The Problem with Happy Lights
Research into the effectiveness of happy lights has yielded promising results, but they shouldn’t be a solution for overall wellness. Studies have shown that light therapy can be effective in treating Seasonal Affective Disorder. Light therapy has been linked to improved mood, increased alertness, and enhanced cognitive performance.
Most happy lights are not practical or designed for sustained use. At 10,000 lux, happy lights have a super intense bright light that can be quite harsh to look at that’s why it’s usually recommended for 30 minutes of use during the morning.
We’ve talked to psychologists and sleep experts, and many of their patients say that using happy light or light box is too bright, uncomfortable, inconvenient or sometimes even too embarrassing to use. Think of hospital lights, they’re bright and uncomfortable to look at for long periods of time. SAD lamps are more of a “treatment” burst of light with temporary effects. Not only that, but you have to actively make sure you’re remembering to use it.
When you’re affected by SAD, it’s not just your mental well-being that suffers, insufficient lighting affects your entire health. Without proper lighting, our circadian rhythm gets thrown off which leads to many other health issues. You can’t sleep well throughout the night, you overeat, you can’t focus during the day, just to name a few. That’s why it’s so important to understand the relationship between light and health.