Best Light Therapy Glasses – Our Picks and Reviews

Statistics suggest that up to 20 percent of adults in the United State suffer from some form of Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. Others may experience difficulty falling asleep due to jet lag or working odd shifts. In all instances, a lack of sunshine exposure not only affects sleep cycles, but can also lead to depression, general fatigue or mood swings.

Traditionally, the treatment for SAD and similar disorders involved taking OTC or prescription medications or sitting in front of phototherapy lamps or light boxes. The devices are engineered to emit light at frequencies thought to mimic sunlight. When sitting in front of a phototherapy device, the light enters the eyes and travels to the photoreceptors in the retinas. Once the photoreceptors absorb the light, a signal travels to the optic nerve and onto to the pineal gland in the brain, which stops excretion of the sleep-inducing hormone melatonin.

The treatment leaves individuals feeling awake and energized as their circadian rhythm readjusts, which encourages normalized wake/sleep cycles. Unfortunately, medications do not work for all, and sitting in front of a phototherapy device is not only time-consuming, but also physically restricting. The devices rely on electrical outlets and must be appropriately positioned to ensure the light hits the eyes at the correct angle.

Innovative engineers developed portable eye wear, which has the same effect as traditional phototherapy devices, but enables users more freedom. The devices are equipped with specially designed LED bulbs, which emit light at the proper angle and wavelength into the eyes to produce the same biological therapeutic effects.

ReTimer Generation 2

10/10

The ReTimer Generation 2 sleep therapy device resembles something you might imagine in a science fiction movie. The ergonomically-designed white frame almost looks like a pair of goggles without the lens. The bottom of the frame around the nose area is also open. However, there is an adjustable nose piece extending from the top of the frame.

Beneath each eye location are two blue/green LED bulbs, which emit light at wavelengths between 450 and 550 nm and 500 lux. The lights are strategically positioned to shine upward into the eyes, which ensures the rays travel to the retinal photoreceptors. The light intensity emitted is also adjustable via the power button on the inside of one of the folding earpieces.

The light therapy device weighs a mere 14 ounces, which is no more than a pair of sunglasses. The lightweight design ensures the device is comfortable to wear for the recommended 30 minute sessions. The phototherapeutic frame is also created to be worn with contact lenses or conventional prescription glasses. The unique, open-frame design prevents obstructed vision. So, you can wear the ReTimer device and carry on with any type of daily activity desired.

The Generation 2 is completely portable and functions via an internal battery. Once charged using the accompanying micro-USB cable, the device continues emitting light for up to four hours. The package also includes a convenient, protective carrying case and a user manual. ReTimer also comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty. The website offers a ReTimer app, which enables device owners to calculate the optimal time to wear the device according to their desired sleep/wake schedule.

The ReTimer Generation 2 light therapy device developed as a result of 25 years of research performed by a group of sleep psychologists from Flinders University in Australia. Studies testing the glasses indicated they were as effective as light boxes for treating SAD and other sleep disorders.


Luminette 2

9/10

If you are looking for a more convenient way to get daily light therapy, then Luinette 2 eye wear is an ideal option. The visor-like glasses serve as a completely portable means of treating SAD. At just 17 ounces in weight, the Luminette 2 therapy visor is lightweight and comfortable to wear. The device is approved for reducing the symptoms associated with jet lag, SAD and shift work.

Simply push the little power button on and wear the visor for a mere 20 to 40 minutes a day. Continue doing any other activity while getting the treatment you need. Luminette 2 is designed to provide therapeutic light without obstructing your normal view. The elevated visor can also be worn over contact lenses or glasses without discomfort, as the nose piece easily adjusts for proper fit.

There are four LED bulbs over each eye on the device, which emit light in one of three adjustable settings. Choose 500, 1,000 or 1,500 lux. The bulbs are chosen to emit white light enhanced with blue light at a wavelength of 468 nm. This particular wavelength was chosen to ensure avoidance of light below levels of 450 nm, which are known to worsen SAD symptoms. The combination of white and blue light has been shown to closely replicate sunlight. Hologram-refractory, mirror lenses beneath each light array ensure the light rays bend and travel to the bottom of each retina.

The My Luminette website also offers an app that users may download to establish a daily use pattern based on your particular condition and desired sleep/wake schedule.

Clinical trials performed by independent laboratories indicated the Luminette 2 visor effectively delivered light intensity to each eye equivalent to sitting in front of a 10,000 lamp. When fully charged, the visor continues providing therapeutic light for 10 sessions. The micro-USB cable makes charging easy and convenient.

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