Sunlight Lamp: Benefits & How to Use

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

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You can use a sunlight lamp to brighten your mood and help heal the body in a number of ways!

Sunlight Lamp

A sunlight lamp is a tool you need if you want to try ‘light therapy’. Light therapy is also known as phototherapy or heliotherapy and is a method of treating disorders relating to a lack of sunlight. The sunlight lamp emits ultraviolet light waves (not radiation) that are absorbed by the skin and eyes for a range of benefits. This treatment is often performed in a medical setting for more serious disorders, but it is also possible to buy a sunlight lamp to have at home and use when you’re feeling a bit low on your sunlight exposure.

How to Choose & Use?

Usually, sunlight lamps give out up to 10,000 lux of light and come in varying colors – white, blue and green. A lamp large enough to look at from a few meters away without moving your head is best. It is best to buy a sunlight lamp that has been tested in professional trials, even if that means paying a little more. To be kind to your eyes, you can place the sunlight lamp on a shelf and direct the light down towards you.

A one-seater couch next to a side table with a lamp and a plant on it

Relaxing is an art. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Health Benefits of Sunlight Lamps

Sunlight lamps are used in the treatment of a range of disorders.

Skin Disorders

Sunlight lamps are used medically to treat a range of different skin conditions, such as eczema, psoriasis, jaundice, psoriasis, and dermatitis. The exact treatment will vary according to a person’s needs and could range from full-body exposure to powerful light focused on a specific area.

Sleep Disorders

It is thought that our exposure to light plays a key role in our sleep patterns. Sunlight lamps help the brain produce melatonin, the hormone that regulates sleeping rhythms. It makes sense and therefore sunlight lamps are used to treat ‘delayed sleep phase disorder’, ‘advanced sleep phase disorder’, jet lag, ‘shift-work sleep disorder’ or over-sleeping during wintertime.

Diabetic Retinopathy

Light therapy has begun to be used to treat diabetic retinopathy and diabetic macular oedema. The evidence so far shows the treatment to have positive effects, but additional studies are ongoing.

Seasonal Affective Disorder & Depression

Exposure to light also affects the brain’s production of serotonin, the hormone that plays a key role in our happiness and well-being. Studies have shown that sunlight lamps and light therapy can be an effective and useful tool in treating SAD – the low mood and tiredness that comes through lack of exposure to sunlight – and non-seasonal depression. However, it is suggested that light therapy is best used to treat mental disorders alongside prescribed medication.

Side Effects

Although generally safe to use for short periods, some people report side effects of nausea and dizziness after using a sunlight lamp. Avoid using a sunlight lamp if you have tissue damage, skin cancer, lupus, and macular degeneration. If you have serious mental or physical issues, it is best to consult a medical professional.

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About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, publisher and photographer with English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana (USA). He co-founded the literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and now serves as the Content Director for Stain’d Arts, a non-profit based in Denver, Colorado. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

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