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This light therapy lamp gives me the perfect morning boost

Interoception makes waking difficult, but this lamp helps a lot.

On left, woman smiling while using laptop computer and light therapy lamp. On right, light therapy lamp next to clam on beach for size comparison. Credit: TaoTronics

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I have interoception, which affects my brain's ability to interpret bodily sensation. This often makes reading my body’s cues very difficult. Falling asleep and waking up at the right time are particularly hard to achieve. Coffee can only do so much to get me moving in the morning. Beyond two cups, the threat of becoming a shaky, jittery mess becomes real. I still need to be productive at work during the day, so I recently began to wonder how I could set myself up for success even when my body does not want to go to sleep when I put it to bed, or wake when I need to wake.

Human beings are basically gigantic plants. We need plenty of sun, food, and water. I live in New England where most people have Vitamin D deficiencies, including me. Sunny days energize me, but I usually start my day when it is still dark. When I leave for work, the sun is only beginning to come out. I do not have a window in my office. If the coffee is not working, I have dragged through the morning so a half hour of sun at lunch may redeem the remainder of the day, but it is too little, too late.

I do not have seasonal affective disorder, but I know many people who do and use light therapy lamps. I decided to see if I could reinvigorate myself by using one. I asked my friends to share their recommendations and chose TaoTronics Light Therapy Lamp.

About light therapy lamps

While they may not look much different from your everyday lamp, light therapy lamps put out light that is about 100 times brighter. The exact measurement is 10,000 lux, 1/5 of what we experience outdoors in the sun, but it's enough to alter circadian rhythms and often lessen the effects of seasonal affective disorder in 20 minutes of use per day.

Not all light therapy lamps produce light at the necessary brightness or wavelength needed for an effective mood boost, and they are not regulated by the FDA, so pay close attention to the specs before you buy. Look for 10,000 lux of UV-filtered light, and be sure to use it at the recommended angle.

What I like

On left, light therapy lamp. On right, woman using laptop computer next to light therapy lamp.
Credit: TaoTronics

This user-friendly light therapy lamp is lightweight, has customizable features, and comes with a subtle design that can be added into any space.

It’s attractive

The Light Therapy Lamp is aesthetically pleasing. Most of my friends recommended lamps that were either squares or rectangles, which felt aesthetically counterintuitive when I wanted a lamp to mimic the sun. This lamp is oval without a lot of knobs or other features to detract from its design. The stand is almost invisible. I am a fan of light sculpturer James Turrell, so any sleek device that just immerses me in light without obtrusive switches and awkward metal stands pleases me.

It’s easy to use

Not only is the look simple, the controls are, too. If you can touch it, you can use it. Think of it like the volume control on your television remote, but without the raised buttons. Simply tap it to turn it on then to turn the light up or down, press down. If you are concerned that it will be too warm when it is time to turn it off, do not be. It is still cool to the touch no matter how long it is on.

It remembers your preferences

TaoTronics Light Therapy Lamp is a time saver. Once you find the right setting, you can unplug the device or turn it off, but the lamp will return to that same setting every time. One and done. There is nothing worse than to have to fiddle around with something daily and to try to find your perfect setting. Not an issue here.

It’s portable

If there is an electric outlet nearby and a flat surface to rest it on, this lamp will fit nicely. I use it in my home office, but if I want to sit on my couch, I do not hesitate to move it. You can carry it to other parts of the house with ease since it’s so small and light. It may be easier to buy multiple lamps instead, and at the affordable price of $39.99, it could be a possibility.

It’s effective

Person sits in front of light therapy lamp with eyes shut to improve mood.
Credit: Getty Images / Rocky89

According to the TaoTronics website, this lamp can be used to combat a gloomy mood, rainy days or even sleep troubles by mimicking the sun's rays.

This lamp works for me. I feel as if it is reaching inside my brain and waking me up from the inside out. The fog lifts, and my mood brightens. I can wake up earlier and be more productive before I even get to work. When I get to the office, I can hit the ground running while other people are still trying to shake the cobwebs off.

What I don’t like

There are known to be occasional mild side effects, like eye strain, agitation, and nausea, so be sure to start slow and follow your physician's advice before trying light therapy for yourself. I was also concerned that the light may mimic a tanning bed and pose a cancer risk, but light therapy lamps use different types of bulbs.

Is TaoTronics Light Therapy Lamp worth buying?

Two people sit next to each other on living room floor with light therapy lamp on nearby table.
Credit: TaoTronics

The TaoTronics Light Therapy Lamp is a clever and affordable mood booster.

Definitely. I am considering buying more. It is an absolute game-changer for me. The earlier that I can start my day without stumbling, the more I can get done for me, my family, and my employer before most people have turned their computer on.

Get the TaoTronics Light Therapy Lamp for $39.99

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