Author Topic: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues  (Read 1658 times)

Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« on: October 31, 2019, 01:00:13 AM »
Does anyone here use a lightbox for health/mental health benefits?

Ive wondered about one for years and was getting closer to looking into it every year but this autumn has been a rough one for me struggling. So much so that its affecting family life.

It has coincided with an event funded by the Wellcome Trust about the health of night shift workers this week that we were able to visit.

There's just so bloody many of them on the market.  The ones they had but werent promoting or flogging, they were just demonstrators, look to go for £100 or so. Yet there are versions for £33. I dont fancy spunking £33 on something that does sweet FA other than placebo me for a couple of weeks.

The event was fascinating from a perspective of improving the waking time and sleep health of nightowls. Would pop back with these questions but its moved on now.

The doctor reckoned that the blue light filters on phone screens are piss poor and not worth the paper they are written on.

Can anyone point us in the right direction? Budget would ideally be £60 or so and to use it for half an hour each day. Thanks.

Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #1 on: November 01, 2019, 03:05:56 AM »
I've had this for five years. Really good and half the price of previous models. No longer take anti-depressants.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000YSDHZ8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #2 on: November 01, 2019, 08:14:37 AM »
I've had this for five years. Really good and half the price of previous models. No longer take anti-depressants.
https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B000YSDHZ8/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The reviews don't start great but made me laugh so I suppose it's improved my mood:

Quote
Got this today and the stupid thing won’t turn on I now have to look around my house for a screw driver cause there seems to to be some cardboard in it. Thought this was meant to help my mood currently I feel like throwing it out the window

I have long been thinking of getting one of these especially after the last few weeks. How do you use them? Just have it on in the corner like a lamp? Or sit and stare at it for a bit to absorb the light (I think that's how light works - am not a doctor)?

Am I right in thinking that there are light bulbs you can get that do the same thing? I only there was some way I could look that up.





Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #3 on: November 01, 2019, 08:22:28 AM »
I have a Lumie Brightspark, but have not gotten into the habit of using it regularly enough to vouch for effectiveness.

The alarm clock equivalents are great if you struggle in the mornings though. They're not bright enough to have any effects on SAD, but really take the pain out of the alarm going off on dark mornings.

touchingcloth

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Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #4 on: November 01, 2019, 09:33:32 AM »

Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #5 on: November 01, 2019, 09:41:28 AM »
Just have it on all day. Don't know about the reviews. mine's been working for five years and is a good price for 30cm (l) x 10cm (w) x 48cm.  .

You need more than one of these lamps for long term depression but this beats SAD.

NoSleep

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Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #6 on: November 01, 2019, 09:41:34 AM »
The main ingredient of many lightboxes are energy saver bulbs so just get some with the highest lumen count you can (the 25w/1520lumen should do the trick) and fill your home with bright light. I have a couple of such bulbs blazing away during the day in the room at home that I work and that keeps the SADemons at bay.

Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #7 on: November 01, 2019, 09:45:55 AM »
Are you sure? Led's tend to kick out UV light then have phosphor make it visible, id expect a bulb in a happy lamp to let out more in the UV spectrum because that's the element of sunlight we're most receptive to.

That's what they do to people in areas of properly low light, they're basically like low-power tanning beds.

NoSleep

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Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #8 on: November 01, 2019, 09:51:12 AM »
Not LED's, the old energy saver bulbs; the flourescent ones. And they definitely kick out UV as you mustn't have them closer to you than 4ft because of the risk of UV burns.

I have looked into replacing them with LEDs and there are LED bulbs called "cornlights" because they look like corn on the cob but they are quite expensive (albeit powerful).

NoSleep

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Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #9 on: November 01, 2019, 09:58:28 AM »
Actually the cornlights are coming down in price; might try one out (some look to be much brighter than a flourescent; maybe more suited for lighting large factory areas).

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=corn+light&i=lighting&hvadid=80814136339842&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&tag=mh0a9-21&ref=pd_sl_2zud6w6vhv_e

Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #10 on: November 01, 2019, 10:05:22 AM »
Ah, the same is true of cfl's and fluorescent tubes, they have phosphor to change the light to visible, I'd expect the ones in sad lamps to emit more UV.


Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2019, 10:06:18 AM »
Actually the cornlights are coming down in price; might try one out (some look to be much brighter than a flourescent; maybe more suited for lighting large factory areas).

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=corn+light&i=lighting&hvadid=80814136339842&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&tag=mh0a9-21&ref=pd_sl_2zud6w6vhv_e

Wouldn't you be better off with a flat array? Things like streetlamp/spotlights use them.

NoSleep

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Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2019, 10:13:40 AM »
I still want them to act as lights in the room, so all-round light is good (sticking a reflective surface behind cornlights is a known technique for employing them in homemade lightboxes but I would just use them around the home and work like normal bulbs). I notice there's no cornlight in between the 1500 lumens and the 6000 lumens.

touchingcloth

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Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #13 on: November 01, 2019, 11:04:51 AM »
The main ingredient of many lightboxes are energy saver bulbs so just get some with the highest lumen count you can (the 25w/1520lumen should do the trick) and fill your home with bright light. I have a couple of such bulbs blazing away during the day in the room at home that I work and that keeps the SADemons at bay.
Not LED's, the old energy saver bulbs; the flourescent ones. And they definitely kick out UV as you mustn't have them closer to you than 4ft because of the risk of UV burns.

I have looked into replacing them with LEDs and there are LED bulbs called "cornlights" because they look like corn on the cob but they are quite expensive (albeit powerful).
Actually the cornlights are coming down in price; might try one out (some look to be much brighter than a flourescent; maybe more suited for lighting large factory areas).

https://www.amazon.co.uk/s?k=corn+light&i=lighting&hvadid=80814136339842&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&tag=mh0a9-21&ref=pd_sl_2zud6w6vhv_e
I still want them to act as lights in the room, so all-round light is good (sticking a reflective surface behind cornlights is a known technique for employing them in homemade lightboxes but I would just use them around the home and work like normal bulbs). I notice there's no cornlight in between the 1500 lumens and the 6000 lumens.

Trying to work out if it's appropriate or not for you to post in this thread given username. I'll be back with my verdict anon.

NoSleep

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Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #14 on: November 01, 2019, 11:11:41 AM »
I'm not an insomniac; I got my name by being able to stay awake for long periods, if necessary (never, anymore).

touchingcloth

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Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #15 on: November 01, 2019, 11:15:25 AM »
Thank you. Your comment has been noted and will be taken account of in the verdict.

Blue Jam

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Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #16 on: November 01, 2019, 04:25:19 PM »
The doctor reckoned that the blue light filters on phone screens are piss poor and not worth the paper they are written on.

What do you mean by this? My phone has a built-in blue light filter which makes the screen look a bit more yellow. You can set it to switch on after sunset and off again after sunrise, or you can set custom times. It's just a standard Android feature- it cost me nothing extra but I don't know if it's made any difference.

I got two pairs of new gegs from Glasses Direct earlier this year and decide to pay a bit more for their blue light filter lens coating- again, it basically makes white things look a bit more yellow, but by actually reflecting blue light rather than changing the colour of the light emitted by a screen. That really has seemed to help with the eye strain I get using screens, even if it has reminded me how crap the scratch-resistance is.

Blue Jam

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Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #17 on: November 01, 2019, 04:29:18 PM »
That reminds me: by any chance, OP, do you have a TV, computer monitor, laptop etc with a blue LED indicator? Apparently those are best avoided late at night, because while blue LEDs look cool they are also stupidly bright compared to other LEDs and can apparently play havoc with your circadian rhythm and even damage your retina.

Apart from that they're also just very distracting and can be a bit annoying when you're trying to watch telly and can see one out of the corner of your eye.

Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #18 on: November 03, 2019, 07:38:48 AM »
Thanks for the recommendation Suky, will put it on the list.

Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2019, 07:52:25 AM »
What do you mean by this? My phone has a built-in blue light filter which makes the screen look a bit more yellow. You can set it to switch on after sunset and off again after sunrise, or you can set custom times. It's just a standard Android feature- it cost me nothing extra but I don't know if it's made any difference.


Same here, he reckoned that they are not very effective at cutting out the blue light to any great degree and more effective versions are being developed. At the event they had tubes with prisms to show the visible spectrum so we could compare the lightboxes to the orange glasses (which are very effective at cutting out the blue and were another aspect of their demonstration), I really wish Id thought to check his claims about the phone filter with the tube.

While looking around for orange glasses online I found gamers glasses which have a variety of tinted lenses offering different levels of blue light filtering, maybe the phone filter is similar and doesnt cut it all out and the fact we usually sit staring at it close range means its not much cop, but probably better than nothing. We only got to go to the last session of the event or I would definetly gone back to check (plus other questions)

No blue leds other than on the router, but thats well tucked away in the kitchen.


Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #20 on: November 03, 2019, 07:53:16 AM »
It seems having an beer might be detrimental to me sleep. Shite.

Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #21 on: November 03, 2019, 10:53:02 AM »
Ah, the same is true of cfl's and fluorescent tubes, they have phosphor to change the light to visible, I'd expect the ones in sad lamps to emit more UV.

They mostly seem to specify "UV-free" so I'm guessing not.

NoSleep

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Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #22 on: November 03, 2019, 11:02:16 AM »
First sunny day for yonks around here; it's been unusually dark and cloudy, even at the height of the day, around here for a couple of weeks (and I could feel the first rumblings of SAD over the last week). Went for an hour's walk in the sun to top up my anti-SAD batteries; got to take every opportunity like this. The weather report says back to cloudy later on in the day.

magval

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Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #23 on: December 01, 2019, 02:09:24 PM »

NoSleep

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Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #24 on: December 01, 2019, 02:49:34 PM »
According to the calculator I found, it's giving off 560 lumens if you face it from 16cm away (basically have to shove it in your face), which I would have thought was underpowered, but then I never take time off to just look at an SAD lamp, I just have 1520 lumen bulbs (just changed over to LED after reading the thread) in operation all over the house as my everyday light (even during the day), which keep me topped up satisfactorily.

Lux to lumens calculator: https://www.rapidtables.com/calc/light/lux-to-lumen-calculator.html

Glebe

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Re: Light boxes/ blue light / SAD / sleep issues
« Reply #25 on: December 03, 2019, 04:48:15 AM »
Hope y'get that sorted, BF. Could prolly do with one meself.