Social Question

Mariah's avatar

Have you ever used a SAD lamp?

Asked by Mariah (25883points) September 20th, 2016
6 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

I tend to get really unhappy in the winter (no formal diagnosis of seasonal affective disorder or anything though) and my counselor thinks I should get a SAD lamp. I think it’s a good idea.

I’ve heard you should make sure to get one with a brightness of at least 10,000 lumens and that outputs no UV. Any other requirements I should be on the lookout for?

Have you or someone you know used one? What has your experience been?

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Zaku's avatar

Well, except for it being called a Happy Light, yes. They’re nice, even though I don’t have SAD. I know people who do suffer from low sunlight who do like full-spectrum lights, too. Cats also like them.

Love_my_doggie's avatar

I bought one a few years ago. I don’t suffer from SAD, but someone convinced me that it couldn’t hurt to begin a daily routine. I do like it.

If you want to use a SAD lamp, now is the time to start. The equinox is this week; days are getter much shorter, and the effects of sun-deprivation are cumulative over the next few months.

I think we all have SAD to some degree, no matter how mild. It all harkens back to evolution; short days, and reduced exposure to sunlight, put the body into malaise. Some people are affected profoundly, while some people have just minor twinges of the winter “blahs.”

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

They had them in Sweden when I was there in the 1980’s. Some apartments and homes had solariums equipped with them. There was a lot of literature that attributed their national suicide rate to lack of sunlight. Long, dark winters like those at the ends of the earth can be very depressing. That’s all I really know.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I tried one for a while, it helped. They are kind of expensive for what they are. I think they charged me $200 for what turned out to be a ballast, case and four full spectrum flourescent bulbs. You could probably build yourself one for a quarter of that cost.
That said, the biggest thing for me is just getting outside while the sun is still out. When the days get short though I basically am not myself.

Mariah's avatar

@ARE_you_kidding_me Yeah the thing that’s rough for me is the weekdays when it’s already dark long before I get out of work. Last year I attempted to move my work schedule forward an hour or two to be with the sun (I’m fortunate enough to have the freedom to do that at work), but I’m so bad at getting out of bed that it didn’t work out. I’ll probably try again this year.

ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

I transition from a four ten schedule to a five eight in the winter for that very reason.

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