Tried and Tested – Light Therapy Lamps
Best alarm clock
Lumie Bodyclock Glow 150, RRP £90, johnlewis.com
This mimics a sunrise to wake you naturally with light, which should help
improve mood, energy, productivity and the quality of awakening. It also has a sunset button that works in reverse to promote sleep. There is the option of adding sounds, a choice of three sunrise periods – 20, 30 or 45 minutes – and the light intensity is adjustable. Testers found it a much more pleasant wake up experience – particularly with the blackbird sound effects – than a conventional alarm and it did seem to assist with falling to sleep, too. Both those factors contributed to an improvement in energy levels in subsequent days.
Best compact/ portable
LifeLight SAD Therapy Lamp, £74.99, goodlifeguide.co.uk
Simple and compact, this has an LED panel that emits 10,000 lux to supplement
your daily intake of light. Length of use depends on how close to it you are, so if you sit
40cm from the light, 60 minutes should be enough; sit closer for less time, or break it
into several sessions across the day. Our tester found the default setting uncomfortably bright, but it can be altered to one of ten light levels. There is a timer function to switch it off automatically. Using it while working at a desk, did prove effective and our tester felt more energised while the after-lunch slump was less noticeable.
Terraillon Homni Smart Lamp, RRP £199.99, amazon.co.uk
Homni uses light wavelengths rather than lux intensity, with red tones at bedtime (so as not to disturb the sleep hormone melatonin) and bluish tones in
the morning, and uses an app to set the sleep and wake up times. Other features include a cardiac coherence programme to aid relaxation; a reading light; sensors
to analyse temperature, sound level, brightness and humidity of a room and a
sensor to attach to your pillow to tell you about how you have slept. Our tester used Homni for waking and getting to sleep but didn’t need the additional features on offer.
Bright Light ‘Mini’ SAD Light Box, RRP £55, betterlifehealthcare.com
Once this stylish lamp is plugged in and switched on, simply press the button and it emits an intensity of 10,000 lux from one energy-saving 45W bulb that is both flicker and UV free.
It’s recommended use is one hour at a distance of 30cm – ideal while reading, watching TV or sitting at a desk. It was very bright and didn’t have any dimmer settings and our tester found it best positioned to the side. One hour was enough and the base of the lamp got quite hot in this time. However, after using for four or five days, our tester felt more energised in the mornings. She also felt less sluggish and more motivated.