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The Best Light Therapy Lamp

Last updated on August 15, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Light Therapy Lamps and dug through the reviews from 101 of the most popular review sites including Best Reviews Guide, Trustorereview, Happy Body Formula, Review Meta, Best Brand Reviews, Best Products and more. The result is a ranking of the best Light Therapy Lamps.

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Our Picks For The Top Light Therapy Lamps

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Carex

Day-Light Classic Plus Light Therapy Lamp

Overall Take

Easy to UseFlexible positioning and placement, plus an angled neck and weighted footing make this lamp a winner.

Experts Included
DWYM Health & Wellness Experts plus New York Times Wirecutter, Groom and Style, Top 5 Reviews, Wiki EZ Vid, Digital Trends, Best Brand Reviews and 4 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" The Day-Light lamp face mounts to a weighted horseshoe base by an adjustable arm. This arm allows the lamp’s angle and vertical position to be adjusted, reducing overall glare and increasing the flexibility of where and how you can use..."
Cons
"The large lightbox and welcome maneuverability means this therapy lamp can be difficult to position and move, with a large weighted base with a footprint nearly a foot-and-a-half wide and a foot deep."
  The Best Value

Verilux

HappyLight Full Spectrum Therapy Lamp

Overall Take

Lots of SettingsAn affordable light therapy lamp that's easy to assemble and adjust.

Experts Included
DWYM Health & Wellness Experts plus BestReviews, Top Ten Reviews, New York Times Wirecutter, Best Reviews Guide, The Top Pro, Top 5 Reviews and 10 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond and Target.
Pros
" Delivers therapeutic white light customizable settings in a model that falls in the middle of the price spectrum."
Cons
"Tespite having a large surface area, the HappyLight Full-Size’s coverage wasn't great compared to other lamps’. The luminous intensity measured at only 200 CD, which means the light's intensity diffuses very quickly. This explains why the 10,000-lux reach was so..."

Northern Light

Boxelite Light Therapy Light Box

Overall Take

Adjustable SoftnessGoodbye wintertime blues, thanks to this 10,000 lux light therapy lamp with UV-free rays.

Experts Included
DWYM Health & Wellness Experts plus New York Times Wirecutter, Wiki EZ Vid, Groom and Style, Ideaing, Sad Lamps USA, Anxiety Attack Solutions. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" With a minimalist, square design, the Boxelite is the lamp we’d like to put on our own desks. It has a large light face, which provides 10,000 lux of UV-free light at 14 inches (a farther distance than both our..."
Cons
"This model isn’t built in the shape of a transportable suitcase. It’s more of a standalone unit, sized 15 x 12 inches with a desk stand like our #1 and #3 choices, and it’s not adjustable."

Aura Daylight

Therapy Lamp

Overall Take

Customizable TherapySix different timers and adjustable lux strength make this lamp totally customizable.

Experts Included
DWYM Health & Wellness Experts plus BestReviews, Best Reviews Guide, Top Ten Reviews, Brains Report, Tuck, Best Brand Reviews and 6 more. Along with user reviews from Amazon and Walmart.
Pros
" Great timer, very adjustable and can even be mounted on a wall."
Cons
"The lamp earned a C grade for its overall light therapy performance."
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the light therapy lamps available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

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101

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Best Reviews Guide, Trustorereview, Happy Body Formula, Review Meta, Best Brand Reviews.

32,001

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, Walmart, Target, Bed Bath & Beyond and 4 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Light Therapy Lamps and also dug through the reviews from 101 of the most popular review sites including Best Reviews Guide, Trustorereview, Happy Body Formula, Review Meta, Best Brand Reviews, Best Products and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Light Therapy Lamps.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp

Our Expert Score
9.3
10 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.1
277 user reviews
Our Take

The Day-Light Classic Plus Light Therapy Lamp by Carex offers incredible flexibility in positioning and placement. The weighted footing and angled neck are easy to move. It also has the filtered UV rays, as well as the common features recommended by physicians.

What other experts liked
The Day-Light lamp face mounts to a weighted horseshoe base by an adjustable arm. This arm allows the lamp’s angle and vertical position to be adjusted, reducing overall glare and increasing the flexibility of where and how you can use...
- New York Times Wirecutter
The Carex Health Day-Light Classic is bulky but stable and well-built, and more importantly, it’s completely adjustable and has all the features doctors recommend for SAD and the winter blues. In fact, many doctors specifically recommend the Day-Light Classic.
- Groom and Style
This Carex therapy lamp produces 10,000 lux of glare-free light that is soothing to the eyes. It is designed to have an adjustable angle and height and downward light projection as recommended by experts.
- Top 5 Reviews
The Carex Classic Plus is backed by the Center for Environmental Therapeutics as a safe and effective choice.
- Wiki EZ Vid
This light is 99.3 percent UV blocked for added safety, and the device utilizes two distinct light modes. This allows you to ease into the higher setting, or smoothly transition to a lower setting.
- Digital Trends
This light therapy lamp has a very wide surface area. It covers a huge amount of space when emitting light. It has an adjustable height an angle depending on who is using it.
- Best Brand Reviews
The curved design is meant to help angle it toward your face. Some customers reported that it made a good “general” light for their desk.
- Light Therapy Device
It is properly diffuses the light to remove 99.3 % of UV light and uses flicker free bulbs. The Carex Day-light has been tested and meets all requirements for therapeutic use.
- Anxiety Attack Solutions
One of the main plus points this SAD light has above many of its competitors is, due to its design, it is really effective in making sure the light hits your eyes correctly so you can get the most from...
- Shine a Light on SAD
This stand is tall enough to help the light shine down on your from above, as experts have recommended.
- New Better Health
What other experts didn't like
The Day-Light Classic Plus is unwieldy and (some would argue) unattractive. If you don’t like the way it looks, you may prefer the simpler designs of our other picks.
- New York Times Wirecutter
The large lightbox and welcome maneuverability means this therapy lamp can be difficult to position and move, with a large weighted base with a footprint nearly a foot-and-a-half wide and a foot deep.
- Groom and Style
However, some users noticed that it emits the smell of burning plastic.
- Top 5 Reviews
It is very large and heavy. It won’t be easy to move.
- Best Brand Reviews
It’s not the greatest shape we’ve seen of all these lights, and it’s definitely far too bulky to travel easily.
- Light Therapy Device
On the downside there have been some issues with quality control and some people are saying its only 10,000 Lux if you sit closer to it than recommended by the company.
- Anxiety Attack Solutions
One common complaint is that it emits a burning plastic smell when in use which can interrupt your light therapy sessions.
- Shine a Light on SAD
Some odor for the first week or two of use
- New Better Health

The Best Bang For Your Buck

Verilux HappyLight Light Therapy Full Spectrum Lamp

Expert Summarized Score
8.6
16 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
1,087 user reviews
Our Take

The Verilux HappyLight Full Spectrum Therapy Lamp offers the best value for those looking for an affordable light therapy option. This model has special settings for the way that you want to use it in your life. The easy assembly and fuss-free adjustability also make this lamp a great purchase. In our testing, we liked that it came with two different lenses, one for comfort and one for high energy.

What other experts liked
Delivers therapeutic white light customizable settings in a model that falls in the middle of the price spectrum.
- BestReviews
It is easy to adjust the light’s angle.
- Top Ten Reviews
November 9, 2018 | Full review
It was even easier to assemble and lighter to move around than our top pick, but cost about $40 more. If you somehow get your hands on one, it’s still a great lamp.
- New York Times Wirecutter
Whenever there is a need to change the lens, it is easy and simple to do so – even without the use of tools.
- The Top Pro
It is space saver and can be mounted on the wall.
- Top 5 Reviews
This light therapy lamp has a sleek design and is very easy to use. Because of its light design, it can easily be moved from home to office.
- Best Brand Reviews
A therapy lamp doesn’t need to take up a lot of space, and the HappyLight embodies that. It weighs in at 2 lbs, making it very portable and light to carry around. You can easily take it with you as you travel or go about your day.
- Happy Lamp
February 1, 2019 | Full review
There is a switch that turns the unit from “high-power” to “low-power” and back, which means there are a total of 4 different settings available, from a single lamp – at a very reasonable price.
- Light Therapy Device
The photoreceptors in the eye are more stimulated with this type of light and the result is a generalized improvement in mood, energy and function for people affected by the lack of sun in the winter, or who experience a lack of sunlight in general no matter the season.
- Review Daily
It has light weight – less than four pounds
- SAD Lights Headquarters
October 6, 2014 | Full review
With High-Low intensity controls, no tools required for interchangeable lenses – Optix glare-diffusing lenses and a tilt feature, the controls and the generous size of the light face, allows you maximum flexibility without compromising therapy effectiveness to design the program of each light therapy session that works best for you.
- Light Boxes for SAD
The lamp can tilt forward and backward to 15 degrees, so you can find the position that is just right for you
- Jenie's Lamps
Customizes to your personal preference for light intensity with high or low settings, includes two easy to install no glare lenses for high energy or comfort.
- New Age Aids
The natural light 100 times brighter then indoor lighting
- Colored Sunrise
What I liked about this energy box is its portable and sleek design that makes it fits in any platform. It helps to boost my mood and energy level and doesn’t flicker at all. It also prevents harmful ultraviolet rays from reaching me and enhance my sleep.
- Sad Lamps USA
What other experts didn't like
The sliding on/off switch is somewhat awkward to use. A faulty units have been reported.
- BestReviews
Tespite having a large surface area, the HappyLight Full-Size’s coverage wasn't great compared to other lamps’. The luminous intensity measured at only 200 CD, which means the light's intensity diffuses very quickly. This explains why the 10,000-lux reach was so short.
- Top Ten Reviews
November 9, 2018 | Full review
However, this is not an adjustable light therapy lamp
- Best Brand Reviews
The replacement bulbs are a bit on the pricey side should you need to replace the bulb.
- Review Daily
Replacement bulbs are too pricey.
- SAD Lights Headquarters
October 6, 2014 | Full review
It is necessary to sit quite close to get the benefit for SAD treatment; this may limit some of the activities you can choose during the treatment time
- Jenie's Lamps
The lamp doesn’t have a good lux output.
- New Age Aids
It doesn't come with a timer.
- Colored Sunrise

Overall Product Rankings

1. Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 13

2. Verilux HappyLight Light Therapy Full Spectrum Lamp

Overall Score: 8.8
Reviews Included: 21

4. Aura Daylight Therapy Lamp

Overall Score: 8.5
Reviews Included: 14

5. Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Light Therapy Lamp

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 14

6. NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp

Overall Score: 8.4
Reviews Included: 18

8. Sphere Gadget Technologies Lightphoria Light Lamp

Overall Score: 7.9
Reviews Included: 13

9. TaoTronics Light Therapy Lamp

Overall Score: 7.7
Reviews Included: 3

Our Findings

Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp

Best Overall

Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp - 10,000 LUX - Sun Lamp Mood Light (Health and Beauty)


List Price: $114.95 USD
New From: $99.95 USD In Stock
Used from: $95.99 USD In Stock

What We Liked: The Day-Light Classic Plus Light Therapy Lamp by Carex offers incredible flexibility in positioning and placement. The weighted footing and angled neck are easy to move. It also has the filtered UV rays, as well as the common features recommended by physicians.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Verilux HappyLight Light Therapy Full Spectrum Lamp

Best Value

Verilux HappyLight Full-Size 10,000 lux Light Therapy Energy Lamp (Health and Beauty)


List Price: $79.95 USD
New From: $73.95 USD In Stock
Used from: $65.00 USD In Stock

What We Liked: The Verilux HappyLight Full Spectrum Therapy Lamp offers the best value for those looking for an affordable light therapy option. This model has special settings for the way that you want to use it in your life. The easy assembly and fuss-free adjustability also make this lamp a great purchase. In our testing, we liked that it came with two different lenses, one for comfort and one for high energy.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Northern Light Technologies Boxelite Light Therapy Light Box

Also Consider

Boxelite 10,000 Lux Bright Light Therapy Light Box, Black (Health and Beauty)


List Price: $164.80 USD
New From: $163.85 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: The use of Northern Light Boxelite Light Therapy Light Box can help ease your wintertime blues. This huge-faced lamp offers 10,000 lux with 100% UV-free rays to brighten up your winter without affecting your skin. The adjustable softness of the light color is an added bonus for those early mornings when you need a softer ambiance.

Kristin Forte/Simplemost Media

Our Light Therapy Lamp Buying Guide

Do you get serious wintertime blues? It may be more than that. Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD, is a psychological disorder that affects roughly 5% of people just in the United States. This disorder is similar to depression with its symptoms. You might feel extreme tiredness, anti-social tendencies, sleeplessness, agitation, guilt over menial things and even despair.

Its typical onset is around daylight savings time in the fall and usually lasts through the winter. For some individuals, this can be as long as five months. It can be accompanied with weight gain and appetite changes. If you notice a combination of these things in your lifestyle during the winter months, do not hesitate to reach out to your doctor. It can take up to three years to diagnose the mild cases of SAD, so don’t wait too long to resolve these symptoms.

Seasonal Affective Disorder is diagnosed using a series of tests. You will start with a physical exam to rule out other health factors that could contribute to depression. Lab tests will be run to check your blood and usually a thyroid test as well. A psychological evaluation is another common exam to find the diagnosis. Once diagnosed, it is important for doctors to assess the extent of the disorder and see if there are any other depression diagnoses in the patient. This will help to find the right treatment for the patient.

Although there are varying degrees of treatments including medications, one very successful treatment in patients displaying symptoms of SAD (not necessarily for patients with other types of depression or mental health disorders) is light therapy. Patients are educated on the use of a light therapy lamp in their daily routine. These lamps come in multiple styles and can really help patients suffering from SAD or milder forms of the winter blues.

A light therapy lamp works by emitting rays that are very similar to UV rays emitted by the sun. The light stimulates certain chemicals in the brain, such as serotonin and melatonin, to help with mood and improve sleep cycles. Patients are instructed to sit by the lamp for a suggested amount of time and/or during a specific time of day. The light must enter the eyes without directly looking at the lamp itself. This can even be achieved just by letting the light hit your skin. Refer to your doctor for instructions.

There is a combination of things to remember for a light therapy lamp to effectively work: intensity, duration and timing. There is a range of light intensities for the lamps. However, 10,000-lux lights are the most popular. The biggest concern with this intensity is to be sure you get a lamp that blocks 100% of the UV rays, such as the Verilux HappyLight Full-Size Lamp.

The proscribed duration is typically 30 minutes with a lamp that has 10,000-lux light but for a weaker lamp, you may need a longer session. The timing is the third factor, and most doctors recommend timing your sessions in the early morning. Because the light therapy lamps mimic the sun rising, they can create a normal circadian rhythm if used regularly during the wintertime. A doctor might recommend other times as well, depending on your diagnosis.

Consumers can choose from several different types of light therapy lamps. There are dawn simulators that come in two types: naturalistic dawn and sigmoidal-shaped dawn. The lightboxes are the most common light therapy lamps. Natural spectrum light bulbs are another way to help get your circadian rhythm back on track. Bluewave technology also suppresses melatonin so you don’t feel that extreme fatigue. You can also choose to use a bright light sun visors which is a hat with a built-in lightbox. Doctors don’t frequently suggest using these because it places the light very close to your eyes so always use them with caution.

A light on a timer is a simple way to help get your circadian rhythm back on track. You can easily find a lamp with a timer and set it to act as a superficial dawn for everyday use, however, this method is not extremely effective as it is a sudden switch of the light instead of a gradual increase in light like a normal sunrise. All of these light therapy lamps and treatments have been proven to help with SAD and even patients with low Vitamin D and mild wintertime blues. Find the one that works best for you by relying on fellow consumer reviews and suggestions from your physician.

DWYM Fun Fact

Light therapy has had effects on not just SAD patients and wintertime blues. It has helped patients suffering from lupus, eczema, psoriasis, rickets and sleep disorders to name a few.

Niels Ryberg Finsen was the leader in pursuing the effects of light on suffering patients. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine and Physiology in 1903 for his successful studies on the topic. He was, ironically enough, from the Icelandic region of the globe, where they experience quite long winters.

In the 1920s-1930s, light therapy was used in most homes, most commonly for tanning since the UV rays were not filtered out. This was later to be discovered as a harmful practice excess, and UV rays are now filtered up to 100% for the therapy lamps.

The Light Therapy Lamp Tips and Advice

  • The most effective light therapy lamps are going to be at the 10,000 lux intensity.
  • Look for a light that offers bright white light without the damaging UV rays. (99% or more of the UV rays should be filtered out.)
  • The light therapy lamp or box should be positioned around eye level or a little higher, so you get the feeling you are out in the full sunshine of the summer.
  • Roughly two feet from your eyes is said to be the magic positioning of the lamp for the best effects. (This is if you have a 10,000 lux light. If you have a weaker lamp, sit closer.)
  • Placement should be off to your right or left, not directly in front of your face.
  • Morning has been found to be the best time to use the light therapy lamps. You can use it from 20 minutes to up to an hour. This doesn’t mean that you have to be sitting in front of it the entire time — grab a coffee, breakfast or even do your makeup routine while being nearby.
  • Patients who do the therapy every day have the most success, so add it to your daily routine.
  • Always tell your physician if you are using one so they can check any medications you may be using that could make your skin photosensitive (i.e. antibiotics).
  • Be sure to take notice of mood and energy levels as the weeks go by after starting it. Most see noticeable improvement by week two.

About The Author

Avatar
Genevieve Nino 

Her bachelors degree in psychology has served her well with her health and wellness clients. Her articles are extremely well-researched and she frequently pulls information from up to date studies and medical research. She has written about health stemming from a great diet in addition to quite a few articles about supplements, vitamins and healthy workout regiments to keep yourself and family healthy.