Designed to sit on a desk, this lamp looks great at home and not at all like the traditional panel SAD lamps. We loved the sleek design, which is complemented by the slide touch control built into the base, which adjusts the brightness. So, once you’ve got your blast of rays for the day, you can use this model as a regular desk lamp.
In winter, you might find you feel a little flat. The short days and long, dark nights can affect your mood, and it’s no surprise. In the UK, the ‘shortest’ day sees less than eight hours of sunlight. If you find your mood altered by the changing seasons, you may have seasonal affective disorder (commonly known as SAD). If that’s the case, investing in one of the best SAD lamps can give you a much-needed mood boost.
“If your feelings are interfering with your everyday life, it could be a sign that you have depression,” explains Stephen Buckley, head of information at Mind. “If [those feelings] keep coming back at the same time of year, doctors might call this seasonal affective disorder (SAD)”.
Ring a bell? Well, SAD lamps are here to make life a little brighter again. Often called therapy lights, SAD lamps are very bright lamps that you sit in front of, ideally in the morning and around lunchtime. As the bright light hits you, your brain will be cajoled into slowing down the production of melatonin (the hormone responsible for sleep) and instead start pumping out serotonin (the hormone in charge of how you feel). This will improve your sense of well-being and help boost your energy levels.
You need a light that ideally blasts out around 10,000 lux (lux is the measurement of brightness) but even 2,500 lux still has some effect. You then want to sit in front of it for around 30 minutes a day. After a week of consistent use, you should start to feel the positive effects.
Although they have a slightly different function, there’s also evidence that wake-up lights and alarm clocks can ease SAD, too. For that reason, we’ve included a selection in this review. Before you embark on your light therapy journey, it’s important to check in with your GP as light therapy is not suitable for everyone, including those on antipsychotic medication and people with certain skin and eye conditions.
How we tested
We appraised the lamps based on how practical they were to use, as this directly impacted how likely we were to consistently use them. We also looked at brightness levels, how they looked in our home, and their quality. Against all of this, we considered the value for money of the SAD lamps. Keep reading to find out which ones brightened up our days.
The best SAD lamps for 2023 are:
- Best SAD lamp overall – Lumie task light therapy desk lamp: £249, Amazon.co.uk
- Best budget buy – Beurer TL30 daylight therapy lamp: £35.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best light-up alarm clock – Beurer WL50 wake-up light: £79.34, Amazon.co.uk
- Best easy-to-use SAD lamp – Lumie vitamin L SAD light: £59.99, Amazon.co.uk
- Best feature SAD lamp – Lumie halo light therapy lamp: £174, Amazon.co.uk