I use a SAD lamp (what I call those things you may know as "light therapy boxes" that are used to treat SAD, or Seasonal Affective Disorder) in the winter, and I love it — on days when it gets dark way too early (today in Brooklyn, the sunset was at 4:43 p.m.), I think it helps everything seem a little less dire. It gives me a little more energy during the day, preventing me from melting into a disgusting puddle of Thai food, Netflix binges, and unhinged anxiety attacks. My one complain is that most SAD lamps look so... mechanical. Like, I understand that these lamps exist for a medical purpose, but does my lamp need to look like an electric generator? It kind of bums me out purely out of bad design — which is the opposite of what it's supposed to do, right?
Because of this, I decided to look for some SAD lamps that actually look cool — lamps that you don't need to put away in a closet after your therapy is over (usually, you'll want to use the lamps for about 30 minutes, first thing in the morning). Guys, it was a tough search — especially since for the lamps to be medically effective, they should be as bright as 10,000 lux, which is tough to get from a single bulb — but I managed to find some decent options that would look good in a variety of different decor styles. Shop away, SAD sufferers!
1. Lumie Brazil SAD Light Box
This £149 lamp (or about $225) is a bit... futuristic, but I imagine it would be at least an unobtrusive part of your desk decor. The gentle curve and clean interface reminds me of an old-school Apple product.
2. Carex Health Brands Day-Light Sky 10,000 LUX Bright Light Therapy Lamp
Again, not the most beautiful thing I've ever seen, but the design would work in a mid-century modern or contemporary home. This $132 pick would be great for a desk or side table.
3. Aurora SAD Light Box with Dimmer
Aurora Sad Light Box, $772, Amazon
Gorgeous, and the dimmer means you can use this as a regular light, too (since a SAD lamp is way too bright for that) — but I've seen couches that cost less than this $772 lamp, so just bear that in mind if you're on a budget.
4. Flamingo 10,000 Lux, Bright Light Therapy Floor Lamp
A classic, $230 flamingo lamp that you can put right on your floor. Would go great next to an armchair where you can read the newspaper, have a coffee, and use your SAD lamp all at the same time.
Aura Light Therapy Lamp, $90, Amazon
Because I wanted to get at least one lamp in here that was less than $100. Squeaking in at $90, this lamp is small, but just as powerful as the bigger guys — and it's cute enough to keep out on your bedside table.
Photos: Steven Depolo/Flickr; brands