Product Name: Nature Bright SunTouch Plus Ion and Light Therapy Lamp
Original Review Date: 5 August 2016
Updated Review Date: 8 August 2018
Price Guideline: $$$
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Note: All images used in this review have been kindly provided with the permission of Nature Bright.
Does the Ion Therapy work? I’m not sure, but the Nature Bright SunTouch Plus Ion and Light Therapy Lamp definitely does and it is cheap too!
- Editor Rating 87% 87%
10,000-lux light – 10,000 lux is the recommended light intensity level to treat SAD effectively
Adjustable timer – set to 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes
Built-in Negative Ionizer
Lightweight and compact design
Dimensions: 13 H x 9 W x 6 D inches
Case size: 22.3 x 15.2 x 16.4 inches
Light intensity: 10,000 lux
Color temperature: 17,000 Kelvin UV free light
Power: AC 120V & 220V (upon request)
Bulbs: 4 x fluorescent tubular lights.
In The Box
NatureBright Sun Touch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp
1 Year Warranty
Nature Bright SunTouch Plus Ion And Light Therapy Lampy Review
So How Does It Work?
So this is a real novelty amongst SAD lights – a SAD light with a built in Ioniser!
The idea behind the ioniser is that it apparently ‘brings you the positive properties of nature’s most calming scenes’. It releases negative ions that are supposed to alleviate depression and boost energy.
Essentially the ioniser cleans the air in front of the machine to make it feel more natural and fresh – like you are enjoying a sunny, relaxing day by the sea. You can turn the ioniser on and off independently of the light.
The light itself is 10,000 lux and emits a 17,000 Kelvin UV-free light that is the equivalent to blue sky light in the North Pole. There is some confusion over whether this is blue light or white light.
The Nature Bright Sun Touch Plus does not use blue light, but uses white light with high color temperature equivalent to a blue sky.
The optimum distance to get the full 10,000 lux is 9 to 18 inches. Set the timer to 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes and off you go.
Nature Bright recommend you start with just 15 minutes in front of the light to break yourself in gently and then gradually increase until you find a timescale that is suitable and effective for you.
The Sun Touch manages to achieve something that few other SAD lights do – the light gives off the full 10,000 lux, but appears quite subtle.
Usually when you look at the feedback on a SAD light there will always be a proportionate of comments saying that the light is too bright. Of course when you haven’t used a SAD Light before it can be surprising how bright a 10,000 lux light is and it takes some time to adjust.
However the Sun Touch Plus does not seem to suffer from this problem, partially probably due to 17,000 Kelvin temperature of the light so it mimics a blue sky. The light is actually soothing and pleasant but still delivers the necessary 10,000 lux.
In case you have any worries about the safety of the light – it has been tested and certified safe for eyes by the Medical Section of the University of Texas.
The design of the Sun Touch Plus is a bonus as well. It is big enough to put out a lot of light, but small enough to sit on a bedside table or night stand.
It is compact enough to be able to move it from room to room without a problem and then can easily be positioned on your desk, next to your laptop, wherever you want to ensure you can get your dose of light therapy.
Not only is it fairly lightweight, it is also quite sturdy as well – try not to make a habit of it but it will survive the occasional accident. Such as drops onto the floor, etc, etc.
The timer function is great and very simple to operate. The settings are clearly listed and you can choose whether you want 15, 30, 45 or 60 minutes before it automatically turns off. A nice feature which means you don’t have to keep track of how long you have been sitting there.
The price gets another thumbs up – it is very reasonably priced indeed. At the time of writing it is available for just over $50 on Amazon. For a genuine SAD light it is great value for money.
Finally there is of course the Ioniser! I am sceptical as to how beneficial it is, but many users love this feature. It has been compared to fresh air blowing on a spring morning – like you are near a soothing body of water.
The Ioniser gives off a slight smell. This divides opinion but many users can’t get enough of it, saying it is a smell you usually get during summer-like weather when you are near a beach and the ocean.
It isn’t a strong smell, but a subtle fragrance which many people find relaxing and calming.
One of the main downsides about the Sun Touch Plus is that whilst it does appear reasonably priced (and it is) there is a hidden cost – the cost of the bulbs.
So the Sun Touch Plus currently costs $52. However the replacement bulbs cost $47 currently – almost the same price as the product itself!
So whilst something like the Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy Device seems much more expensive at $175, with its LED lights it should last about ten times as long as the Sun Touch Plus (the bulbs used in the Sun Touch Plus are supposed to last two to three years).
So in the long run this seemingly modest investment might turn out not to be as well priced as you think!
The Ionizer divides opinion as well. Some users love it and swear it makes a difference, others think the slight smell it gives off is sickly and plasticky and even question the safety of the negative ion generator, saying it could produce ozone.
However if you don’t like the Ionizer it can be operated completely independently of the lamp – so you can just leave it turned off permanently.
This SAD light should not be used if you suffer with bi-polar – the manual says it could cause people with the disorder to become manic.
You also need to be within 9 to 18 inches to receive the full benefit of the 10,000 lux. You don’t realise how close this is until you actually try it and it does somewhat limit the use of it.
Finally it probably isn’t the prettiest SAD light ever made – more about that below.
The Sun Touch Plus has some nice design features – a carry handle on the back which is good for example – but the power cord could be longer. It is around 6 feet, of course if this is a problem you can just use an extension lead.
It is fairly basic looking, this isn’t a bad thing, but it doesn’t have the swish, stylish look of some other SAD lights. Of course you don’t buy these lights to be stylish, so it doesn’t matter too much, you just want it to do the job you bought it for.
And Does It Work?
The lightbox does work! There is plenty of positive feedback online. One user who is disabled and receives little or no sun at all said the machine had made a big difference to them.
Others noticed an immediate difference to their mood and mindset, saying a short spell under this device was a great way to start the day and left them feeling fantastic.
As I mentioned I am sceptical about the Ioniser, but some users love it mainly for the smell and feeling of being out in the sun by the ocean. It might be a placebo effect, but hey maybe it does work!
SAD charity SADA have released figures showing that light therapy is effective in up to 85% of diagnosed cases of Seasonal Affective Disorder. This is backed up by study after study that show light therapy makes a difference to those suffering with SAD:
- University of North Carolina study
- University of British Columbia study
- Harvard Health Publication
- Overview of numerous studies
In short – the chances are it will make a difference for you!
Nice blue tinted white light
Bulbs last two to three years and replacements are very expensive
Delivers 10,000 lux
Not to be used if you have bi-polar disorder
Portable and compact design
Need to be very close to get full benefit of it
Sturdy – will survive a drop or two!
Ioniser – sickly smell and unnecessary
Ioniser – like being out by the ocean on a summer’s day!
An interesting idea – a SAD light with added Ioniser! If the Ioniser concept appeals to you then this particular SAD light could be right up your street, making it a must purchase.
All in all, there isn’t too much to moan about. It is very reasonably priced, has a nice looking light that delivers 10,000 lux and is easily portable. You can’t really go too far wrong with the Sun Touch Plus.
Just be aware that replacement bulbs are more expensive, so if you are looking for a long-term solution to SAD that won’t require the occasional outlay on bulbs maybe try something like the Verilux HappyLight Liberty 10,000.
- EDITOR RATING 87% 87%
If you are looking for an alternative check out my review of the Circadian Optics Lumos, which is also well priced, portable and can be operated cordlessly.
If you would like to leave your personal review or experience of this product, or if you have any questions, please do leave them below. I would love to hear your feedback!
About The Reviewer
Lead Editor, Product Tester & WriterSteve first noticed he might be suffering from SAD in Autumn 2011. After 18 months travelling the world (and following the sun!) he returned to England in March 2011 and was plunged back into grey skies and cloud!
Find out more about the Shine A Light On SAD Review Team.