I randomly came across bright light therapy in my desperate search for an answer to my depression.
I saw pictures of these SAD light therapy lamps.
People are actually using lights for depression?
I quickly wrote it off as something that would never work.
But if you’ve been on the site for a while, you know one of the most important decisions I made was to try things instead of debate endlessly in my head about if they would work.
I decided to try using lights for depression. And I’m glad I did.
Out of all the light therapy products out there, I bought the sphere gadget technologies lightphoria 10 000lux energy light lamp and this is my lightphoria review.
What is Light Therapy Exactly?
People most commonly use light therapy for seasonal affective disorder but it is also used for insomnia and sleep disorders.
Light boxes emit light that hits the retina of the eyes to reset your circadian rhythm. This helps get a person’s sleep schedule back on track. According to Wikipedia, light therapy can also be used to treat acne vulgaris, eczema, and neonatal jaundice.
This means that if you suffer from depression and insomnia, you can use light therapy to treat both simultaneously. It is also great for jet lag (more on that in a moment).
Should Everyone Be Using Light Therapy Boxes?
Using seasonal affective disorder light bulbs is typically very safe. Possible side effects can include eyestrain, headache, nausea, irritability or agitation.
The big risk with using seasonal affective disorder light therapy is if you suffer from bipolar disorder. People who are prone to mania have reported that using seasonal affective disorder lights can produce euphoria, hyperactivity, and agitation.
It is best to use 10000 lux light when using light treatment. If you use 10000 lux, you can get benefits in around 30 minutes whereas a light box that emits 2500 lux might take 2 hours to get benefits.
Lightphoria SAD Light Therapy Review
Many people think this is the best SAD light for many reasons. The Sphere Gadget Technologies SP9882 Lightophoria SAD Light is portable, doesn’t cost a ton of money, emits 10000 LUX, doesn’t emit any plastic like smells, and has different light intensity settings.
It also has a built in timer so that you can set it for the duration you want. It will automatically shut off when the time is up.
I also enjoyed this feature because I used to set it in the kitchen while making food. Sometimes I would walk out of the room to do other things.
I always set the timer so that I wouldn’t accidentally leave it on and leave the house.
When I first got it out, I have to admit it felt quite flimsy and cheap. It felt like it could break at any second if it took any sort of fall.
I actually dropped it a couple times, and it still works.
Sphere Gadget Technologies SP9882 Lightphoria Pros and Features:
- Portable SAD light system emits 10,000 lux wide-spectrum light
- Provides natural soothing glow; mimicking real sunlight
- Selectable intensity levels – LOW (5,000 lux), MEDIUM (8,000 lux), HIGH (10,000 lux) and programmable 15, 30, 45 minute timer
- 72 Energy-efficient LEDs consumes only 7.2 watts and is rated for more than 20 years
- Sleek and compact lightweight design perfect for travel
- 110v-240v worldwide-compatible AC adapter included
- Doesn’t emit weird plastic light bulb smells like some of the larger lamps do
It comes with a nylon travel pouch and instruction guide as well as a 1 year warranty through the manufacturer.
Cons and Complaints:
One of the main things I didn’t like about it was the length of the cord and how lightweight it is. You can see in my video how if you try to put it in certain positions and the cord is stretched out, it will actually move the light box which could potentially make it fall off your desk/table.
Scroll down to the bottom of this post to see me using the lightphoria light lamp in various settings.
A few people on Amazon.com also wish it would have a battery so they don’t have to plug in. A few reviewers also said that it didn’t work after a couple uses. For me, I’ve traveled with it all over the world and it has never given me problems.
Lightphoria VS goLITE
Another option to consider is the Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy Device. The main selling point of the goLITE is that it emits blue light and comes with a rechargeable battery if you don’t like the cord on the lightphoria light box.
I have never personally used the goLITE, but I do know they had an aggressive marketing plan on Amazon.com where they pumped out a lot of positive reviews. Even with their marketing plan, the reviews are still not as positive as the sphere lightphoria reviews.
When I was looking at lights for SAD I thought that the battery for the goLITE was going to make a big difference.
Several reviews, however, state that the battery on the goLITE takes a long time to recharge and only lasts around 15 minutes before it needs to be charged again.
Even though the goLITE solves the issue of not having to use the cord all the time, the battery charge is relatively short-lasting and many reviewers stated they have to lug around their power cord anyways.
It is another sun lamp that can be used while traveling as well.
The big difference between the two lamps is the Philips goLITE costs $121.00 on Amazon.com and the Lightphoria energy light lamp costs $51.00. The Lightphoria sp9882 has a year warranty on top of that. As far as I can tell, the goLITE does not have any warranty.
Since the Philips wakeup light doesn’t have a warranty, has slightly less positive reviews than the Sphere Gadgets Lightphoria, and costs about $50 more, I would purchase the Sphere Lightphoria light lamp.
Lightphoria VS Nature Bright
Another option to consider is the NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp. This depression lamp was supposedly recommended by the Columbia Department of Psychiatry and the New York State Psychiatry Institute.
One of the big selling points of this natural light lamp is that it also uses negative ion therapy to help relieve depression.
Clinical studies show that ion therapy can provide an antidepressant effect within a few days of use. However, several reviews show that the ion therapy on this light lamp might not be all that it is cracked up to be.
One reviewer even states that the smell that comes off this lamp and the “negative ion therapy” might be harmful.
Another reviewer said that he tested whether or not the NatureBright emitted ozone. His NatureBright sun lamp emitted 0.209 parts per million within 10-15 minutes.
The Environmental Protection Agency states the risk level at 0.08 parts per million.
Devices that produce ozone can decrease lung function, cause coughing and chest pain, and higher susceptibility to lung function.
The light lamp appears to be of very high quality according to other reviews and is much bigger. Some people might not like the small size of the lightphoria sphere gadget and want a larger lamp instead. In this case, the NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light might be a good option. It is only $69.24 on Amazon.com.
My only issues with it is if it actually does emit ozone which could be potentially harmful and that the negative ion therapy might not be what it is all cracked up to be. Regardless of those issues, I have never personally tried out the lamp and the overall consensus on Amazon.com is overwhelmingly positive.
If you get more depressed in the winter time, have problems with maintaining your sleep schedule, or want a way to overcome jet lag quicker, I would recommend the Lightphoria energy light lamp.
The Lightphoria 10 000 lux light lamp has overwhelmingly positive reviews on Amazon.com, is the least expensive of the best options, and can be traveled with easily. I sold most of my stuff and packed all my belongings into a backpack to go live in Southeast Asia, and the Lightphoria energy light came with me.
The Philips goLITE seems like a great option as well, but is considerably more expensive than the Lightphoria light lamp and the battery doesn’t last long enough to make it a deciding factor.
The NatureBright SunTouch looks like a great lamp if you don’t ever plan on traveling with your light lamp, but it might emit harmful ozone.
The lightphoria energy light is one of the best light therapy lamps to purchase if you need a lightweight lamp that won’t break the bank and need it to be portable. You can purchase it on Amazon here: Lightphoria Amazon.
Let me know your personal experiences with Light Therapy lamps below.