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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noticed a Difference Right Away
I have been interested in SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and noticed that I have a mild case of this. I think a lot of us have our metabolism slow down during the winter. I suspect it is a hibernation reflex that many animals have too. I used to think the hibernation was about bears that go to sleep for a very long time, but there seems to be a kind of milder...
Published on August 24, 2012 by William Bagley

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199 of 205 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cannot replace with standard full-spectrum light bulbs
This "HappyLight 2500 Sunshine Supplement Light System" showed up with the light bulb broken in the box, which was actually advantageous for this review. If not, I probably wouldn't have opened it up for a long time to see what kind of bulb you need to replace.

Instead of the usual screw-in socket, this uses the GU2 two-pronged twist-in socket. This means...
Published on September 14, 2012 by Zack Davisson


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199 of 205 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Cannot replace with standard full-spectrum light bulbs, September 14, 2012
This review is from: HappyLight Compact Energy Lamp (Health and Beauty)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This "HappyLight 2500 Sunshine Supplement Light System" showed up with the light bulb broken in the box, which was actually advantageous for this review. If not, I probably wouldn't have opened it up for a long time to see what kind of bulb you need to replace.

Instead of the usual screw-in socket, this uses the GU2 two-pronged twist-in socket. This means that when it comes time to replace the light bulb, you can't just buy a standard full-spectrum light bulb; you need a special GU2 replacement (happily supplied by Verilux, who sells the Verilux Full Spectrum Light Bulb). This costs about a third the price of the HappyLight itself. In light output, there is no difference between the screw-in style versus the GU2, and I don't know why they went with this style other than to keep you buying Verilux light bulbs.

Now you know.

As to the HappyLight itself--I live in Seattle, which means an almost constant gloom and overcast. We may go months without seeing the sun. A few years back I bought the Philips goLITE BLU Light Therapy Device, which had an instant and wonderful effect. I use it in the morning, and it works wonders in getting my body and brain going on days when it is pitch black outside and my internal body clock doesn't quite believe I should be getting up to go to work. I have seen a few folks with these full-spectrum lights at work, and I thought it would be nice to have a supplemental system to leave on my desk.

There is a difference in intensity between the "goLITE BLU" and the "HappyLight." The blue light is like an instant re-charge, like being plugged directly into a power socket. I can go from groggy and muddled to clear headed and ready to face the day with a flip of the blue light switch. The "HappyLight," which uses a full-spectrum light bulb, isn't quite the energy boost, and has a calmer, more gentle effect. I like having it at my office at work. The full-spectrum light makes a nice antidote to draining office lighting. I don't feel like I have to be so careful with its use like I do with the blue light, which can either help your sleep cycle or throw it off entirely if used incorrectly.

I don't think I would want the "HappyLight" exclusively to get me through the Seattle Autumn and Winter; it just isn't strong enough, doesn't have enough of an effect. But as an extra full-spectrum light source at work it does the job just fine.
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159 of 175 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Energizing. Update Is Posted Below Original Review., September 10, 2012
This review is from: HappyLight Compact Energy Lamp (Health and Beauty)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
NOTE: An update is posted below this review.

ORIGINAL REVIEW, POSTED SEPTEMBER 10, 2012

I can't judge how well this light serves its purpose until winter comes. For now I'll give my initial impressions, with an update to follow.

What you're paying for breaks down to the following:

1)One 26 watt 10,000 hour Natural Spectrum bulb. [Replacement bulbs currently $14.95.]
2)A base for the bulb, with a cord. The on/off switch is on the cord.
3)A diffuser that fits onto the base, to soften and spread the light from the bulb.

That's it. Pretty basic. If you already have a light fixture that can accommodate this kind of bulb, you could save yourself some bucks and just buy a Natural Spectrum bulb.

On the other hand, there are some advantages to this little HappyLight. It's compact, easy to move around, and doesn't take up much space. You can fit it onto just about any surface, even a cluttered one. It's lightweight, so you could even take it to work with you and bring it home in the evening. The diffuser is nice to have, so you're not blinded by a bare bulb, and it makes the unit aesthetically pleasing.

As for the light itself, proceed with caution until you find the right level of use for you. Read all of the instructions carefully. Learn from my mistake and save yourself some misery.

The instructions say to pretest your sensitivity by starting with 10 minutes in front of the lamp. If you feel any discomfort, you're supposed to discontinue use and consult a doctor. After the pretest I didn't feel any discomfort, so later that day I used the light again for a little longer while reading. That night I did not sleep AT ALL! Not a wink. I had had no caffeine or other stimulants that day, so it was the HappyLight that caused the wakefulness.

Right now I'm using the HappyLight for just a short period every day -- maybe 15 to 20 minutes. It's a good idea to increase the time gradually as stated in the instructions. Then if you feel any agitation you can cut back on usage.

I do find that the light makes me more energetic, but so far I don't detect a change in mood. I live in the PNW, where winters are dark and drippy, so I'm hoping for improved mood in the dead of winter. I'll update my review and possibly adjust my rating in a few months.

UPDATE, DECEMBER 29, 2012

It's now the dead of winter, and the final verdict on this light is that I cannot use it for more than 20 minutes in one day. I usually cannot use it for two days in a row. Every other day works pretty well. I've tried several times working up to 25 or 30 minutes in a day, and I have spent some restless nights. I've been very careful to use the HappyLight early in the day, so it won't interfere with my sleep patterns, but any use over 20 minutes keeps me awake for hours after I go to bed. No matter how tired I am, I just can't fall asleep. I should reiterate that I do not use caffeine or other stimulants, so there are no other factors contributing to wakefulness.

So, twenty minutes is my limit, which may explain why the light does nothing for my mood. The instructions say to use it for one to two hours per day, and it may take that amount to provide the "happiness" benefit. Clearly I'm more sensitive to this light than other people, but the only way to find out if you're sensitive is to give it a try.

I've been suffering from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) for over 10 years now, and it gets worse with each passing winter. However, I am not clinically depressed. For people who ARE seriously depressed, the HappyLight could make a big difference. That energizing, motivating effect might be just what you need to help you get out of bed and get through your daily routine.

I'm staying with my original rating of three stars, for what little benefit I'm able to get from the light.
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156 of 173 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Get a "Natural Light" CFL Instead, August 28, 2012
By 
Bob Walter (Seattle WA USA) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: HappyLight Compact Energy Lamp (Health and Beauty)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The HappyLight 2500 claims to help ward off those winter blues by providing a "natural" light source that will improve your mood. That claim is actually based on sound science Exposure to a bright "daylight" light for several hours a day has been shown to help people get over the winter blues. Here in the Seattle area, where the sun rarely shines nine months of the year, that claim is very appealing. The HappyLight is a compact unit that has an on/off switch and a compact florescent bulb (26 watt full spectrum). Compared to more professional units, the price is reasonable. However, this product is a pretty expensive way to expose yourself to full spectrum light. We'll get back to that later.

First, the directions say that you should sit within a foot or two of the device so that your face is exposed for at least two-to-three hours a day. Really? Who has that time to sit mindlessly in front of a desk lamp. The directions suggest you sew or knit to while away the hours. No thanks. I don't do either. The directions are correct, you do need several hours exposure to a full spectrum light to get the mood enhancing effect.

There is a simpler and much cheaper solution. Buy yourself some full spectrum compact florescent lights (FULL SPECTRUM LIGHT BULBS, PHOTO VIDEO, PBL 50 WATT CFL 5100K NATURAL DAYLIGHT BALANCED PURE WHITE CASE OF 4 Photographic Lighting & Accessories by LimoStudio, AGG872). You can get four of them for a lot less than one HappyLight. These bulbs are almost twice as bright as the one in the HappyLight unit, so you don't have to be so close. Consider replacing bulbs in rooms you frequently use. Give yourself a "natural light" environment.

I found the HappyLight to be a poor substitute for other "mood enhancing" lighting options. The science behind the HappyLight is good, but the execution is cheap and absolutely not worth forty bucks.
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57 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Noticed a Difference Right Away, August 24, 2012
By 
This review is from: HappyLight Compact Energy Lamp (Health and Beauty)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have been interested in SAD (seasonal affective disorder) and noticed that I have a mild case of this. I think a lot of us have our metabolism slow down during the winter. I suspect it is a hibernation reflex that many animals have too. I used to think the hibernation was about bears that go to sleep for a very long time, but there seems to be a kind of milder hibernation where you slow down your metabolism and still function. Our society seems to put pressure on us to function at the same level regardless of which season we are in, working the same number of hours, or even more hours during Xmas rush and similar holiday events. This seems to lead to a mild depression or a kind of winter blues. I find, too, that something similar happens even in the summer when I spend too much time in front of the computer and do not go out as much as I should.

I found that when I got the Verilux Happy Light that I plugged it in and could feel my brain revving up in a good way. I could even feel it producing some new chemicals, as if some of the brain's chemical synthesis is light dependent. I theorize that there is something about the bluish white light that helps the brain to synthesize whatever it needs here. The change was not a dramatic one, but a noticeable one. It was definitely a mood lift and was valued.

In terms of products that claim to do something similar. I found the Go Lite also seems to work about as well. I like the Go Lite having a digital timer to regulate the dose and give a useful measured dose of the bluish light. I gave my Go Lite to my brother who feels it and needs it, because his allergies sometimes prevent him from going out in the summer around here (otherwise a pollen hay fever attack). He finds that he does about two to three times a day.

The Verilux Happy Light has a small advantage over the Go Lite. The Go Lite uses an array of LEDs that are a little harsher to look it (you are not supposed to look at them). The Verilux Happy Light has a white plastic casing around the light that softens the bulb inside. It is still very bright and it is still worth not looking at it directly, but if you do, it is easier on the eyes. The Verilux Happy Light is therefore more suitable for keeping it on for a longer period of time.

I also like that the Verilux Happy Light (at last!) is a relatively small size. It is easier to fit on my desk (a little off to the side) than some of the bigger and bulkier ones. The Go Lite is also smaller (it is smaller than the Verilux Happy Light but has almost the same footprint), because it was designed to be portable, for people who want the benefit of light therapy while traveling. The Verilux Happy Light, while having about the same footprint on a table, is a bit thick and about 2.5 times taller than the Go Lite. As far as being travel size, it is passable, but not really designed for this purpose. I do not know if the bulb is meant to be bumped around in a suitcase either. When I shake the unit, the bulb does wobble a little. However, the Verilux Happy Light is easy to plug and unplug, and move from room to room.

Although this is somewhat unrelated to its main purpose, I did find, as a bonus, that the Verilux Happy Light serves as a decent indoor lighting for my small digital camera. It normally does very poorly indoors, but the Verilux Happy Light seems to give enough light to take some decent pictures. I am not sure if this would be something useful for a professional photographer (who probably has some better equipment for this purpose), but it allows me to take some interior photos that I have not been able to do before. I only did a few test shots so far. I may update this review when I do some more serious photo shooting.

Update: Two things. One is that it did help me on a serious photo shoot to get some indoor pictures. The light from the unit is ambient and only mildly directed forward, so it took some time to learn how to position it for optimal lighting. But it worked for me and helped me a lot. I consider this to be a very nice surprise bonus. Two is that when I turned off the unit that my brain had to calm down in a way. The light is a bit stimulating. I would recommend that people who use it try the light in 15 minute doses like the Go Lite is set up by timer to do and maybe consider one hour max (the flier that came with the unit said a two hour maximum, but also encouraged people to find the setting that works best for them). It may be useful to try longer times, but I have a feeling that the smaller doses are probably enough.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I live in Michigan, February 6, 2013
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This review is from: HappyLight Compact Energy Lamp (Health and Beauty)
That should explain everything. I work at home in a beautiful office with half wall windows on three sides. Our house is surrounded by 100 year-old trees so almost no direct sunlight makes it into my office. Once in a while I get a blinding flash at sunset and have to adjust the shades because it hurts my eyes. During the winter, and we seem to be having one his year, our sun can go down to 10% a month.

Admittedly, I have looked at these lights for a long time, but their price tag always seemed to be over $100. Also, there's that elephant in the room, "Do they actually work?" What is the science behind these lights?

But after two days, I have to admit that I skipped from my office to the kitchen to get coffee today. It was ridiculous.

The effects of this light, for me, were almost instant. I am more alert and have a longer attention span. During my fourth hour of work, I used to get tired but for the past two days I have been as alert as when I woke up in the morning.

It's fun to skip.
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46 of 56 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Let There Be LIght!!, September 9, 2012
By 
Steven James (Washington State) - See all my reviews
This review is from: HappyLight Compact Energy Lamp (Health and Beauty)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Oh lordy, I have spent most of my summer in a damp, dark basement here in the rainy Pacific Northwest and the Happylight Sunshine Supplement Light System has been my salvation. I have been refinishing furniture downstairs and I have found this light to help me in all kinds of ways.

First, it illuminates the room beautifully so I am able to see the grain of the wood I am working with and it helps cut off any glare from the varnish or sanding I am doing. I have been so happy during my work sessions downstairs I kind of feel like the Shoemaker's elves. I'm not sure if it's the light that is improving my dispostition or just the fact that I can now better see (without glare.) Either way, it's a win-win situation.

In addition, it is highly portable and provides an intense, yet not-too-direct source of lighting. I simply move it around to shed light on whatever portion of wood that I am working on. In the meantime I am getting a full dose of much-needed Vitamin D without having to leave my man cave.

I plan on buying another of these lights to take to my worksite once the rain starts. It has been an exceptionally sunny summer here in the Portland area, but I know that it won't last much longer. The HappyLight is my new favorite thing. How did I ever survive all these years without it?
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not so happy light, April 28, 2013
By 
Vikash (Washington, USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: HappyLight Compact Energy Lamp (Health and Beauty)
I live in a city which is very gloomy so thought that this would be a good way to reduce the effect of the climate. No issues with the delivery and the condition of the product. I used it for a couple of weeks and the following are my observations about it.
I had to keep it at a distance of around 12 inches away from me as per the instructions so i kept it beside my laptop but the bright light was kind of distracting and did not feel very good. I did not observe any difference in my mood in terms of making me happier.
So finally i have stopped using it. Note these are my observations and this product might have worked well for others but not for me.
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48 of 59 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It really works.....at WORK!, October 30, 2012
By 
Movie Maker "Rik" (Alexandria, VA United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This review is from: HappyLight Compact Energy Lamp (Health and Beauty)
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have used several light devices over the years, with good results at home. I had thought of getting one for my desk at the office, but resisted it, due to price concerns.

This unit is basic, and just what I was looking for, in my....ahem....not always "happy" office. I am in a cube , with very limited natural light - in the winter it is really depressing- you come to work in the dark, you leave in the dark, blah, blah, blah.

I think it took about 3 days of use and I DID feel a bit more energy, and a BETTER mood. People in the office were amused, and a few wanted to give it a try.

The HappyLight was allowed to go "on vacation" to several other desks, and people liked it well enough to get one for themselves! That alone speaks well for the product, I think.

As an aside, many people are low on vitamin D, and lamps of this nature can help with that, too.

I think it helps with concentration, and one's mood in general.

Verilux is a top brand, and is trusted for quality - this might be the perfect gift for someome who is hard to buy for, or better yet for yourself. Like the song says, ..."Don't Worry Be Happy".
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What a Difference a Day Makes, October 22, 2013
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This review is from: HappyLight Compact Energy Lamp (Health and Beauty)
I've only had this for two days so far, but I am LOVING it.

I am someone who has to drag myself out of bed in the morning, and I tend to be tired all day long. As a writer, I tend to be up all night and sleep until the afternoon. Even when I wake up though, I tend to drag until the sun sets again, and no matter how hard I try, I can never seem to reset my internal clock to the "right times."

I read about Spectrum lighting in a book called "Waking up Successful" and it said that this light could totally energize you as well as make you happier. I was intrigued because I had never heard of this before, so I started by reading the reviews. Sure enough, people were reporting how this light helps with the S.A.D. condition - something that usually happens during winter and in overcast or dark areas. So I ordered this, since it was the cheapest.

I put this light on an outlet timer so that it would turn on at 10AM. It woke me up without me "jerking awake" like I usually do with my alarm clock (although to be honest, it took about ten minutes or so before it penetrated my sleep and I registered how much light was on in my room). I used it for 30 minutes and found that I was energized all day. I was even ready for bed at 9PM, which is unheard of for me. Usually I go to sleep at 4 or 5 in the morning and wake up around noon.

The second day, I woke up at 8AM, 2 hours before the light went on, but I was dragging all morning. I had my usual stay-in-bed lethargy, which involves copious amounts of coffee and Netflix. The light went on at 10 (when I was still kicking it in bed watching TV) and after about 20 minutes, I felt energized and ready to go about my day. I realized that by noon, I was going full throttle (again, not usual for me). I left it on for two hours this time and didn't feel tired all day long.

It is a GREAT little light and I am now a Spectrum Light convert. I will probably use this for the rest of my life because even though it's only two days, it is such a HUGE difference in my energy levels.

The only downside to this is that it is VERY bright (even though it's a lower level Spectrum lighting) and it's a blue-ish light. My evening lights are all yellow, which is softer for me. My eyes tend to be extra-sensitive to lighting that's too bright, and bright light does give me a headache. Today, I actually wore shades in my room because of the brightness, and just let my body soak up the light. I like to think of it like a lizard on a rock soaking in the rays, or a plant absorbing the sunlight. You don't have to look at it to feel the difference.

GREAT product. I wish I'd heard of this years ago and I highly recommend it to anyone who has energy problems.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Happy light, happy light!, June 28, 2013
By 
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This review is from: HappyLight Compact Energy Lamp (Health and Beauty)
Each morning when I turn mine on, that is the little ditty I sing (happy light, happy light!). This light has made all the difference in my mood and energy level at work (I have no windows in my office and time to get outside in the sun is very limited). Several of my co-workers have stopped to ask about it and have gotten them for themselves and their loved ones. Highly recommended!
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HappyLight Compact Energy Lamp
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