What to Look For in a Light Therapy Lamp
We know that there are a lot of choices out there for light therapy and that choosing the right lamp for you can be confusing (and maybe even a bit overwhelming).
Here are a few tips to make your experience easier, more efficient, and more informed!
It’s All About the Lux, Baby
Lux is the gold standard in light therapy and it's essentially the measurement of light intensity or brightness. The lights in your home are around 150 lux, while a light therapy lamp can have up to 10,000 lux (it’s a slight difference..). To put that into perspective, the sun can produce lux that is up to 1,000x more intense (cue why you probably shouldn't look directly at the sun because that is crazy bright) than a light therapy lamp.
Studies on light therapy have shown that 10,000 lux yields the greatest positive effects, although lux as low as 2,500 can be effective too (we’ll explain a bit more about that later, but essentially, the less lux you are getting, the more time you need to use your light).
Size Matters… Sort Of
The bigger the screen size on your light therapy lamp, the higher the lux and the less time you need to spend in front of the light. So, the smaller your lamp is, the less lux it's producing and the more time you need to spend in front of it.
This is all about personal preference. Some key considerations for you when making your decision are:
- How long do you want to spend in front of the light? If you are crunched for time or you don’t necessarily want to have longer sessions, then a bigger light might be a good option for you!
- Is space important? Smaller lights have the benefit of fitting easily in lots of spaces. Consider where you want to use your light and that will help you in making your decision. If you want the option of using your light at home and the office, getting two lights would be a great way to go!
- Do you want to travel with your light? Portability is a huge benefit to smaller light therapy lamps.
Some of you out there may want to keep it simple (there is something to be said for simplicity), but lots of light therapy lamps now offer some pretty cool features.
When you first turn on your light therapy lamp, it might seem VERY intense (seriously). After all, the idea is that it’s a bright light! That 10,000 lux brightness might be a bit much for some, and so having an adjustable brightness feature is awesome (in our opinion at least!).
Remember when we mentioned how time and lux are related? Well, countdown timers are a great feature when you want to control the time of your light therapy session. It’s incredibly convenient to have (because you have enough on your plate without having to track the time with your light, right?).
At Verilux, we like to call this HappyHue (yeah, we like it too!). While changing the brightness can be great, adjusting the HappyHue is beneficial as well. Lights with this feature change the light from cooler to warmer.
So… How Do I Choose?
Now that you have the basics of choosing a light therapy lamp, the next step is actually choosing one. Don’t worry, we’ve got a HappyLight® therapy lamp for everyone!
When you say HappyLight® Luxe, you might as well say luxurious (well, as far as light therapy lamps go). It’s not only the largest HappyLight®, but the light with the most features. Don’t worry about choosing between the adjustable brightness, HappyHue, or countdown timer, because it has it all.
This is perfect for the person who wants all the options, isn’t worried about space, and would benefit from shorter sessions.
Slightly smaller than the Luxe, the HappyLight® Touch still offers adjustable brightness and HappyHue. It works well anywhere you want to use it.
For those who want features in a more convenient size, the Touch is a good choice.
HappyLight® Lumi is even smaller and offers adjustable brightness. It’s beautiful design fits in perfectly on a desk. Maybe a Luxe at home and Lumi for the office?
HappyLight® Lucent is the smallest LED light in the family - but the little brother definitely isn't lacking! The Lucent is great if you are looking for a light that simply offers a great experience, or if you want a second light for travel!
The HappyLight® Compact is small (well, hence the word compact), which makes it absolutely amazing if space is a concern for you!
HappyLight® Compact is perfect for small spaces and/or if you wanted to have longer light therapy sessions during the day!
HappyLight® Full Size is going to be your perfect companion for the kitchen or table. It has adjustable brightness and a tilt setting to get just the right angle, and just the right light!
How in the World Does it Help Me?
Light therapy uses bright light to regulate your circadian rhythm. We could get technical with the explanation, but try this:
Imagine lying in bed next to a big window (heck, let's open that window and let in some fresh air). You can feel it before you even open your eyes, the sun is starting to come up. Maybe you lay there for a few moments more, enjoying the comfort of the bed, before opening your eyes. You can see out your window, that morning sky transforming from dark to a warm orange. You get out of bed to go make a coffee (or tea, no discrimination here!) and sit down at the table, allowing the increasingly bright light from the sun to wash over you. It feels GREAT! This is how you start your day. As you go through your day, you are regularly exposed to that bright light. You go outside, you sit by windows, and the majority of your light is natural.
That doesn't sound so bad, does it? The reality, however, is that most of us don't have days like that. We may wake up before the sun rises and, in winter, arrive to the office before it even peaks over the horizon. Our days might be mostly spent indoors, and those hours spent outside or even next to a window? Nope.
That's where light therapy comes in. We need light, bright light, to help keep our bodies functioning normally. When you don't get that natural light, it confuses your body. Your Circadian Rhythm (basically your body clock) gets thrown off. This affects everything - sleep, mood, energy, focus. Think of light therapy as your artificial winter sunlight!
Want to know more? Check out some of our other blog articles for advice on integrating light therapy into your day!