It used to be considered as junk science. Pseudo-science and old folk tales mixed with superstition. But, it turns our Seasonal Affective Disorder is real and almost measurable. A particular problem in the north where winter daylight is problematic. There has been a rash of products aimed to resolving some of the dilemmas under the general heading of bright light therapy. Hard to know why this grip on consciousness took so long. In the 1840′s oil paints began to be mass made in tubes instead of the artist mixing his pigments in cans, which permitted an explosion of outdoor work in open air, such as the French impressionists and later on, Van Gogh. Previously, the painter sketched or drew outside and then did the execution indoors, missing that immediate sensorial experience that became so intrinsic to their art.
…The scientists found that SAD was connected to an imbalance in the body’s circadian rhythms, a type of rhythm, an internal body clock which is principally responsible for the timing of sleep, hormone production, and even our body temperature:
In 1984 these pioneering scientists discovered that exposure to bright white light is very effective at treating seasonal affective disorder. For many years doctors had relegated light therapy to the periphery of credible science. It wasn’t until 2001 that researchers from NIH, Thomas Jefferson Medical University and Apollo Health fully understood how exposure to specialised bright light, stimulates the production of brain chemicals to relieve the symptoms associated with seasonal depression. Read More:http://www.lighttherapy.com.au/
The commercial products on the market, and in particular the Daylight lamps we sell can be termed like light therapy lamps but cannot be clinically be classified as true therapy and for good reason. A serious lamp would have to be 55 watts or about 10,000 lux and the Daylight full spectrum light limps in at 20 watts. Not enough to arrive at a therapy effect for those with more acute needs, but of some benefit for non-sufferers. The lighting is better than anything a traditional lamp can produce, and its easier on the eyes; and the value of Daylight compared to a competitor like Ott is significant, and we are not convinced that the 27 watt version of Ott is a better buy than the Daylight.
Early research studies used “full-spectrum” bulbs producing bright light similar in color composition to outdoor daylight, in contrast to the color of ordinary fluorescent or incandescent light. The technology is evolving rapidly, however, and manufacturers now offer effective systems using cool-white, triphosphor and bi-axial lamps. What appears to be critical is that the level of light produced match that of light outdoors shortly after sunrise or before sunset. Light intensity is a critical “dosing” dimension of the therapy: systems deliver varying amounts of light, and people vary in their response to light levels.
The time of day of light therapy is another important factor. Many people with winter depression respond best of all to treatment first thing upon awakening. Some, however, do better with evening light. It is necessary to determine the optimum time of day for each individual….