Which one should you go for?
So you’ve decided enough is enough, you are fed up of feeling depressed, tired and downright unhappy during those darker winter months and you are going to do something about it – you are going to get a light box. But you’ve gone through so many light box reviews you have no idea which one you want to get!
Lets try and make your decision a bit easier here by looking at some of the most popular light boxes on the market.
Light Box Reviews
The Day-Light Sky is one of my favourite SAD Lights. My favourite thing about it is the light area is above your field of vision and shines down onto the eyes which is the ultimate way to receive light therapy.
Huge field of light and the quality of light is great. It is ultra adjustable and the light enters from above, which has been shown to be the best way to receive light therapy. Everything about this lamp oozes quality.
It has quite a large footprint, so you will need a reasonable space to place it in and the bulbs will eventually need replacing, but aside from that there isn’t much wrong with it.
Read the full review of the Carex Health Brands Day-Light Sky
This is another top SAD Light by Carex Health Brands. As with the Day-Light Sky it has a huge light area that shines on you from above and it is easy to see up.
Great design, huge field of light and very versatile lamp. As with the Day-Light Sky it is ultra adjustable and the light enters from above, which has been shown to be the best way to receive light therapy.
Minor quibbles that the telescopic legs are slightly too spindly and it is a pain to assemble.
Read the full review of the Carex Health Brands Day-Light Sky
This might just be the best portable light on the market, it is also the only USB rechargeable on the market. It has a great design too and is so easy to transport around.
Rechargeable battery which has a great battery life. The head can be twisted into pretty much any angle and it has three light intensities. To top it all off it is very reasonably priced.
It does have a small surface area and sometimes the light dims when it is running of the USB power point.
Read full review of the Circadian Optics Lumos
Ok so this is one of Amazon’s best sellers and it distinguishes itself from other models on the market by the fact that it is a SAD light with a built in ioniser! The ioniser is meant to clean the air in front of the machine to make it feel more natural and fresh – to replicate the feeling you might get when you are out in the sun by the ocean.
The light itself also uses white light with a high color temperature equivalent to blue sky – it is designed to emit light that is equivalent to the blue sky light in the North Pole.
The light is subtle and not overpowering as SAD lights sometimes can be. It is small and portable and has a timer which is always handy. Unlike anything else here it has an ioniser, so if that appeals to you then this is recommended as it very, very reasonably priced.
The bulbs are expensive (almost the same cost as the unit itself) and they have a lifetime of two to three years, so whilst the price appears good, in the long run you could actually end up shelling up more than you bargained for.
Read the full review of the NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp
The Lightphoria is seemingly the only thing made by Sphere Gadget Technologies (so surely that should be Technology?!). It is a really small device and designed to be totally portable – essentially it is the size and thickness of a paperback book.
It has adjustable light intensity levels so if you find the full 10,000 lux too much for you to start with you can work your way up from 5,000 or 8,00 lux and it has a timer. It is incredibly portable and light so easy to take when you go away and again it is very reasonably priced.
As it is so small it has quite a small field of light and this means it can be very tricky to position the light so you get the full benefit from it. Also it unfortunately has no battery power, which means whilst it is portable you have to be near a power source to have it on.
Read the full review of the Sphere Gadget Technologies Lightphoria, 10,000 Lux Energy Light
Verilux have a strong brand name when it comes to light boxes. The HappyLight Liberty 10,000 actually comes with two lenses that are easily interchangeable – a Comfort Lens and a High Energy Lens. Team this up with the fact it has two intensity settings and in total you get four light intensity settings to suit your needs – 3,500lux, 5,000lux, 7,500lux and 10,000lux.
It has a fantastic variation of light to slowly introduce yourself to light therapy and the light produced is very white and natural. Switching between the lenses is easy and it is also only around six inches wide at the base so it is very easy to move around. It also has two slots in the back so you can wall mount it.
Not much actually, this is pretty good! There is no timer though and no option for batteries so you need to be near a wall socket. The main downside is that replacement bulbs are pretty pricey – they are manufactured only by Verilux and cost around $24 (although they are rated to last 10,000 hours).
Read the full review of the Verilux HappyLight Liberty 10,000 Lux Natural Spectrum Energy Light
This version of the Philips GoLite BLU is slightly older and runs off a corded power supply. It offers blue light therapy with 200 lux of blue light providing the same benefit as 10,000 lux white light.
It looks great, it has three brightness settings, it is light and portable and it has extremely comprehensive instructions. It is also blue light which has been shown by research to be the one bandwidth on the spectrum that is most effective to impact on circadian rhythms and help combat Seasonal Affective Disorder.
As with the Lightphoria there is no battery power, so whilst it is portable it needs to be plugged in all the time. There isn’t a timer either and blue light therapy is still subject to much debate within the scientific communities, mainly because there are years more research to back up white light therapy then there is blue light therapy.
Read the full review of the Philips GoLite BLU Energy Light (HF3422 – Corded Power Supply)
This is similar to the HF3422 but not exactly the same mainly as you don’t need to be near a power supply to use it thanks to its rechargeable battery. It also has five light intensities rather than three and an indicator on the front telling you how long you have been using it for. Like the HF3422 it is a blue light device.
The main thing is the rechargeable battery which lasts anything between 60 minutes and three to four hours depending upon which light intensity you set it to meaning you can use it pretty much anywhere. You also get to work your way through five light intensities and the timer bar on the front is a nifty addition. As with most Philips devices, it does look really good.
The battery doesn’t last that long on a full charge once you have worked your way up to the highest light intensity – only an hour. It has missed a beat by not including a couple of features – ie there is no brightness indicator and no proper battery life indicator. Also read the summary above for the argument surrounding blue light therapy.
Read the full review of the Philips GoLITE BLU Energy Light HF3429 – Rechargeable Version
Another in the Philips range of blue light therapy SAD lights. This measures only 7 inches by 7 inches and is 1 inch thick. It has a rechargeable battery, an alarm, a clock and a timer.
Very, very portable and the rechargeable battery has a reasonable lifespan – you will probably need to recharge it a couple of times a week. It has lots of little features like a built in alarm (a rather pleasant harp sound) timer, adjustable light intensity and a clock.
It is pretty pricey compared to the other two Philips models mentioned here. The battery loses its charge after a couple of years and it cannot be replaced as it is a non-standard lithium-ion battery so you either have to use it via the power supply or buy a whole new unit. There are issues around the use of blue light which are further explored if you follow the link below.
Read the full review of the Philips GoLITE BLU Light Therapy Device – HF3332
Another in the well respected Verilux line of SAD lights. This one only produces 2,500 lux of light though, which means you will need to use it for longer and/or sit closer to the light. In fact the recommended usage time is one to two hours.
It is pretty cheap, especially for a manufacturer with the brand reputation of someone like Verilux. It is also portable, at around 9 inches high by 4.75 inches wide and 2.25 inches deep it is about the same size as a box of tissues and not very heavy either. The light itself is natural and gives off a beautiful glow.
It is pretty basic and has no extra features. Also as mentioned it does require longer exposure times as it is only 2,500lux. The bulb itself is replaceable only by a specific model if it burns out and the replacement bulb is quite expensive – around a quarter of the cost of the unit itself.
Read the full review of the Verilux HappyLight 2500 Compact Energy Lamp
When it comes to choosing a SAD light there are a number of things you need to consider – do you want white light or blue light therapy? Where do you intend to use it? Does it need to be portable? How much will you be looking to pay? Check out our Choosing a SAD Light page for more information.
Finally do plenty of research and make sure you know what you want before you buy. We are adding reviews all the time to our SAD Light Reviews section and will do our very best to help you make an inform and well educated decision so you can banish the winter blues!