If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder and want to know how to choose a SAD light box to brighten up those blue days, Alaska Northern Lights have put together a few important things for you to consider.
1. Make sure that the light boxes you are considering are made specifically to treat SAD and depression (some light boxes are made to treat skin disorders).
2. Just as each individual is different so are SAD light boxes. SAD light boxes come in many shapes and forms and one may work better for you than another – bear this in mind when choosing your SAD light box. Also, make sure that when you are comparing different light boxes the specs provided are correct and up-to-date by cross-checking with the products website.
3. The optimal light intensity for effective treatment from a SAD light box is 10,000 lux. Lux is a measurement of light intensity and should measure the light the patient receives and not the light that the device produces. The more lux the light box produces the more effective it is. So a therapy light box with 10,000 lux will mean a shorter treatment time than a light box with 2,500 lux.
4. While lux is an important factor, you must also keep in mind that distance can greatly affect lux and the effectiveness of your treatment. You will want a SAD light box that produces 10,000 lux at a comfortable enough distance from the unit so that you are able to continue with certain activities (such as reading or doing desk work) while you receive treatment. A convenient range of light is about 2 feet.
5. When looking at the distance for effective treatment it is a good idea to consider the size of the SAD light box. Make sure that is big enough to keep your eyes within the range of therapeutic light even with small head movements or changes in your position.
6. The kind of light produced by the SAD light box is a big factor when choosing the right light box. Broad spectrum white light has been proven to be safer and very effective and has lower UV emissions than full spectrum or blue light it is still advisable that your light box have a good quality UV filter to protect your eyes and skin.
7. Consider any other features that may affect your experience with the SAD light box such as guarantees, warranties, and insurance coverage. Also added extras like carry cases or stands, adjustable brightness, on/off switches, timers, noise reducing electronic ballast etc.
8. Lastly, safety should always remain your top priority. We recommend that you work closely with your doctor or health car provider when choosing a light therapy box for SAD seasonal depression. They will be able to review whether a particular light box is suitable for you and your circumstance and how you should use it/your treatment time. A good light box should also be medically approved and have data from peer-reviewed clinical trials to support it.