Seasonal Affective Disorder is a long and complicated term for a simple lack of light. We all need a certain amount of light and sunshine every day, and when we don’t get it, we simply get depressed.
That’s why if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder (“winter blues”), light boxes for SAD are the natural solution, and the most effective, quick and safe way to get rid of it.
The minute you choose and get your light box, you are a week away (at most) from dramatic relief of your seasonal depression. But which light box to choose? Bright light or blue light? How many luxes should it emit? Does the size matter?
And finally – there are so many light boxes for SAD in the market – How to find the best one for your needs?
In this guide you will learn about the different features and what they mean, and see who wins in the head to head duel between Naturebright Sun touch and Philips GoLITE BLU.
Important Features to Look For
1. Bright Light vs. Blue Light – Most SAD light boxes offer bright light therapy, but some research shows blue light may be slightly more effective at reducing seasonal affective disorder symptoms than other types of light.
2. Fluorescent Light or Led Light - Traditionally, light boxes have used fluorescent or incandescent lights. These days some devices have LED lights that can produce light in a more narrow and targeted way.
3. Size – Some devices are larger than others, some use rechargeable batteries and some don’t, some are portable and some are not. If you can’t sit next to your desk for a half an hour every day you may want to choose a smaller and more portable light box. So is the case if you want to take your light box with you when you travel.
4.Treatment time – The more luxes the device emits, the less treatment time you need. To get the most effective and short treatment time, you need a device that emits 10,000 luxes.
5. Designed for SAD treatment – Make sure the light box you buy is especially made to treat seasonal depression.
6. Eye Safety – You are not supposed to look directly at the light while treatment, but it’s always good to be on the safe side and protect your eyes with eye protection goggles.
7. Price – Price varies. A light box can cost from 80$ to 500$, depending on extra features. Check with your insurance company to see if your benefits will cover the cost.
Naturebright SunTouch vs. Philips GoLITE BLU
1. Light waves – Naturebright uses full spectrum bright light, while GoLITE uses blue light wave technology. Philips has another light box that combines both bright light and blue waves – Philips Hf3321/60
2. Treatment time – Naturebright emits 10,000 luxes, which is the most recommended amount and there for only requires 30 minutes of daily treatment. The GoLITE BLU requires 15-30 minutes of treatment per day, but you can always use both of them more if you feel no difference after a week (rare).
3. Comfort of use – The Naturebright is bulkier and does not have a rechargeable battery, so you’ll need to place it on your desk and sit in front of it. It’s not portable and it’s not designed for travel. The GoLITE is smaller and more compact, it has a rechargeable battery, there’s no cord to fuss with, it works as well as the Naturebright, and you can bring it wherever you go.
Also, the GoLITE Can be adjusted upwards or downwards in increments of 25%.
4. Dimensions – GoLITE is 7 x 7 x 7 inches ; 1.1 pounds. Naturebright is 11 x 9 x 15 inches.
5. Extra Features – Naturebright light box comes with ion therapy, which was also proven to alleviate mood. The GoLITE has a session timer and adjustable light intensity, while Naturebright doesn’t. GoLITE comes with a travel case too.
6. Warranty and return policy – Naturebright offers 1 year warranty. GoLite has a 2 year warranty and 45 money back guarantee.
7. Warning – these devices are not recommended for bipolar disorder sufferers.
Other Light Boxes for SAD
Here are some more light boxes (or lamps) for SAD that we recommend:
Litebook Elite Hand-Held Light Therapy Device – The Litebook Elite runs on a long-lasting rechargeable battery. It features a custom lens to provide a uniform field of full spectrum light. See Our Detailed Review.
I hope this guide has made your life a little easier and helped you choose the right brand and type of light box. Remember, once you own one of these devices, your lifted mood and spirits are one week away – Without medication!
To your health and happiness,
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