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SAD making the UK blue ? New guide and top three SAD Lights

07/12/2012 | By Sharmila Chauhan
Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) is at its peak in the winter as we crave daylight. Not only is Vitimin D production an issue due to lack of daylight in the winter but our mental health may also be at risk. The Guradian states that  third of the UK population may suffer from SAD.

Check out our new guide to Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD) here, and read on to see our independent Top 3 SAD lights. 

There are several ways to help combat SAD, but the most effective is to increase exposure to light levels nearer to those found in the summer. 

Several studies have shown that exposure to light (measured in LUX) between 2500-10000 lux (the greater the lux, the less time of exposure required) is considered effective. Exposure times vary from 20-60 minutes. Although it has been thought that the positive effects of the light can be measured from a first session of as little as 20 minutes, it can take up to several weeks to produce a maximum effect.

Home light boxes are not available on the NHS, although some hospitals may have facilities available on-site. Remember however, the largest Lux is still found in natural sunlight and a midday walk is still worthwhile whenever possible.

Freedom Health has been looking around at what types of light boxes are available. We have no interest nor gains any revenue from any of the products listed on this page. Our advice is to shop around both online and in store; but if you’d like our recommendations – take a look below.

Our general thoughts:
As with most things, sadly you generally get what you pay for with £80-120 being the mid range and some devices costing up to £200.

Take care when making your choice as they can be ugly and bulky, not ideal attributes for an item you want in view and at hand every day, for example on a desk.

We would avoid the ‘wake up’/ alarm clock style lights as they won’t provide the regular daytime exposure that is required to keep away the winter blues – unless of course you will sit in bed under the lamp for 60 minutes!

Our top three SAD Lights: ** NOTE : We have no link / commercial relationship with these products **

Lumie are a well respected manufacturer and have made our shortlist with a couple of their products, they are extensively available online but are also one of the few products you can get your hands-on experience before you buy at larger branches of Boots. 
Staff at Boots have also been trained to offer advice.
Limie SAD LED Plus light

Lumie LED SAD Lamp Plus is a LED based product that emits a blue tinged light, we liked the unit as it was small and unobtrusive when not in use, features that make it less likely to end up in a cupboard and actually used regularly. The light output is the recommended 2500 LUX and expect to pay around £99.
Lumie SAD Desklight

Lumie Desk Lamp SAD Light Therapy and Task/ Reading Lamp is our second 
recommendation as it looks like a large retro desk lamp, can be used on ‘low’ as a 
lamp or crank it up to independently measured 10,000LUX for maximum therapeutic usage. Expect to pay around £120.

Maplin SAD LightMaplin SAD Light Box looks exactly how you would expect a light box to look, with 10,000 lux and a price tag on promotion at time of writing for just £45 is the Maplin SAD light box, again this is available to view instore.