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SAD lamps and seasonal affective disorder

SAD Lamps: Our Verdict on the Biggest-Selling Models

By Joanna Pearl

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SAD Lamps: Our Verdict on the Biggest-Selling Models

Find out how the bestselling SAD lamps and SAD lights fared when we tried them out.

With treatment times from 20 minutes to two hours, and the distance from your face from 6 to 70cm, SAD lamps can really vary.

SAD lamps are one type of treatment for the winter blues or more-severe winter depression, seasonal affective disorder.

Would you describe a lamp weighing 4.2kg as superb for people on the go? Or a lamp that's 38cm tall as compact?

We asked two people, one who regularly uses an SAD lamp, to try each one out and tell us what they're really like to use, and whether the marketing blurb is borne out in reality. 

We couldn't ask our triallists to tell us whether these medical devices are proven to work, but we've reviewed the research evidence. See our SAD lamps buying guide to find out more about the evidence, and how they differ from sunrise alarm clocks.

SAD lamps: our verdict
Name Price Retailers Type of light and lux (light intensity) Our verdict

Beurer TL 30 Ultra Portable Daylight

Beurer TL30 table2

£60 Amazon, John Lewis

White (LED) light

10,000lx (at 15-20cm)

Subscriber only content

Beurer TL100 2-in-1 Day/Mood Light Table Lamp

Beurer TL100 table2

£150 Amazon, John Lewis

White (LED) light

10,000lx (at 12cm)

Subscriber only content

Lifemax SAD Lightbox

Lifemax SAD lamp2

 

£100 Amazon, Argos, Robert Dyas

Blue spectrum (cold cathode fluorescent tube rather than LED light)

10,000lx (at 6cm) or 2,500lx (at 15cm)

Subscriber only content

Litebook Edge SAD Light

 

Litebook Edge SAD2

£150  Litebook.co.uk, Amazon

White (LED) light

10,000lx (at 51-61cm) 

Subscriber only content

Litepod Compact SAD lightbox

LitePod SAD Light Box2

£114 Amazon, Maplin, Sad.uk.com

White light

10,000lx (at 22cm)

Subscriber only content

Lumie Brazil 

Lumie Brazil2

£179 Amazon, Boots, Lumie.com 

White light

10,000lx (at 35cm)

Subscriber only content

Lumie Brightspark SAD Daylight Light Box

Lumie Brightspark SAD Daylight lightbox2

£138 Amazon, Boots, John Lewis, Lumie.com 

White light

10,000lx (at 20cm)

Subscriber only content

Philips EnergyUp Energy light

HF3420/03

Philips Energy Up Intense Blue2

 

£150  Amazon 

Intense blue light

200lx ('an effect similar to 10,000lx white light', at 55-70cm)

Subscriber only content

Sad Light Co Diamond 5

SAD Light

SAD Light Company Diamond 52

£265 Amazon, Sad.uk.com

White light

10,000lx (at 55cm)

Subscriber only content
Table notes: Prices given include VAT. All prices are retail recommended prices and, as such, the price you'll pay varies considerably between retailers. Price and availability correct as of November 2016.
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