Best SAD light therapy lamps in 2021


Whether or not winter makes you need to sleep all day otherwise you’ve been identified with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), you could have thought-about buying a lightweight remedy lamp — or, because it’s typically referred to as, a SAD lamp — to actually brighten your days. Research has shown that a lamp with light intensity of 10K lux set 16 to 24 inches away at a 45-degree angle from the eyes for half-hour may help in treating SAD and different temper issues.

We examined seven of the most well-liked, highest-rated SAD lamps. We evaluated every thing from the number of helpful settings and options as to whether it might survive a tumble off a desk. In the long run, three lamps shined brighter — figuratively, not actually — than all of the others.

Finest mild remedy lamp general

The Completely satisfied Gentle Luxe by Verilux is glossy, slim, packable and steady, and its well-thought-out controls — which had been lacking from nearly each different mild that we examined — made customizing the expertise a pleasure.


Although not as customizable, the Circadian Optics Lampu performs a very powerful capabilities of a SAD lamp like a star. It is sturdy, nicely designed, straightforward to make use of and brilliant —and its nonslip backside needs to be commonplace amongst all SAD lamps.

Finest moveable mild remedy lamp

Though the Circadian Optics Lumos’s floor space is smaller than any of the opposite lamps that we examined and, subsequently, could take longer to provide the complete impact, this little workhorse will get the job achieved and will not stop on you.

Happy Light Luxe by Verilux

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Completely satisfied Gentle Luxe by Verilux

Fingers down our favourite SAD lamp, this mild has all of it with zero pointless fluff. It’s packable and highly effective, and it’s probably the most customizable lamp we examined. It’s a real champion, critically outperforming the competitors even at its comparatively cheap worth. Every of the extras that it does include are helpful and nicely thought out. For instance, no different mild we examined provided a coloration temperature adjustment. Fast lesson: No mild is definitely white. Shade temperature is the heat or coolness of the sunshine, or the quantity of pink or gold or blue tint. Typically, higher-lux lights like SAD lamps are inclined to have cooler — extra blue — temperatures. However the Completely satisfied Gentle Luxe permits you to alter its brightness and temperature. Go for cool mild like a summertime daylight, or go for a heat mild, to imitate a comfortable late dawn or early sundown.

The three controls are straightforward to determine — with a fast check or learn by means of the directions — and are proper on the entrance so there’s considerably much less fumbling, choosing up or feeling round for a button, like on different fashions that we examined. Total, setting combos appear infinite, particularly once we consider not simply the whopping 4 brightness ranges and three coloration temperatures, but in addition a timer that may be set by five-minute increments all the way in which as much as one full 60-minute session. The timer is right for an extended morning session or a day pick-me-up on the faucet of a button. Discovering the right mixture is a part of the appeal of this lamp; you’ll be able to alter the settings till you discover which of the 144 potential combos work finest for you.

Different fascinating issues to notice about this lamp are its versatility and sturdiness. It may be mounted on the wall utilizing a easy equipment that’s included within the field. Mainly, you simply swap the foot from the underside to the again of the sunshine and use a screw with an included anchor to hold it wherever you’d like. This makes it in a position to work with even the smallest, most cluttered room or desk.

Once we drop-tested the UV-free Completely satisfied Gentle Luxe, we satisfyingly pushed it off of a desk onto each a rug and a tough flooring from a countertop a number of instances. The attachable foot fell off every time however simply slipped again on with none bodily harm or malfunction afterward. Talking of design, this mild is slim, slick and simple on the eyes. The corners are rounded and the matte display prevents glare whether or not it’s on or off. The white case might distinction with some decors and will doubtlessly get dusty, however swiping with a moist material would simply clear that up.

One odd downfall of this mild is that its wire isn’t so long as the competitors at just below 6 toes. The opposite two winners have cords longer than 7 toes, which isn’t an enormous distinction, however we struggled to get the Completely satisfied Gentle Luxe’s wire to succeed in the outlet behind our 36-inch-deep desk and ended up utilizing an extension wire. We additionally discovered ourselves wanting the power to swivel or increase the sunshine to customise the expertise much more.

 Circadian Optics Lampu

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Circadian Optics Lampu

For $10 lower than the general winner, you’ll be able to snag the Circadian Optics Lampu. Even within the field, from the very starting we had a hunch we had been going to like this mild. The packaging was considerate and the design nicely past necessity, which gave us hope that extra consideration to element was to come back. Seems we had been proper. It’s received seems, it produces good mild, it’s straightforward to maneuver across the house or workplace and it gained’t break simply if dropped.

Lampu is extra of a modernist sculpture than different lamps we examined, which makes it each easy and a dialog piece. Its round form additionally appears to profit its sturdiness, as a result of once we performed the drop check its lack of corners to shatter helped it immensely. After a number of drops, the Lampu nonetheless regarded and functioned as new. The development general feels very strong, with all its elements tightly related with no jiggling or rattling. It received the best rating for the drop check of any lamp we examined, although it’s weighty sufficient that it gained’t knock over simply. After a lot twisting and testing, none of its elements confirmed indicators of loosening. The wire can also be for much longer than the winner’s — 7 toes 4 inches versus 5 toes 10 inches. The Lampu has a barely smaller light-surface space than the Completely satisfied Gentle Luxe — 38.5 sq. inches for Lampu and 54 sq. inches for the Completely satisfied Gentle Luxe. One thing about its spherical form, although, made it really feel extra like a solar lamp and extra cozy than the Completely satisfied Gentle Luxe, which appeared extra utilitarian with its rectangular form and stand.

There are a number of the reason why this lamp didn’t snag our profitable spot; nonetheless, the most important is its lack of settings. The Lampu has solely three brightness ranges that you simply entry by tapping the button one, two or thrice. The one button’s placement can also be not ultimate: It’s on the again of the lamp, so till you might have develop into one together with your lamp and know precisely the place it’s — you’ll be able to’t really feel it as a result of it’s purely contact, not a change — you’ll have to decide it up and search for it or really feel round till one thing occurs. We discovered feeling round to be annoying and simply picked it up every time, which, admittedly, can also be annoying, however quicker and fewer awkward.

It doesn’t have a timer, which suggests you’ll should set your telephone or one thing else to know when to close it off. It doesn’t have coloration temperature adjustment both, so that you’re caught with the usual cool shine. Additionally, its glassy face does look shiny and slick, however it might replicate different mild sources within the room and trigger a slight glare. Talking of the design, though it seems like one thing out of “2001: A House Odyssey” and we appreciated that, it could not work with extra conventional decor. A wall-mount possibility is just not included, however for what it lacks in further options it makes up for with high quality development and considerate design — apart from that button on the again.

Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Light Therapy Lamp

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Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Gentle Remedy Lamp

If hopping one planes to totally different time zones or heading farther north or south often are a part of your routine, then the Circadian Optics Lumos 2. is the suitable SAD lamp for you. It folds up in such a enjoyable, swivelly approach and emits a shocking quantity of sunshine for such a small light-surface space of 9 sq. inches. The folding might be seen as a problem if the elements had been janky in any approach, however this lean, imply mild remedy machine swivels into uncountable positions as a way to get your shot of 10K lux in nearly any state of affairs.

The swivel is a pleasant function that permits you to level the sunshine at precisely the suitable angle. Folded up, the Lumos measures a petite 14 by 2.5 by 1.25 inches, so you’ll be able to take it with you nearly wherever in your work bag or carry-on suitcase. This lengthy, tall mild can also be wall mountable, which makes it able to work in any state of affairs the place area is at a premium. One other factor we actually like about each Circadian Optics lamps is the organized, well-designed and simple-to-open packaging. When it got here time to the drop check, this little man took a licking and saved on ticking. We thought the slender design would trigger it to interrupt aside when knocked off of a counter onto a wooden flooring, nevertheless it survived all the drop checks utterly unscathed.

Though the sunshine is brilliant and might be swiveled for optimum profit, the sunshine doesn’t present a real sunshine expertise due to the small floor space, which is why it didn’t take high honors. This lamp additionally doesn’t have a timer or every other setting past the three mild brightness settings. The one button is positioned proper on the entrance so it’s straightforward to search out and faucet as soon as, twice or thrice to attain your most well-liked brightness, however of the three settings, it appeared like solely the brightest might be thought-about aggressive with the opposite lamps. We examined this on a very darkish and groggy winter New York Metropolis morning and the best setting was the one one to interrupt by means of the grey overcast pure mild that got here in by means of the window.

The Lumos comes with an attachable foot for utilizing on a desktop reasonably than wall mounting for added versatility, nevertheless it comes throughout like a little bit of an afterthought. This lamp could be very light-weight and considerably unstable on a crowded desk. We’d wish to see the bottom extra weighted for optimum stability. The plastic of the bottom is sturdy, however a nonslip backside would even be an enchancment. As it’s, it’s fairly straightforward to knock over. Even simply pushing the button on the entrance brought on it to push again and wobble.

Earlier than committing to buying one in all these lights chances are you’ll be asking, “What’s SAD, anyway?” Seasonal affective dysfunction is mainly outlined as a bout of melancholy throughout the identical time-frame every year for a minimum of two years in a row, adopted by remission throughout the remaining months, in line with the American Psychiatric Association. Ladies and individuals who reside in areas that see much less daylight within the winter months appear to be extra affected than others, in line with the National Institutes of Health.

If that sounds something such as you, the following logical query could also be “Can a SAD lamp assist?” Since 1984 when it was first researched, brilliant mild remedy (BLT) has confirmed to enhance these winter doldrums many times. Enter the SAD lamp. Scientists have began zeroing in on precisely what sort of mild, when to make use of it and the way a lot mild will do the trick finest. The 2 key issues which have been recognized to be able to get the best results are 10K lux brightness and UV filtered mild. Typically, the sunshine needs to be 16 to 24 inches out of your face and level towards your eyes from the aspect and at an angle of about 45 levels, or midway between your nostril and your shoulder. By no means look immediately on the mild. (You wouldn’t have a look at the solar, would you? That’s mainly what that is mimicking.) Thirty minutes at 10K lux very first thing within the morning (usually really helpful to happen earlier than 8 a.m.) is the equal of 1 hour of dawn. See the lamp’s directions for its particular suggestions.

Earlier than including a SAD lamp to your morning routine, converse together with your physician. Sure dietary supplements, life and medical circumstances have proven to scale back or negatively impact the usage of mild remedy. Even with a health care provider’s approval, it’s really helpful to check your private response to the sunshine by setting it about 18 inches out of your face at an oblique angle (ideally 45 levels out of your ahead look) for about 10 minutes. In the event you really feel dizzy, get a headache or expertise every other odd signs, a SAD lamp, sadly, might not be for you.

To verify we really discovered the perfect mild remedy lamp, we spent weeks testing. We in contrast efficiency, construct, options, guarantee — all by the identical standards. We took notes on how every dealt with, from unboxing to falling off of a desk onto a tough flooring.

As a lot of america is within the hazard zone and experiencing these darker months proper now whereas testing, it made for an ideal state of affairs to check the brightness choices and general mild expertise. Our house workplace was overloaded with bins and cables, nevertheless it shortly grew to become clear which had been the entrance runners and which simply didn’t have what it takes to edge out the competitors. Lining all of them up and testing them permits us to establish variations you wouldn’t in any other case discover when utilizing one lamp at a time. Delicate variations in issues like brightness and light-weight expertise grew to become apparent, whereas necessary options like a timer and desk footprint emerged as stark factors of differentiation.

All the lamps we examined met the 10K lux light therapy brightness recommendation, however from there they every offered their very own distinctive expertise. From packaging to customizing the sunshine’s angle, brightness and coloration temperature, we ran every mild by means of the paces to see which rose to the highest — extra particulars on precisely how we examined and scored might be discovered beneath. Lamps with bigger floor areas did produce a extra enveloping mild that felt much less pointy (is {that a} technical time period? No, however what we imply) than the smaller lights, however their bulkiness together with different components made them much less interesting general. A lot of the lamps we examined didn’t have timers, which we thought was odd contemplating there’s a reasonably commonplace really helpful time restrict for publicity to a lightweight remedy lamp of 20 to 60 minutes. It’s not an excessive amount of further work, nonetheless, to make use of an egg timer or the timer on a telephone. Our three winners scored excessive marks within the usefulness of their numerous mild settings and controls in addition to their mobility.

That is how we examined every lamp to find out our winners:

Total efficiency

  • Sitting time: The lamps fell into three classes for this check. There have been those who required a minimal of quarter-hour, those who required a minimal of 20 and those who required a minimum of 30. The decrease the required use time, the upper the rating.
  • Gentle high quality: Does the sunshine filter out UV mild? Does it generate 10K lux of sunshine? Does the sunshine glare? Nearly each lamp received the complete factors for this. Factors had been deducted for glare and lack of point out of UV filter.
  • Variety of settings: All lamps activate and off, however any setting past that scored extra factors. This contains swivels, timers, brightness settings, coloration temperature settings and past. Extra settings meant extra factors.
  • Versatility: Lights earned factors for his or her potential for use in numerous conditions, corresponding to on a crowded desk or wall, carried in a suitcase or positioned on a resort nightstand.
  • Warmth: The much less we felt the warmth of the sunshine throughout a full really helpful session, the upper the rating. Sweating in your desk chair is gross, however fortunately, not one of the lamps radiated warmth, though some did really feel heat to the touch.
  • Distinction in settings: Whereas testing, we had been cautious to notice whether or not the settings felt noticeably totally different — whether or not in comparison with every lamp’s personal settings or the settings of the competitors. The extra noticeable, sensible and intuitive the settings, the upper the rating.
  • Timer: Does the lamp have a timer setting functionality? If that’s the case, how customizable is it?


  • Sturdiness and high quality: The highest of the chart for us, so far as construct goes, is the standard of the development and supplies. We rattled, we twisted, we knocked them off of counters onto a tough flooring twice and off of desks onto carpet two instances as nicely to see if we might harm every mild with typical stressors. We additionally regarded on the directions for cleansing and upkeep and assessed how straightforward or troublesome it’s to take care of. There have been some clear winners on this class and a few clear duds.
  • Wire size: It’s shocking how a lot just a few further inches, or toes, could make in a wire. That is particularly necessary for a lamp that has a excessive potential to be moved from bed room to eating desk to desk to resort nightstand. Not having the ability to attain an outlet means no mild remedy, which makes the lamp utterly ineffective. We positively struggled with getting just a few plugged in below the desk and needed to go for an extension wire — yuck. So, we made positive to present lamps with ample wire size a better rating.
  • Total design: If this mild goes to be a everlasting fixture in your workplace or house, you’re going to need it to look good there. Though this can be seen as a subjective evaluation, we tried our greatest to think about how every lamp would slot in quite a lot of rooms and decor. The extra versatile the design, the upper the factors. Most of those lights had been designed for sensible use, however just a few stood out as higher designed than the others.
  • Button placement: Buttons got here in all types of shapes, sizes, performance and places. Typically we had been looking for the change; different instances it was so easy that we wished all lamps might observe swimsuit. We requested ourselves whether or not the buttons had been straightforward to make use of and clearly marked.
  • Extras: We made positive to judge extra options that weren’t commonplace throughout the board to see in the event that they had been good or ineffective. One further that we noticed just a few instances and beloved was a nonskid base — genius.
  • Noise degree: Though this was a class for testing, it turned out that not one of the lamps made sufficient noise for us to note. So, all of them earned full factors right here.


Size of guarantee ranged extensively from one 12 months to seven years, and factors had been awarded accordingly.

Aura Day Gentle Lamp, 10,000 Lux of Full Spectrum Vibrant Gentle With Adjustable Lux Dial and Timer ($127.89;

With the fourth-highest rating behind our high three, we actually wished to love this lamp. Because the second-most costly lamp we examined, we wrongly assumed this mild would dazzle us. It didn’t. It utterly broke! First, the great things: The Aura Day Light Lamp has the bottom minimal really helpful publicity time of quarter-hour. It has 5 brightness and 6 time settings. The patented LuxDial dimmer knob permits you to customise your brightness, or begin low and enhance the brightness as you alter to the sunshine. The opposite buttons have a satisfying light click on when pushed and are straightforward to make use of proper on the entrance. Different notable options are that the Aura is wall mountable and comes with a 7-foot-long wire — one of many longest we examined. Nevertheless, this lamp failed our drop check. We knocked it off of the desk onto the rug and it made a rattling sound however saved working. Once we knocked it off of the kitchen counter onto the onerous flooring, the sunshine dimmed, flickered, went out and wouldn’t flip again on.

Even earlier than the drop check, we might hear rattling inside the sunshine, and the casing felt flimsy proper out of the field. The supplies didn’t appear tightly put collectively, and there was a variety of area inside the sunshine that made it cumbersome on the desktop. Its dimension wasn’t a serious difficulty — we positively examined bigger lamps — nevertheless it was bulkier than the winner and had a bigger light-surface space of 96 sq. inches to go along with it. Aura’s design additionally feels a bit dated, however the dimmer knob and huge buttons make it straightforward for older people to make use of. Total, this mild might be good for somebody who will depart it in a single place (ideally in a carpeted room) and desires a timer in addition to straightforward, clicking buttons and switch dial options.

Carex Day-Gentle Traditional Plus Vibrant Gentle Remedy Lamp ($109.99;

The bulkiest mild we examined was fingers down the Carex Day-Light Classic Plus. This was a beast to get out of the packaging, required meeting and got here with its personal instrument to place it collectively. With such effort to get it on the desk together with its $100+ price ticket, we hoped it will be the star of the present. Alas, this lamp didn’t meet our expectations. For such a cumbersome stand, we wished it to go larger in order that it might match over our pc displays, not simply over a laptop computer display. Additionally, the swivel solely goes up and down, not aspect to aspect. It’s nonetheless good to have the power to regulate, nevertheless it feels overengineered whereas nonetheless underperforming.

The massive forked base helped stabilize the extra-large and -bright mild field that’s perched on a swiveling arm, however the high nonetheless felt heavier than the underside, and it was straightforward to knock it off of the desk with an elbow. After a number of falls, the Carex Day-Gentle Traditional Plus saved on working, so we didn’t dock factors there. We had been stunned that the swivel arm didn’t break its hinges in any respect when it crashed to the ground in its bent state, largely as a result of it looks as if it will take the brunt of the burden and strain on influence. So, we’ll give credit score to its very robust development.

On one other be aware, the slide change stands out of the aspect panel and adjusts from “hello” to “lo” to “off” positions. The change development and placement make it straightforward to search out however felt just a little jangly once we wiggled it. The five-year guarantee is a good bonus, nevertheless it wasn’t sufficient to rise this mild to the highest. In the event you’re in search of an enormous, brilliant and enveloping mild that can be a everlasting fixture behind your laptop computer — the low setting works as a desk lamp too — this behemoth might be the lamp of your desires.

Northern Gentle Applied sciences Boxelite ($160.10, initially $189.99;

We appreciated Northern Light Technologies Boxelite’s black steel casing and large floor space, however this mild field doesn’t have what it takes to be our winner. Right here’s what we beloved: The massive floor space meant the sunshine enveloped us like being outdoors in summertime with out laying aside any warmth, and we anticipated the steel to get sizzling, nevertheless it didn’t. The highest received barely heat to the contact by the top of the really helpful time-frame of 20 to half-hour, however that heat by no means radiated out. The fundamental on/off change was straightforward to make use of and did the job nicely. We should always be aware that the on/off change is the one function on this lamp; there aren’t any settings or changes to be made. It additionally comes with a whopping seven-year guarantee — the longest guarantee of all the lamps we examined.

Though packaging wasn’t a particular criterion, it was a part of the general design that we thought-about. The Northern Gentle Applied sciences Boxelite packaging was not spectacular, which was shocking contemplating the value level. The sunshine was merely lined in bubble wrap and packing tape, then positioned in a primary cardboard field with an 8.5-by-11-inch black-and-white sheet of directions. Every time we knocked the Northern Gentle Applied sciences Boxelite off of the desk, one of many white plastic screws holding the display onto the field corners would break off. We ended the drop checks with the sunshine itself nonetheless working however just one screw nonetheless intact and a flapping display. There weren’t any further screws offered within the field, and we couldn’t determine tips on how to get a damaged screw out of the lamp anyway. We thought this might be a terrific field mild for a movie photographer to make use of with slides or negatives, however sadly it missed the mark as a SAD lamp on account of its development and lack of versatility and lack of customization.

Verilux HappyLight VT10 ($29.99, initially $39.95;

At first look, the Verilux HappyLight VT10 appears fairly cute and versatile due to its small dimension. You can doubtlessly put it in a journey bag or on a crowded desk or small nightstand. Its price ticket can also be interesting from a price perspective, plus the included directions are thorough. However in brief this lamp was a dud. Due to the small, 20-square-inch floor space, the sunshine felt much less brilliant than the others we examined, and will actually use the power to regulate the angle. There aren’t any brightness settings or different extras to customise the sunshine expertise in any respect. The wire is the shortest we examined at 5 toes lengthy. We might hear rattling items once we took it out of the field, as if poorly constructed, not broken in transit. Our preliminary response to the rattling items was confirmed appropriate throughout the drop check. First, items broke off of the highest and backside, then on the second drop, the whole lamp shattered all around the room, together with the fluorescent lightbulb. Total, this lamp is just not even well worth the low price ticket. Spending a bit extra will get a a lot better and long-lasting product.

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