5 stylish light therapy lamps to combat Seasonal Affective Disorder


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Late fall brings Thanksgiving, often at least a dusting of snow, and shorter days thanks to daylight saving time. And for some, fewer hours of daylight also means the return of SAD, or seasonal affective disorder. (Which, for any doubters out there, is a real thing. Here’s what Harvard and the Mayo Clinic have to say about it.)

One effective way to combat seasonal depression is light therapy, the practice of sitting in front of a light box for at least 30 minutes each day, preferably at the beginning of the day. These boxes typically emit 10,000 lux (lux is a unit of luminance), a level about 100 times brighter than standard indoor lighting.

When it works, it’s a relatively easy and affordable way to beat the winter blues. The only hitch for New Yorkers is that most of our living spaces have little room for items with a single, limited function, so if a SAD light comes into an apartment, it better look good.  

That’s why we went in search of lights to treat seasonal affective disorder that are also attractive in one way or another—and many are on sale for Black Friday. (These make great holiday gifts!)


HappyLight Touch, $100

The first light therapy lamp to offer three levels of brightness and two colors of light, the new HappyLight Touch is by Verilux, a Vermont-based company that’s been in the “quest for sunlight indoors” for more than 50 years.

Circadian Optics

Circadian Optics Lumine Light Therapy Lamp, $45

Also adjustable, this minimalist, square light looks like a mini art piece, and emits full-spectrum, UV-free white light.

Circadian Optics

Circadian Optics Lattis Light Therapy Lamp, $80

Another from Circadian Optics, this model would work well in an Arts and Crafts interior or perhaps a space with an Asian/Zen vibe.

Northern Light Technology

Northern Light Technology Travelite Light Box, $167

Available in beige or white, this streamlined portable light has a James Turrell feel to it.

cube tech

10,000 Lux Happy Energy Health Light, $40

This dimmable light has an acrylic frame that looks like wood, giving it an added dash of style.