The 5 Best 10,000 Lux Light Therapy Lamps for Coping with SAD

HappyLight vs Circadian Optics, and More!

Ask Sleep Logo
Light therapy can be a great tool for people with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) or anyone on the nightshift or rotating shiftwork. Light therapy lamps (sometimes called light boxes) are designed to provide daylight-like rays up to 10,000 Lux to simulate being outside in the summer. It’s recommended that light therapy lamps are used for 30 to 60 minutes every day, and as with everything light, dark, and sleep related, using them at the same time every day will help keep your cycle on track. If you’re wondering if light therapy is right for you, check with your doctor! It’s becoming more and more common, and they may even have a specific brand of light they recommend.Things to consider when fitting light therapy into your lifestyle:
  • When are you going to use your light? Light therapy is most effective when used in the mornings and can disrupt sleep if started too close to bedtime. If your morning routine includes a half hour to an hour when you can sit and relax, a large household model may be perfect. Otherwise, we’d recommend a smaller, desk-light looking therapy light that can be integrated into your normal office setup.

  • Do you want a light that’s just for light therapy, or is this a permanent setup? If you’re just looking for a versatile lamp to set up at your convenience, something smaller and lighter may work best. If you have the space and want a light station setup for your home, there are more heavy-duty models available.

Bulb Type: LED

Light: 10,000 Lux

Filtered UV: Yes

Why We Recommend It

The Circadian Optics Lumos delivers on its advertised brightness, providing a genuinely intense white light on its highest setting. It produces light in the safer end of the spectrum, with less of the blue light that can be damaging over time.

Designed to blend seamlessly into any office décor, it three light settings that are great for reading and work, meaning it can be used on the job while maintaining your privacy in using a therapy lamp. It’s also less expensive than many of the similar lamps, making it an excellent value on top of a quality product. If you’re not crazy about the design, there’s also a lattice version that looks a bit more decorative.

Other Pros

The position of the light is adjustable at three points, so it can be angled for light delivery or use as a regular desk lamp. The LED bulb has an approximate lifespan of 50,000 hours, making it a low-maintenance purchase.

Cons

The plug on the lamp can be a little bit fragile and hot. If you have issues with your power source, the company is fast on making replacements, but hopefully this bug is taken care of in future models.

Bulb Type: LED

Light: 10,000 Lux

Filtered UV: Yes

Pros

This is a nice, big, bright light with adjustable intensity to get the job done. Verilux makes a few versions of the HappyLight, including a tablet-shaped, lightweight and portable lamp with a large surface area that’s great if you need your therapy light in an awkward area like a kitchen counter.

Note: If you’re looking at the HappyLight Compact, be aware that it’s only 5,000 Lux; we’d recommend the tablet version or one of the Circadian Optics lamps if you’re looking for something small and portable since they still have the full energy output.

Cons

The full-size model is kind of bulky and a bit big for normal office use. It’s better suited to your home setup, or for use in a studio/other less formal setting.

Bulb Type: Florescent

Light: 10,000 Lux

Filtered UV: Yes, 100% UV Free

Pros

Unlike many light therapy lamps, the Aura includes a built-in timer so you can read, relax, or work without worrying about getting your full 30 minutes in. It has the same bright, safe white light production to help with SAD, sleep issues and shift work, and a broad surface area for good light distribution. It’s measured to 10,000 Lux at an 8 inch distance, so plan on staying close in order to get the full effect.

Cons

It’s a little more bulky than some of the choices and uses a florescent bulb, which doesn’t last as long as LED lights.

Bulb Type: Florescent

Light: 10,000 Lux

Filtered UV: Yes, 100% UV Free

Pros

Unlike many light therapy lamps, the Aura includes a built-in timer so you can read, relax, or work without worrying about getting your full 30 minutes in. It has the same bright, safe white light production to help with SAD, sleep issues and shift work, and a broad surface area for good light distribution. It’s measured to 10,000 Lux at an 8 inch distance, so plan on staying close in order to get the full effect.

Cons

It’s a little more bulky than some of the choices and uses a florescent bulb, which doesn’t last as long as LED lights.

Bulb Type: Florescent

Light: 10,000 Lux 

Filtered UV: Yes

Pros

This lamp has a large, broad surface area (think midsize flat computer monitor) to provide good light coverage and the full 10,000 Lux brightness up to a foot away. It has an adjustable height and angle and is easy to customize. If you want a light therapy lamp to use at home in a designated area that you use every day, this could be a good option. Seriously though, it’s big. Check out the pictures and videos before you buy to make sure you have the space.

Cons

This is a very big light that takes up a lot of space. It’s designed to be used for light therapy only, and not as a standard lamp. It would be challenging to use in an office space because of the size and storage.

Bulb Type: Florescent

Light: 10,000 Lux

Filtered UV: Yes

Pros

It’s nice to find a therapy lamp that truly is dual purpose. In addition to providing a full 10,000 Lux up to a foot away, this floor lamp is light enough for reading, sewing, photography and other detail-intensive tasks while still looking like a real piece of furniture. The Flamingo would fit in easily in an office environment, match most home décor, and could be used in waiting rooms, reception areas, and other shared spaces. It comes with a 7-year unlimited warranty and good company backing.

Cons

It’s pricier than the desk lamps but should last a long time. You may want to try one of the smaller options to see if you benefit from light therapy before investing in a standing lamp.

More Great Sleep Info

Close Menu