yellow and black light fixture

Best Light Therapy Lamps for Improved Moods and Energy

Ian Mutuli
Updated on
Ian Mutuli

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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During winter and fall seasons when there is less sunshine it is easy to get into depressive or moody disposition. This leads to inefficiency in having the results that you desire in your daily activities.

Thankfully, there is the best approach for this case. A SAD lamp can also play the role of rejuvenating your mind and making you feel more energetic throughout the day.

Picking the right light therapy lamp is not an easy process. This is why we have created a list of light therapy lamps available in the market as well as the things to consider when choosing a lamp.

Let's begin!

What light is best for SAD?

Why Do You Need Light Therapy Lamp

Light therapy is also commonly referred to as bright light therapy or phototherapy, and it is a way to treat certain conditions using artificial lights. This therapy requires you to sit near a light therapy box, and it will provide a bright light that imitates natural outdoor light. Light therapy is known to affect your brain chemicals that are linked to your sleep and mood, helping ease most conditions.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)is one of the most common types of depression that light therapy eases. SAD is also known as seasonal depression since it usually occurs mainly at specific times, especially during winter or fall. However, there are other reasons you may want to use light therapy. Of course, if your doctor recommends that you use light therapy, it will be the first reason you need night therapy.

Another reason you may need this therapy is if you are looking for safe and convenient treatment with minimal side effects. You also want to increase the effectiveness of your mental health counseling or antidepressant medication. Additionally, you could use light therapy to treat depression that does not usually occur seasonally, sleep disorders, jet lag, mood disorders, and dementia.

Additionally, you can use light therapy to adjust to nighttime schedules. Finally, you could also use the therapy to treat certain skin conditions like psoriasis. Now that you understand why you need therapy lamps let's look at the best light therapy lamps in the market.

1. Philips SmartSleep Wake-up Light, Colored Sunrise and Sunset Simulation

Philips SmartSleep Wake-up Light, Colored Sunrise and...
  • PERSONALIZATION: Simulated sunset and sunrise and choice of 5...
  • SMART FEATURES: FM radio, tap snooze and automatic dimmable...
  • MOOD AND ENERGY: proven to give you an easy and energetic wake-up...
  • Can be used as a bedside reading lamp with 10 brightness...
  • SMART FEATURES: FM radio, tap snooze and automatic dimmable...

This light therapy lamp is a perfect option if you have any mood disorder or want to boost your mood all day long. This Therapy Alarm Clock will wake you up with natural sunlight-like light in the morning that helps brighten your day.

The Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light Therapy Alarm Clock features 20 brightening settings you could choose from. This light therapy lamp will turn on thirty minutes before the alarm, but it will steadily brighten as you wake up. The best part is that this UV-free lamp comes with five wake-up sounds you could choose from or a radio if you want to get a gentle start to the day.

Additionally, you could set a dimming sunset light setting if you are going to sleep. What's more, this alarm clock is lightweight and will easily fit on your bedside table. It also comes with a new power pack that allows you to charge the lamp in power shortages.


  • Has 20 light settings
  • UV-free
  • Safe to use for extended periods
  • 90-day money-back guarantee
  • Energy-efficient


  • Control panels are not user-friendly.

2. Circadian Optics Light Therapy Lamp

Circadian Optics Light Therapy Lamp - UV-Free LED Light...
  • STYLISH & UV-FREE: These happy light therapy lamps deliver safe...
  • EASY TO USE: Our lamp’s revolutionary, quick one-touch...
  • EFFECTIVE: This therapy light provides the recommended 10,000 LUX...
  • LONGER LASTING: The LED natural light lamp lasts approximately...

The Circadian Optics SAD lamp is the best solution if you want to spend your days brighter and sleep better at night. With this product, you can maintain a healthy circadian rhythm, be more active and awake during the day, and sleep better at night.

The mood enhancement properties of light therapy will enable you to regulate your circadian rhythm so as to improve your mood. They have a bright light during the day, and that light can inhibit melatonin release while also increasing alertness and concentration, thus improving performance.

Additionally, the sun lamp by Circadian Optics is a beautiful model that will look great in your home or in the office while being good for the body in terms of the amount of light and energy received. This therapy lamp produces 10k lumen of light, which can help cure winter blues, help you sleep, and provide you energy that makes you feel better.

The LED natural light lamps have a life span of about 50,000 hours which is way above fluorescent light bulbs.


  • Elegant design for your interior space
  • 3 adjustable brightness levels
  • Long-lasting
  • SAD treatment
  • Easy to use


  • The plastic on the light can melt from heat during use.
  • A bit unstable

3. Lavish Home (72-0890) 5 Feet Sunlight Floor Lamp

Lavish Home (72-0890) 5 Feet Sunlight Floor Lamp With...
  • Superior & natural lighting; Made with modern lighting technology
  • Lights up a room over 350 sq. ft.; Flexible goose neck adjusts to...
  • 27-Watt bulb - a much light as an ordinary 150-Watt bulb
  • 5000 hours per bulb; Color temperature: 6500K; 1300 lumens
  • Dimensions: 10 W x 9 D x 55 H Inches; Cord length: 55 in.

Lavish Home Sunlight Floor Lamp is another option if you want to purchase the best light therapy lamps. The lamp has a 60 by 10 by 9 inches lamp face and a weighted base that helps keep the lamp stable.

The floor lamp has 1300 lumens, and its bulb will last for up to six months before you need to replace it. The other notable feature about the Lavish Home Sunlight Floor Lamp is that it has a gooseneck design that will energize and give light to whatever room you place it in.

This best light therapy lamp uses a 27-watt CFL Bulb to give you as much light as a 150 watts bulb but without using the same amount of power. Furthermore, this lamp's bulbs are best suited for light exposure. This lamp will release a soft, warm light with a color of daytime sun hues for more focus, energy, and better sleep.


  • Shock and vibration resistant
  • Adjustable arm
  • Easy assembly
  • Energy-efficient
  • Safe to use for extended periods
  • Has an adjustable stand that let you direct light where needed


  • The design makes the entire lamp cumbersome to move around  
  • There aren't any brightness settings

4. Lumie DESKLAMP SAD Light Therapy and Reading Lamp

With a dual-purpose desk light, this 10,000 LUX light therapy lamp features 4 tap control light levels suitable for use at home or in the office. The bright light will certainly put you in a better mood and boost your energy to help you feel more alert. As such, the Lumie Desklamp is one of the best SAD lamps to buy.

You can angle this desk lamp to shine its light on your face without directly staring at it during your study, working, or crafting time. The diffuser is removable so that you can get maximum brightness from this light therapy lamp.

The extra blue light allows you to position this lamp about 50cm away while still receiving effective therapy of 2,500 LUX.


  • Certified for treating SAD and winter blues
  • Adjustable neck and high contrast light
  • Energy-efficient and free from UV rays
  • Blue light3-year warranty


  • UnidirectionalIt lacks a power switch.

5. Northern Light Technologies Boxelite Bright Light Therapy Box

Northern Light Technologies Boxelite, Lux Bright Light...
  • 10,000 Lux at up to 14 inches – Light therapy units MUST...
  • Full Spectrum UV Free Light – Our powerful glare-free...
  • Most Recommended for Over 30 Years – Light therapy has been...
  • High Quality Metal Construction – All Northern Light...
  • Improve Your Overall Mood and Well-Being – Studies prove that...

Like other SAD lamp products, the Boxelite Light=Box attempts to replicate natural outdoor light as accurately as possible. It features a 14" screen that provides 10 000 LUX without getting too close. It has full-spectrum lights with no UV rays or glare, making it safe and comfortable for your eyes. All the UV rays are filtered out so that the diffuse light effectively boosts your energy and emotional state.

The Boxelite Light therapy box has been clinically tested and is guaranteed to ease blues, circadian sleep disorders, jet lag, and low energy on dark winter days. With its high-quality metal build, it is a long-lasting product that can serve you for years.


  • Relatively wider screen
  • UV and glare-free
  • Clinically approved
  • Durable metal build


  • Brightness is not adjustable.

6. Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp

Day-Light Classic Bright Light Therapy Lamp - Sun Lamp...
  • Contains (1) bright light therapy lamp. This daylight lamp...
  • A bright light therapy light that will help fight the winter...
  • This natural light lamp provides the maximum dose of 99.3%...
  • This mood lamp, sometimes called a sun lamp, meets the strict...
  • A sun lamp therapy light that meets clinical guidelines for...

The Carex Day-Light Classic Plus delivers 10,000 LUX in a wide field of illumination with UV-filtered and glare-free white light to provide safety and comfort. This clinical LED lamp meets all professional standards for therapeutic use and is undoubtedly one of the best SAD lamps you can buy today.

The Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp comes with a flexible angle stand to help you find the best position to receive the light from. Also, it has a height adjustment feature that allows you to raise or lower the therapy light to suit your needs appropriately.

This bright light therapy lamp provides a full spectrum of light for maximum effectiveness. The light-box is similar to the model used by researchers globally, with two brightness settings. With it, you can experience mood and sleep improvement, jet lag recovery, and a boost of energy. As such, you can use this light therapy lamp to energize your day and improve your focus at work.


  • Modern design for office or home use
  • Satisfies professional standards for light therapy
  • Safe white light
  • Wide range of illumination
  • Glare-free
  • An LED lamp that is UV-free
  • 5-year warranty


  • When new, the thread holes are sealed with paint
  • The elastics over the bulb produce a bad smell.

7. Lumie Vitamin L Slim Light Box for Effective SAD Light Therapy

The Lumie Vitamin L is the perfect solution for lifting your mood, boosting your concentration, and restoring your natural energy. This SAD lamp is guaranteed to put you in a better frame of mind and leave you feeling more alert. With a slim and lightweight design, you can use it at home or carry it to work to improve your well being as you focus on your tasks.

You can position this Lumie product in portrait or landscape according to your convenience. The 10,000 LUX will provide sufficient treatment at 16 cm away. You can start with 30 minutes a day and then gradually increase the time to find the range that works for you.

The intense sun-like light will keep your circadian rhythms on track, especially when there isn't enough bright light during the day or in the winter months. Lumie is the inventor of the first wake up lamps, and with their energy-efficient medical device, you can enjoy a 3-year warranty.


  • Rippled diffuser for comfort
  • Portrait or landscape positioning
  • Energy-efficient
  • Uv-free
  • Cool white LED lights.


  • The brightness is not adjustable.
  • No carrying case

8. Lumie Bodyclock Glow 150

If you've wondered how it could feel to wake up with the sun's light in your face without having to leave your bed and draw the curtains, you'll love the Bodyclock Glow 150 alarm clock. With a sunrise duration of 20,30 or 45 minutes, you can wake up to a bright sunrise next to your bed. This Lumie product will wake you up naturally at the set time after the wake-up light gradually reaches its brightest.

According to Lumie, studies show that waking up with an increasing light intensity helps improve sleep and awakening quality. With the Lumie Bodyclock Glow 150, you can rise to brighter mornings on your bedside table, feeling more energized to get through the day.

The fading sunset feature for 20,30, or 45 minutes can help you wind down as the light intensity gradually fades through pink, orange, and red colors before the alarm clock turns off. The fading light can signal the body to produce melatonin and ready you for sleep as it makes you naturally drowsy. Additionally, the 10 sleep and wake sounds can work with the light settings to make your sleeping and waking easier.


  • SAD treatment wake up light
  • Gradual sunrise and sunset with realistic LED light colors
  • Certified class 1 medical light therapy device10 sleep and wake sounds and white noise
  • 3-year warranty
  • Audio alarm with tap control snooze


  • The time display is only in 24hr format.
  • Only one alarm time setting

9. Verilux HappyLight VT10

Verilux HappyLight VT10 Compact Personal, Portable...
  • USA BASED - Verilux, with over 60 years as your Healthy Lighting...
  • UV-FREE, FULL SPECTRUM LIGHT - Delivers up to 10,000 lux (light...
  • EASY TO USE, COMPACT DESIGN - Simple on/off button makes...
  • IMPROVE SLEEP, MOOD, FOCUS, ENERGY - Bright light from the...
  • SAFE AND NATURAL LIGHT THERAPY - Non-invasive and drug-free;...

The Verilux Happylight Compact Light Therapy Lamp offers a personal light therapy experience. It has a lightweight and small build that makes it portable while providing up to 5,000 LUV of white light to boost energy, lift mood, regulate sleep, and enhance your concentration. The design of the Verilux HappyLight allows you to set it up anywhere without requiring too much space.

The on/off power button makes it easy to operate this desk lamp. Plus, the Flicker Elimination Technology works with the Optix Glare Control Lens to reduce eye-strain and fatigue, making your time with this therapy lamp more productive. This makes this product one of the best light therapy lamps you can find.


  • Natural and safe
  • Sleep, mood, energy, and focus improvement
  • Reduces symptoms of SAD
  • Easy to useCompact design
  • Free from UV rays


  • Offers 5,000 LUX
  • A bit unstable

Factors To Consider When Choosing The Best Light Therapy Lamp

1. Purpose Of SAD Lamps

A SAD lamp is specifically designed to provide artificial light exposure to people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that develops during the winter or fall seasons and is characterized by low energy, sleep disorders, focus challenges, and feelings of hopelessness.

These SAD symptoms can be alleviated using phototherapy from light lamps. By sitting or working near these lamps, the light affects the brain chemicals connected with mood and sleep to make you feel more energetic.

With a SAD lamp, you can maintain the same vigor you need for working by getting sun-like light from these indoor light therapy devices.

2. LUX Capacity

An essential feature to look for in light-boxes is the amount of LUX, which is the measurement for the brightness of the light produced. The goal of buying a light-box is to supplement the natural light you're missing during short winter days.

Sunny days provide a brightness level ranging from 10,000 Lux to 100,000 LUX. Therefore, lamps need to have at least 10,000 Lux to provide the minimum brightness of a sunny day to treat the seasonal affective disorder effectively. Additionally, the lamps should offer full or broad-spectrum lighting.

3. Flicker And Noise-Free

Some fluorescent lights can flicker, a problem for certain photosensitive people. The flickering can cause nausea, headaches, and other problematic symptoms. So, as you choose your therapy lamp, you should ensure it has anti-flicker technology.

A feature such as an electronic ballast can help get rid of flicker and the annoying hum that fluorescent lights produce. Keeping this in mind will help you select a product that will give you a pleasant and comfortable experience.

4. Portability

If you plan to carry your light therapy device with you to work, over the weekend, or any other place, you'll want to consider its size, shape, and weight. You should ensure it has a small, lightweight, and compact design to avoid trouble while moving it around.

LED light lamps tend to have a more petite build than fluorescent light-boxes. Additionally, light lamps are also smaller and can be an excellent choice for portable lamps.

Lamps with an attached stand can be particularly challenging to transport. So, if you want a SAD light that you can move around, you should check whether it has a detachable stand.

5. Light Intensity Settings

While the 10,000 lux is the recommended brightness, it's not always necessary to use your SAD light lamp at this level. Many people suffer from nausea, headaches, and jitteriness when they start using light lamps for the first time. That is why the recommended exposure time is 30 minutes, which you can later adjust according to your preference.

Fortunately, some lamps come with intensity controls that allow you to manage the brightness. This allows you to use them for more extended periods in the low brightness settings.

6. Timer

While thirty minutes is the minimum standard for exposure, many people extend this time to find the most effective range for their needs over time. Others found that they can have several sessions throughout the day with varied intensity.

Since it is vital to be consistent when using SAD lamps, you should look for one with an in-built timer that helps you keep track of how long you've been using the light.

7. Stand

If your SAD light comes with a stand, you'll want to ensure that the angle and height are adjustable. This will allow you to position the lamp in the place where it best serves your needs. Ideally, it should be at a minimum height of six inches above your eye line to match the sun's natural angle.

Side Effect of Using light Therapy Lamps

Phototherapy or light therapy is one of the safest ways to treat certain disorders like Seasonal Affective Disorder. Although, like most treatments, there have some side effects. Some of the side effects you could experience are eyestrain, headache, nausea and irritability. If any of these side effects occur, you could go for some days without using the lamp, and if the symptoms persist, you could consult with your doctor. However, it is essential to remember that you should be under a doctor's care while using the light-boxes. Also, it would help if you talked to your doctor before you started using these lamps.

To avoid harmful effects from the lamps, you could look for lams that filter out harmful ultraviolet. Also, if you have Bipolar disorder, you should avoid using this lamp unless you get advice from your doctor.

Tips of Using Therapy Lamp

  1. First, ensure that you consult with your doctor before using or purchasing the lamps, especially if you have any underlying conditions like bipolar disorder, glaucoma, or lupus. Also, if you are pregnant or using antipsychotics and antidepressants, you should get a green card first from your doctor.
  2. If nd the best frame time to use your lamp. Some people prefer to use these lamps for 60 minutes a day while others use them for only ten minutes. Therefore you must consider the highest exposure you want to get in a day. Here you will set the exact time you will be using the lamp. Most specialists recommend that you use the lamp in the morning. However, your doctor can recommend otherwise.
  3. You must follow the manufactures recommendation on how to position your lamp for best results. Most of the best light therapy lamps will indicate how close you should position the sun lamp, and you must follow the instructions to the latter.
  4. To use the lamps more effectively, you must get suitable lamps with a great combination of duration, light intensity and timing.
  5. For maintaining improvements over time, you must stick to your daily routine of using the lamps.
  6. Also, you ould include other treatments if your symptoms do not improve after consistently using the sun lamps.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What Is The Difference Between A SAD Lamp And A Light-Box?

There is no difference between SAD lamps and light-boxes since both refer to the same product used to deliver light therapy.

2. How Long Does It Take For Light Therapy To Work?

The time will depend on various factors like your sleep schedule, eating habits, physical activities, etc. However, it could take as little as 2-3 days or as long as 2-3 weeks.

3. Can I Use Light Therapy All Day?

Yes, you can, but you should be cautious since too much exposure could lead to insomnia for people with light sensitivity. 

Ian Mutuli

About the author

Ian Mutuli

Founder and Managing Editor of Archute. He is also a graduate architect from The University of Nairobi, Kenya.
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