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8 Best Light Therapy Lamps

Elevate your mood. Light therapy lamps help fight seasonal depression so you can thrive throughout the shorter, darker days of winter.

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Woman sitting at a table with a light therapy lampPhoto and Co/Getty Images

What Is a Light Therapy Lamp?

With winter upon us and COVID-19 keeping us indoors a lot more, the lack of exposure to natural sunlight causes some people to experience seasonal affective disorder (SAD). SAD is a type of depression that typically occurs during the fall and winter months, and a light therapy lamp is an excellent way to treat this.

Unlike regular lamps, light therapy bulbs emit a bright, artificial light that mimics the sun’s rays without its harmful UVs. According to the Mayo Clinic, light therapy is most effective for sunlight deprivation with the proper combination of light intensity (10,000 lux), duration (two to 30 minutes) and timing (mornings).

Although light therapy lamps are generally considered safe, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor before starting any home treatment or therapy.

Here are our picks for the best light therapy lamps to help you get the light you need this winter.

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Best Light Therapy Desk Lamp

Dazzling white and glare-free, the Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp is a full-spectrum LED light therapy box in a contemporary design. Besides providing the maximum dose of sunlight (10,000 lux at 12 inches), the flexible stand adjusts the height and angle so you can point the light downward, not directly into your eyes.

This lamp may help you stay productive while working from home. The manufacturer says the lamp improves concentration, increases energy and helps you recover faster from jet lag.

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Best Light Therapy Floor Lamp

The Northern Lights Flamingo 10,000 Lux Bright Light Therapy Floor Lamp is made in Canada, a country that knows something about long, dark winters. This floor lamp’s rotating shade lets you angle the light for maximum therapy and comfort while you settle in with a good book or work out on an exercise bike. Measuring 46-in. tall, it’s perfect for living rooms, bedrooms, home gyms and workshops. Happily, it comes fully assembled.

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Best Light Therapy for Travel

The world’s first light therapy glasses, Luminette 3 delivers mood-enhancing sunlight on the go. Make your time in transit count — wear the glasses while on a long flight, layover or train journey and let them do their magic. Soak up the blue-enriched white light via eight LEDs for effective daylight exposure without blocking your vision. Read, work on your laptop or do crossword puzzles while you wear them!

Not a globetrotter? They’re also great when close to home, as one happy Amazon reviewer pointed out: “Love the portability and that you’re able to use them while walking around. I like the idea of the light boxes but having to sit in one spot is not ideal for my mom life.”

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Best Value Light Therapy Lamp

There’s no need to spend a fortune to fend off the darkness of winter; the tablet-size Miroco Light Therapy Lamp helps keep you thriving at an affordable price.

Change the three brightness modes with a touch of a finger and use the automatic timer to preset light therapy sessions from 10 to 60 minutes. Position the lamp vertically or horizontally using the detachable stand to easily fit on a bedside table, kitchen counter or office credenza. It’s as highly-rated and reviewed as lamps nearly twice the price.

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Best Splurge Light Therapy Lamp

For something out-of-this-world, there’s the Skyview Wellness Table Lamp. A revolution in science and design, the BIOS SkyBlue uses NASA technology developed for the International Space Station.

SkyBlue cycles through four modes — sunrise, daytime, sunset and nighttime — to support the body’s circadian rhythm, like nature intended. Made of aluminum and hand-blown glass, this lamp offers 360-degree lighting and smartphone compatible. It’s a big investment at $749. The manufacturer notes it plants a tree to aid in the reforestation and alleviation of poverty on our planet for every lamp purchased.

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Best Overall Light Therapy Lamp

The first and most popular lamp designed by Circadian Optics, everything about the Lumos 2.0 Light Therapy Lamp says “top-seller”:

  • The slim, rotating light panel for flexibility;
  • The 5,000K full-spectrum white light that’s similar to the noon-day sun;
  • The UV-free brightness to regulate sleep, fight fatigue, boost mood and improve focus;
  • The 50,000 hours of LED life, which out-performs fluorescents by a long shot;
  • The quick, one-touch operation for ease-of-use.

On top of all that, the lamp and adapter are covered by a comprehensive two-year warranty.

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Best Light Therapy Alarm Clock

For struggling early risers and insomniacs, the Philips SmartSleep Connected Sleep and Wake-Up Light can be a game-changer.

App-enabled for personalized sunrise and sunset simulation, the manufacturer of this smart alarm clock promises you’ll feel energized, refreshed and wide-awake on dark wintry mornings, and drift off to sleep easier at night. The increase in brightness over 30 minutes (before your wake-up time) eases you gently into your day. For those deep sleepers, there’s a backup beeping alarm, FM radio, five natural sounds and a tap snooze button.

“This light works as designed and wakes me up better than any other I’ve tried,” wrote one reviewer. “The alarm nature sounds and music are good quality and relaxing (not the scratchy looping sounds of other alarms.)”

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Best Mountable Light Therapy Lamp

Recalibrate your internal clock without wasting precious floor or desk space with the LiteUP by Northern Lights. One of the few light therapy lamps that’s wall-mountable, the LiteUP is not hardwired. Just plug the grounded, 12-ft power cord into any electrical outlet and let the light therapy treatment shine down on you. Includes all the materials necessary to mount into drywall (screws and anchors); all you need is a level and a screwdriver.

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Toni DeBella
Toni DeBella is a culture and lifestyle writer, reviews expert and DIYer covering everything from pests to pool cabanas to painting. For over a decade, Toni was the owner of a successful faux finishing, mural and children’s furniture business before moving to a career in writing. Her work has appeared in The Telegraph, Fodor’s, Italy Magazine, DK Eyewitness travel guides and others. She lives in a medieval hill town in Italy where her bicycle “Raoul” serves as her primary mode of transportation.