A Quick Guide to Choosing SAD Lamps

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For many Seasonal Affective Disorder sufferers, SAD lamps will seem like the ideal option because of the lack of medication involved, the positive reviews about their effects on energy and mood and their ease of use.

The only problem is that with so many light therapy boxes and other phototherapy devices available to buy at chemists and online, the choice makes it difficult to find the best product. Here is a quick guide to choosing SAD lamps that will look at the different types, the importance of a good design and other safety considerations.

SAD treatment options come in all shapes and sizes, from light therapy boxes and SAD lamps to sunrise alarms and visors.

Light boxes and specially designed SAD lamps are the more common options because of the ability to use them around the house or office at any time of day and their brightness but there are also sunrise alarms that offer a different approach to obtaining that much needed dose of early morning sunlight and visors that can be worn to provide portable, direct light.

These visors are less popular and do not have the related research to back up their effectiveness but dawn simulators can provide a natural source of light at the time of day that is said to be most effective for treatment and can improve your mood and ability to wake up with ease.

Style is almost as important as function when it comes to choosing the ideal model for your needs.

The perfect light box is the one that works well and has no drawbacks to its design; it is no good if the lux is beneficial but the lamp is ugly and difficult to use. Remember that this could well be a substitute for a household lamp and will therefore have a lot of use.


If you are looking for a powerful light box to be used while working during the day, consider the footprint of the device, how attractive it is when matched with the rest of the décor and the required distance for the ideal therapy session. Many of these factors also apply to dawn simulators on a bed side table but here the simplicity of the controls, the alarm’s features and the intensity of the sunrise also need to be considered.

Other considerations for health and safety with SAD light therapy devices.

There are other factors to think about when choosing a lamp that could have an impact on your health and results. Firstly, there is no standard, universal lux and some lamps are therefore more intense than others, needing shorter or longer sessions.

Studies show that those that offer a blue light rather than a white one are less effective because of the wavelength. Secondly there is the issue of UV rays as some products are better at protecting users with filters than others.

Daily light sessions mean that this choice of model needs to be carefully considered.

As this quick guide to choosing SAD lamps shows, there is a lot to think about; some models may come instantly recommended but it is worth browsing styles and functions to find the one that suits needs your personal situation best. Think about how you want to receive the treatment, find a lamp that has the right style and features for the job and be aware of safety risks.

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