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Old 30.11.2010, 20:07
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10.000 lux of Light (light craving)

I have yet to be diagnosed with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), but with less daylight these days, I am craving bright lights. I've heard of therapeutic light boxes for SAD. Do you have any experience with them? Any effects? Do you know where I can get one?
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Old 30.11.2010, 20:28
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Re: 10.000 lux of Light (light craving)

Hi,

I have two, which I no longer use... and a dawn lamp, which I still use. I got them all (when I was living in the UK) from Lumie.

The reason I stopped using them was that I found the way they had to be used was having a detrimental affect which outweighed the possible benefits.

For light therapy to be effective, your eyes have to be around 20 cm from the light source. They have to be open (i.e. you cannot just lie in bed). You can read, use a PC, do crafts, eat etc... but you have to keep at this 20 cm distance. You are supposed to do this for a minimum of 30 minutes (for the brightest lights) per day, ideally first thing in the morning. I started at that, but it was no good. I was advised to increase it to an hour per day. At the time, I was working as a teacher. This meant I had to get up at 5:30 am so that I could use my light box for an hour before work. I was so tired from getting up so early that I got more and more depressed.

Having said that, I can see that if you were working in an environment where sitting still for 30 minutes to an hour fitted in well with your routine the light therapy would not be a problem. But for me, it was a problem, so I stopped using the lights.

I do still use my 'Bodyclock', bought from the same place. This is a dawn-and-dusk simulator. You set an alarm, the light gradually comes on starting about half an hour before the alarm is due, so that when you wake up your room is already in 'natural' light. My bulb broke a month or so back and I really missed it until I got a replacement.

If you are interested, I do have two 'Brightspark' lightboxes from Lumie. They deliver 10,000 lux at 20 cm. I think I changed the plugs to Swiss ones. The lights are supposed to make a difference in a week or so - I don't know if you would be interested in trying one out with a view to buying it from me? The only issue is I live in Vaud and I see you live in Zurich.

Hope this helps, anyway. The Lumie website is very useful.
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Old 30.11.2010, 21:18
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Re: 10.000 lux of Light (light craving)

I have very bad SAD (October is already too dark for this little runt), so getting a light box was life-changing. The SAD was so bad I was feeling suicidal, which is insane, considering how simple the solution is and how long it took them to figure it out. I have the Philips EnergyLight, sadly it is really big and unattractive but it's on my desk at home and if you don't want to sit so close, then you just sit in front of it longer. It's definitely working and at CHF 300, it's one of the best things I've bought - ever. Philips has now brought out a smaller thing that has blue light but I've not read anything about it being approved by a doctor yet, if it was, then this could also be taken to work.

The doctor should write you a prescription and normally they tell you which ones they recommend - your health insurance should cover it (depending on whether you've already paid off your annual Franchise, of course). Until you get the lamp, try and get outside at lunchtime, I know it's freezing but even on a cloudy day, there are sufficient Lux out there to make a difference.
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Old 30.11.2010, 21:54
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Re: 10.000 lux of Light (light craving)

A friend of mine was using 'bio-lights'. These lamps cover the same spectrum than daylight and they brightened her mood as well as helped her working more efficiently at the desk. Another one went regularly to the tanning salon to get over her winter depression.
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Old 30.11.2010, 22:23
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Re: 10.000 lux of Light (light craving)

I use a Lumie desk lamp, which is a good mood booster on the dark mornings. I went for the desk lamp rather than a light box as it's easier to keep with the required distance than the light boxes, which are quite a bit bigger. Also, the desk lamp has a dimmer switch, so the light can be reduced to normal lamp levels. I use a body clock too - it's a much nicer way to wake up, instead of an alarm.
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Old 30.11.2010, 22:38
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Re: 10.000 lux of Light (light craving)

Here is the Swiss page for Philips (in French). It is also available in German.

http://www.philips.ch/c/energylight/...ONSUMER%3Dtrue
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Old 30.11.2010, 23:22
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10.000 lux of Light (light craving)

I have one that I bought from Andropov medical supply. I think they are in Germany and in the uk. It's big, as big as the Phillips one and sits on my desk. The difference is that it cost 80 euros, I think. Came with a German plug, but easy enough to fix. Works well for me. I also find that sufficient vitamin D is really important at this time of year.
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Old 01.12.2010, 11:34
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Re: 10.000 lux of Light (light craving)

I'm not sure if I have SAD. I just think it's too dim. I just miss the sun.



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Another one went regularly to the tanning salon to get over her winter depression.
Does a tanning lamp help with SAD?



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The doctor should write you a prescription and normally they tell you which ones they recommend - your health insurance should cover it (depending on whether you've already paid off your annual Franchise, of course). Until you get the lamp, try and get outside at lunchtime, I know it's freezing but even on a cloudy day, there are sufficient Lux out there to make a difference.
It hasn't occurred to me to see a doctor about it. I'm not sure I have anything. What are the symptoms of SAD? Perhaps I should memorize them before I see a doctor.
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Old 03.12.2010, 18:02
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Re: 10.000 lux of Light (light craving)

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Does a tanning lamp help with SAD?....
I don't know. My colleague wasn't diagnosed with anything, she just noticed that a tanning lamp improved her mood during the winter.
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Old 16.12.2010, 21:20
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Re: 10.000 lux of Light (light craving)

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I'm not sure if I have SAD. I just think it's too dim. I just miss the sun.
Does a tanning lamp help with SAD?
I believe so.
The tanning lamp (or sunlight) helps us produce vitamin D.
Vitamin D in return has a positive impact on your mood.

The tanning lamp I've heard is also useful for overcoming jet-lag.

Nevertheless the cancer risk should be taken into consideration with tanning lamps and sun beds.
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