This uses blue light rather than the white light many other SAD lamps use. This is further discussed in the review below.
At the back of the product is a pull out stand to hold the GoLITE BLU at a comfortable angle and a strip of rubber lines the base of the unit and the stand to make a good grip so it will not slide or wander around.
The power port is placed under the stand and there is just one button that controls on and off and the three different light intensities. If you are new to light therapy then you are probably best off starting at the lowest light intensity setting.
It comes with a detailed manual that recommends usage for 20 to 30 minutes each day, although it is safe to use it for longer if you wish. The manual also indicates that you may start to see results in anything from 7 to 21 days.
You should place the device at arm’s length (so around 50 to 75cm from your eyes) and within your field of vision so the light bathes your face without you staring directly into it.
Then switch it on to the highest light intensity setting that is comfortable to your eyes and off you go!
The Philips GoLITE BLU is extremely portable which is great. It is similar in size to a portable compact disc player (remember them?!) or an A3 piece of paper.
It is light and easy to carry around to any part of the home, as long as there is a power unit nearby. Due to its small size it can fit on most desks or tables making it easy to get your dose of blue light therapy whilst you eat, read the paper, get ready for work, etc.
As is the case with most Philips models, the design quality of the GoLITE BLU is very good. The materials used seem to be of good quality – it is sturdy and well made – and it looks good and is easy to operate – in fact it only has one button to press that works everything!
The three brightness settings are a nice touch. The light is very intense so it will take some time to get used to, but this allows you to start on the lowest and work your way up to the highest setting. With one touch of the button you can change the light setting so it is nice and easy as mentioned before.
This version of the Philips GoLITE BLU is reasonably priced as well. It is cheaper than the rechargeable version and if you don’t need a cordless unit then it is a well-made, easy to use device by a leading brand name that isn’t too expensive.
Something that can be quite rare when purchasing any kind of electrical device is for it to arrive with a set of full, clear, easy to understand and informative instructions, but this SAD light does!
The Philips user manual is really good. It doesn’t rely on confusing pictures, but instead clearly explains how to use the device.
There are even individual usage instructions depending upon if you are morning person, evening person, have an afternoon energy dip, suffer from the winter blues or have a lack of daylight indoors.
The user manual tells you exactly when to use the GoLITE BLU to get the most out of it depending upon your situation.
Finally this uses blue light. Research is showing that this is the one specific bandwidth on the spectrum that is most effective to impact on internal circadian rhythms and help combat Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Whereas many devices throw out the whole light spectrum and hope the user gets the right wavelengths the Philips GoLITE BLU concentrates on this blue spectrum (446 – 466 nm) so that it takes only a fraction of the exposure to get the same results that white light offers.
There have been concerns about the safety of blue light but Dr David Sliney, a physicist with the National Institutes of Health, has stated that the light spectrum emitted by the GoLITE is well below the thresholds set by government for ocular safety.
A drawback of this device is the fact that whilst it is portable and easy to carry around, that is slightly limited by the fact that you must always have a power supply nearby as there is no battery power.
Philips have obviously recognised that and if you want a battery powered version of this light then you can always purchase the GoLITE BLU Rechargeable version.
Another slight downside is the fact you have the same button to turn the device on and off and scroll through the light intensities. One button for the power and one for the light intensity would make it easier to use and save you looping through all the light intensities to turn it off.
In a similar vein there is no timer, a built in timer is always helpful so the user doesn’t have to keep an eye on how long they have been sitting in front of the light. Again Philips have remedied this with the GoLITE BLU Rechargeable version.
Users have experienced some issues with the rear stand breaking easily, so be careful with it. The stand isn’t adjustable either, but as the device is so compact even if the stand breaks it is small enough to prop up easily in the correct position anyway.
For a travel sized device like this a carry pouch would be a nice edition, but that is only a very small issue.
Blue light therapy is the subject of much debate within scientific communities. Mainly because the use of white light is backed up with much more research as it has been around longer and there is a concern that blue light could cause macular degeneration of the eyes.
However this is actually associated with blue light within the full spectrum of sunlight. That is white lights contain the same blue light as the blue only lights, like the GoLITE BLU, so theoretically they pose the same risk.
As mentioned above this device has also been declared safe by an eminent physicist from the National Institutes of Health.
If you are looking for an alternative SAD Light that is small and portable you could try the Circadian Optic Lumos which is a white light.
The GoLITE BLU looks really good. It is solid and sturdy and has the same kind of new tech luxury look and feel as Apple products. The materials seem to be of superior quality and it should last for years so full marks to Philips on this front!
And Does It Work?
There is lots and lots of positive feedback with regards to the GoLITE BLU. Although many users found even the lowest light intensity setting overwhelming at first they soon adjusted to it and reaped the rewards! Users have been complimentary with one calling the results nothing short of remarkable.
In short – the chances are it will make a difference for you!
Extremely portable and compact build
No battery power
Sturdy and quality design
Maybe too simple design
Three brightness settings
Rear stand slightly flimsy
Large area of light
Concerns over safety of blue light
Blue light more efficient at combating SAD
Reasonably priced and very well designed to the usual Philips high standards the GoLITE BLU is a really worthwhile investment, especially if you are interested in blue light therapy.
It is incredibly simple to use and due to its compact size can be placed pretty much anywhere in the home that has a power point nearby.
The only real downside (and there aren’t many) is the lack of battery power and if that is a real issue for you can buy the rechargeable version albeit it for a bit more money.
How Does It Compare To Other Philips Energy Lights?
If you aren’t bothered about having a wireless SAD light then this is probably the best of the Philips blue light units, as it does pretty much everything the GoLITE BLU Rechargeable Unit (HF3429) does and is cheaper.
The GoLITE BLU Light Therapy Device (HF3332) actually has more features than either the HF3422 or the HF3429. It has a timer, clock and alarm functioning as well as four adjustable light intensities, however it doesn’t look nearly as nice and is far and away the most expensive of the three.
However if you want the freedom and portability of a rechargeable unit and don’t mind paying out a bit more then HF3429 would be your best bet.
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!
Steve 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!