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 can be the most effective, quick and safe way to relieve your symptoms.
The minute you choose and get your light box, you are probably a week away (at most) from dramatic relief of your seasonal depression.
But which light box for SAD to choose? Bright light or blue light? How many LUX should it emit? Does the size matter?
The answers are all here.
Light Boxes for SAD – Important Features to Look For
1. Bright Light vs. Blue Light – The traditional SAD light therapy is based on bright light (full spectrum) therapy. But, recent research suggests that blue light may be slightly more effective at reducing seasonal affective disorder symptoms.
The Naturebright light box uses bright light therapy (10,000 LUX), and the Philips GoLITE uses blue light therapy (about 500 LUX).
2. Fluorescent Light or LED Light - Traditionally, bright light boxes have use fluorescent or incandescent lights. These days some devices have LED lights that can produce light in a more narrow and targeted way.
Naturebright uses fluorescent light bulbs, and the Philips goLITE uses LED light bulbs.
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.
The Philips goLITE is much smaller than the Naturebright, and is battery-powered and portable. The Naturebright uses has a cord and is not really comfortably portable.
4.Treatment time – Both the Naturebright and the goLITE require about 15-minutes of treatment every day – Preferably in the morning.
5. Designed for SAD treatment – Make sure the light box you buy is especially made to treat seasonal depression. Both Naturebright and the goLITE are designed for SAD treatment.
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. Blue light rays are a bit more risky on the eyes, do not forget safety 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.
The Naturebright is much less expensive than the goLITE. In fact, it costs less than a half of the goLITE price. But that doesn’t mean that it’s the right light box for you.
By the way, you may be interested in my in-depth review for the Philips goLITE – HERE.
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 blue light therapy box with fewer features and thus a little cheaper – Philips Hf3321/60
2. 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 lift 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 days money back guarantee.
7. Warning – Blue light therapy is not recommended for Bi-polar disorder sufferers.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 My 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 & happiness,
If you want to know more about the differences between full spectrum and blue light therapy for SAD – This post will clear things up for you.
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