be more harmful to the eyes than white light.

3.  Features of convenience – Style of the box, positioning the box, its cost, features with control buttons, cord length, and so forth may influence one’s final purchase decision.   Also, the use of LED lights inside, rather than fluorescent and incandescent lights seems to be equally effective while enabling the box to be lighter weight and smaller sized.

4.  Sunrise simulation feature – Apparently, people whose SAD manifestation includes sleep pattern disturbance can benefit from a box which turns on in the morning while one is asleep and gradually gets brighter until he or she wakes up.  However, the Mayo Clinic advises that “open eye” time with a light box is still needed to reduce SAD effects.

Aurora LightPad - Brightest 10,000 LUX Light Therapy Available - Doctor Recommended

The Aurora Lightpad MiniThe most compact, brightest LED on the market. It is a proven, natural remedy for fighting Winter Blues. It is ultra sleek, ultra thin design make it the...

Only $179.77
Alaska Northern Lights - Floor Stand Combo - Natural Winter Blues Remedy

Floor Stand Combo -- Each Floor Stand Combo includes: North Star 10,000 Light Box, Fully Adjustable Floor Stand & Carrying/Storage Bag. -- SAVE $68 WITH THE COMBO! Each light bo...

Only $439.00
Aurora LightPad Max - 10,000 LUX Bright Light Therapy Box

The Aurora LightPad is a 10,000 LUX LED light therapy box used to enhance your mood and increase your energy in a natural way! The Aurora Lightpad is the largest LED box on the ...

Only $349.00

5 Sources for Light Boxes

5 Sources for Light Boxes  (Sorry, I am having difficulty creating the link.  Please copy and paste to visit.)

We Need a Daily Dose of Sunlight

See the gentleman's smile?
A Sunny Garden Seat
A Sunny Garden Seat

Happy Shopping


I have owned a light box made by one of the above-listed manufacturers for years.  I kick myself for not pulling it out of the closet early enoughin the winter darkness.  The moment I start using it, I gain an “aahh” feeling of relief.  We SAD people are blessed that these light boxes are available.  Good luck with your consumer research and purchase.

Updated: 12/28/2011, MarenEliz
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