The Northern Light Technologies Flamingo Floor Lamp is a little bit of an oddity (in a good way!) amongst SAD lights, as its title suggests it is a freestanding floor lamp rather than a light you place on a desk, etc. Standing at around four feet tall this means you can place it next to your sofa, etc, in the same way you would a traditional floor lamp.
When the product arrives you will have to construct it yourself which is a case of screwing the base, body and shade together.
It uses special fluorescent tubes that are full spectrum with a protective UV coating. These tubes emit less light as they age. They are rated at 20,000 hours, although after 2,000 hours of usage they emit 15% less light. You can buy replacement tubes from Northern Light Technologies. The light head itself can be rotated up and down, but the body does not move at all.
The manufacturers recommend you start using the lamp for two minutes a day, trying different distances until you establish the greatest degree of comfort. Then gradually, over a two week period, you should be able to lengthen your exposure time while shortening the distance until you achieve the original light regimen.
The recommend treatment time is for either 30 minutes each morning at 12 inches (10,000 lux) or 60 minutes a day at 20 inches (5,000 lux).
The on/off button is on the end of the light casing and is easy to press on and off.
So is the first SAD floor lamp that I have reviewed and is one of very few of its type on the market. The fact that it is almost one of a kind is obviously a good thing if you are looking for an alternative from a normal SAD Light, which are nearly all designed to be placed on a worktop or counter, etc.
The height and freestanding nature of this light means it is very versatile. You can put it next to the sofa, desk, bed or even next to an exercise bike or treadmill so you can exercise and get a dose of light therapy.
The height of the Northern Light Technologies Flamingo Lamp means the light should generally be shining down on you from above, which is the optimum way to receive light therapy.
This is because the special light receptors in your eye are mostly found in the top half of your visual field. These receptors are designed to tell what time of day it is by noticing the brightness of the sky, which is (obviously) above the horizon, not below. Meaning light therapy is most effect from above.
Despite its’ size this is a fairly lightweight product that is easy to move and also fairly sturdy – it has a large pedestal base which keeps it balance and stabilised. If you are worried about sitting in front of this and it kicking out heat, don’t worry this emits no heat at all.
Finally some credit to the Northern Light Technologies guys and girls who generally provide great customer support, so if a bulb arrives broken or something is missing they sort it with the minimal of fuss, something some other companies could learn from.
Oh and finally – this has a seven year warranty! Northern Light Technologies will repair or replace a defective lamp at no cost (aside from shipping) for a period of seven years, which is quite remarkable.
One of the issues I have with the Flamingo Floor Lamp is that whilst you can rotate the light head, the neck is not adjustable. That is you can move the head around, but you cannot bring it closer to you or further away, the height is fixed.
That means you could position it next to your sofa, but the light might still be too high above you to be within the recommend 12 inch range and there is no way around that short of piling cushions up and sitting on them!
Really it needs a hinge in the middle of the neck so you can move the light up and down.
Whilst the light is a nice tone, it isn’t dimmable and there are no light intensity settings. This would have some benefit as if you buy it you will probably want it to double up as a general room lamp not just as a SAD light.
Another downside to this is the price. Ok it is not just a SAD Light it is a SAD Floor Lamp, but it is very expensive for what it is – far more than standard SAD lights, unfortunately it is in a rather niche market which may account for the high price.
I’m not sure whether the build quality justifies the price, it is solidly, but simply built and I am uncertain it is as expensive to manufacture as the price suggests.
It does lack features, just a simple on and off switch is all it has, so if you are looking for an all singing, all dancing SAD Light this isn’t for you.
It looks fine, basic but fine, as long as you put it together properly! It fits in most decors as a normal floor lamp would, and will probably stand inconspicuously wherever you place it.
And Does It Work?
Yes it does. One user said it has improved their quality of life whilst another said it has brightened their day and given them a happier attitude to take on the day.
In short – the chances are it will make a difference for you!
A floor lamp! Quite a novel concept for a SAD light
Height is not adjustable
One of the world’s most portable light therapy devices
Light is not dimmable
Provides light from above
Fairly basic quality
Dual light intensities
Lack of features
Good customer service
If you like the idea of a floor standing SAD Light then this is for you, as much due to the quality of the light as the lack of similar competitors on the market!
Also if you want a light you can use when you are exercising or next to the bed for when you wake up again this is a good choice. Think carefully about where you will use it though and make sure that the light will be close enough to you to be effective.
It is a good idea and Northern Light Technologies have executed it well – it is just a bit pricey. I am surprised more companies have not come up with a floor standing SAD light!
As mentioned above, at the time of writing I haven’t reviewed any other floor standing SAD Lights, so I can’t recommend any other similar options in that respect.