For the most complete all round light therapy unit available in the world, be the first to own this cute little light box with so much more! It combines light, sound, anion generation and aromatherapy, to enhance its therapeutic benefits, for improving concentration, relieving depression and insomnia. Looking like a little shopping bag, this amazing unit emits a bright blue light of 470nm, shown to be the most effective wavelength for treating SAD, from 45 LED bulbs. But it doesnt stop there- it has been shown that when light therapy is incorporated with negative ionisation the treatmentv is more effective. So the built- in Anion Generator also freshens the air by releasing over 1000000 ions per cubic centimetre per second. It has an additional feature of being able to soothe or stimulate you, by playing your chosen soothing sound, from birdsong to waterfall, chose from 24 different sounds. And then to complete the sensory adventure, you can use its aromatherpy feature, agaon, to help relax, stimulate or uplift your mood. So used in your particular favourite modes, you can customise your treatment just to suit you!
How do I know if I've got SAD?
If your always start to feel the symptoms start the same time each year, every Autumn/Winter its very likely you suffer from SAD.
How can light therapy help?
Getting sufficient light rebalances the melatonin (the hormone that makes you sleepy) and the serotonin (the hormone that makes you feel alert and happy).The light has to be bright enough, and must go in through the eye, to affect the hormone production in the brain.
The Society for Light Treatment and Biological Rhythms (SLTBR) has stated that light therapy is the best non-drug therapy to treat SAD.
What is the difference between the lightboxes?
The main difference between the units is the size of the units, the brightness of them, and consequently the length of time that you need to use them. The brighter the unit, the less time your treatment should be. We have shown on our comparison chart the ideal distance that you need to sit from a unit together with the length of treatment that you need. If you sit further away then the light would be dimmer, so you have to increase the treatment time.
How should I choose a lightbox?
Look at your daily routine, and consider when and where you are going to use your lightbox. It will need to fit in with your lifestyle as easily as possible to ensure regular usage. Many stylescan be used either at home or in an office environment. The longest treatment time you need to take with one of the less bright lightboxes is 1½ hours. So if you have only a little time to take your treatment, choose one of the brighter fast acting boxes, but if you are able to take your treatment for longer, for instance, while you are working at a desk, then a small, portable, less bright model may suit you better.
When is the best time to take my light therapy?
Light therapy should be taken as early as possible in the morning, to keep you going through the day. This is not always the case for everyone, but on the whole it is best earlier rather than later. It is preferable to take your treatment at the same time each day.
Do I have to take my treatment in one go?
No, you can interrupt your light treatment and continue it later on the same day if this suits your routine better.
What time of the year should I start and finish my light therapy treatment?
It is best to start using your light therapy unit early in the season, before any symptoms of SAD appear, preferably early September. Continue until March or April, whenever the days start to get brighter and longer.
How long until I start to notice a difference?
This can vary, but some people notice a difference from the first day of treatment, and some take longer, between 2-3 weeks. Usually you should see a difference in about a week or so. If you stop taking your treatment, the symptoms will start roughly in as many days as the benefits took to be felt.
Do I have to stare at the lightbox?
No, you need to have the light aimed towards your eyes, without actually looking directly into it, about an arms distance away from you. You can carry on with your daily routine with the lightbox on beside you, for example, it can be beside your computer terminal or on your desk, or near you while watching TV, ironing etc. Ideally it should be about an arms distance away from you, within your peripheral vision, not directly in front of you, and to glance at it from time to time.
Are there other conditions that can benefit from light therapy?
Yes, seasonal and non seasonal depression can both be helped with light therapy as well, people suffering with MS, ME, Bulimia, infertility, PMT, insomnia, fatigue, shift work sleep problems , alzheimer's. It has even shown that fertility rates and libido can be improved.
How often will I need to change the bulbs?
It is advisable to change the bulbs every three years, as all fluorescent tubes loose some of their brightness with time, which will weaken the effectiveness of the lightbox. LED lights never need to be replaced.
Can lightboxes be used by children?
Yes, even very young children can suffer from SAD. The dawn simulators can be particularly beneficial. You must, however, follow normal safety guidelines as you would for any electrical appliance.
When buying a light therapy unit it is important to look at a number of different things. The first thing to look for is a design that will suit your daily routine. For example, if you spend most of your time at a desk job, then one of the smaller more portable units may suit you. You can then take it home at weekends or travel easily with it too. If, however, time is very pressing and you need a unit to work in the least possible time, a larger unit with higher power would be better, which you can use each day, for instance at breakfast time. These units are also good if you are mainly at home, so don't need to take it around with you. You can also have one that incorporates a dimmer, so that you can enjoy good lighting throughout the day when the days are gloomy. Some people don't need to have a particularly powerful unit, as their symptoms may be milder, but they would like to have a more summer like glow to their home. For this, a gentler light that can be left on for longer may be all that is needed to lift their mood. This is also good for students who spend a lot of time studying and find they have little time out in the daylight. The new units available nowadays are very attractively designed and can simply look like a good desk lamp, and fit in easily with any décor. Then there are those of you who find that the winter mornings are the worst time of the day. Feelings of lethargy and disorientation can be eased away with the use of a dawn simulator, so you feel as though you are waking to a beautiful summers day. Using a dawn simulator as well as a light box is the most effective way to treat SAD.
How to assess the brightness and treatment time of each unit.
Another thing to look at is the brightness of the unit. A simple rule is this: The higher the wattage of the bulbs used, with a good quality balast, the higher the lux output. Another factor is the diffuser, how much of the light it filters out and what is the resulting type of light that it delivers, whether it is diffused or refracted. Allergymatters measure of brightness takes into consideration all these factors. In summary:
Units with this Symbol need to be used for about 120 minutes per day at the distance recommended for the unit.
Units with this Symbol need to be used for about 90 minutes per day at the distance recommended for the unit.
Units with this Symbol need to be used for about 75 minutes per day at the distance recommended for the unit.
Units with this Symbol need to be used for about 45 minutes per day at the distance recommended for the unit.
Units with this Symbol need to be used for about 30 minutes per day at the distance recommended for the unit.
Lux is the measure of the quantity of light at a given distance. So, for example, a unit may give out 10,000 lux at 30cms, and when you sit further away the light reduces to, say 5,000 lux at 50cm distance. This means that the further away you are, the longer you will need to use the unit.
You need to find the best, most comfortable and practical distance for you from your unit, and then work out how long you will need to use the therapy. You need to have at least 2500 lux of light to receive a therapeutic benefit. The following chart can be used as a rough guide to help you.
Distance to achieve 2500 LUX
Distance to achieve 5000 LUX
Distance to achieve 10000 LUX
Approx Length of treatment at 10000 LUX
55 watts (1 x 55w bulb or 2 x 26w bulb)
1 hour 30 mins
72 watts (2 x 36w bulb)
1 hour 15mins
110 watts (2 x 55w bulb)
220 watts (4 x 55w bulb)
Light therapy device and dawn simulator work very well together, the dawn simulator helps you to wake up and get your day going, and the light therapy device continues to provide a summer light signal to help reverse your SAD symptoms.
Recent studies show that light exposure in the early hours of the morning is the most effective way to help treat SAD and the "winter blues". Due to the NatureBright Inspiration Table Lamp's swivel arm and pivot head, you can receive light therapy right after waking up. The bright light (10,000 lux) therapy can also help other problems, such as jet lag, shift work fatigue, delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS) and advanced sleep phase syndrome (ASPS).
NON- SEASONAL DEPRESSION
It has been proven that the use of light therapy for patients suffering from depression is as effective as it is for those suffering from SAD. A recent trial concluded that the benefits of light therapy were felt after only one week, whereas many medications took up to 8 weeks for the benefits to be felt. Also, using light therapy together with medication has superior results to either treatment on its own.
Bulimia is an eating disorder characterised by cycles of binge eating and purging. The eating binges often happen twice or more a week, usually in the evening. This is followed by induced vomiting, laxatives, or compulsive exercising to avoid gaining weight. Bulimics report feelings of guilt, self-loathing and feeling out of control. It is more common in women during their teenage or early adult years, about 1 to 3%, but can affect anyone. If bulimia remains untreated, it can cause serious physical and emotional problems.
Dr. Raymond Lam of the University of British Columbia has shown that bulimia also follows a seasonal pattern, with a marked increase of bulimic episodes occurring in winter, peaking in January. In fact, about 1/3rd of bulimics also suffer from SAD, whereas anorexics experience no seasonal change in their symptoms. Dr Lam conducted a study using light therapy for bulimics, and it was found that using 30 minutes of light therapy for 2 weeks cut their binge and purge symptoms by half, whether they were found to be suffering from SAD or not. The depression also showed a marked improvement, the biggest improvement showing in those whose bulimia followed a seasonal pattern.
It was concluded that the frequent and excessive eating in bulimia upsets inner body rhythms, and that light therapy may help to regulate these rhythms, contributing to good mental and physical health.
Jet lag occurs when you cross into different time zones with air travel, disrupting the normal sleeping and waking pattern and unbalancing the body clock. This disruption can affect over 50 of the body's rhythms. Jet Lag causes symptoms such as: fatigue, poor concentration, trouble sleeping, irritability, minor depression, altered perception of time and distance, and digestive problems. The symptoms are at their worst in the first two days after crossing three or more time zones, and it takes about one day for each time zone crossed to fully adjust.
It is possible to avoid, or at least minimize the effect of, jet lag with light therapy. For instance, when travelling east you need to move your clock forward. You can achieve this by staying awake and surrounding yourself with light, going out doors or having light therapy. This will help move the body clock forward to more closely match your destination time zone.
CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME- CFS OR ME
CFS is a disabling long-term condition with distinct physical as well as psychological components. Symptoms include short-term memory, sore throat, joint pain, muscle pain, headaches, exhaustion, poor sleep, low immunity to illness and increased thirst. There appears to be a seasonal influence on this illness, winters being the worst time. Among that group, oversleeping, daytime fatigue, carbohydrate craving and eating were indistinguishable from patients with SAD. Furthermore, seasonal CFS patients were significantly more likely to have experienced a depressive episode in the past year, usually in winter.
Studies are being conducted to assess whether light therapy can be of use in controlling this illness. Patients trialed have shown improvements in the symptoms that are similar to SAD, and some improvement in physical symptoms such as joint pain, but this is at a very early stage, so is not to be recommended until more conclusive evidence is reached.
Many people in our modern hectic society work increasingly longer hours, and are expected to feel alert, energetic, and content. However fatigue is a common and often serious problem in the workplace. For instance, many lorry drivers work for 18 hours a day, and the resulting exhaustion makes crashes inevitable. For every lorry accident, an average of 5 people die along with the driver, and fatigue is the most common cause of these accidents.
Drinking coffee as a stimulant can lead to dehydration and caffeine dependency, whereas light therapy can be used for the same benefits without the unpleasant side effects. Used regularly in combination with a sufficient amount of sleep, light supplements can regulate sleep and waking patterns, and promote alertness and attentiveness. But light supplements should never be used to replace sleep or to promote sleep deprivation, as nothing can replace a deep and sufficiently lengthy sleep.
People who work nights are two to five times more likely to fall asleep on the job and have accidents. A night worker, even one who has slept reasonably well, is no more alert between 2 a.m. and 8 a.m. than a day worker who has slept only 4 hours per night two nights in a row. Late-night sleepiness can impair the judgment of doctors, police, fire fighters, ambulance drivers and airline pilots. The costs of mistakes made due to fatigue are incalculable. In our modern society many different professions have to work irregular hours, but are still expected to perform tasks requiring attention, reasoning, decision-making, and other mental skills. Shift workers who fail to adapt to their schedule often develop chronic fatigue and increased susceptibility to illness.
Effective treatment using light therapy consists of bright light exposure at wake up time, even for only 40 minutes, and complete darkness during the day for four days. The treatment is even more successful if you are able to avoid the early morning sun when coming home from work by wearing dark glasses. This treatment shifts the circadian rhythms, resulting in improved performance and alertness during work hours, and increased ability to sleep during their rest periods.
The use of good full spectrum lighting in school or the workplace, instead of conventional fluorescent lighting, has been proven to improve productivity, academic achievement and reduce rates of absenteeism.
Alzheimer's is a degenerative brain disorder, in which patients are mentally confused, often agitated and have severe memory problems.
Recently, 2 recent studies have confirmed that bright-light therapy appear to help Alzheimer's patients sleep better and get less agitated. In the study, researchers from the Manchester Royal Infirmary in Manchester, England, evaluated 47 nursing home residents who all had been diagnosed with Alzheimer's or other problems that lead to mental confusion, memory loss and dementia. Half of the patients received bright light therapy, the other half using only a dimmer light, each day for 2 weeks. The treatment group were shown to sleep longer and were less agitated.
It has been recommended that planning daily activities to make good use of daylight can help, such as serving breakfast facing a sunny window, or planning more outdoor activities on sunny days, as well as using light boxes or light visors.
PRE-MENSTRUAL SYNDROME- PMS
Women's menstrual cycle is regulated by light and dark as well as by hormones, and circumstances that upset the body clock, such as changing regular sleeping and waking patterns, jet lag, and shift work, may upset their menstrual cycle.
Each month, women report symptoms such as fluid retention, weight gain, bloating, breast tenderness, poor sleep, irritability, blue moods, and other symptoms in the 3 to 5 days before their periods start, and for the first day or two of menstruation. The combination of emotional and physical symptoms is referred to as Premenstrual Syndrome.
Light therapy is able to promote strong daily rhythms, and can in this way assist in regulating the menstrual cycle.
Research has shown that fertility rates are higher at the equator, where daylight hours are longer than in far northern latitudes and that fertility rates are lower among the blind compared to those who have their sight. Women with longer or irregular cycles have higher infertility rates than those with shorter and more regular cycles. About 1 of 25 women in North America have cycles that last 35 days or more, or that vary considerably from cycle to cycle. A cycle that consistently averages about 28 days has been shown to boost a woman's odds of conceiving.
While every woman's physiology is unique and will have different responses to different types of therapy, light has been shown to have significant effects in the regulation of the menstrual cycle. Light therapy for 15-60 minutes every morning during the premenstrual period may help relieve these symptoms.
Many women suffer from depression during and after their pregnancies, maybe as many as 1 in 10. Studies are being conducted to show whether light therapy is useful in treating these depressed episodes, and early indications show that it is.
SLEEP RELATED PROBLEMS
1. Early Morning Insomnia
Those suffering from this illness, find that they cannot sleep in the early morning. The best way to treat this sleep disorder is to use light therapy in the evening, before bedtime. You will still go to sleep at the usual time, but it has been found to extend the sleep period by about 1-½ hours.
2. Night-owl insomnia
Some people suffer from a type of insomnia where they have difficulty in falling asleep until early morning, often resulting in regular use of alcohol or sleeping pills. It is also known as delayed sleep phase syndrome (DSPS), or night-owl insomnia, and usually develops during the teen years. If you restrict bright light in the evening and use light therapy in the morning this can successfully treat this condition, as well as improving alertness in the daytime.
1. Light up your life. Spending time outdoors during the day or arranging homes and workplaces to receive more sunlight can be really helpful. Keep curtains open in the daytime, let the light in!
2. Get moving. Take up regular exercise, it will reduce your stress and increase your endorphin levels- the feel good chemical. - walking, swimming, cycling or aerobics.
3. Use a light box. Light boxes can be bought for as little as £115 and, in the UK, are now VAT free.
4. Dawn simulation. Some people, especially those that need to wake in the morning when it is still dark may benefit from lamps that simulate a slow, gradual sunrise, in the final hours of sleep. The gentle natural waking can really help with mood and alertness, and alleviate sleep problems.
5. Buy a negative ioniser. Research in light therapy has also shown that SAD sufferers may benefit from negative ionisers.
6. Eat more : raw fruits, vegetables, bananas, soy products, brown rice, millet, beans, herbal teas.
7. Eat less : fat, protein, red meat, caffeine, alcohol, wheat, refined sugars,
8. Useful vitamins and minerals: Take daily magnesium and B complex vitamins. Take Vitamin D3, which helps in the utilisation of calcium, phosphorus and in the assimilation of Vitamin A. A dose of 400 to 800 IU per day is recommended. Take Omega-3 essential fatty acids, shown to be effective in alleviating mild depression and symptoms of SAD.
9. Useful Herbs: St. John's Wort. This is believed to help alleviate milder symptoms of SAD. A daily dosage of 900 mg. Warning: St John's Wort can have serious side effects in anyone taking drugs such as Prozac and should not be taken by anyone who is HIV-positive or who has had a heart transplant. Always consult your doctor before taking St. John' Wort. Kava - (Piper methysticum). Small doses can promote feelings of calm and help elevate your mood. It can also help to regulate sleep if taken an hour before going to bed. Do not use large doses as this may lead to skin and eye problems and do not take with alprazolam, as this can be very dangerous.
10. Aromatherapy: Scents have been proven tohave a powerful effect on our moods. The following are particularly effective in the treatment of mild SAD symptoms: Lemon Balm (mild sedative), Rosemary (Uplifting), Blend of Orange and Cinnamon, Lavender (to help you sleep), Grapefruit Oil, Blend of Jasmine and Bergamot oil (uplifting mix)
LUX- is unit to measure light intensity that actually reaches the target. Lux varies depending upon how far away the target is from the light source and other environmental factors such as wall colour, reflectors, etc.
|Under a sunny sky on the beach||100,000 lux|
|Typical bright light therapy product for SAD treatment||10,000 lux|
|In spring, outdoors, a few minutes after sunrise||10,000 lux|
|In a very well lit office||500 to 1000 lux|
|Home lighting||300 to 500 lux|
KELVIN- The colour of light.
Kelvin: A measure of how yellow, blue or white the light from a bulb will look to the human eye. Lower Kelvin rated bulbs will appear more yellowish, while higher Kelvin bulbs appear to be bluer. A bulb with a Kelvin rating between 5000 to 6500 is comparable to mid-day sun. The higher the Kelvin number, the more blue is in the light, and the brighter the light appears.
This can also be expressed in temperature, or how cool or warm the light source appears. Red/orange/yellow colours and light sources from this side of the spectrum are described as warm, with a low colour temperature (incandescent). Colours and light sources toward the blue end with a high colour temperature are referred to as cool (natural daylight).
|Cool white fluorescents||4100K|
|typical studio incandescent lamp||3200K|
|typical household table incandescent lamp||2850K|
|Candle or firelight||1800° K|
|faint red glow becomes visible to the naked eye||700° K|
BALLAST: Electronic device that converts electrical current to the right quantity of voltage required to start the lamp safely and efficiently. Ballast comes in 2 types:
Magnetic Ballast: Least expensive option but are heavier than electronic ballasts, require a few seconds to light and often produce a low hum.
Electronic Ballast: Usually lightweight, allow the lamp to start instantly, and consume significantly less energy. This is the type used in all our light boxes, and is an expensive and essential component in the light box. It works best when the bulbs are not allowed to get worn out, so if the bulbs start to fade, make sure you replace them to get the best use out of your light box.
FULL SPECTRUM light bulbs are made to try to imitate natural sunlight, and like sunlight, they also produce UV rays. Typically full spectrum bulbs have a Colour Rendering Index (CRI) of 90 or above (100 is actual outdoor light) and a kelvin temperature of 5,000 or above. Full spectrum light is described as having a purple or bluish cast. When full spectrum bulbs are used in light boxes, the diffuser screen will block these harmful UV rays.
Broad spectrum light boxes are described as being as close to full spectrum as you can get without the UV rays. Typically they have a CRI. of around 82 and a kelvin temperature of around 4200. Broad spectrum light bulbs are described as being a pure white light. Most light box companies use a broad spectrum light bulb so that there is no danger of UV rays.