Try one of these popular SAD lamps for quick relief from winter and work-from-home blues.
Light therapy is one of the go-to treatments for seasonal affective disorder (SAD)—a type of seasonal mood disorder that leaves people feeling lonely, depressed, or isolated and typically strikes during the cold, dark winter months. Studies suggest that exposure to bright light from a special lamp or light box can help make up for the sunlight you’re not getting naturally when the days are shorter or you’re stuck inside.
Light therapy devices are brighter than your average lamp; they should deliver light at 10,000 lux (about 20 times greater than regular indoor lighting), according to the National Institute for Mental Health.
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Not only will soaking up their artificial rays for about 20 to 60 minutes potentially help ease symptoms of SAD, but it can also create a better environment for working from home. Many homes lack the large, unobstructed windows seen in offices, but these tiny boxes will ensure your space replicates those bright, sun-drenched spaces for a less drowsy ambiance.
Considering investing in a light box? Here are 10 you can buy on Amazon that earned five-star reviews from at least half of shoppers.
- Best Overall: Verilux HappyLight Liberty
- Best Adjustable: Aura Day Light Lamp
- Best Compact: Verilux HappyLight Touch
- Best Design: Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0
- Most Powerful: Alaska Northern Lights Northstar 10,000
- Best Glare-Free: Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp
- Best White Light: Circadian Optics Lampu Light Therapy Lamp
- Best Yellow Light: Vearmoad UV-Free Therapy Lamp
- Best Budget: Miroco Light Therapy Lamp
- Best Alarm: Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light Therapy Lamp
Best Overall: Verilux HappyLight Liberty
Compact enough to fit comfortably on a bedside table or at your desk, Verilux’s full-size device delivers 10,000 lux light through a 41-inch screen. Its interchangeable lenses and 2 brightness settings let you customize the treatment between a fast-acting, high-energy dosage or a less intense anti-glare setting that prevents eye fatigue. Trusted by over 1,300 reviewers, its powerful light can easily be directed using the tilted stand or mounted to the wall for a full-room glow.
Best Adjustable: Aura Day Light LampAura Daylight
Unlike other lamps, this UV-free pick uses a patented dial system instead of light presets. This shift lets you customize the light output between 3,500 and 10,000 lux to perfectly suit your mood. Further personalize the experience by using the adjustable tilted stand to direct the light. Another option: Tuck it away so you can mount the device on a wall instead.
Best Compact: Verilux HappyLight Touch
This tablet-sized light won’t take up much real estate on your desk or countertop—but it’s still just as powerful as the full-sized version, delivering up to 10,000 lux brightness. Choose the ideal light hue, set one of 4 timers for 15- to 60-minute sessions, and feel better fast.
Best Design: Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0
A sleek addition to your nightstand or coffee table, this compact lamp fights winter blues with UV-free white light at up to 10,000 lux. Its flexible hinge makes angling your light source a cinch, while the thin base means you can easily set up shop anywhere. Plus, its streamlined one-touch operation and long-lasting LED bulb ensures using and maintaining your lamp is a breeze.
Most Powerful: Alaska Northern Lights Northstar 10,000
It may be larger and pricier than other top-rated picks, but this device guarantees 10,000 lux at 2 feet away, so you don’t have to sit quite so close to the box to reap its benefits. A convenient carrying handle makes it easy to transport around your home for therapy everywhere from the kitchen to the bedroom.
Best Glare-Free: Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp
Get 10,000 lux of bright white glare-free light with this powerful lamp. Its 12-inch screen is covered with a diffuser to reduce the negative impacts of eye-straining glow, while its tilting head and adjustable stand let you easily direct light where needed. Simply pick from 2 light settings and kickstart your session.
Best White Light: Circadian Optics Lampu Light Therapy Lamp
With its sleek, clean design, this light therapy lamp scores major style points. Also good: It delivers the pure white light you’d expect from the sun at noon on a summer day. It has 3 one-touch brightness levels, bulbs with a 50,000-hour lifespan, and a 3-year warranty.
Best Yellow Light: Vearmoad UV-Free Therapy Lamp
Although white light may better replicate the sun, the warm glow of yellow light can feel equally soothing for a lower dosage treatment. Luckily, this UV-free lamp gives a full range of options from 3,200 to 6,500 lux in a lightweight frame. Get started by picking your brightness level and then select from 4 built-in timer settings.
Best Budget: Miroco Light Therapy Lamp
Treating SAD shouldn’t cost a fortune—and this compact pick is proof. It delivers the recommended amount of 10,000 lux brightness, has a 30-minute timer, and offers adjustable brightness levels but costs less than $40. No wonder the ultra-thin design has impressed 89% of reviewers.
Best Alarm: Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light Therapy Lamp
This smart lamp emits the warm glow of sunrise to help you rise naturally even in the middle of winter. And this natural wakeup call isn’t the only benefit of integrating the lamp into your bedroom routine: It also offers guided breath meditation and 7 sleep sounds to help you fall asleep faster.