We've spoken extensively about the difference between full spectrum light bulbs and light therapy - are they interchangeable terms for dealing with SAD/the winter blues?
Today, let’s talk a bit more in-depth about light therapy: what it is, the different types of devices, and most importantly- whether or not you even need it!
Many of you (especially those who’ve been enjoying our Chromalux® full spectrum bulbs in the home!) wonder if you still need supplementation from these bright light therapy devices - isn't it enough to just use Chromalux® bulbs?
So let’s learn more...
Light therapy - in the form of light therapy pads and larger light therapy boxes - is more specialized in form and function than just full spectrum light bulbs on their own.
Whereas full spectrum light bulbs may be used without restrictions, light therapy is, as its name suggests, a therapy - and can be used up to ~ 30 minutes per day.
Produces very bright light (at least 10,000 lux). More bright than one could comfortably look at, which is why we allow the light to enter the eyes peripherally by using the device off to the side.
Has a color temperature between 5000K-6500K, which is a cool white/daylight white light full of energetic blue light wavelengths. For the same reason you’re told to avoid blue light in the evening, blue light is absolutely crucial to trigger our circadian response and wake us up in the morning!
Do you need light therapy even if you don’t have SAD?
Light therapy is still a great idea to use every morning to help get energized - even if you don’t have a clinical diagnosis of SAD. Most of us feel a bit underwhelmed this time of year, and lighting always helps!
Lightboxes vs. light pads
Lightboxes are the larger, more solid modular devices that can last you a lifetime (just change out the bulbs as necessary!).
Perfect for those with clinical SAD, our medical-grade device uses our high-quality Lumichrome® full spectrum fluorescent, high CRI 5500K bulbs, which are among the closest replication to sunlight in an artificial light source.
Light pads, on the other hand, are more portable. Many have multiple brightness settings plus a built-in timer, so you can just set your dose of light and forget it. Many of these portable units are full spectrum LED based.
How to choose light therapy?
A question we get from you guys all the time! For most of you, the portable units will be just fine to use and make a difference. If you need extra light support, or truly cannot tolerate LED lighting, then you might find a trusty lifelong companion in our Aurora™ full spectrum light therapy box instead!