Best SAD Lamps Reviewed & Rated for Quality
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Now that you’ve decided that you do, in fact, need a SAD lamp, how do you know which one to buy? Some things that you should look for are how powerful a LUX it has. 10,000LUX is good to be used for about 20-30 minutes, but anything less than that will require more time. Where you are able to put the light also makes a difference. Size and shape are also important considerations.
Let’s talk a little more about making the right choice for you. The first thing you need to consider is where it will be used. Are you planning on sitting it in your bathroom, on your desk, or perhaps mounting it on a wall? All of these will lead you to buy different lamps. The recommendations for best use are that it is positioned above eye level and off to the side a little bit, about where 10 or 2 would fall on a clock. However, you can best fit those recommendations without completely messing up your morning is likely your best bet.
The stronger the intensity, the less you have to use the lamp. Duration of therapy sessions goes up directly in relation to how many LUX your lamp has. A standard light therapy session is 20-30 minutes long but can last clear up to an hour depending on your specific needs. Some people will get positive effects with only 20 minutes, but others take the full 60 and that largely depends on how the neurons in your brain react with the feel-good chemicals.
Most lights here ring in at 10,000 LUX and will follow the standard recommendation. However; if you do end up with one that has a smaller LUX, see what works for you and make sure that you include your mental health professional to optimize your use.
10 Best SAD Lamps
1. Charmax SAD Therapy Lamp
We love the Charmax because it has a nice set it and forget it quality. It's sleek and easy to use and has a slimline design that won't add to the clutter around your desk space. But most importantly it pumps out the light, in a big way. So, when things get tough, the tough turn on their Charmax lamp and bathe in the rejuvenating rays of this tiny sun at your desk.
We like the Charmax because it has a really large light surface area. simply pop this one on and it's going to hit you with a huge helping of noon sunlight right where you need it.
This has three light settings which will let you manage the amount of light that is pouring out of this baby. It also has timers that allow 15 to 60-minute session timers. Everything about the Charmax screams ease of use.
Not bad at all for something that could possibly pull you out of a seasonal depression. And hey we tend to go with priceless when it comes that possibility. Still, it won't set you back by much and that's why it has taken our coveted first spot.
2. Verilux HappyLight Compact
If you are looking for a lamp that will help improve your mood, regulate your circadian rhythm, and set you up well for the day every day then this HappyLight may be the right answer. It is small and compact and gives just enough light to be the perfect answer for daily use.
This lamp emits 5000 LUX. This is bright enough to make a noticeable difference in your day to day, but not so bright that you’ll have a hard time adjusting to it or using it every day. It is just the right amount of light. It is recommended you start with only 10 minutes a day, then work yourself up to however long works best for you - as long as you stay under an hour a day.
Verilux makes their light small and compact enough that you can take it with you anywhere. It weighs in at only 1.5 pounds and will easily fit in your bag, purse, backpack, or suitcase without taking up much space at all. It is meant this way so that you can always have it with you and get your daily dose of light to ensure that you are setting yourself up well for the day.
This model comes at a very reasonable price. It has just the right amount of functionality, but not too much, and will do the job of giving you your light exposure early without any issue. That being said, it’s not the biggest nor the brightest lamp on our list and the price is lower to reflect that. Ultimately, you will be more than happy you spent the money you did on this product.
3. Baltoro Desktop Lamp
Sneaky Baltoro, making this look like a regular old desk lamp when it's actually a SAD busting lumen delivering a powerhouse of a therapy lamp. Everything you need to keep on a brave face during winter is here. a powerful lamp, with a stylish design and an easy everyday switch and respectable daylight simulation
It goes without saying that these SAD lamps can suck a lot of juice out of the wall socket so this is a nice little addition that lets you feel good about the environment while you're getting the lumens you need to stay sane during the winter.
We can't really decide whether or not this is Art Deco or Modern, but whatever the stylists have to say we'll just go with it's a nice looking lamp. Plus it comes with a 2-year warranty so if anything goes wrong with it you can get a new stylish looking therapy lamp. Also, while it goes without saying that this lamp is going to look good at home or at work so feel free to lug it around
A nice lamp at a great price. As therapy lamps go this is really the only one we've seen that mimics an actual desk lamp so it'll have a lot of uses other than just as a therapy lamp. So use it for whatever you'd like and get the light you need to keep you moving.
4. Circadian Optics Lattice Lamp
Talk about cool design this has it in spades. the Circadian Optics lamp sits on hour desk and looks as much like a souvenir as it does a therapy lamp. It has a very bamboo zen type of feel to it, but turn it on and you're getting the lumens you need to keep you from descending into the winter darkness.
Like we said this is as much art as it is a lamp. When the light isn't on it's even hard to see the bulb and it just looks like an asymmetrical collection of squares and rectangles, but don't let the minimalist design fool you there's plenty of light to be had in this cool looking lamp.
Yes, this one does deliver the goods. The full spectrum white light emitter has a broad surface area and is sure to be strong enough to bathe you in the rejuvenating glow of noonday sunlight. In scientific terms, this is 5500 Kelvin color temperature, but for you and me it means a refreshing boost of daylight in the dark of winter.
You're paying a bit more for this lamp but you're also getting a bit more. The design, and the light surface make it more than just a lamp and Circadian Optics seems to get that. But even if you're not sold on paying for a piece of desk art you should know that it does the job of delivering sunlight admirably so for us it's totally worth it.
5. Circadian Optics
Not only is this lamp adjustable, but it gives off white light that is full spectrum and UV filtered. Its white color is just like that of the sun at noon at 5500K, it is a 10,000 LUX lamp, and UV rays are 99.9% filtered to protect your eyes from any harmful effects. When you use this lamp you will feel uplifted, help reset your circadian rhythm, and have the energy you want to have.
Not only is this light adjustable in brightness, but it is also adjustable in position. There are 3 levels of brightness. This helps to fit your exact situation, distance from the lamp, and the environment you are in. The light itself has 3 hinges and an independent panel. This will allow you to put the light at basically any angle you can imagine, making it perfect for numerous situations.
The bulbs included in this light therapy lamp will last about 50,000 hours. That is a lot of hours and a lot of happier days. They are LED lights as opposed to fluorescent lights which means they last longer and light up brighter. The odds are good that you’ll never have to replace these bulbs. However; should you need to, they are included under the 3-year warranty.
This is a very well priced SAD lamp. It has a lot of options and emits 10,000 LUX, making it among the most powerful lamps on our list. Additionally, it has a 3-year warranty and will work in virtually any position or place you want it to. Your money is very well spent here.
6. Carex Modern
This lamp from Carex provides glare and flicker-free lighting that when used appropriately, can really make a big difference in your day-to-day life. It will help to boost your mood, reset your circadian rhythm, and overall help you to feel better. It has 10,000 LUX, shines bright, and looks good while doing so.
This is designed with the fashionista in mind. This lamp looks good and has a modern style. It isn’t large, clunky, or overwhelming and can be successfully used in a number of settings. It will look good at home or in the office with its attractive base, thin neck, and a larger square bulb.
This lamp actually serves dual purposes, and by doing so is a great way to discreetly get your light therapy in. It is designed with two brightness settings. The first one, obviously, gives you the daily dose of bright light that you need. The second one is a standard level lamp light which makes it perfect for day to day tasks at your desk.
The price of this lamp is mid-range. It earns that price tag with the included features though. You will be happy with all the use that you will be able to get out of it, not just for your light therapy. However; it is very good at that end of things too which alone justifies the price.
7. Philips goLITE
If you aren’t very keen on the idea of staring right into a bright light for 30 minutes first thing in the morning, rest assured that there are other options. The features found in this lamp are different from the others on several fronts. It has a blue light, is just as effective as white lights, is UV free, and has a rechargeable battery.
Why does this one have a blue light and all the others are white? That’s an excellent question with an easy answer. The blue of this lamp is similar to that of a beautifully clear and sunny day. 200 LUX is just as effective as the 10,000 LUX white counterparts. There is, in fact, a reason we all long for a clear blue sky! In addition, you don’t have to stare directly into this light. Just put it on where you can see it while you read or work and leave it there for 20-30 minutes. You will still experience the effects and be much better for it.
The other unique feature found here is a rechargeable battery. Most are strictly corded, which isn’t necessarily an issue as lights typically are, but this one does give you the option of ditching the outlet. It is truly and absolutely portable because of this, whereas others claim to portability lies only in the size of the lamp.
This lamp ranks among the most expensive on our list. However; it is different than most and offers features you won’t find elsewhere. It allows you to not stare into a bright light first thing each morning, you don’t actually have t look directly in it at all, and it has no UV rays. If these elements are important to you, then you won’t hesitate at all when buying this unit.
8. Aura Day
This is a light and compact SAD lamp. It offers 10,000 LUX and has a patented adjustment dial so that you can cater to your specific needs and distances. In addition to that, it has an adjustable angle. This unit is safety certified by both the FCC and ETL to ensure that it is absolutely safe for your daily use.
Do you tend to use your light therapy lamp in the same place every day? Or maybe you just don’t have the space to sit in on your counter or desktop? Good news! This one is capable of being mounted on your wall. That way it’s all ready to go as soon as you wake up and will be right where you tend to start your day anyway. The stand folds up and stores with no problem as well.
Including a timer setting on this lamp is genius. Typically, light therapy is very time regulated and once you find the right length of time for you, you tend to stay there. You can set this lamp for that time and forget about it. No need to set a separate timer or keep checking the clock. It will turn right off as soon as your therapy session is complete.
This unit is about mid range price wise. It has the features to support that price and will boost your mood and energy levels for a long time with conveniences not offered by others. You won’t question this purchase after you’ve taken the time to truly see the benefits.
9. Circadian Optics
This is a small but mighty lamp. It has 10,000 LUX and UV-free, full spectrum, bright white light. It is a very compact perfect little square that will happily sit in a corner on your desk at the office or at home. It’s small, compact design is visually appealing and very versatile.
Circadian Optics bulbs boast a long life of 50,000 hours. They are LED bulbs and have a much longer lifespan than a standard fluorescent one. In addition, the bulbs, as well as the adapter, are covered under the three-year warranty.
While it is capable of giving you the 10,000 LUX you need to uplift your day, this lamp is also adjustable. It has three different brightness levels that you can choose. This will allow you to tailor it to your needs - how far away from the light you are, environmental settings, etc.
This is meant to be a small, non-obtrusive unit. It’s compact design more than accomplishes that. While it’s not always the case, often times smaller means fewer materials which in turn means less cost to the consumer. It is still a great lamp that you will get a lot of miles and smiles out of. An added perk is that it comes at one of the smallest prices on our list.
10. Happy Energy Health
If you are looking for a great SAD Lamp but aren’t looking to drop a ton of money, this may be the perfect option for you. It is perfectly square, small and compact, very bright light. It gets the job done with no frills. It has 10,000 LUX with a color temperature of 6500K. It looks like natural sunlight and your body will truly believe and benefit from that.
There is a very cute little wooden stand that comes with this light. It helps it to be aesthetically pleasing as well as effective and will have you feeling great about setting it up on your desk at work. While your coworkers may question your tiny lamp that is as bright as the sun initially, they’ll be lining up to buy one once they see how effective it is.
This lamp measures 4.7 by 4.7 inches and is a mear 0.3 inches thick. That means it is very small, just larger than a floppy disk. Another good comparison is a small ceramic tile. While the wooden stand can be a bit clunky to travel with, the light itself will almost fit in your wallet and will certainly fit in your bag without taking up any space at all.
This is the cheapest lamp on our list. As long as you don’t expect it to be as functional or fancy as the most expensive one you will absolutely be satisfied with your purchase here. It gets the job done and emits a lot of light for its tiny size. When you spend your money here, you get more than you bargained for in a good way.