★★★★ 386 real customer reviews average rating: 4.3 stars
5 Stars By Hurting2Ride on 2016-07-31
Go towards the light! TOWARD THE LIGHT!
Date Purchased: 12/1/2015
Date Received: 12/4/2015
In-Use Date: 12/6/2015
Review Type: Standard BTA-MALL Price
For years I've had pretty bad cases of what was sometimes called "winter blues" but is now recognized to be Seasonal Affect Disorder. It started (or was noticed) when I was a fairly young kid and continues to this day. I've tried many things over the years but recently I had a distant relative come to visit and it turns out she also has dealt with this. She told me that she had been using light therapy for the last 2 years and that it had made a tremendous impact in her mood and energy levels. I've looked in to light therapy many times before but whenever I went looking for a light it always seemed like it was every quack and con-man offering one and never anything that resembled respected medical and scientific information.
This time, after talking with her and now feeling that at least in theory the therapy was valid, I was determined to understand more about these lights and what was really behind them. Perhaps this time was also different because I had been dealing with coral and plant grow lights for a couple of years so now had a decent grasp on LUX, color ranges, wavelengths, etc. Whatever the reason, with this knowledge in hand this time it was clearer that when a lamp manufacturer or company was promoting their product with anything under 10k LUX and without specific testing of output, color temp and UV blocking as "light therapy" they were basically preying upon a mostly uninformed marketplace. Products that cost $50-$100 are simply not equivalent to professionally researched, built and tested products no matter how they try to market themselves.
After a good deal of research I decided upon the Carex Day-Light Sky unit. I preferred the non-clinical look of it compared to some of the other Carex models and other brands. As I intended to use this in my home office area, I liked being able to use it for a task-light when not being used for light therapy purposes. It was well reviewed by consumers and was noted in reliable research. It wasn't until I received the box that I became aware that the unit is built like a tank. As per some of the questions asked about the product, anyone thinking of suspending this light above their heads better have a good idea of what they are doing in mounting it due to the potential damage to your wall, light...and skull.
I read through the manual and all online information I could find in order to get valid information about the use of the product. Contrary to a lot of the information suggested in the questions above and online in general the unit is intended be used 1) approximately 1 ft from your face 2) the light should be directly in front of you, not off to the side and 3) the light should be shining down from slightly above your eyes. The receptors that are most impacted by this light are along the lower portion of your eye socket so light that is entering your eye from or below horizontal will be less beneficial than if the light is used as the manufacturer suggests. This is why the unit is built as it is, with the light emitting from the panel sitting above your eye height and down at a slight angle towards you.
The research behind light therapy shows that the intensity of the light is what has proven to be effective as light therapy, which is why the 10k LUX is so important. If you are receiving light that is less intense it simply does not have the same effect on your body. It should also be noted that light intensity follows the inverse square law. This means that when the the manufacturer suggests that you sit 1 ft from light, thinking that you can sit 2 ft away and still receive half the intensity is incorrect; at 2 ft away you are receiving 25% of the original light intensity. And that again takes you to a level of intensity that is unlikely to have much, if any, of the desired effect for S.A.D.
I started with 20 minutes per day for about the first week just to make sure there were no ill side-effects, especially with the wide variety of medications I am prescribed. As I did not notice anything of issue, I went up to 30 minutes. By this point I believed I was feeling some of the effects but couldn't be sure due to the mood issues from S.A.D. and/or a placebo effect. However by the end of the second week there was absolutely no doubt that the therapy was working. I undertook this therapy in December, usually one of the worst times of year for my condition, and for the first time in a number of years I actually managed to keep some momentum through December and in to this year. It's been about a decade since the last time that happened.
In order to make sure that this was not due to something other than the light or that this would be a short-term effect I have waited to write a review. As we entered spring and the time change, I tapered off of the light usage as I was able to get more natural light. Now, 8 months from when I started using it, I can firmly state that this therapy not only helped me through winter but that due to my other health issues there are times I am unable to spend significant time in sunlight and a couple of doses from this light are enough to make a difference. I expect to resume more regular use of the light again as we head in to late fall and the time changes, providing less natural light exposure each day.
Lastly, I mentioned that the product is built like a tank. This is a very well built product. No skimping on "lightweight" parts either in the physical build or as far as I can tell in the electronics that control the lighting. I see zero flicker. The lights come on and turn off instantly. There is no sound and only a little heat produced by the light. The arm and adjustments that hold the light have virtually zero play in them. I wish more products were built like this one.
I give this product a hearty 5 five stars! I hope it can help you as much as it has helped me.
Since I purchase most items on on-line. I rely heavily on the feedback of other people when making my own choices. Therefore I view leaving straightforward and useful reviews as a RESPONSIBILITY and take it quite seriously. I am NOT paid to give reviews, nor do I have ANY relationship with any seller. These are my own opinions, based on my own experiences and my own or a member of my household's use of this product. I hope you find this review helpful. If you agree, please click the YES below so that I know I have helped you. If I left out any information you could use for your own purchase decision please leave a comment and I will respond as quickly as possible. Thank you.
5 Stars By creamyPB on 2010-10-19
I'm glad I bought this
Well, there are a TON of these light boxes available. With prices ranging from $20 to three digit territory, I was more than skeptical. Is this thing just an excuse to sell funny light bulbs? I did some research comparing the various ones that seemed legit, and this Day-Light one came up several times. It has the right lumens, a lens to protect you from UV, looks to be sturdy, and the reviews were good. But... anyone can make a site/product look good on the web. Wanting to see the lamp in person, I went to the local medical supply place. They had the 'Classic' model instead of this lamp one, but I turned it on and knew in an instant it was a quality lamp. There is no flickering or glare of any kind, just 'warm' light. You wouldn't want to stare at it, but it's not as though you're looking at the sun. I've used it for the recommended time which is 20-30 mins, and it has certainly done something. I don't think it's changed my life or anything, but it has made me feel a bit more 'up'.
I opted for the lamp version because I wanted it on my desk, and the panel version isn't really designed for a desk. The base is heavy which makes it quite sturdy. The 'light box' part of this lamp is about 10"x13", the height is about 24" at almost full stretch (you can adjust the height and angle). When you are doing your session it says you should have this at a 15 degree angle. Then you can bend the neck down to make this an incredible task lamp. Nice white light to work with, no glare. Good for craft/detail oriented work. The brochure states that you shouldn't use this lamp after 8pm as it will wake you up too close to bedtime. After all, a big part of light therapy is to regulate your sleep cycle.
This brand is recommended by the Center of Environmental Therapeutics and they seem to be legit. They have a site if you wanna check it out.
The site, and the brochure, and anyone who knows anything will tell you that a light box isn't guaranteed to work for everyone. They also tell you - AND THIS IS IMPORTANT - light boxes are not regulated by the FDA and ARE NOT considered medical devices. This means that anyone can slap a funny light bulb in there and claim it will help you. There was some talk a while back that tanning beds were good for you because it helped you to get more sun. VERY untrue since they still expose you to UV rays which are harmful. Some of these lamps might be on the up and up, but some are definitely scams. Do your homework, ask a doctor/shrink, ask someone who uses a light box - this is a serious chunk of change to drop on a lamp.
I went into this with the view that at worst I'd get a really bright lamp. I'm not saying this is some kind of miracle worker, but I live in Maine where it's dark at 4pm in the wintertime. It's dreary and depressing, and I've always felt that way. I'm hoping this will alleviate some of the 'blahs'.
PS - In the reviews for the Classic one (more people opt for that one) there were a few people who griped that it stunk up the house. They might've missed the instructions telling you that packing stuff must be removed from INSIDE the light. There's some rubber things inside to prevent the bulbs from getting knocked loose during shipping, along with a couple rubber bands in there too. You have to remove them before you use the lamp! It comes with a little screwdriver, and you have to take off the lens(cover) to get the packing materials out of there. There were some rubber things jammed in so the bulb wouldn't wiggle around, and they were REALLY hard to get out. I had to use pliers. Gotta be careful not to break the bulb! The bulb itself is supposed to be replaced every 2 years even if it isn't burnt out. After that time they claim it will lose some of its lumens and not be as effective.
update 2011.12.18 - My light's still going strong! Definitely helpful in the morning. I just turn it on while I'm getting ready, checking my email, etc. I'm very pleased that my light is still serving me well :)
Again, I want to stress to people that you should do a little research. Someone made a comment about UV rays, suggesting that light boxes are part of pseudo-science and UV rays are helpful.
This is from the CDC (centers for disease control) web site:
Ultraviolet (UV) rays are an invisible kind of radiation that comes from the sun, tanning beds, and sunlamps. UV rays can penetrate and change skin cells.
The three types of UV rays are ultraviolet A (UVA), ultraviolet B (UVB), and ultraviolet C (UVC)--
UVA is the most common kind of sunlight at the earth's surface, and reaches beyond the top layer of human skin. Scientists believe that UVA rays can damage connective tissue and increase a person's risk of skin cancer.
Most UVB rays are absorbed by the ozone layer, so they are less common at the earth's surface than UVA rays. UVB rays don't reach as far into the skin as UVA rays, but they can still be damaging.
UVC rays are very dangerous, but they are absorbed by the ozone layer and do not reach the ground.
Too much exposure to UV rays can change skin texture, cause the skin to age prematurely, and can lead to skin cancer. UV rays also have been linked to eye conditions such as cataracts.
I'm gonna take the CDC's word on the harmfulness of ALL UV rays. Lack of sun exposure does lead to Vitamin D deficiency, but you can take a daily vitamin to get it that way.
update 2012.05.16 - Replacement bulbs! Not as easy as you'd think. In the manual for the light, it says that the bulbs are '2 x 55 watt compact flourescent, 4000 kelvin'. If you do a search for Uplift Technologies Day-Light Sky replacement bulb, you will get a couple of options. There is a 3 pack, which seems to be a good idea HOWEVER, the 3 pack bulbs are 36 watts, not 55. The single replacement bulb IS 55 watts. If you use the lower wattage, I don't think the light will be as effective, so I'm gonna get 2 of the single ones (the light has 2 bulbs inside).
Update 2013.03.04 - Light bulb confusion solved!
A representative from Carex/Uplift Technologies contacted me within 24 hours (awesome customer service!) with a response about which bulbs to use with the Day-Light sky and how they work:
This is the correct bulb for the Day-Light Sky, DLA2000BLB.
There is a difference between "Kelvin" and "Lumens or Lux". Kelvin Color Temperature has more to do with the color of the light, whether it be warm (yellowish) or cool (blue). The Day-Light is 4,000 K which is almost in the middle of the spectrum, more towards warm.
The light emitted from the Day-Light is measured in Lux, this is a measurement of the intensity of the light coming from the lamp. 10,000 lux is recommended, you will achieve this with the Day-Light Sky if you are approx 12 inches from the light at the right angle. The farther you move away from the lamp, the lower the lux. Also, if you use it on the lower setting, the intensity will diminish to 6,500 lux which is still therapeutic, you would just need to use the lamp longer than the recommended 20-30 minutes.
Update 2014.01.22 - Rubber band confusion solved!
In the comments, a wise man :D pointed out that there is nothing in the instructions telling you that you MUST remove the rubber bands/packing materials before first use. It also tells you that there will be a smell for the first few hours of use. This makes sense for anything plastic. The funny smell is called 'offgassing'.
I removed the bands/packing materials because I figured that the smell people had complained about came from that. Makes sense, they are rubber and rubber can be stinky. I emailed the trusty Carex/Uplift technology people for an answer on Sat. I got my answer on Tues because it was a holiday - this proves to me that their excellent customer service is not a fluke, they are a genuinely caring and attentive company.
The email info:
The rubber bands and black inserts are only there to secure the bulbs during shipment. Both can be left in until the bulbs need to be replaced, as the black inserts will not have much heat applied to them. As for the rubber bands, they will dry out and often simply fall off after a couple of hours of use. They may emit some odor during the first hour or two of use, but this is negligible for most people and it soon dissipates.
If someone is highly sensitive or concerned about any odor, they could remove the rubber bands before use. However, even if the rubber bands and black inserts are removed, like most new electrical appliances, there may still be an odor for the first hour or two of use.
5 Stars By August Luna on 2011-11-03
let there be light!
I did a TON of research on these SAD lamps before purchasing this one. There are several factors to take into consideration:
1. The light must enter your eyes from ABOVE them. Think about where the sun hits your eyes, in real life - it's not below you, it's above you! And yet so many SAD lamps rest on your desktop, and shine light up at your eyes from below. I found a few studies that found it was more beneficial to have the light enter your eyes from above your head, shining down. In particular, it has to hit the corners of your eyes.
2. The field of light is huge. Your head can have a normal range of motion at a desk, and you will still be in the big field of light. So many lights are *tiny* and you're only getting the full benefit if you have your eyes very precisely aligned with the light source.
3. UV protected
4. 10,000 lux at about 11" or 12" away from your face. This is important because most studies find 15-30 minutes at 10,000 lux is the therapeutic value. Not all lights can claim this, and some have to be much closer.
5. There is still an ongoing debate about white fluorescent lights vs. the new blue LED ones. I couldn't find much to differentiate between the two, at this point, and this one had the advantages above.
6. Two settings, so if I want a longer session at 50% - it's totally possible. You can also use the 50% setting to use the light as a normal desk lamp.
7. This one was recommended by the independent and non-profit group called the Center for Environmental Therapeutics (CET). It is "an organization formed by doctors and researchers for the advancement of environmental therapies. We seek to provide accurate, unbiased information about bright light therapy, dawn-dusk simulation and negative air ionization." This SAD industry really isn't all that regulated, so finding the recommendation of one seemingly neutral organization was reassuring. You can see some comparisons here: day-lights.com/us/why-the-day-light/index.html
All in all, I'm really glad I decided to purchase a SAD therapy light in general, and this lamp in particular.
5 Stars By Ella on 2010-12-02
Bonus: excellent task lighting and multiple angles
I really struggled about which light to buy -- there are so many! Then there is the argument of going with blue light or white. The blue light ones certainly were more affordable and that was a real draw, but I read that they really were not the best solution for SAD. To add to the mix of worrying about spending a lot of money on a lamp and ending up with the wrong one is the issue of how practical it will be to incorporate into my life so I could actually stay committed to using it.
This lamp does not look like a medical instrument or scream "I'm a light box!". It looked like it would fit discretely into any setting, so for aesthetics, I kept being drawn to this one. Even so, what's the benefit of it looking good if it's the wrong lamp in the end -- I could spend less and get nicer looking desk lamps. So I spent a couple of weeks Googling and reading and not deciding until I found enough on this particular lamp that was all positive, that confirmed it met all of the criteria for SAD and that it was also a practical lamp to have, period. I bought it with the thought that it would probably look rather cheap in real life, but even so it would give me more bang for my buck than all the others if it worked for SAD and could be a task light too.
The lamp looks and feels very solid, not cheap at all. The base has a weighted area that makes it very stable and the fit and finish is first rate. The nicest surprise was how much more adjustable it is than what I was able to glean from pictures and reading up on it. The head and arm can lock into many different angles which adds to the everyday usability of the lamp. There is large chrome push button on the side of the arm and the head which you push for movement, when you let go it is locked into place. The buttons are a practical size and my arthritic hands have no problem. There is a toggle switch at the front of the upright base which lets you chose the therapeutic light level or the task light strength. The task light is terrific! I am using it right now and love the even clean white light it gives. There is no glare, no harshness and no flicker.
I am happy I went with this lamp. I feel 100% confident I made the best choice. I'm going to get another one for my husbands office.
5 Stars By Baroke on 2013-11-03
Much better than smaller, cheaper lights - helps me wake up and have more energy
I love this lamp. I also have one of the tiny, cheaper, LED lamps, which I found hard to use. The light was too focused - it would hurt your eyes if you looked straight at it, but it wasn't diffuse enough so that you could look away and still enjoy the light. And unless you held it above your head, it would shine in the wrong direction for light therapy - from below. The sun is above your eyes, and a SAD light should strike the bottom of your eyes to mimic that effect.
This lamp solves those problems. The light is bright but diffuse. The base is solid and well-designed and enables you to position it for maximum comfort and effect.
I live in Chicago, and my energy takes a nosedive in the fall and winter when our days are short and the sunlight is indirect. I find that I physically crave more light. To my surprise, this lamp really helps satisfy that craving. I turn it on first thing after I get my cup of coffee and I instantly feel more awake and alert.
I used to think SAD lights were for wussy, oversensitive people (really open-minded of me, I know :-)). I am a convert. It's not a cure-all, but it definitely makes a difference. If you feel symptoms of depression or decreased energy in the winter, I highly recommend trying this lamp. It's worth paying more than the smaller, cheaper versions.
5 Stars By Gem Dreamer on 1969-12-31
Next best thing to a sunny window
My office recently moved. I went from a large office, I shared with another co-worker, that had two large windows, to a large room with cubicles and no windows. I felt the loss of my old office/windows within the first week. I read several reviews on different types of day lights, and I actually purchased a cheaper one before purchasing the Day-Light Sky. While the cheaper one produced a lot of "light", it didn't improve my mood at all.
After about two days of using this product both as a therapy and task lamp, I noticed a marked improvement. I didn't get that weird sleepy/non-sleepy feeling throughout the day and my mood was lifting and not so glum. At first I thought it was maybe a placebo, ya know, I think it should help, so it does. However, about a week ago, the computer at my desk started acting up and I've had to move to a different cubicle to work. That area is much darker than my area and after the second day, I noticed I was getting really tired again and my mood was more depressed. I thought about moving my Day-Light Sky to the temporary desk, but it was such a pain to drop the cord behind the cube wall to plug it in, I just decided to wait it out. I may have to rethink that theory.
I use the therapy aspect twice a day for about 30 minutes each session. I tilt the head of the lamp up and flip the switch up. It feels so good that I wish I could go longer. It reminds me of when I had my window and the sun would shine in on my face. After the 30 minutes are up, I tilt the head down to a normal task lamp position and flip the switch all the way down. It takes a little adjustment period to go from the therapy to the task because the light is so bright.
If you are looking for a great therapy/task lamp, I would highly recommend the Day-Light Sky. I've had several co-workers comment on the lamp. It's rather large, so be sure to have enough space on your desk before you order it. It's also rather heavy (for a lamp), but I find that comforting; it's not likely to get knocked over.
3 Stars By Discerning reader on 2013-11-26
Day-Light Sky 10,000 LUX Bright Light Therapy Lamp (DL2000).
I've used this only a few weeks, so I can't rate its performance as a treatment for seasonal affective disorder. I know that I have felt better using it, but I don't know if this is the placebo effect or indicates a real treatment. It is, however, a much more stable lamp than the Day-Light Classic lamp was. I returned that lamp almost immediately because I thought there was a good possibility that it would tip over and break. The Day-Light Sky is much more stable and costs only a few dollars more than the Day-Light Classic.
4 Stars By FruitySnack on 2014-03-03
Worth the price.
We got this light and a big bottle of vitamin B complex. Our winter blues were gone in about two weeks. Was it the light or the vitamins? Or both? I think my husband (who was anti-vitamin before this) thinks it's the vitamins... I don't know, but I will tell you this: We will use this light and vitamin B complex for the rest of our lives, that's for sure. There's nothing worse that feeling like life sucks in the dark cold of winter. This light brightens our days, no joke. I turn it on at my desk while looking at my email with coffee in the morning, and then head out to have my day. It's just nice to have some bright light. This light is very large, but made so that it takes up very little space, too.
5 Stars By Kindle Customer on 2014-11-26
"I love lamp!" (I do love this lamp, as well as Anchorman, if you recognize the quote)
I love that this lamp provides the overhead light I've read is recommended, and is big enough that I easily get the exposure I need. The color is attractive and it seems sturdy (I've had it for two weeks but it is built like it will hold up). This is the first light I've used and it has been a game changer. It made me feel so much better I used it too much and got some anxiety side effects (rare but I mention them just for awareness). Keeping my use to 30 minutes has remedied that while still having positive benefits. I no longer want to sleep the day away and when I awake in the morning I can actually get out of bed! Even though I don't have full-blown SAD (no Major Depressive Episode), this is so helpful for subsyndromal symptoms. I wish I had known this was for "people like me" earlier, and not just those with the "actual" disorder.
5 Stars By Donna Anastasi on 2015-12-16
It seems to be working
This fall and leading up to daylight savings time I had a number of recurring-themed dreams that made me realize the lethargy, increased struggles with procrastination, and discontentment I've always felt this time of year is sun/SAD related. I've taken several measures: noontime walk in the sun every day, vitamin D pills, bright lighting inside the living room, surrounding myself with plants, relaxing my self-expectations, going to bed early and watching the sunrise, sunset walk, journaling about the nice aspects of New England/south shore in the winter, e.g., colors and variations of the sky and sea and the quiet solitude. I also bought this day-light lamp. I like the brightness of it and the slight warmth as both remind me of the sun. At first I tried to use it with the recommended time period and angle and distance, but that was disruptive, inconvenient and stressful. So now I just turn it on in the morning and leave it on til afternoon. I work at home near or under it. No problems with getting too-energized or jittery. Even though this may always be a low energy time of year for me, this year has been far better that year past in managing discontentment and getting the major things in my life done. It does seem to be working.