If you’re looking to buy a SAD light box (also called SAD lamp), then you’re just on the right page. Here, we’ve helped you to figure out the best light boxes available in the market at the moment. And our judgment was based on buyer opinions and brand trust.
Our recommendation is that you read the whole page, so you can make a well-informed buying decision in the end. (Further down the page, you can learn more about SAD and how SAD lamps work.)
- 1 What to Look For When Buying a Light Box for SAD
- 2 SAD Lamp Reviews: Best Light Boxes for SAD
- 2.1 1. SAD Light Therapy Box – Alaska Northern Lights – North Star 10,000
- 2.2 2. Northern Light Technology Boxelite 10,000 Lux Full Spectrum Light Therapy Desk Lamp, Black
- 2.3 3. Travelite 10,000 Lux Full Spectrum Light Therapy Portable Desk Lamp for SAD, Beige
- 2.4 4. Aurora LightPad Mini – 10,000 LUX – LED Bright Light Therapy Box for SAD
- 3 Final Recommendations
- 4 What is SAD?
- 5 How a Light Box Cures Seasonal Affective Disorder
What to Look For When Buying a Light Box for SAD
The first step to take in choosing a light box is to have a talk with your doctor if the phototherapy (light therapy) is the best treatment for you.
This would obviously be after you have been professionally diagnosed, as there might be accompanying illnesses or symptoms that would also need to be treated. These include constant tiredness and poor appetite. These may be related to Seasonal Affective Disorders or entire standalone conditions.
Also, certain conditions such as bipolar depression can be negatively affected by the use of phototherapy. So, be sure to talk to your doctor before embarking on your light boxing journey.
Here are factors to consider when buying a SAD lamp:
- Suitability (for SAD): An important step is to seek out a lamp that has been specifically designed for SAD, and not just any “nice” lamp with hues that seemed to calm you. Do not guess! If you do, there is always the risk of guessing wrongly.
- Light intensity: Your selected lamp should emit 10,000LUX minimum. According to experts, anything less won’t do much.
- Other purposes: A range of light boxes have been designed to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder. However, some are more effective than orders. Some are also meant to treat other conditions entirely. So, decide whether you want a lamp made strictly for SAD or one that can serve other purposes.
- Clinical endorsement: Ensure your selected light box has been clinically tested. Choosing to buy your light box on Amazon is a great decision because there is a lot of information available for buyers on a lot of important features including clinical testing. Remember to check out this very important detail.
- Color: Light boxes (both white and blue) emit different colors. Ensure you select the right light for your condition. Blue light boxes can actually make people with bipolar depressions feel worse, while white light is “a bit too bright” for others — though they have been designed so to ensure the right amount of light for combating the Seasonal Affective Disorder is emitted. They have been around for a long time and are generally considered quite effective and very safe for consistent use. Light boxes with full spectrum can be a tad more expensive but a lot of people find these much more appealing than the other light box varieties. Another thing to note is that brighter boxes will need less time than less brighter ones to achieve same results. Your doctor’s recommendation would really come in handy here.
- UV light: Another factor worthy of note is how much ultraviolet light the light box releases. An effective light box for Seasonal Affective Disorder would emit as little as possible. Feel free to contact the manufactures of the light box if in doubt or in need of some form of clarification.
- Side effects: Find out if the light box can cause any form of eye damage. This is actually rare but it does pay to carry out as much research as possible when it comes to something that has to do with (your health and) consistent use.
SAD Lamp Reviews: Best Light Boxes for SAD
Light boxes are certainly in demand by people with Seasonal Affective Disorder who need phototherapy. Why not? These special lamps are proven to work and make people feel better.
There are many different SAD light boxes available in the market right now. And choosing the right one might be somewhat confusing for someone who doesn’t know much about them.
To make things even much easier for you, we have scoured the market in a bid to figure out the best ones based on customer reviews and brand trust.
Here are the four best light boxes for SAD (based on our research).
1. SAD Light Therapy Box – Alaska Northern Lights – North Star 10,000
This light box emits 10,000LUX of light and its lamp is 24 inches wide. It comes with a Lifetime Warranty (original owner). Not bad, eh? The specification states that it is doctor recommended and has broad spectrum biaz bulbs that do not emit harmful ultra violet rays.
Buyer opinions: This product has 49 reviews as at the time of writing this article with a 4.4 star rating out of 5 stars.
2. Northern Light Technology Boxelite 10,000 Lux Full Spectrum Light Therapy Desk Lamp, Black
The Northern Light Boxelite boasts 10,000LUX at a leading distance of 17 inches. It is UV blocked and has full spectrum lighting. It also has stands for vertical setups. It makes no hum noise, has no flicker and is made in Canada in line with strict safety guidelines.
Buyer opinions: As at the time of writing this article, it had 12 reviews and a maximum rating of 5 out of 5.
3. Travelite 10,000 Lux Full Spectrum Light Therapy Portable Desk Lamp for SAD, Beige
This light box offers 10,000LUX of diffused light at a comfortable 12 inches. It is a full spectrum light and is also UV blocked. It has no flicker or hum. It is also quite portable and is made in Canada following the Canadian Standards Association safety guidelines.
Buy opinions: This lamp is quite popular. As at the time of writing this article it had 92 reviews with a 4.3 rating out of 5.
4. Aurora LightPad Mini – 10,000 LUX – LED Bright Light Therapy Box for SAD
The Aurora light pad also offers 10,000LUX at a nice 25 inches and a lifetime warranty. It is doctor recommended, lightweight and portable. It comes with a 60-day money-back guarantee and is made by Disney.
Buyer opinions: There are 8 customer reviews as at the time of writing this article and it has a 4.8 star rating out of 5.
We would recommend the SAD Light Therapy Box – Alaska Northern Lights – North Star 10,000because it has just about everything we talked about in the article but remember, your needs may be unique. But if you dislike our top pick for any reason, feel free to choose any of the others, and you won’t go wrong. Carefully consider all important factors and then go ahead … stay happy all year round!
What is SAD?
SAD means seasonal affective disorder. It is a form of depression caused by seasonal changes. For most people, it begins and ends at just about the same time every year, thus creating a cycle of depression year in and year out; definitely not something to look forward to.
For a lot of people, symptoms can begin to show in the fall season lasting way into the winter. It drains a person’s energy, making the person sad and sometimes, quite in a bit of a mood.
For a smaller fraction of people with the Seasonal affective disorder, it can also occur in summer or even spring. Seasonal affective disorder generally begins with mild symptoms as the season begins.
The symptoms however usually worsen as the season goes along. Doctors advise people not shrug off the Seasonal Affective Disorder as “good ‘ole winter blues”. It is necessary to take definite steps to ensure you are in the best of moods all year long.
Specific causes of seasonal affective disorder rare unknown however certain factors have been fingered as responsible for bringing on the disorder. These are stated to be serotonin and melatonin levels. A person’s ticking biological clock has also been said to be one of the factors responsible.
How a Light Box Cures Seasonal Affective Disorder
Sunlight does appear to be white; however, experts say sunlight is actually made of different colors — in fact, an entire spectrum. It can easily be seen when it shines through water on a rainy day as a rainbow. This knowledge has been harnessed for the creation of the Seasonal Affective Disorder phototherapy.
The Light boxes used in the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder are made to replicate sunlight. Thus, it also replicates the energy and positivity the light box user experiences under sunlight when there is none.
Before now, the full spectrum light boxes were only used for mild cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder. However, technological advancements have shown that blue light at a certain bandwidth is just as effective. In fact, the Seasonal Affective Disorder Organization recommends both types of lights for treatment.