The Best Seasonal Affective Disorder Lamps to Get You Through Winter
Brighter days are ahead, but until they get here, improve your mood with these lamps
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If you find yourself feeling a little down this time of year, you’re not alone. Roughly 14 percent of adults in the United States suffer from seasonal affective disorder — also known as the “winter blues” — thanks in part to the lack of daylight. It’s dark outside when we wake up in the morning, and it’s dark outside by the time we’re done with work in the evening, meaning we’re missing out on the regular serotonin boosts our brains derive from sunlight.
Add to that the unusual circumstances we all find ourselves in this year thanks to the ongoing pandemic, and it’s even more depressing. Not only are we spending our days in darkness — we’re doing so while we’re stuck inside our homes all day. And with the weather getting colder, it’s tougher to get outside regularly and soak up a little vitamin D.
Fortunately, there are plenty of therapy lamps designed specifically to combat seasonal affective disorder by mimicking the sun’s rays to elevate your mood, regulate your sleep and boost your energy — so many, in fact, that it can be tough to determine which one is right for you. With that in mind, we rounded up some of our favorites to help you keep the darkness at bay until springtime.
Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp
This 10,000 lux LED therapy lamp features an adjustable stand and a tilting head so you can place it in a position that’s most comfortable to you, and its 12-inch screen comes covered with a diffuser to eliminate glare. It projects the light downward onto you (which is recommended for maximum effectiveness), and it blocks 99.3% of UV rays.
Alaska Northern Lights Northstar 10,000 LUX Bright Light Therapy Lamp
This lamp comes with a handle on top so you can transport it wherever you need, and unlike many other seasonal affective disorder lamps, you don’t need to sit too close to it in order to reap its benefits. It guarantees a full 10,000 lux from up to two feet away, and it works positioned either horizontally or vertically.
Miroco Light Therapy Lamp
I can personally attest to this unassuming-looking rectangle’s effectiveness; it’s the one I shine on my face every morning as I’m settling into my work routine, and it’s proof that you don’t need to shell out the big bucks to get a great SAD lamp. It features adjustable brightness levels, a 30-minute timer and a memory function that’ll help you quick-start the light from its last setting.
Aura Day Light Lamp
If you’re looking for ample adjustability, the Aura Day Light Lamp is the way to go. It features a lux-adjusting dial so you can control the light output yourself (between a range of 3,500 and 10,000 lux) depending on your mood. It also features a built-in timer that can be set at 10-minute intervals, and it’s wall-mountable in case you’re low on shelf space.
Circadian Optics Light Therapy Lamp – Lattis
Not every seasonal affective disorder lamp has to be a boring white rectangle. The unique design of this lamp by Circadian Optics is a big plus if you’re looking for something more aesthetically pleasing, but it’s also a perfect source of 10,000 lux, UV-free light. Its LED light is designed to last up to 50,000 hours, and it comes with three different brightness settings.
Doraubia Light Therapy Lamp
This sleek-looking round lamp offers three different “color temperatures” for you to choose from — “warm light,” “natural light,” and “daylight” — and it’s got a one-hour timer and a memory function. As an added bonus, it comes with a USB port so you can charge your phone while you charge yourself up with its energizing light.
Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0
If you’re looking for something that won’t take up a ton of space on your desk, this compact offering from Circadian Optics is a great option. It has a flexible hinge, which makes positioning it a breeze, and its one-touch operation makes it easy to use without having to mess around with a bunch of settings.
Sunrise Sensations’ solid hardwood design gives it a warmer, homier feel than a lot of other seasonal affective disorder lamps. It’s remote-controlled, and you can toggle through its presets to match the natural sunlight level at different times of the day. It’s a great choice if you’re looking for something that doesn’t immediately scream “this is a SAD lamp.”
Miroco Bright White Therapy Light
This shell-shaped light therapy lamp is a nice break from all the rectangular options, and features adjustable brightness levels (you can choose between 40%, 60% and 100% brightness) and a memory function. Its small shape also makes it ideal for if you’re traveling and want to toss it in your suitcase to bring along once the pandemic ends and we’re able to leave our homes again. Until then, let it do its thing and remind yourself that brighter days are ahead.
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