SAD Light for Seasonal Depression Support

Sun Shining on Snowy Day

If you're looking for full-spectrum lighting to support someone struggling with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), or seasonal depression, it's important to understand:

Not all SAD Lights are Created Equal

Founded on our historic work with Dr. John Ott in the past, Science of Light has developed the "fullest" spectrum light of any on the market to mimic the sun as closely as possible. Here's what that means, and what you should be looking for in a SAD lamp if you're looking for optimal support:

A high CRI rating across the visible light spectrum. This means that all frequencies of visible light are truly represented, as shown by the Color Rendering Index, and as a result will actually show you the true color of an object, as if it were lighted by the sun.

The closer a lamp scores to 100 CRI, the more it perfectly replicates the sun in terms of visible light. Our lamps score a 98 overall, while most commercial LEDs score in the 80s with a heavy emphasis on blue light, which can cause retinal damage.

SOLshine, however, intrinsically improves the spectral quality and biological benefits of our lamps by adding 97 CRI R9 (red spectrum) and a 99 CRI R15. Traditional CRI completely ignores these, so other lamps can boast a high CRI while having low-quality R9 and R15 scores.

Many "full spectrum" lights do NOT show you their visible light spectrum, but here's how complete our lights are:

  • Light in the infrared spectrum. The sun does NOT just provide us with visible light, and near infrared (NIR) frequencies are a key element to the health benefits it provides us with. If you're looking to truly be stimulated as if by the sun, you need a lamp that provides you with infrared light. Most lights simply don't provide this, perhaps due to its cost.

    NIR and 670nm red light (included in our R9 spectrum) help reduce the risk of retinal-inflammation by priming the cells in the retina for "repair & regeneration.” NIR is also critical to the production of ATP, the fuel cells need for metabolism and all vital functions.

  • Light in the UVA spectrum. Because experts have made us afraid of the sun (as society continues to get less and less healthy following their overall guidance), most SAD light therapy options do their best to eliminate all UV lighting.

    But based on the work of Dr. John Ott -- the father of full-spectrum lighting and someone we originally worked with -- we purposely include a trace amount of ultraviolet light to stimulate the benefits provided by the sun, such as the production of vitamin D. This is just a fraction of what you would get from sun exposure, and is designed to provide support without causing problems often associated with extended sun exposure.

This is what we mean by FULLEST SPECTRUM. We follow the science of what sun exposure really means for us, and the health benefits it provides. We look at how to protect the eyes and stimulate positive biological responses, just as the sun does. Full spectrum light, you see, is an ESSENTIAL NUTRIENT that many of us are deficient in throughout the winter months.

Interestingly, if you spend many hours indoors, summer or winter, you could unknowingly be suffering from mal-illumination. "Mal-illumination is to light as malnutrition is to food." This quote by photobiology pioneer, Dr. John Ott, describes the contemporary “indoor pandemic” that’s akin to malnutrition.

No wonder so many people suffer emotionally with SAD. BUT YOU DO NOT NEED TO.

Our SOLshine lights are designed to make you feel great throughout the year, available in several different models.

If you're looking for the truest full spectrum lighting, and indeed for "nutritional light" that provides serious benefits, please explore our lighting options.