What To Look For In A SAD Light Box

Do you suffer is Season Affective Disorder (SAD)?

If you have heard about the effectiveness of a SAD Light Box but are not sure which to get, this blog goes through the main points to check before you buy.

Is the Light Box designed for treating SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder)?

Not all light boxes are the same. Some are for treating skin disorders and so emit UV rays. Be sure you look for a light box that filters out most if not all UV and is labelled UV-Free.

How bright is it?

In general terms, the brighter the light the less time you need to use it for. The recommended brightness for S.A.D is 10,000 Lux of cool-white fluorescent light. That’s about 20x brighter than most indoor lighting

If you can, go for a glare-free light or one you can angle to reduce eye glare.

Is it safe for the eyes?

Some boxes have eye protection features included. UV can damage the eyes so be sure it’s a S.A.D light that eliminates UV.

If you have eye problems such as glaucoma, cataracts or eye damage from diabetes, it’s best to get your doctor’s advice on choosing a light box.

Photo of a free standing SAD light box on a table with some books laid out in front of it. The book closest to the camera is open and a pair of glases is sitting on top. The background is a grey wall and the light box is on.

How big does a SAD light box need to be?

The bigger the screen the greater the higher the lux so a surface area of 30cm by 40cm should be ideal. The higher the lux the less time you need in front of it for the benefits, so bigger is better.

A larger surface area also means you can be further away or moving around and still get the well-being effects.  Recommendations on distance should be provided in the instructions with your lightbox.

How and where do I want to use it?

Photo from above of a person typing on a laptop on a wooden desk. You can only see a bit of their torso in a denim blue shirt and their arms out in front hands on the keyboard. The are wearing a patterned knitted cardigan. There is a small notpad and pen between their arms on the desk and to the right their mobile phone, a red mug of black tea or coffee and a small portable lightbox which is turned on.

There are so many more choices out there now, so think about how you want to use it. Some are more like upright lamps, others come in various rectangular sizes and shapes.

Think about how and where you want to use it so that you get the best from the light. Do you want it to sit on your desk? Use it while reading?  Have it by you first thing whilst you’re getting ready for the day? That may help decide if a box or lamp works best.

If you travel a lot you may want a smaller, portable one you can pack and take with you.

I hope that helps with your decision making on what to look for in a SAD light box.

If you want to be sure you get the best from your SAD light box, read our blog on ‘How to help SAD with a light box’

Key Points To Remember When Choosing A SAD Light Box

  • Check it’s designed to treat Season Affective Disorder.
  • Buy one that emits 10,000 Lux of cool-white fluorescent light.
  • UV can damage the eyes, so go for a UV-Free lightbox
  • A bigger light means less time needed using it and you can still get the impact if your further away.
  • Where do you want to use it? A lamp, desk box or smaller portable light for travelling?
Create a happier, healthier life cover

Receive Your Free E-Book: Create A Happier Healthier Life +

Be kept up to date with the latest guidance and advice