Featured Image Caption: Light Therapy
The very simple answer to the above question is yes, the strength of the lightbox matters. For example, if you are buying a lightbox for the purposes of treating seasonal affective disorder, then you need your lightbox to emit light of a certain wavelength and strength. If the lightbox you get for your SAD condition does not meet certain standards, then you will not be getting the optimal results. One of the most important variables in this equation is the strength of the lightbox. Therefore, yes, the strength of the lightbox definitely matters in light therapy.
Let us take a closer look at why the strength of the lightbox matters and what other factors you should consider if you want to make the best use of this particular form of therapy.
Strength of the lightbox
You need to have a lightbox that is capable of emitting at least 10,000 lux of light. If you happen to get a lamp that is less than this, then there is a very high chance that you will be wasting your money. That is because lightboxes any weaker than this are not really capable of doing much. When getting a light therapy box, make sure that you check the specific particulars of that lamp. You will want to ensure that you are buying a lamp that will actually do the job that you want it to do.
Understand that the average room has about 500 lux of light in it. This is the natural light that is coming into that particular room and lighting it up. However, if you were to go outside on an average sunny day, you will be exposed to light that is of 10,000 lux. This is the main reason why the strength of the lightbox is such an important factor when deciding which light therapy device to get. The whole idea behind light therapy is to replicate the light of the outdoors in an indoor setting. So, if that is the goal, then why would you settle for anything that is less than 10,000 lux as it would completely defeat the whole purpose of light therapy.
Buy one that emits the right color of light
There are many different kinds of lightboxes available in the market, and they are all geared towards serving different needs. This is the reason why there exists a wide variety of light boxes that emit different colors of light.
It is very important that you carefully consider what color of light therapy you are getting and for what. Things can go very wrong if you happen to get a lightbox that is of a color that is not suited for you. For example, if you have bipolar depression, for instance, then blue light is most definitely not for you. It can, however, be great at treating the symptoms of SAD.
This light possesses the ability to suppress melatonin, make you feel more, and also shift your circadian rhythm. In fact, a lot of studies have been able to determine that this type of light is significantly more effective than red light in treating SAD symptoms. Blue light is able to reduce the symptoms of SAD much faster than other types of light. However, you do have to be wary about toxicity to the eye. In comparison, red light is almost useless these days. This is due to the technology behind blue and white lights and what they have to offer.
Lightboxes that are full spectrum do tend to be a bit more expensive than other ones. However, the light that these lights emit is appealing to a lot more people. These are the lightboxes that are thought to be the most effective at mimicking natural sunlight.
White lights are also considered by many to be a bit too bright but, however, they are able to emit light that is strong enough to combat the symptoms of SAD. The lightboxes that white light has been around for the longest amount of time and are also considered to be just as safe and also effective.
Be consistent with the therapy
Being constant when using light therapy is also very important in order to reap the full benefits of the therapy. If you happen to be using the device to help ease the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder, for example, then you would want to use it every day during fall and winter. When you use the light therapy device daily, it is much more likely to help you boost both your mood and energy. This is specifically beneficial for those who suffer from SAD as the condition very rapidly and very thoroughly depletes the body of these two important resources. If you happen to have a history of being affected by SAD and you know that you are going to get it in the months of the winter, then make sure you start using the device from early fall. If you make use of your light therapy device only a few times a week, then the results obtained will be that much poorer.
Monitor your mood to see if the therapy is working or not
Once you start using light therapy, you should ideally see a change in your energy levels and also your mood. If the light therapy is working properly, then changes in both will be very positive. This change will normally be noticed in about one to two weeks if the device is used every day. A lot of people even get to see the benefits a lot earlier than a couple of weeks.
If you are curious about Bright Light Therapy and you would like to try it out, we would highly recommend talking to your doctor first. There are certain groups of people who can have adverse effects from this type of therapy. So, it is best to consult with a trained professional before starting on your light therapy journey. They can also assist you in getting the right kind of device for optimal results.
By Taufiq UL Alam
who is a Content Executive at PlatinumLED Therapy Lights. With a knack for health and fitness, he tries to learn new information on athletes every day and share with his readers. He is also a Marketing Major Student at the University of Dhaka.