Does Light Therapy Really Work?

light therapy
This is really how the sky looks in Chicago for most of fall and winter. I took this photo at 9 am.

Ugh, here comes winter.

I have already been feeling the impact of the increasingly cloudy days here in the midwest.  Although the weather has been unusually mild, we have had some cold days and our exposure to the sun has been limited.  Due to this lack of sunlight, millions of northern dwellers are affected with some degree of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  SAD is a condition where one’s depression varies by the amount sunlight he or she gets throughout the seasons. Basically, the afflicted suffer with varying degrees of depression during fall and winter.  Click here for more information on SAD.

I’ve read a lot about light therapy (light that imitates the power of the sun) and always wondered if it would work on my seasonal depression. I figured that I’d be a prime candidate for trying it out being that I live in Chicago and only half of our days are sunny. With our days getting shorter, that doesn’t leave a lot of time to soak it in (if the sun is even visible!).

During these short and cold days, I’ll find myself warming my face in front of a window, when the sun decides to peak through.  Like a dog napping in the sun, I’ll try to soak up every drop of sunlight before it hides behind a cloud.  Because of this, I decided it was time to try the sun lamp.

I reached out to the people at Caribbean Sun online and they graciously provided me with a sun lamp to try.  This compact, but powerful lamp contains 108 LEDs that emit 10,000 lux of light! (Sun lamps range from 2,500 lux to 10,000 lux.)  I was so excited to receive this lamp! (And they even sent me Hershey kisses!)

light therapy
light therapy
I included a pen for scale. The light is compact yet strong!
light therapy
light therapy

I am so excited to test out my theory! I’m going to use the light in the mornings for the next few weeks to see if it helps relieve my early signs of Seasonal Affective Disorder.  I’m also going to compile data like weather, the amount of time I use the lamp, the time of day, and my mood in order to go about this a little more scientifically.

Many thanks to the good people at for the lamp!


To see the results of one month with the sun lamp, click here.

Click here for my final results and conclusions about sun therapy.

If you’re looking for a therapist in your area, check out:


  1. thatslondonbaby | 12th Nov 15

    Is this the regular light or the mini light?

  2. Julie | 12th Nov 15

    This is the model CSB that they sell at As far as I know, it’s their regular sized light, but it’s small enough to travel with you. I hope that answers your question! 🙂

  3. Julie | 12th Nov 15

    I just looked into your question. No, it’s not the mini. I didn’t even realize they sold a smaller version!

  4. Julie | 7th Mar 16

    Sure, just credit back to my website is appreciated. Thank you for asking! 🙂

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