Help me un-SAD my bathroom
October 28, 2013 2:17 PM   Subscribe

I recently moved. The only light in my bathroom is from five of these bulbs (with the smaller bases -- I don't know exactly what they're called) over the medicine cabinet. I'm wondering if there are nice, bright, LED (full spectrum?) SAD-fightin' bulbs, ideally with warm white light, that I could screw in in their place. Any additional brightness would be welcome to help my brain as I get ready for the day and the year gets darker (I have to get up very early for work). Thanks very much!
posted by the brave tetra-pak to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
I wonder if you'd be better off having a portable anti-SAD light in your bathroom (I have a Philips one and like it). The problem with having the bulbs in the fixture is that if it's 2 AM and you go in to pee, WHAM it's MORNING HELLLOOOO.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:46 PM on October 28, 2013 [1 favorite]

In the UK, I'd refer to that type of bulb as a golf ball SES (Small Edison Screw) bulb. Googling turns up this, but I don't know if it's going to be helpful for SAD.
posted by Solomon at 2:48 PM on October 28, 2013

My understanding is that light intensity is as important as wavelength coverage, and you will have trouble meeting the 10,000 lx standard, let alone the 2500 lx standard, with five tiny bulbs. For instance, the bulbs linked by Solomon are 40 watt equivalent, each of which produce illumination equivalent to 30 lux (at a distance of ~40 inches--lux describes the intensity of light reaching a surface, which is why bulbs aren't rated by lux). So, you would need...well, a few hundred of those bulbs, at least.

The sun is really bright, and if you aren't used to thinking about in a systematic way (as a photographer, for instance) it's often hard to conceive of how much dimmer it is under artificial light--our eyes and brain are just that good at adapting.
posted by pullayup at 3:12 PM on October 28, 2013

The Phillips light, on the other hand, uses low-intensity blue light, but I'm not sure you can find LED or CF bulbs that produce it, since most LED bulbs are trying to approximate the light you'd get from an incandescent bulb--it would probably make your bathroom look weirdly underwater.

Individual LEDs are available, however, and AFAIK that's what the Phillips light uses.
posted by pullayup at 3:26 PM on October 28, 2013

I also have five of those above the medicine cabinet. While they are 40W (200 total) it just isn't enough. I think that style comes in 25 and 40 -- make sure yours are all 40. [I can see the one in your hand is, from the stamp on the base - good photo.]

Anyway we put a light on the ceiling too. If there's attic above your bathroom this probably wouldn't be hard/expensive, and it would open up a lot of bulb options for you.
posted by fritley at 5:35 PM on October 28, 2013

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