Countering Seasonal Depression with Super Powered Happy Light
Do you find yourself feeling more down during the winter season? You are not alone. Approximately 10 million Americans experience what amounts to a clinical depression during the winter season. This phenomenon is known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD for short. It is attributed to the shortened daylight in the winter versus the summer. I am one of those people who is strongly effected by SAD and I’d like to share my solution using specialty indoor lighting.
In this article I will discuss and demonstrate the use of a “Happy Light” to counter SAD. Then share how I’ve found a much more powerful lighting solution. I will be sharing how I recently discovered what I consider a “Super Powered Happy Light” that has worked so much better for me in countering SAD.
If you believe you are impacted by SAD the most direct way of finding relief is by consciously getting more sunlight. To do this you can either move away during the winter to places with more sunlight or you can make use of indoor specialty lighting to help give your body a sunlight boost. The easiest way to find this type of lighting is to search the internet for what are sometimes called “Happy Lights”. These “Happy Lights” are designed to simulate the sensation of sunlight on your body.
It’s easy to find a “Happy Light” that will cost anywhere from $20 to $90. The most popular brand is made by Verilux®, but there are many other brands that are available. To use a “Happy Light” you place it on a table, turn it on and let the light shine on one side of your face. With these lights it’s important to keep the light between 6 to 24 inches from the side of your face for a duration of about 2 hours to get sufficiently intense lighting. The closer the better.
All the “Happy Lights” will mention providing light intensity of 10,000 lux. However, this 10,000 lux rating by itself is not meaningful because it does not tell you how close you need to be to the light to get 10,000 lux of light intensity.
Some lights require your face to be within 6 inches of the light to get 10,000 lux while more powerful lights allow you to be over a foot away and still get 10,000 lux. So for countering SAD it’s important to consider how large of a space that will get illuminated at 10,000 lux. The larger the space the more you can freely move around and get the proper lighting. The larger the space the more of your entire body will get the proper lighting. With the ordinary “Happy Light” only the part of your face that is within 6 inches of the light will get proper lighting. Most the rest of your body does not get the proper lighting to make a difference. And this is why I believe these ordinary “Happy Lights” have NOT worked for me in countering SAD.
There is another number used to describe the power and brightness of a light source that we need to introduce. It’s called lumens. The higher the lumens rating of a light the larger the space surrounding the light that can achieve 10,000 lux. Most companies do not tell you the lumens rating of their lights. However, it appears that the typical “Happy Light” outputs about 800 lumens and can so achieve 10,000 lux no further than 6 inches. Think of it. Six inches is a very tiny space to have to keep your face within.
Recently I found something much better than the typical “Happy Light”. It turns out you can purchase lighting that uses the same “Happy Light” technology but boosted to about 30 times stronger. I was able to find 20,000 lumen LED floodlights that can achieve 10,000 lux as far as 30 inches away. I have found that a 20,000 lumen LED floodlight works as a “Super Powered Happy Light”. I’ve used ordinary Happy Lights for years without much success. In comparison these 20,000 lumen LED floodlights work great. The difference is very noticeable!
With the ordinary “Happy Light” it will may take many days of consistent use to notice a difference. But with these LED flood lights you can notice the difference immediately. With the ordinary “Happy Light” only a very small space gets brightened up. With the LED flood light the entire room and your entire body gets brightened up. That’s why I call them “Super Powered Happy Lights”.
Some things to note are that the LED flood lights run much hotter and are much bulkier than the ordinary “Happy Light”. They are also more expensive. The LED flood lights cost from $100 to $200 whereas the ordinary “Happy Light” costs from $20 to $90. So if you feel you only have mild SAD symptoms it’s definitely worth trying the ordinary “Happy Light” first and seeing if it works for you. Then if you find they aren’t sufficient for you then definitely try using an LED flood light. You can’t do better than these “Super Powered Happy Lights”. When you get a LED flood light it’s recommended you get one that is rated at 20,000 lumens (remember it’s 20,000 lumens not 10,000 lux) and color is rated at 5000K to 6500K.
To demonstrate the use of the ordinary “Happy Light” versus using a 20,000 lumen LED floodlight (aka Super Powered Happy Light) watch the below video.