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Previous white light user? You may be surprised. I was.
on October 20, 2014
I have been using a NatureBright 10,000 lux light box for several years to treat my SAD, which became quite disruptive to my normal life several years ago. You can read my review of that product; I feel it has helped me tremendously. So I was interested to try the Philips Golite Blue Energy light, because it uses blue light and not white, like the NatureBright box. The unit does have some advantages:
- It is very compact and portable, making it easy to take into another room, to the office, etc.
- It can either be plugged-in or run on its rechargeable battery.
- The intensity of the light has several settings. I must admit, it took me a few uses to get the right "touch" on the unit to adjust the light. You, being more technologically advanced than me, will probably wonder what I am talking about. LOL
It has one major disadvantage, as well:
- It is so compact that I think it is hard to make sure I am always sitting the correct distance away, with the unit in my field of vision. This is not a problem with my larger NatureBright unit. I'd imagine it would not be a problem with a larger Philips blue light unit, either.
What I was NOT prepared for, however, was my response to the light. I have been using the NatureBright light for a couple of weeks now, since I noticed the days getting longer. As always, it was keeping my mood even. But whenever I use the Philips Golite blue light, I get jittery, a little shaky and slightly anxious. Decreasing the light intensity has not helped. I cannot explain this reaction, and it was certainly unexpected. I have not been able to find an answer on the internet, but any light therapy can have an overly stimulatory effect. I have had to stop using it because of this side effect. For what it's worth, my husband has the same reaction to it, and he does NOT use a white light box on a regular basis.
So, if you are a white light user, just be aware that you might have an unusual reaction to this unit. And if you have never used light therapy and you have a more or less anxiety-producing reaction to this unit, give a 10,000 lux white light unit a try. If you really want to know more about light therapy, look up the Center for Environmental Therapeutics website (sorry, we're not allowed to put links in these reviews). CET is headed up by a psychiatrist at Columbia University who has done a LOT of research on light therapy. There is a lot of good information on the CET website, so read up and see what works for you.
P.S. I actually wish I could review this as an information review, without any stars. I couldn't give it 5 stars, because of my reaction to the unit. I didn't want to give it 1 star, because that was unfair. So I chose a neutral 3-star rating to reflect the fact that the unit has advantages and disadvantages and for ME, it did not work as expected.