537 of 547 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2010
Let me preface by first saying, I have been using light therapy for years and years. In fact, I'm 24 and I have been using light as a therapy device since I was ten. As you can imagine, I've tried many different theraputic (and non-theraputic) lights and done much research on the topic since being diagnosed (before the diagnosis was 'en vogue') with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). When I heard about the Philips GoLite Blu, I was enamored, I have had my eye on it for 2-3 years now, and finally got one this winter.
As I have been going through the reviews on this product the thing I've been noticing, which is perhaps a problem with Philips marketting plan, is that the people who are giving poor reviews do not seem to have had a medical need for the product in the first place. It seems like maybe this products is being marketted as sort of a -- caffiene replacement therapy, when in reality, it is probably not effective for people who have normal chemical balances in their brain.
I turn into a zombie in the winter. Awful self-destructive thoughts, and inability to interact socially. I can barely leave my home, let alone accomplish much during the cold, dark Minnesota winters. I have tried anything, I have used nearly neolithic light therapy devices, a huge 2' tall 30 # monster of a thing that costs three times as much as this baby plus is nearly immobile, a problem--unless you want to have a 'light therapy station' with a god-awful ugly lamp sitting in the middle of your house (No thanks!); to tanning and vitamin D supplements... but there seems to always be something that isn't working right.
Now, as I understand it, the scientific community isn't sure what causes seasonal depression, neither are they sure WHY exactly light therapy works for some people. However, there are numerous suggestions that it could have to do with certain wave lengths of light entering the retina and trigering the brain to produce the chemical seratonin. (Which is also an argument as to why SSRIs should be just as effective as light therapy). Other therapies that have been suggested to be successful are negative ionization therapies (most airpurifiers have this capability, some studies suggest pumping that up while you are sleeping), diets that are high in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D (particularly difficult to cope with if you are on a low-fat diet-- which for other medical reasons I have to be), melatonin capsules, and of course physical activity. I have tried all of these, and none of them works as well for me as this one little light.
I'm thrilled with the GoLite Blu. It has done wonders in the past week. There must be something to this blue light frequency thing they talk about because I feel like a different person. I'm able to accomplish tasks and concentrate on reading, as well as an entire mentality overhaul; it is difficult to describe the difference in perspective going from a really dark hopelessness to feeling motivated and confident in the future. To sum up, this light does not 'give you energy'-- particularly not if you are a normal person who is not effected by SAD, if you think you have SAD, talk to your doctor about it, unlike when I was diagnosed it is widely accepted now as a legitimate form of chemical depression. If you want to take things into your own hands and aren't sure if you have SAD or if the GoLite is for you, try taking a walk outside for 30 minutes each day for a week, if you notice a difference in your mood, go for it. Well worth the money!
174 of 191 people found the following review helpful
Like most people, I am familiar with the "winter blues." Some days, the gray skies and cold weather are just too overwhelming. I have read various theories about what causes Seasonal Affective Disorder, including a lack of Vitamin D (which I think has some merit) and a lack of sunlight. According to the sunlight theory, sunlight causes the brain to produce serotonin, so going long periods without sunlight hitting the eyes can cause depression.
One way to get more sunlight is to get out in the sun more, but this is difficult for many people in the winter. Another method that I often use is to go to a window, close my eyes, and look in the direction of the sun for a few minutes. However, during some winter months, sunny days can be rare, making this method somewhat unreliable. This is where this unit comes in. According to the Mayo Clinic, blue light therapy mimics outdoor light, and is beneficial in fighting Seasonal Affective Disorder.
I have used this unit regularly since it arrived, and I do feel an increase in mood and energy when using it. In fact, I find myself craving it. My 2 and a half year old niece was intrigued by it, and it seemed to calm her down (her dad said he might have to buy one, because the light ended a tantrum). I plan on using it while I surf the Internet in the morning and after work. The only caveat is that it is not recommended for use before bed, since it is somewhat stimulating. I made the mistake of trying it out at night, and I agree that it is too stimulating for nighttime use.
The unit is very light, and easily portable. It is not battery powered, so you have to use it near an outlet (the cord is decently long). It has three light intensity settings, and can be set to automatically run for 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes. Since it uses LED lights, you don't have to worry about the lights burning out, unless you plan on keeping the unit for 50 years. Overall, I am impressed with this product, and plan on using this daily during the late fall and winter months as a weapon in preventing the dreaded "winter blues." It is safer and cheaper than medication, and is more reliable than relying on getting outside, or hoping for a sunny day.
253 of 291 people found the following review helpful
on April 21, 2011
I did not realize when I ordered this item that you cannot use it if you've had eye surgery, specifically if you've had cataract surgery. Fortunately the instructions do indicate that you shouldn't use the product if you've had cataract surgery, however I would have liked to have seen that information made more prominent, perhaps on the box as a warning. It would have been quite easy to miss that information, as this seems like a product for which instructions are superflous.
56 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on February 13, 2012
I'm going to focus on the design of this product, and not on with the mood-effects or medicinal aspects of it.
This is a very well designed product. It has a power cord that goes in the side, a stand on the back that is easily inserted/removed and which stores in the back magnetically. There are two buttons-- one you press to turn it on for 15 minutes of light, and which you may press 3 more times for up to an hour of light; the second button increases the brightness-- there are three levels. It's all very elegant, with none of the overload and oversettings of so many tech products these days.
I store it in my bookcase, and when I use it, I pull it out, plug it in to the cord, insert the stand, hit the on button twice for a half hour, and I'm good to go. Takes 15 seconds tops. Easy to get going and forget about. The light is pleasing: bright and blue. I really do think it helps with my mood, but it's a little hard to acknowledge in the face of confirmation bias. But given that the New England Journal of Medicine and AMA both confirm the benefits of these lights, I trust that it is a legitimate therapy even though it feels almost 'as seen on tv'/skymall/qvc baloney-like.
I didn't try the upgraded version of it, but again, I think the simplicity of this product is a huge highlight, and doubt I would prefer the more complicated and more expensive product. My mother has the 'NatureBright SunTouch Plus', and I think this product is very much superior to it. That product's only superiority is having negative ions, about which I know nothing, but it has irritating light, is enormous, is bulky, etc.
I am very happy with the product.
52 of 60 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2011
I bought this light as a last resort. I had an attendance problem at work and was heading in a very bad direction. I live in central NewYork where we go way too long without the seeing the sun.I am a mom and and a wife and enjoy being domestic. I couldn't find the energy to do any of the things I enjoy. Cooking dinner and routine house work were impossible tasks. I felt better almost immediately and some times use the light after work for an extra boost on days when I'm still a bit tired (I don't always sleep well).My 19 year old son uses this light evry morning also. He has trouble with anxiety and his mind can race at times.He says the light calms him and he is better able to focus on one thing at a time. (Who knew ther would be an added bonus!?) This product has been invaluable to me and I can get out of bed in the morning! It gave me my life back this winter. The best part is...Im not taking an anti-depressant anymore! I also use the wake up light!
36 of 42 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2012
Of course I was skeptical, I've dealt with depression for 50 years. I'd heard about light therapy, but never followed through. My Daughter inherited the same gene and bought one here at Amazon and had a very positive result. She gifted me one and I can report that it does work. How and why, I don't really know, but I do know the results I've experienced and I can in all sincereity recommend this product. I use it daily in the morning and just at sundown, as a kind of mental tune up. I don't think I could live without it now. Deceptively small, it evokes the old cliche of good things in small packages.
A little spendy, but worth it and recommended to all who are tired of walking the black dog.
21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
on January 31, 2012
I sent one of these back and got a replacement because the first one emitted a high-pitched whine when it was turned on. This one does the same thing, albeit not as badly. On this one, the noise gets louder with each additional time increment you select -- it's not really there at one click, but by four, it's distracting.
It's not loud, so it's tolerable, and the light does seem to make a difference. Just wish it didn't have that issue.
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
This product has a lot going for it:
1)IT works! I felt a difference since the first day of use. No More SAD depression and draginess.
2)Easy to use
Check out the upgrade model-has timer to preset and wake up to the light by your bedside. May be worth the extra bucks to you.
4)Sleeping better too!
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 15, 2012
I'll not comment on the efficacy of the treatment itself, since I have only had the device for a few days... and whether or not light-therapy is effective isn't really Philips' responsibility. There are other reviewers here who swear by the treatments, I'm hopeful.
The device is classy; nice small package, with above and beyond design. In this day of cheap disposable junk, it's nice to see that someone at Philips cared and fought for little extras... the peg-leg that props up the device is metal (whoa) and stores in a simple ingenius little magnetic slot; no moving parts to break. There is one button, and its operation is simple. There's a little rubber skid-pad at the bottom leading edge of the device to keep it stuck to where you put it. Even the power plug seems to be of higher quality than most, and is right-angled and slim, so it fits nicely in the outlet. The light itself is VERY bright, I can't imagine wanting a brighter or more powerful device. All in all, it's a classy little unit.
Finally, I'm grateful for the packaging. Again, most of the stuff one gets from Amazon is full of plastic wrap, bubble wrap, blister-packs, etc. There was no plastic in the box; things were wrapped in PAPER and tissue paper, and instead of styrofoam inside the box was extruded paper foam. A nice final touch.
I'm impressed! As I said, if light therapy works for me will be a different issue, but this device is very good.
24 of 28 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2011
I expected to have some very noticable impact from this light. I sit inside an office all day that has no windows, and I often get out of work long after the sun is going (or has already gone)down. So I tinkered with it for a few weeks, just to test it to see if it would have any real impact on my circadian rhythm, and whether I slept better.
I can't say I have noticed much with the light alone. I recently started taking vitamin D3 which seems a less expensive means of getting what I am losing from daylight. The blue light is very annoying, I must admit, and because of the precautions of macular degeneration, I am not recommending this to anyone who is at risk, or even worries about the risk. I would go back and buy the 10000 LUX phillips SAD light, but for the time being I am more skeptical about light therapy. This is not to say that for someone else this might be exactly the right product for them, but make sure you pay attention to the return policy, and if you haven't noticed any improvement in mood, pay the extra money and get the white light by phillips.