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How to choose a Light Box for S.A.D.

Blog / Uncategorized / How to choose a Light Box for S.A.D.
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View our range of light boxes here

Choosing a light box

There are three main variables to consider when choosing a light box for S.A.D. and these will determine which box is best for you:

  • The severity of your condition: S.A.D., M.E., depression or lack of energy
  • The strength of the light box
  • The time you have available for treatment

VAT exemption

Our light boxes are all available VAT exempt. If you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder and are either renting or purchasing a light box VAT exempt you will be asked to read and confirm the terms at the Check Out. This is your declaration and does not need to be confirmed by a medical practitioner.

Symptoms and severity of S.A.D.

Though S.A.D. can affect people differently and to varying degrees there are certain symptoms that typify Seasonal Affective Disorder:

  • Depression 
  • Lethargy  
  • Fatigue 
  • Anxiety  
  • Lack of sleep 
  • Loss of libido
  • Craving sweet foods and carbohydrates

M.E. and other conditions

M.E. has similar symptoms to S.A.D. and a light box can be very helpful to sufferers. Extreme fatigue is one symptom of M.E. and sufferers often feel worse during the winter months. Lethargy, tiredness and sleep problems make coping with M.E. very difficult. We recommend that the light box has a 30 minute treatment time and also has the ability to switch off some of the tubes to start treatment gradually. It is best to start with one or two tubes on for a short period of time and gradually increase the treatment time. Once you reach 30 minutes with one or two tubes you can turn on more tubes for a shorter length of time. If you feel that you have gone too quickly go back to a shorter length of time and gradually build up again.

Sleep problems including insomnia, fatigue, well-being, low mood and depression, jet lag, shift work problems

Bright light therapy was developed for the treatment of S.A.D. and many of the above symptoms are common to S.A.D. sufferers. Light therapy has also been found to be beneficial for sleep problems, to increase energy levels, ease anxiety and help with jet lag and acclimatising to working night shifts. It can also help if you tend to fall asleep in the evening before going to bed. A short treatment in the early evening may help you to stay awake until bedtime.

You may find that you suffer from a lack of energy after being in the office all day. This can be caused by low light levels in the office and can very easily be alleviated with the use of a light box. The LitePod is ideal to have on your desk and fits neatly between your keyboard and the monitor. Apart from working as bright light therapy it will increase the overall light levels at your work station and help you to feel better. If in doubt as to the benefits, try our rental service to see whether light therapy does the trick for you.

The strength of the light box 

The treatment is to bring bright light to the sufferer by using a light box or similar device. All our boxes are supplied with Daylight tubes that mimic natural sunlight and emit a cool, blue/white light. The light must enter through the eyes so that during treatment it is important to glance at the light box. Benefits are usually felt within 4-10 days.A “normal” indoor environment has a lux level of approximately 500. For intensive light therapy the light source should have a 10,000 lux level although 2,500 lux light boxes can be effective if used for a longer treatment time. Treatment is assumed to take place with the light source at arm’s length from the person. Generally, the larger the light box the better the spread of light and the higher the intensity of light the lower the treatment time required. Optimum treatment times will vary. Those worse affected will need a longer treatment time than those with mild S.A.D. 

Benefits of Daylight Tubes

The Diamond Light Boxes and the LitePod are all supplied with Daylight tubes. Whereas Full Spectrum Light contains UV, the Daylight tubes have had the UV removed. This gives a higher light output and most people find that it is easier on the eyes and a more pleasant light. It also eliminates the possibility of retinal damage from UV.

Time available for treatment

If you have a limited time available for light therapy treatment (20-30 minutes) it is best to use a light box with a higher intensity. Alternatively, if you have more time available (45-90 minutes) you can use a lower intensity light box for a longer period of time. 

Light therapy and lux

All the light boxes on the following pages have been tested and granted “Medical Device” accreditation. They are certified to Medical Directive EC93/42.

The lux value for each light box is given and the distance at which it was measured. Should you experience headaches, you may be sitting too close and need to move further away until you acclimatise to the bright light. Our light boxes have a special “Flikka-Free” electronic ballast and a diffuser for the removal of UV. Tubes should be replaced every 2 to 3 years.

Light Box Rentals

Renting lets you try light therapy to see whether your symptoms are caused by S.A.D.

  • You benefit from one month’s rent against the purchase price if you then decide to buy
  • Minimum rental period is one month

We offer a selection of light boxes on a rental basis for anyone who wants to rent for a few months or try before they buy. Each box is charged at a monthly rate. The minimum rental period is one month and if you decide to purchase the box you will get the first month’s rental deducted from the purchase price. At the end of the agreed period please return the light box to us undamaged and in its original packaging. (We can arrange to have it picked up and charge you at cost.) Payments for rentals will only be accepted by credit card and any damage will be charged against your card at cost. 

Disclaimer: Information included on this page is intended for information purposes only and is not to be used as a substitute for consultation with a medical practitioner.

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