Bright Light Therapy Lamps, Sun Lamps - Carex Health Brands icon
Rated as "Best SAD Lamps" by
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Men's Journal

Bright Light Therapy Lamps

Healthcare professionals recommend sun lamp treatment as the #1 line of treatment for seasonal affective disorder (seasonal depression). For 35+ years, Carex sun lamps for SAD have been considered the best light therapy lamps as they are designed to meet the guidelines demanded by healthcare professionals. When you choose our sun therapy lamp, you're choosing a phototherapy light proven effective by leading researchers around the world. Carex SAD light therapy lamps and 10000 LUX light boxes mimic natural sunlight to improve mood, enhance sleep schedules, and treat seasonal affective disorder.

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Learn More About Light Therapy

The Ultimate Guide to Bright Light Therapy

The Ultimate Guide to Bright Light Therapy

Buyer's Guide: Selecting the Right Light Therapy Lamp

Buyer's Guide: Selecting the Right Light Therapy Lamp

Product Quiz: Selecting the Right Therapy Lamp

Product Quiz: Selecting the Right Therapy Lamp

Does light therapy work? Expert findings answering

Does light therapy work? Expert findings answering "do SAD lamps work?"


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Frequently Asked Light Therapy Questions

Does light therapy work? (Do Sun Lamps Work?)

Multiple studies since the 1990s have found that light therapy is an effective method of treating various conditions including seasonal affective disorder (SAD), the winter blues, jet lag, sleep disorders, and more. One study conducted in 2005 found sun lamps for depression to be effective for various sleep conditions and mood disorders. Another study in 2015 found natural sunlight lamps to be just as effective as cognitive behavioral therapy as well as aid in treating acute depression. Additionally, many health experts including psychiatrists, sleep coaches, and physical therapists recommend light therapy lights as a treatment method.

What is light therapy?

Light therapy is a natural treatment used to treat conditions such as seasonal affective disorder, jet lag, sleep disorders, and more. It involves using artificial sunlight produced from a light therapy lamp. These lamps produce large amounts of light to effectively mimic sunlight. This causes the user's body to produce the needed hormones that come from contact with sunlight.

How does light therapy work?

Light therapy involves sitting in front of a light therapy box for 20-30 minutes each morning. The artificial sun lamp mimics sunlight and causes the body to produce the needed hormones for a healthy circadian rhythm, sleep patterns, energy levels, and more.

How to use a light box?

Using a bright light lamp is relatively simple. It's best practice to use the lamp for 20-30 minutes each morning, at the same time. This will help regulate your sleep-wake pattern. You should sit in front of the LED therapy lamp with it facing directly at your face. You can use the lamp while doing activities such as reading, writing, eating, or working on a computer. To get the best results, the light should be at a comfortable distance that is close enough to receive the 10,000 LUX. This distance will vary depending on the lamp however it is usually 16 to 24 inches.

How long does it take for light therapy to work?

It can take as little as two days or as long as a month depending on the person's lifestyle, eating and exercise habits, amount of sleep, and other health conditions. Adding best health practices such as a good diet, sleep habits, and physical exercise is recommended to make the most of light therapy.

Is light therapy safe?

Therapeutic light therapy lamps are generally safe to use. Our full spectrum sun lamps feature built-in UV filters making them very safe to use. While side effects are rare, some users have reported headaches, excessive energy, and nausea. It's always best to ask your doctor if phototherapy treatment is a good option for you, especially if you have any light sensitivity.

What is a light therapy lamp?

A light box therapy lamp is a specialized lamp that mimics natural light. These lamps produce 10,000 LUX, which is the amount of sunlight that gives us the health benefits from the sun. These natural light therapy lamps are regularly recommended by health experts as an effective treatment for health conditions such as seasonal affective disorder, the winter blues, jet lag, and more.

How long to sit in front of a happy light?

For best results, use your SAD lamp for 20-30 minutes in the morning after waking. It's best to use your light at the same time each morning to regulate your circadian rhythm. If you cannot sit in front of the lamp at the recommended distance, make sure to add more time to allow for the optimal amount of light to reach your eyes.

How many lumens is 10000 LUX?

One LUX is the equivalent of one lumen. Therefore, 10,000 LUX is 10,000 lumen. This is the same amount of light the sun produces in the afternoon and the amount needed to gain health benefits from sunlight. This is why health professionals recommend 10000 LUX light therapy to be effective.

What to look for in a SAD lamp?

To be effective, experts recommend SAD light therapy boxes produce 10,000 LUX, have a large surface area for a comfortable sitting distance, and product light at a downward-facing position. The need to face downwards so the light enters the top of the eye, just like the sun does. Another thing they need to have is a UV filter. These filter out harmful ultra-violet radiation that can cause damage to one's eyes and skin.

When to use a light therapy lamp?

It's recommended to use a light therapy lamp as early as possible, preferably when you wake up. By design, these lamps mimic sunlight. It's best to mimic when you first come in contact with sunlight which is in the morning. This tricks your body into producing hormones needed to sleep well, have energy, and function properly. When using a sun lamp for seasonal depression, it's best to start treatment in the early fall when cloudy days become regular and daylight hours shrink.

Can you use a SAD light too much?

Yes, you can use a light therapy lamp too much however this is a case-by-case basis. Users have reported not being able to sleep at night after using a therapy lamp all day.

Can I use my SAD light at night?

We only recommend using a SAD lamp at night if you regularly work at night. Using a SAD lamp can cause you not to be able to sleep at night as your circadian rhythm becomes thrown off thinking it is daytime.

Is light therapy safe for eyes?

Yes, therapy lamps are safe for the eyes. The right therapy lamp has a UV filter built in to protect your skin and eyes. When using a light therapy lamp, do not stare directly into the lamp and make sure there are no objects (such as sunglasses) that may be blocking light from reaching your eyes.

Do SAD lights work for depression?

Yes, using a light lamp for depression is proven to be effective at relieving symptoms. Many experts recommend light therapy lamps as a method for handling this mental health condition. There even has been studies conducted finding this treatment to be just as effective as cognitive-behavioral therapy. 

Are SAD lights covered by insurance?

This is a case-by-case scenario. Some insurance companies will cover it while others won't. This article offers tips for getting your insurance to cover the payment for your light therapy lamp.

Can light therapy cause anxiety?

There have been no reported cases of light therapy causing anxiety. Studies have shown light therapy to be an effective method for reducing and treating symptoms of anxiety.

Can light therapy cause headaches?

Although generally a safe treatment, light therapy can cause side effects such as headaches, irritableness, trouble sleeping, nausea, and fatigue. These side affects are rare, but can occur. It's always best to consult your doctor if you have any concerns.

Can you have too much LED light therapy?

Yes, too much light therapy can cause your circadian rhythm to become unbalanced. This can cause you to have excess amounts of energy and trouble sleeping at night.

How often should you use a SAD light?

It's recommended to use a therapy lamp once per day for 20-30 minutes. Users that experience conditions such as seasonal affective disorder typically should start using their lamp in the fall when daylight hours start shrinking.

How to use LED light therapy at home?

Place your lamp somewhere you can use it each morning for 20-30 minutes. It should be in an area where you can sit 10-12" inches from the lamp to benefit from its 10,000 LUX output. Try placing it on your bedside stand, on a desk, or table where you eat breakfast, work, or perform any morning routines.

What is a 10000 LUX light?

A 10 000 LUX light therapy lamp is often called a therapy lamp, SAD lamp, or light box. These are specially designed lamps that mimic sunlight. They're used to treat health conditions such as seasonal affective disorder, the winter blues, insomnia, jet lag, and more. They produce 10,000 lumens which is the needed amount of sunlight to gain its health benefits.

What is full-spectrum light therapy?

Full-spectrum light box therapy involves using a light therapy lamp that produces all colors in the electromagnetic wavelength. Full-spectrum light is the type of light the sun produces.

Does light therapy produce vitamin D?

It is a common practice for people with a vitamin D deficiency to use light therapy lamps as a treatment method. A study found that those exposed to lamps that product ultraviolet radiation had increased levels of vitamin D.

What time of day to use light therapy?

By design, morning sun lamps mimic sunlight. Therefore, it's important to use a SAD lamp early in the morning after waking. this mimics the sunrise and syncs your sleep-wake cycle to the times when sunlight is typically accessible.

How many LUX is needed for light therapy?

To be effective, SAD lamps should emit the doctor-recommended 10,000 LUX. Anything less will require the user to use the lamp longer than 20-30 minutes while anything over 10,000 LUX does not have any additional benefits. Top SAD lamps produce 10,000 LUX from a 12" sitting distance.

What are the benefits of light therapy?

The many benefits of using light therapy lamps include it's a safe and noninvasive way to get sunlight, there are little side effects, it's affordable, it can boost your energy while improving sleep, and it's a proven method for treating many health conditions including seasonal affective disorder, insomnia, the winter blues, jet lag, and shift work adjustment.

What is light therapy used to treat?

Light therapy lamps are used to treat a variety of conditions including depression, insomnia, jet lag, shift work adjustments, and senile dementia.

Where to place a light therapy lamp?

It's best to place a light therapy lamp where using the treatment method is convenient to you. This means it can be used while sitting for 20-30 minutes at a comfortable distance (10-12"). Some people place it next to their bed for treatment sessions right when the wake up while others place it on their kitchen table or desk for use while eating breakfast, working, or preparing for their day.