SAD lights?

18 posts / 0 new
Last post
Flying Luminosity
Flying Luminosity's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 09/12/2017 - 13:33
Posts: 628
Location: UK
SAD lights?

In the past month, I’ve had to go to hospital twice (once for a medical emergency, then because of complications after surgery). I’ve cancelled several planned flashlight purchases while I’ll be pretty much stuck at home most of the time for a while, and my only interest in this area has been for small lights that can be used as candles on my bedside table (the Olight S Mini Ti has so far been unbeatable!).

Overall,I’ve been feeling pretty low which isn’t unusual for me when the days quickly get shorter, even without being housebound. But earlier on, I decided to conduct an experiment, and I held my MF-01 at arm’s length from my face on medium level while I had my eyes closed. After a few minutes, I experienced a warm cosey feeling, and I’m still wondering whether it had an actual physical effect on me, or whether it was just a placebo.

Now I’m interested in finding out more about SAD lamps – whether they work, and if yes what colour temperature & spectrum are best. And of course if it is something that I can improvise (maybe the Astrolux on a tripod?).

There are probably plenty of websites out there covering that topic. But although I won’t completely knock ‘alternative medicine’, there are so many charlatans and snake oil peddlers out there, that I’d like to know first whether SAD lamps are actually effective, or just a money-making scheme for gullible people to spend their hard-earned cash on?

Anyone on here with personal experience, or with the necessary knowledge who understands how light is absorbed by the skin and metabolised?

Edited by: Flying Luminosity on 10/27/2017 - 22:34
LightRider
LightRider's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: 08/05/2015 - 09:52
Posts: 2007
Location: U.P. MI, USA

I thought at the idea for a while. I wondered the same things as you. I don’t remember learning much but I do remember a couple things.

The idea is not a gimmick but most products available are.
There is hard evidence research that supports the idea.
Lumens are not important. Only lux at point of contact or comparable candela numbers.
It take 100,000 lux(at point of contact) to reach a level that could be helpful.
Some lights will say something like 100,000 lux and in fine print it says measured at 1 foot.
The light does not need to be looked at nor do the eyes need to be open.

I can’t remeber info about color temp or spectrum. This will interesting information if others will give their input:)

Franz
Offline
Last seen: 3 months 2 weeks ago
Joined: 04/03/2013 - 04:09
Posts: 648
Location: Brasil

Sad lights? Why not happy lights? Big Smile

Sorry, I could not resist

Jerommel
Jerommel's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 6 months ago
Joined: 01/04/2014 - 13:18
Posts: 6380
Location: the Hague, Netherlands

Franz wrote:
Sad lights? Why not happy lights? Big Smile

Sorry, I could not resist


Haha! Big Smile
I could resist, but only just..
miswas
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 11/20/2016 - 04:01
Posts: 60
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

Thank you for starting this thread!  I too am quite interested in this topic, but have run into similar stumbling blocks trying to find honest info.

 

I'll be following this thread closely.  Thank you again! Smile

 

 

-Ben

 

-Ben Walker
miswas

miswas
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 11/20/2016 - 04:01
Posts: 60
Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

LightRider wrote:
I thought at the idea for a while...

 

  Thanks for putting together the data you have found.  This will be a great springboard for continued research! Smile

 

 

-Ben

 

 

-Ben Walker
miswas

LeftWing
LeftWing's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 10 hours ago
Joined: 10/28/2017 - 02:01
Posts: 77
Location: Seattle,WA

Hi Everyone, My 1st post here.

After a lot of looking around I ended up buying a light from Verilux.  They were running a deal in which you ordered a light and got a smaller 'desktop' model as part of the deal. 

For people with SAD, light therapy can help.  My experience is that it does make a difference.  Once we get into the dark mornings of winter I put the light in our kitchen and hang out in there with a cup of coffee.  The light is pretty intense.  No need to look right at it.  15 minutes every morning get's my wife and myself feeling more wide awake and less lethargic.

When I was looking for a SAD light I can across a lot of incredible claims and expensive products.  The light(s) from Verilux weren't cheap, but compared to a lot of other things I saw were a good deal.  The important things seem to be 10,000lux and a full spectrum, 'natural daylight' temp.

My understanding is that the light isn't so much absorbed (...it won't give you a tan!) The light we see is what seems to help.

While I haven't made one, I know there's also info online about DIY.

Maybe look at this for a little more info, and then there's sad.org.

My 2 cents.

 

Flying Luminosity
Flying Luminosity's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 09/12/2017 - 13:33
Posts: 628
Location: UK
LeftWing wrote:

Hi Everyone, My 1st post here.


After a lot of looking around I ended up buying a light from Verilux.  They were running a deal in which you ordered a light and got a smaller ‘desktop’ model as part of the deal. 


For people with SAD, light therapy can help.  My experience is that it does make a difference.  Once we get into the dark mornings of winter I put the light in our kitchen and hang out in there with a cup of coffee.  The light is pretty intense.  No need to look right at it.  15 minutes every morning get’s my wife and myself feeling more wide awake and less lethargic.


When I was looking for a SAD light I can across a lot of incredible claims and expensive products.  The light(s) from Verilux weren’t cheap, but compared to a lot of other things I saw were a good deal.  The important things seem to be 10,000lux and a full spectrum, ‘natural daylight’ temp.


My understanding is that the light isn’t so much absorbed (…it won’t give you a tan!) The light we see is what seems to help.


While I haven’t made one, I know there’s also info online about DIY.


Maybe look at this for a little more info, and then there’s sad.org.


My 2 cents.


 

Welcome to BLF, and thanks for sharing your experience! Smile

flydiver
Offline
Last seen: 9 hours 40 min ago
Joined: 06/19/2013 - 19:16
Posts: 1310
Location: Seattle, WA

SAD is in the whole “jet-lag” Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis
Most people have had jet-lag, so they know that is real. It’s essentially getting your body clock out of synch with the local sun clock.
Some people experience SAD when they don’t get enough sunlight at the right time via the retina to produce adequate amounts of cortisol, kind of a biological happy drug.
Yes, the therapy works, but you have to sort out the effective equipment from the junk, just like BLF.

FWIW there is a LOT of light outdoors compared to artificial light, unless it’s really a bleak, dark day. Going for a walk in the morning is one of your better therapies if that’s an option.

To Air is Human, to Respire….Divine.

LightRider
LightRider's picture
Offline
Last seen: 3 years 7 months ago
Joined: 08/05/2015 - 09:52
Posts: 2007
Location: U.P. MI, USA

This guy uses light bars and claims they work wonders while being the cheapest option of lumens per watt. Interesting anyway…

https://meaningness.com/metablog/sad-light-led-lux

Ronin42
Ronin42's picture
Offline
Last seen: 2 years 1 month ago
Joined: 12/17/2014 - 22:17
Posts: 1760
Location: Alameda, CA

Also check with Hank and look up his Blue light affects your sleep stuff. I bet its related.

(“It’s good that most people can’t remember their previous lives. Otherwise
things would be a lot more complicated than they already are.”
Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo)

Beachlogger
Offline
Last seen: 10 hours 36 min ago
Joined: 12/04/2013 - 23:08
Posts: 994
Location: S.E. Alaska

Did they check you for vitamin D deficiency?

Boaz
Boaz's picture
Offline
Last seen: 28 min 15 sec ago
Joined: 11/07/2010 - 09:31
Posts: 7725
Location: Birthplace of Aviation

buy more lights … that will cheer you up

       καὶ τὸ φῶς ἐν τῇ σκοτίᾳ φαίνει καὶ ἡ σκοτία αὐτὸ οὐ κατέλαβεν

                            

       Dc-fix diffuser film  >…  http://budgetlightforum.com/node/42208

Flying Luminosity
Flying Luminosity's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 11 months ago
Joined: 09/12/2017 - 13:33
Posts: 628
Location: UK

Yes, I’m craving being outside while the sun rises over lush landscapes, and getting that vitamin D fix … guess it’s not just all in your head, but there’s also the transdermal component …

I read up about blue and red light and their influence on the perception of time in the past (while we are talking about the ‘past’: in the UK the clocks went back tonight, so I’m currently experiencing the same hour for the second time). As an artist, colour psychology has always fascinated me, but I am ignorant when it comes to the neurophysiological processes that take place behind the scenes. One observation that I have made is that I can’t sleep if I have anything with a blue LED / LCD next to me on the bedside table. There have also been mentions here on BLF about the property of colder light to wake people up so that it often seems to be preferred by people working nightshifts, while warmer temperatures interfere less with the production of melatonin.

I do have some serious sleeping difficulties, so I guess that one thing which a (programmable) light could do would be to help with regulating sleeping patterns. And maybe I should supplement some 5-HTP, which is a precursor for serotonin, which isn’t only important for a stable mood and being relaxed, but which itself is also a precursor of melatonin.

I remembered that I have got an 98W LED grow light for plants (equivalent light output of a 240W HPS) which emits six different spectra – white, IR 730nm, blue 430~440nm, blue 450~475nm, red 620~630nm and red 650~670nm. Some of those can be switched on or off separately, but I’d have to check which ones. The LEDs have got rectangular reflectors – 90° one direction, 120° the other which obviously doesn’t make the light very ‘throwy’ (if you can use the terminology for grow lights), but still better than other models I’ve seen without any reflectors, and it seems to provide plenty of lux. It’s brand new and I was hoping to make a bit of a profit on it after getting it for an exceptional price, but for the sake of my well-being I’d be happy to reappropriate it if I knew whether the specs are right.

Apparently, vitamin D is produced from light in the UV-B spectrum, and I’m not sure whether my grow light provides that as part of the white spectrum (although there are far fewer white LEDs than red or blue ones, so even if it does it might not be sufficient). But the SAD lamps I’ve seen don’t emit pure UV-B light either, so it seems that other wavelengths are important, as well.

Boaz wrote:
buy more lights … that will cheer you up

I’ll be experiencing time dilation just from the anticipation that arises as a result of pulling the trigger on something new … but I don’t think I’m ready yet to return back to those states of high anxiety! Smile

eas
eas's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 07/14/2014 - 18:53
Posts: 1363
Location: PNW

My wife and I have one of these that seems to help a lot. I can’t remember why we chose that particular one. If I remember right, both a doctor (an MD) and a friend recommended it. The doc may have suggested a couple of options, but this seemed to be the best one, even if it is CFL, rather than LED Smile

That said, I’m not sure 10m with a small flashlight at arms length is anywhere close to the minimum therapeutically effective dose, but if it makes you feel good, do it, provided you aren’t getting enough blue/UV to do your eyes harm!

SoCalTiger
SoCalTiger's picture
Offline
Last seen: 4 months 1 week ago
Joined: 03/16/2017 - 14:06
Posts: 414
Location: :)
flydiver wrote:
SAD is in the whole “jet-lag” Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis Most people have had jet-lag, so they know that is real. It’s essentially getting your body clock out of synch with the local sun clock. Some people experience SAD when they don’t get enough sunlight at the right time via the retina to produce adequate amounts of cortisol, kind of a biological happy drug.

You’re thinking of Seratonin. Cortisol is produced due to stress – you don’t want a lot of Cortisol. Smile The most common class of anti-depressants are SSRIs which are Selective Seratonin Re-uptake Inhibitors. They basically slow down the recycling of Seratonin so it stays in your system longer.

But yes, SAD is a very real thing with lots of research to back it up. Especially with Daylight Saving Time in the US, it can be a real problem. For me, it noticeably manifests around the October to November timeframe. There is a point where I go from preferring the house to be dark in the evenings with very warm color temps to wanting every single light turned on and with colder (Daylight) color temps. That’s when I know that my body is craving light.

Vitamin D supplementation is always a good idea for almost every adult too. Even in summer. Most people tend not to get enough Vitamin D naturally, even in sunny climates because most adults spend the majority of their time indoors now. Many people supplement 2000-5000IU of Vitamin D although some people go as high as 20,000IU per day. The human body will produce around 20,000IU in a given day if you spend an extended period in the sun – production is naturally limited around this point.

eas
eas's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 year 10 months ago
Joined: 07/14/2014 - 18:53
Posts: 1363
Location: PNW

On a potentially related noted, I recently learned that ~10% of the population, including me, has one (out of two, ie heterozygous) wonky copy (allele) of the gene for the enzyme that methylates folate (vitamin B-9). Methylation is necessary for folate to cross the blood-brain barrier. A wonky copy means that such people have lower levels of folate in the brain, with one result being dramatically reduced levels of various neurotransmitters.

Individuals with two (homozygous) non-functional alleles don’t make it past infancy.

While ~10% of individuals are heterozygus for the non-functional allele, the percentage (~40% IIRC) is much higher among of patients with psych issues (like chronic dysthymia, depression, drug addiction, etc).

There are other problems associated with the condition, such as dramatically increased likelyhood of suffering strokes.

There is a fairly simple blood test, and if you have a savvy doctor, they know how to code it so that the test is covered by the insurance.

It isn’t yet widely accepted, at least not to the point that insurance companies cover methyl-folate supplements, but there is a growing and persuasive body of evidence that it should be — at least according to the MD who explained it all to me.

I mention this because the symptoms of SAD are depressive, and clearly relate to low levels of certain neurotransmitters. So, it might be part of the underlying cause of SAD.

snakebite
snakebite's picture
Offline
Last seen: 1 day 6 hours ago
Joined: 11/20/2013 - 20:21
Posts: 2065
Location: dayton oh

under my “sad” therapy light right now.
having my morning coffee under 16 phillips f17t8/tl950 tubes over my bench.
and they are double driven.helps a lot for waking up in the morning.
4 2’×2’ troffers with 4 lamp ballasts wired for double drive and 2 tubes in series.
lux reading not quite doubled.
but 5000k and claimed 98cri.
they had 40w u tubes in them when i got them but had the cutouts for using 4 2’ tubes.
and the energy saver tubes and ballasts were just plain lousy.
now running motorola 4 tube i.s high light double drive.
bulbs have lasted 4 years before i noticed any degredation.
they go pinkish and had dimmed by 50%
so now i will replace them at the 3 year mark.
since i have 12 cases of the bulbs left i got free i dont care if i wear em out early.