Verilux HappyLight Compact Portable Light Therapy Energy Lamp

Last updated date: August 14, 2019

DWYM Score
8.2

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

We looked at the top 1 Light Therapy Lamps and dug through the reviews from 14 of the most popular review sites including BestReviews, Top Ten Reviews, Aging in Place, Best Reviews Guide, Digital Trends, Best Brand Reviews, Wiki EZ Vid, Be Right Light, Very Well Mind, Jenie's Lamps, Prevention, New Age Aids, Sad Lamps USA, Anxiety Attack Solutions and more. Through this analysis, we've determined the best Light Therapy Lamp you should buy.

Overall Take

We love how small and portable this light therapy lamp is. Plus, we found it incredibly easy to operate. The 5,000 lux moderate UV filtered rays will help improve your mood and reset your body clock for better sleep. In our analysis of 115 expert reviews, the Verilux Verilux HappyLight Compact Light Therapy Lamp placed 7th when we looked at the top 10 products in the category. For the full ranking, see below.

Editor's Note August 15, 2019:
Checkout The Best Light Therapy Lamp for a detailed review of all the top light therapy lamps.

Expert Summarized Score
8.1
14 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
8.4
1,576 user reviews
Our Favorite Video Reviews
What experts liked
An inexpensive model in a durable, small design that's built for travel or use anywhere a full size model won't fit.
- BestReviews
This Verilux HappyLight had an interesting heat output. The lamp’s surface reached 135 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Top Ten Reviews
November 9, 2018 | Full review
Provides an ample amount of natural light and works great in windowless rooms
- Aging in Place
This compact model easily fits on a kitchen table, end table, vanity, or even a small night stand. This allows for greater flexibility when starting your day.
- Digital Trends
This is the most portable light therapy lamp. It is very small and compact. It is ideal for almost anywhere with a handy plugin.
- Best Brand Reviews
Easy to set up and use.
- Wiki EZ Vid
It is extremely portable and can produce results, especially with the anti-glare technologies
- Be Right Light
According to reviewers, this light therapy lamp is bright and effective, especially for its small size. Many write that they feel significantly better during the fall and winter when they sit in front of this light, and you can’t beat the affordable price.
- Very Well Mind
February 28, 2019 | Full review
For the size of the unit, the light output is exceptional, providing good value for money
- Jenie's Lamps
One satisfied reviewer of this lamp says its compact size makes it stand out: "It is not too big to fit in an office, but not too small [so] that if it is three feet or so away from you, you can still feel the effects of it." Not only is this HappyLight more portable than many other light therapy devices, but it's a lot less expensive, too.
- Prevention
January 18, 2018 | Full review
Portability - It is lightweight and easy to take with you on the go.
- New Age Aids
The compact design and lightweight of this device is something to reckon with. I can easily take it with me to wherever I go without any stress.
- Sad Lamps USA
Its a very inexpensive light. The other reason is that its so small and portable you can use it anywhere. You can also take it with you on your travels. Its built to withstand the rigors of travel.
- Anxiety Attack Solutions
What experts didn't like
Get's a bit hot,especially with extended use. Rare incidences of broken bulbs upon arrival.
- BestReviews
In my tests, this lamp produced 10,000 lux, though the reach was just 4.25 inches. At 16 inches, it had a 750-lux brightness, which is far below the recommended level. This means you have to sit very close to the lamp, even to get just 5,000 lux.
- Top Ten Reviews
November 9, 2018 | Full review
The light can be too bright for some
- Aging in Place
The HappyLight Liberty Personal doesn’t produce 10,000 lux like other full-sized models on our list and, instead, maxes out at 5,000 lux. This means you may need to partake in longer sessions to produce the same results.
- Digital Trends
However, the small size comes at a price. It has only 5,000 lux, half of a normal model.
- Best Brand Reviews
It is bright and effective, but the reduced lux and size can make therapy sessions stretch out to nearly 2 hours for some people.The reality of using this bright light therapy product is that you’ll likely receive 2,500-lux instead of the maximum 5,000-lux that can be produced.
- Be Right Light
Because of the lower level of light output, sitting nearer to the lamp is required to get the value; this may limit the types of activities that can be performed during the treatment time
- Jenie's Lamps
The light may be too bright and affect people with visual problems.
- New Age Aids
On the downside, there have been some complaints about the bulb burning out too soon.
- Anxiety Attack Solutions

From The Manufacturer

The Verilux HappyLight Compact makes the indoors brighter. For millions of people, light therapy can make a not-so-great day much better - and brighter. The bottom line is, almost none of us get outside as much as we should to get as much natural full spectrum sunlight that we, as humans, need. Our bodies have evolved to actually require sunlight, and when we don't have enough we can be groggy, irritable, unfocused and more. To make it worse, as days get shorter in the fall and winter, many people are affected by winter blues. This full spectrum light therapy lamp can help make you happier year-round.

Overall Product Rankings

1. Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp
Overall Score: 8.9
Expert Reviews: 10
2. Verilux HappyLight Light Therapy Full Spectrum Lamp
Overall Score: 8.8
Expert Reviews: 16
4. Aura Daylight Therapy Lamp
Overall Score: 8.5
Expert Reviews: 12
5. Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Light Therapy Lamp
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 12
6. NatureBright SunTouch Plus Light and Ion Therapy Lamp
Overall Score: 8.4
Expert Reviews: 14
8. Sphere Gadget Technologies Lightphoria Light Lamp
Overall Score: 7.9
Expert Reviews: 11
9. TaoTronics Light Therapy Lamp
Overall Score: 7.7
Expert Reviews: 2

An Overview On Light Therapy Lamps

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.

DYWM 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 Buying Guide

  • 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.