Best SAD light therapy lamps in 2021


Whether or not winter makes you wish to sleep all day otherwise you’ve been recognized with seasonal affective disorder (SAD), you might have thought-about buying a light-weight remedy lamp — or, because it’s usually known 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 problems.

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 total

The Pleased Mild Luxe by Verilux is smooth, slim, packable and steady, and its well-thought-out controls — which have 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 features of a SAD lamp like a star. It is sturdy, properly designed, straightforward to make use of and brilliant —and its nonslip backside ought 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 supply the complete impact, this little workhorse will get the job accomplished and will not give up on you.

Happy Light Luxe by Verilux

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Pleased Mild 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 affordable worth. Every of the extras that it does include are helpful and properly thought out. For instance, no different mild we examined provided a colour temperature adjustment. Fast lesson: No mild is definitely white. Colour temperature is the heat or coolness of the sunshine, or the quantity of pink or gold or blue tint. Usually, higher-lux lights like SAD lamps are likely to have cooler — extra blue — temperatures. However the Pleased Mild Luxe permits you to modify 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 take a look at 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. General, setting combos appear countless, particularly once we consider not simply the whopping 4 brightness ranges and three colour temperatures, but additionally a timer that may be set by five-minute increments all the best way as much as one full 60-minute session. The timer is right for a protracted morning session or a day pick-me-up on the faucet of a button. Discovering the right mixture is a part of the attraction of this lamp; you possibly can modify the settings till you discover which of the 144 doable combos work greatest 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 package that’s included within the field. Principally, 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 Pleased Mild 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 injury or malfunction afterward. Talking of design, this mild is slim, slick and straightforward on the eyes. The corners are rounded and the matte display screen prevents glare whether or not it’s on or off. The white case may distinction with some decors and will probably get dusty, however swiping with a moist fabric would simply clear that up.

One odd downfall of this mild is that its twine 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 Pleased Mild Luxe’s twine to succeed in the outlet behind our 36-inch-deep desk and ended up utilizing an extension twine. We additionally discovered ourselves wanting the flexibility 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 possibly can snag the Circadian Optics Lampu. Even within the field, from the very starting we had a hunch we have been going to like this mild. The packaging was considerate and the design properly past necessity, which gave us hope that extra consideration to element was to come back. Seems we have been proper. It’s received seems to be, it produces sensible mild, it’s straightforward to maneuver across the dwelling 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 learn its sturdiness, as a result of once we performed the drop take a look at its lack of corners to shatter helped it immensely. After a number of drops, the Lampu nonetheless seemed and functioned as new. The development total feels very strong, with all its parts tightly related with no jiggling or rattling. It received the best rating for the drop take a look at 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 twine can 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 Pleased Mild Luxe — 38.5 sq. inches for Lampu and 54 sq. inches for the Pleased Mild Luxe. One thing about its spherical form, although, made it really feel extra like a solar lamp and extra cozy than the Pleased Mild 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 successful spot; nonetheless, the most important is its lack of settings. The Lampu has solely three brightness ranges that you just entry by tapping the button one, two or thrice. The one button’s placement can be not supreme: It’s on the again of the lamp, so till you could have change into one together with your lamp and know precisely the place it’s — you possibly can’t really feel it as a result of it’s purely contact, not a change — you’ll have to choose 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 be annoying, however quicker and fewer awkward.

It doesn’t have a timer, which suggests you’ll should set your cellphone or one thing else to know when to close it off. It doesn’t have colour 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 mirror different mild sources within the room and trigger a slight glare. Talking of the design, though it seems to be like one thing out of “2001: A Area Odyssey” and we appreciated that, it might not work with extra conventional decor. A wall-mount choice isn’t included, however for what it lacks in additional 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 Mild Remedy Lamp

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

The swivel is a pleasant characteristic that allows you to level the sunshine at precisely the proper angle. Folded up, the Lumos measures a petite 14 by 2.5 by 1.25 inches, so you possibly can take it with you nearly wherever in your work bag or carry-on suitcase. This lengthy, tall mild can be wall mountable, which makes it able to work in any scenario 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 take a look at, 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 exams fully unscathed.

Though the sunshine is brilliant and might be swiveled for max profit, the sunshine doesn’t present a real sunshine expertise due to the small floor space, which is why it didn’t take prime 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 may very well 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 quite than wall mounting for added versatility, nevertheless it comes throughout like a little bit of an afterthought. This lamp may be very light-weight and considerably unstable on a crowded desk. We’d prefer to see the bottom extra weighted for max 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 triggered it to push again and wobble.

Earlier than committing to buying one in every of these lights chances are you’ll be asking, “What’s SAD, anyway?” Seasonal affective dysfunction is principally outlined as a bout of melancholy throughout the identical timeframe annually for at the least two years in a row, adopted by remission throughout the remaining months, in line with the American Psychiatric Association. Ladies and individuals who stay 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 time and again. 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 greatest. 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 ought 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 take a look at the solar, would you? That’s principally what that is mimicking.) Thirty minutes at 10K lux very first thing within the morning (typically really useful 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 using mild remedy. Even with a health care provider’s approval, it’s really useful 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. Should you really feel dizzy, get a headache or expertise every other odd signs, a SAD lamp, sadly, might not be for you.

To ensure we actually 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 the USA is within the hazard zone and experiencing these darker months proper now whereas testing, it made for an ideal situation to check the brightness choices and total mild expertise. Our dwelling workplace was overloaded with bins and cables, nevertheless it shortly grew to become clear which have 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 essential 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 supplied their very own distinctive expertise. From packaging to customizing the sunshine’s angle, brightness and colour 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 elements made them much less interesting total. Many of the lamps we examined didn’t have timers, which we thought was odd contemplating there’s a reasonably commonplace really useful time restrict for publicity to a light-weight remedy lamp of 20 to 60 minutes. It’s not an excessive amount of additional work, nonetheless, to make use of an egg timer or the timer on a cellphone. Our three winners scored excessive marks within the usefulness of their varied mild settings and controls in addition to their mobility.

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

General efficiency

  • Sitting time: The lamps fell into three classes for this take a look at. There have been people who required a minimal of quarter-hour, people who required a minimal of 20 and people who required at the least 30. The decrease the required use time, the upper the rating.
  • Mild 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 have 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, colour temperature settings and past. Extra settings meant extra factors.
  • Versatility: Lights earned factors for his or her capability for use in varied conditions, akin to on a crowded desk or wall, carried in a suitcase or positioned on a lodge nightstand.
  • Warmth: The much less we felt the warmth of the sunshine throughout a full really useful 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 have 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? In that 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 properly to see if we may injury every mild with typical stressors. We additionally seemed on the directions for cleansing and upkeep and assessed how straightforward or tough it’s to take care of. There have been some clear winners on this class and a few clear duds.
  • Twine size: It’s stunning how a lot just a few additional inches, or toes, could make in a twine. That is particularly essential for a lamp that has a excessive potential to be moved from bed room to eating desk to desk to lodge nightstand. Not having the ability to attain an outlet means no mild remedy, which makes the lamp fully ineffective. We undoubtedly struggled with getting just a few plugged in beneath the desk and needed to go for an extension twine — yuck. So, we made positive to offer lamps with ample twine size the next rating.
  • General design: If this mild goes to be a everlasting fixture in your workplace or dwelling, 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 a wide range of rooms and decor. The extra versatile the design, the upper the factors. Most of those lights have been designed for sensible use, however just a few stood out as higher designed than the others.
  • Button placement: Buttons got here in all kinds of shapes, sizes, performance and areas. Generally we have been looking for the change; different instances it was so easy that we wished all lamps may observe go well with. We requested ourselves whether or not the buttons have been straightforward to make use of and clearly marked.
  • Extras: We made positive to guage extra options that weren’t commonplace throughout the board to see in the event that they have been sensible or ineffective. One additional that we noticed just a few instances and liked 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 have been awarded accordingly.

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

With the fourth-highest rating behind our prime 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 fully broke! First, the great things: The Aura Day Light Lamp has the bottom minimal really useful 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 modify 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 twine — one of many longest we examined. Nonetheless, this lamp failed our drop take a look at. 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 laborious flooring, the sunshine dimmed, flickered, went out and wouldn’t flip again on.

Even earlier than the drop take a look at, we may 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 loads of area inside the sunshine that made it cumbersome on the desktop. Its measurement wasn’t a serious situation — we undoubtedly 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 enormous buttons make it straightforward for older people to make use of. General, this mild may very well be good for somebody who will go away it in a single place (ideally in a carpeted room) and wishes a timer in addition to straightforward, clicking buttons and switch dial options.

Carex Day-Mild Traditional Plus Shiny Mild Remedy Lamp ($109.99;

The bulkiest mild we examined was palms 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 device to place it collectively. With such effort to get it on the desk together with its $100+ price ticket, we hoped it could be the star of the present. Alas, this lamp didn’t meet our expectations. For such a cumbersome stand, we wished it to go increased in order that it may match over our pc displays, not simply over a laptop computer display screen. Additionally, the swivel solely goes up and down, not aspect to aspect. It’s nonetheless good to have the flexibility to regulate, nevertheless it feels overengineered whereas nonetheless underperforming.

The big forked base helped stabilize the extra-large and -bright mild field that’s perched on a swiveling arm, however the prime 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-Mild Traditional Plus saved on working, so we didn’t dock factors there. We have been stunned that the swivel arm didn’t break its hinges in any respect when it crashed to the ground in its bent state, principally as a result of it looks like it could take the brunt of the load and strain on affect. So, we’ll give credit score to its very sturdy development.

On one other word, the slide change stands proud 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. Should you’re on the lookout for an enormous, brilliant and enveloping mild that might be a everlasting fixture behind your laptop computer — the low setting works as a desk lamp too — this behemoth may very well be the lamp of your goals.

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

We appreciated Northern Light Technologies Boxelite’s black metallic casing and big floor space, however this mild field doesn’t have what it takes to be our winner. Right here’s what we liked: The big floor space meant the sunshine enveloped us like being outdoors in summertime with out pushing aside any warmth, and we anticipated the metallic to get scorching, nevertheless it didn’t. The highest received barely heat to the contact by the top of the really useful timeframe of 20 to half-hour, however that heat by no means radiated out. The essential on/off change was straightforward to make use of and did the job properly. We should always word that the on/off change is the one characteristic 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 Mild Applied sciences Boxelite packaging was not spectacular, which was stunning 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 Mild Applied sciences Boxelite off of the desk, one of many white plastic screws holding the display screen onto the field corners would break off. We ended the drop exams with the sunshine itself nonetheless working however just one screw nonetheless intact and a flapping display screen. There weren’t any additional screws supplied within the field, and we couldn’t determine easy methods to get a damaged screw out of the lamp anyway. We thought this is able to be an awesome field mild for a movie photographer to make use of with slides or negatives, however sadly it missed the mark as a SAD lamp because 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 measurement. You could possibly probably put it in a journey bag or on a crowded desk or small nightstand. Its price ticket can be interesting from a worth perspective, plus the included directions are thorough. However briefly 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 flexibility to regulate the angle. There aren’t any brightness settings or different extras to customise the sunshine expertise in any respect. The twine is the shortest we examined at 5 toes lengthy. We may 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 right throughout the drop take a look at. First, items broke off of the highest and backside, then on the second drop, your entire lamp shattered everywhere in the room, together with the fluorescent lightbulb. General, this lamp isn’t even well worth the low price ticket. Spending a bit extra will get a significantly better and long-lasting product.

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