While we love the coziness associated with wintertime, the lack of sunlight and the sudden appearance of dry, flaky skin can really put a damper on our winter fun. In fact, the winter season takes more of a toll on our bodies than many of us realize, especially for those who live with Seasonal Affective Disorder, also known as SAD.
The good news is, there are a few ways to treat SAD, including light therapy.
AnnMarie and Nicholas Harmon acquired light therapy brand, Verilux in the early 90’s from the original founder’s widow. While Verilux originally rendered color for artists and horticultural uses, the couple soon realized they wanted to pursue new, experimental ideas instead. “We developed alternative applications for the fixtures such as screw-in incandescent light bulbs that simulated natural outdoor light,” explains AnnMarie. “We also saw that the few light boxes that were on the market in the mid-90’s were enormous, bulky, and made of heavy metal costing $200 or more. We realized there was an opportunity to make light therapy more accessible.”
The new owners quickly became pioneers in the light therapy space and found a way to create lightweight devices that could help treat SAD without costing a pretty penny.
“From the very beginning, the human race has relied upon light for health and wellbeing. With the advent of artificial lighting, our society might have changed drastically, but our bodies have not adapted,” AnnMarie points out.
“A solution is to get the right amount of natural light at the right time of day. If we don’t get light during the day, and rather get it in the evening, we cause an unhealthy shift in our circadian rhythm.”
AnnMarie suggests that if you can’t get outside to get some sunshine, Verilux’s HappyLight can help you get in your daily recommended light intake — and doing so can help restore balance to your mood and energy.
The HappyLight, as well as other Verilux products, are made out of lightweight ABS plastic, creating a sleek product that looks good in any environment. The lenses of the HappyLight, unlike other imitation products, are custom designed with a unique molding process that results in a barely perceptible transition between the lens and the housing (so you can’t tell where the light starts and where it ends). And, at less than two pounds per lamp, Verilux’s products help ensure they leave a smaller carbon footprint all the way from manufacturing to shipping.
Verilux’s newest version of the HappyLight utilizes lightweight, efficient, and long-lasting LED illuminating systems. Its LED lighting mimics natural daylight, and can be found in their other products as well, like their HappyLight Lumi (which is a compact version of the original HappyLight) and the HappyLight Luxe (which is similar to the Lumi except it’s larger and offers the multi-colored HappyHue feature). Both the Lumi and the Luxe just launched in 2019, and have quickly become favorites for customers and the Verilux team alike, especially because of the customization the products offer. “People appreciate being able to customize their experience to maximize their comfort since the light can seem extremely bright the first time you use it,” notes AnnMarie.
When it comes to figuring out how much light therapy you should be getting or how often you should be using your Verilux products, the light entrepreneur recommends anywhere between 20-60 minutes per day, depending on what your body needs. “Researchers at the National Institute of Health demonstrated that bright white light in a range of 2,500 to 10,000 lux (a measure of light intensity at a specific distance) helped to reverse the symptoms of winter blues and other related mood disorders,” explains AnnMarie. “We all have a different sensitivity to light, so it is important to find the settings, distance, and time that are comfortable for you.”
If you’re interested in having a Verilux lamp in your home, you can buy them on Verilux.com, Amazon, and at Bed, Bath & Beyond. If you’re in Canada, you can also purchase Verilux products at Costco. The brand will be launching several new bright light therapy lamps in the next year or so — so keep your eyes (wide) open!
Use code fullest25 for 25% off your Verilux order.
Logan Cross is a writer, editor, and dancer based in Los Angeles. You can find her on Instagram and Twitter, or listening to every fictional podcast her phone allows her to download.