9 SAD Lamps to Help Brighten Your Mood This Winter

Say goodbye to the winter blues.

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No, it's not just you — the winter months are a pretty rough time for the majority of the population. This collective feeling of depression, fatigue, and disinterest in social activities is likely caused by a common affliction called Seasonal Affective Disorder (also known as SAD). According to Dr. Deborah Serani, psychologist and author of the award-winning book Living with Depression, "SAD is a pattern of significant depressive symptoms that occur and then disappear with the changing of the seasons ... It affects millions worldwide, primarily occurring in areas of higher latitudes from the equator, and tends to be found more in females than males."

Because winter days are so short, most people find themselves feeling affected by SAD due to a lack of exposure to natural sunlight. Dr. Serani says, "individuals with SAD often have an ultra sensitive body clock, called circadian rhythm, which gets thrown off when exposed to less sunlight. Though it can help to spend more time outdoors and use sunshine to your advantage, I always recommend patients to invest in light therapy devices, because they can better control the timing and dosage of artificial light."

Using a SAD lamp on a morning schedule for up to 30 minutes a day has shown to be an effective, low-side-effect supplement to other kinds of treatments. Consult with your doctor before using a light therapy device, to determine the best option for you.

Verilux HappyLight Touch Therapy Tablet

$100 BUY NOW

The SAD lamps of yesteryear were large, clunky devices that were total eyesores in the home — consider this pick the antithesis of that. This 7.5-by-11-inch lamp sits upright, and its modern tablet design helps it blend right in with your other desktop tech. It projects very bright 10,000-lux natural spectrum light through its non-glare lens, allowing you to only have to use it for a shorter period of time (around 10-15 minutes) each day. Weighing in at just 1 pound, this plug-in device is also ideal for frequent travelers, so you can regulate your internal clock and beat jet lag faster.

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Circadian Optics Lumine Light Therapy Lamp


This top-rated, plug-in therapy lamp from Circadian Optics is touted for its compact design and its extremely bright 10,000-lux full-spectrum light that more closely mimics sunlight than other options. Its small footprint makes it an unobtrusive addition to your vanity or countertop, and you can use it for just 10 minutes each morning while meditating, checking email, or eating breakfast! Its internal LEDs have a ridiculously long 50,000-hour lifespan (lasting over five years, if beaming continuously), so you likely won't have to worry about bulb burnout for a very long time.

Aura Light Therapy Lamp

$104 BUY NOW

When not in use, the all-white, understated design of the Aura Light Therapy Lamp could be mistaken for a sleek smart speaker, as it seamlessly blends in with your decor. What's great about this model is that its lux output is adjustable, from 3,500-10,000 lux, so those who have sensitive eyesight can use it without irritation. The lamp also adjusts to stand at a 75- or 80-degree angle, and it can be mounted to a wall. Plus, its built-in timer shuts it off automatically, so you're not using it for longer than you need to.

Nature Bright SunTouch Plus


This best-selling therapy lamp emits a bright blue light, and it also features an air ionizer to further energize and brighten the mood of the user. Both of these distinctive features could potentially be irritating to a person who has never used light therapy, so as with all of these lamps, talk to your doctor about whether a blue versus a white light would be better suited for you.

Verilux HappyLight Liberty Personal Energy Lamp

from $32 BUY NOW

This top-rated pick from Verilux is a great starter lamp for its small size and affordability — just turn it on shortly after waking up and use it while getting ready (or even while you stretch or brush your teeth) to help reduce your cold-weather fatigue.

Circadian Optics Lumos Light Therapy Lamp


For those who typically wake up well before the sun rises, this pick is a great one to consider for balancing your body's circadian rhythm and to resolve sleep problems. It emits strong 10,000-lux light while positioned 12 inches away from the user, and it also gives off a pleasant feeling of warmth as well. We also like its slim, streamlined design, which looks similar to a regular desk lamp.

Beurer Daylight Lamp


Forget oversized and odd-looking therapy lamps that take up an entire tabletop. This ultra sleek, LED-lit option from Beurer is about the same size as a tablet, and it comes with a slim kickstand that can be easily detached and repositioned. Pack it up in its included carrying case and take it on the go wherever your winter-weather travels take you.

Sphere Gadget Technologies Lightphoria


The Lightphoria SAD lamp emits a bright wide-spectrum light, mimicking bright sunshine on a clear day, while filtering out UV exposure. It's also lightweight and great for frequent travelers, so as not to disrupt their daily light-therapy sessions.

Luminette 2

$150 BUY NOW

If your mornings are more get-up-and-go, and you just don't have the time to sit still in front of a light-therapy device for the recommended 10-30 minutes, the Luminette 2 is a portable and hassle-free solution. It sits above your ears like an adjustable pair of glasses, and it sends light (at a lower lux level) to the photoreceptors in your eyes while keeping your vision unobstructed, so you can continue your morning routine and give your mood a little boost without any interruption! It's advised that you wear them for 20 minutes per day to see results.

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