What brand of light therapy do you recommend?
October 17, 2011 2:15 PM   Subscribe

Which therapeutic lights for SAD do you like best?

I'm looking for light therapy for SAD (seasonal affective disorder). There are now quite a few types on the market and I'm having trouble choosing one. What do you recommend?
posted by angiep to Health & Fitness (6 answers total) 34 users marked this as a favorite
 
I've tried a couple out. Ones that sit on desks and this one. I much prefer the daylighter that I linked to. It has a wide screen and is great for shining down on you while you use your laptop in the morning or eat breakfast. In the summer I take off the legs and hang it on a wall or sit it on a desk and use it for task lighting.
posted by kanata at 2:21 PM on October 17, 2011


I got this one via an AskMe a few years back and it certainly does the trick. I used to absolutely dread fall/winter and now between that and a Vitamin D regimen (4000 UI) I'm well into October and feelin' okay!
posted by griphus at 2:23 PM on October 17, 2011


The one I tried I don't recommend. I got the visor with the blue lights that shine down into your eyes, thinking I'd be able to do other things while wearing it, but I could barely see anything beyond the light so I couldn't really do much, not even surf the net. And it hurt my eyes and gave me a headache. I feel migrain-ish just thinking about it.
posted by Serene Empress Dork at 2:25 PM on October 17, 2011


We've been really happy with the one we bought at Costco years ago. I think the brand has undergone a name change. But here's the review for it.

I found a direct link at the Philips site to a model that looks nearly identical.

-Ours was around $150.
-It's a small clamshell travel unit that we use at our desk.
-You can set minutes and intensity and it will turn off automatically.
-It charges, so if you need to use it without access to power, you may.
-It's compact, which means you can stick it in a drawer, take it with you or simply move it to another desk without a whole lot of hassle.

Sit it in your periphery for 15 mins in the morning. Really seems to make a difference. We also make sure to take vitamin D and get outside for even just a brief walk during the daylight hours, no matter how cold or nasty it is outside. Good luck.
posted by AnOrigamiLife at 4:09 PM on October 17, 2011 [2 favorites]


Thanks for all the comments and the additional links, as well as the tip to avoid the visor-thing. The Philips model is in Costco right now and I think that's the one we'll get.
posted by angiep at 8:52 PM on October 17, 2011


I got mine from the same company as kanata, just a different version - the Day-Light Sky. From the ridiculous amounts of (slightly obsessive) research I did, it seemed important (for max chance of max benefit) for the following things to be true:
- large field of light. Many small lights, like the little Philips blue ones, have such a small "target" field that if your head moves out of it, you're not getting the same benefit.
- the light has to enter your eyes from ABOVE your eyes. It cannot be on the desk, shining up at your face. There is something about the angle of light entering your eyes from slightly above your eyes. Think about where the sun is, on a sunny morning or evening, in relation to your eyes. It's above, angling down into your eyes.
- some people think the blue LEDs work fine. Some think they work better. It seems like there might be a slightly higher chance of eye issues with narrow-spectrum blue lighting, but I don't have time to bring up the number of studies. It might be a negligible situation, but I have some family history of eye disease and wanted to avoid if possible. Some people still think the white lights work better.

This Day-light Sky seemed to have the backing of a number of researchers and a few associations. Again, it's not a bullet-proof recommendation, and certainly tons of people get benefits from other devices. That's just how I made my own decision. I'm super happy with it.

30 minutes a day, in the morning. I sometimes sit under it for a while at lunch too.
posted by barnone at 4:16 PM on October 18, 2011


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