Best Light Therapy Lamps 2023

During the cooler months, the reduced amounts of natural light can affect your energy levels and mental health. Finally, this time of year is associated with the “winter blues” as well as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a type of depression that can lead to a range of symptoms including fatigue, weight gain and mood swings. And while those who think they have the disorder should consult a doctor for treatment options, studies have shown that using one of the best light therapy lamps (also known as SAD lamps) in the morning can provide relief for those affected during the winter feel little tired or depressed.

To be clear, not everyone who experiences fatigue and mood swings during the cooler months necessarily has SAD. “‘Winter blues’ are about three times more common than cases of full-blown depression,” says Dr. Michael Terman, President of the Center for Environmental Therapeutics and Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry at Columbia University. However, he continues, “they follow the same time course and respond to the same light therapy regimen — 10,000 lux in 30-minute sessions shortly after waking up.” In fact, board-certified health coach and author Robyn Youkilis believes that those who do the whole who work at their desks year round or do not get enough natural light on a daily basis can benefit from using a SAD lamp any time of the year. “I’ve found that the lowest lux setting is generally safe for everyone,” she says.

Most medical professionals recommend lamps with a brightness of 10,000 lux and UV-free LED light. With these criteria in mind, we have compiled a list of the best light therapy lights for each type of person.


This sleek, iPad-like portable light from Verilux stands on its own, allowing you to choose from four brightness settings and three HappyHue color temperature options. A practical integrated countdown timer provides up to one hour of light in 10-minute increments. Choose from a plain white or champagne gold option.

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The full-circle hand lamp from Beurer has a recommended luminous intensity of 10,000 lux and a UV-filtered color temperature of 5300K. It’s fully customizable with up to 256 color variations and features a Bluetooth connection to the brand’s app, where you can control the settings from a smartphone.

This model was developed in collaboration with Dr. Terman is developed and originated by the Center for Environmental Therapeutics, a not-for-profit research and educational organization that is a leading authority on SAD and light therapy. It meets all clinical standards, including a large 12″ x 19″ rectangular screen, adjustable height and tilt functionality, and the recommended light intensity of 10,000 lux.

Editor’s choice

This compact light therapy lamp from Circadian Optics is USB powered and comes with a convertible stand making it ideal for travel or even moving around the house easily. The SAD lamp offers three levels of brightness to mimic daylight, while a quick on-off switch makes it easy to use.

What our editors say: “When I moved into an apartment with relatively little natural light, I knew I needed to invest in a SAD lamp to wake me up in the morning. Thanks to its petite size, this little light couldn’t be easier to move around my apartment depending on where I have my morning coffee. Funnily enough, my cat also likes to sunbathe in front of it.” —Amanda Arnold, Home and Kitchen Editor

The Aura daylight therapy lamp can be rotated to offer two different angles depending on your comfort level and setup. A built in timer allows for 10 minute intervals for up to an hour and the light intensity is adjustable with a dimmer switch ranging from 2,500 to 5,000 to 10,000 lux so you can adjust it as you get used to the treatment.

While the Philips Hue Go White & Color Portable Smart Light Table Lamp might not fall into the light therapy lamp category, its customizable features let you mimic almost any type of natural light with over 16 million color options. The preset settings address topics such as waking up, concentrating, energizing, reading, relaxing and falling asleep. You can adjust the settings via an app on your phone or use Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. It’s intelligent technology at its finest.

Bulbrite Solana Smart LED bulbs with WiFi connection

1618Save $2 (11%)

Bulbrite offers another great option if you don’t want to commit entirely to buying a light therapy lamp but want to try a more customized approach. With the Bulbrite Solana app you can change the hue to suit any scene you want to recreate. It is also compatible with Alexa and Google Home.

Why trust Forbes Vetted

Here at Forbes Vetted, the Home & Kitchen team spends countless hours researching, testing and identifying the very best products across a virtually endless array of categories: cutting boards, electric blankets and bath towels, to name a few. To support our research specifically for this article, we spoke to two medical professionals: Dr. Michael Terman, President of the Center for Environmental Therapeutics and Professor of Clinical Psychology in Psychiatry at Columbia University; and Robyn Youkilis, Board-Certified Health Coach and Author.

How we chose the best light therapy lamps

To determine the best light therapy lights, we first spoke to medical professionals to find out what separates an effective SAD light from a subpar one. After noting their criteria, we thoroughly researched the market and identified the best selling and top rated models. During this step we analyzed the construction and quality of each one, taking into account customer reviews. Most recently, we tried out a few lamps ourselves to give a personal insight.

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