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For many years I have experienced feelings of low mood during the winter months. This has been characterised by feelings of lethargy, trouble getting out of bed and a general apathy that leaves me feeling like doing very little activity during the darker months of the year. I have self-medicated St. Johns Wort for many years now which has eased these symptoms, but not fully.
I have researched and considered buying a lamp like a Philips GoLite Blu on a number of occasions but have been reluctant to pay the initial outlay without any guarantee of success. I was therefore pleased when I was invited to take part in a bzzagent campaign to try this product and share my opinions of it with others.
(Bzzagent is a word of mouth advertising company that I am a member of and from whom I get occasional invites to try out products and share honest opinions about them with others.
When the Philips GoLite Blu arrived I was very excited. The packaging was excellent and very informative and a nice size box. On unpacking and viewing the product for the first time I was very impressed by its small size. I was also impressed with the high quality black case/cover it comes with which enables me to store the product discreetly and if needed provide excellent protection while travelling. The magnetic stand was very nifty and quite a surprise as it added to the products overall compact size.
The instructions were incredibly wordy and took quite a while to read and digest for an impatient customer! I think the product would have benefited from a quick start postcard sized document or better still a credit card size guide you could store with the product or in your wallet for travelling purposes.
I also heard via WOM (face book) that Philips provide a survey on their site on what type of user you are and how to get the best from the product, with a guide on when to use. I think this information should also be included in the product instructions.
I opted to use the light on ¾ setting for 15 minutes each morning on rising. The time of when I rise does alter as I am a shift worker. I found within 3 days I felt very energised and had a 'can do' attitude. I commented to my husband that I felt like the clocks had already gone forward!!
I continued to use the device and within a week or two I found myself forgetting to take my hat and gloves out with me as I hink my mind thought it was spring!!! I still got cold mind you. I felt that the Philips GoLite Blu was having a very positive effect on my overall mood and was delighted at the early results.
One specific time where I used the Philips GoLite Blu in a different way was when I was doing night shift. I found by using the Philips GoLite Blu late in the day prior to my night shift I was able to stay awake, alert and refreshed for longer. This was a very positive use of the light in my opinion.
I have had a negative experience of the Philips GoLite Blu too. I have for a number of years had problems with palpitations. I have been assessed medically for this and I do not have a heart condition but have stress/caffeine related ectopic beats. I also have been known to get palpitations in relation to my monthly cycle. I have had this well controlled for many years and only ever really get palpitations when I have caffeine (which I have excluded from my diet). Within days of beginning to use the Philips GoLite Blu I found I was getting frequent palpitations. I have continued to get these palpitation very regularly several times a day throughout using the Philips GoLite Blu. It is my subjective opinion that they have been triggered by the Philips GoLite Blu. It is for this reason that I have unfortunately had to temporarily stop using the Philips GoLite Blu. I have now not used it for one week. I have found my palpitations have lessoned but are still more frequent than prior to using the Philips GoLite Blu. I do feel however that the effects of the light remain with me as I have not had a return of the 'low mood' and apathy mentioned earlier. I am continuing to monitor this and may consider starting to use the Philips GoLite Blu again in the future.
Overall I have been very pleased with the Philips GoLite Blu and have recommended the product to others.
I will admit right from the start I am a sceptic. I hold no truck with homeopathy, astrology, chiropractic treatments, crystal therapy, reiki healing and the like. However, when, as a BzzAgent, I got the opportunity to try a Philips GoLITE BLU energy light for the significantly reduced price of £40, I snapped at it.
I purchased the box initially for my husband, who is suffering from depression, some of which may be seasonally related. Blue light boxes are typically used for either SAD (Seasonally Affective Disorder) or to deal with time-shifting. According to Philips own leaflet, it may also be used to mitigate the effects of jetlag (though with a load of preparation beforehand - I'll discuss that later), and to simply combat low winter energy levels. It does, however, warn against using it if you are on antidepressants without speaking to your doctor first. I have to admit, I am uncertain why, and my husband has indeed tried it.
I am currently working from home, in my daughter's rather dark room. As the halogen lamp I stuck in here to combat that darkness has fizzled (it actually fizzled - at least made a fizzle noise) and died, I have put the light box next to me on the desk. It is small and nearly square - I am saved the trouble of measuring it, as the booklet (which appears rather large, but that's only because it's in several different languages) tells me it's 14cm x 14cm x 2.5cm. Around 2/3 of that area is taken up by the blue LED light area. Below that is the LCD display which gives the time, how long your therapy has left (you can set the timer to last from one minute to a full hour), whether you have the alarm on, and what intensity of light you have (25%, 50%, 75% or 100%). The on/off button is on the right hand side, and on the back is a little metal stick - it's magnetic, so it sticks in a little recess when not in use, and then adheres to a little hole shape when it is, making a little stand. The packaging also comes with a number of adapters (as one of the stated uses is for travel) and a carry case. It also includes a large looking leaflet of instructions, though the English section only takes up the first 24 pages of the 103 page total.
The light is, in fact, blue. This may come as no surprise. At full intensity, it is rather bright. You are not meant to look straight into it, nor are you meant to use it as your main source of light. Instead, you position it so it's at your periphery, as apparently, the area of the eye that absorbs blue light best is at the corner of your eyes. This is according to the leaflet, anyway. It is easy to use, and the LCD display is a touch screen, so one barely needs to refer to the instructions to work out how to change the timer, or change the intensity of the light. I did need the instructions, however, to set the alarm. On that note, the alarm is a little disappointing. You can choose to have it chime and turn on the light, or just turn on the light. There is no gradual brightening of the light, as I was hoping. It's either on or off, so when it does come on in a darkened room, it can be a little surprising. You can use the light at any time of the day, except in the late evening. According to the instructions, using late in the evening can disrupt your sleep.
The Philips BLUlite is indeed blue, and it is surely a light. From that aspect, it works, and does exactly what it claims to do. It is easy to use, it's light, and easy to transport. But that's not what you're going to fork out £150 - £200 on. You might buy this because you travel a lot, or because you suffer from SAD or just reduced energy levels in the winter. Does it work for that?
The jury is out. Research has been ambivalent - full spectrum sunlight has been seen to be effective for SAD; the effectiveness of lesser intensity blue light has not been categorically proven. One study even suggests replacing blue light with green or white (http://stm.sciencemag.org/content/2/31.cover-expansion). If you read 10 studies, you'll probably find 10 different results. For example, Sad.org.uk (no prizes for guessing that's the SAD UK Voluntary Organisation) recommends blue or white light for the treatment of SAD.
Part of the problem is that sadness (and indeed tiredness or grumpiness) is subjective. There is no quantitative measurement of sadness - all measurements are self reported, usually either through diaries or questionnaires (or simply questioning). Therefore, it can be difficult to tell if any treatment is working (including drug treatments), as since we are talking about the mind, the placebo effect can be very important, and difficult to identify (this is, of course, true with many treatments, including pain medication, as arguably, many conditions are affected by the mind of the person). This is why the double blind trial is the gold standard of testing - where neither the researcher nor the patient knows whether he is getting the placebo or the proposed 'effective' treatment. Needless to say, this can be harder to achieve with something like a light box - it's either on, or off. The way this can be done, however, is by having (say) the control group with a light of a different frequency).
A group of two (my husband and I) is not perhaps the most scientific way of testing the effectiveness of the Philips goLITE, but it is the one we have. So does it work? My husband is clinically depressed; I am not - I just hate the dark mornings and evenings, and struggle to get up sometimes. Therefore, the light is indicated for my condition, though not necessarily for his. We have, however, both tried it.
I use it (sometimes) in the morning whilst I am reading in bed around half an hour before I get up. I do like it, inasmuch as it helps me to realise I have to wake. It gives me half an hour or so to read and to wake up. I am not certain, though, whether it actually gives me more energy or viv and vim. It is a pleasing light, and does, to a point, mimic blue sky conditions. It should be remembered that it's not meant to be used as a light source. It simply augments the quality of light from other light sources, by including light from the blue end of the spectrum. I do feel that the room has a more 'daylight' quality to it when the light is on, particularly just after sunrise, when I've opened the curtains. Therefore, it does work for me to mimic daylight, to a point. Because it's so subjective, however, I cannot be certain it has affected my energy levels or mood. Perhaps it has, at least in the early morning, as I do 'like' it (which is a good as a subjective measure as any).
My husband is actually clinically depressed (not, in all fairness, helped by the fact he's at risk of redundancy). He is on anti-depressants and sleeping tablets. Therefore, this device is contraindicated for him without the advice of a doctor. Limited studies have been done, and the Cochrane Collaboration conducted a meta-study (analysing the results of a number of previous studies),most looking at light therapy in conjunction with drug therapy, and concluded that although the studies they looked at were of poor quality, there is some evidence that light therapy may have 'modest but promising' benefits for treating non-seasonable depression (http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/o/cochrane /clsysrev/articles/CD004050/frame.html). The same studies mentions that using a light box in these circumstances may induce hypomania, which must be considered.
One of the symptoms of depression can be an unwillingness to take steps to combat it. For example, regular exercise seems to be an effective self-help treatment, though many sufferers find it difficult to find the energy or wherewithal to engage in such activities. Whilst using a light box doesn't take the same level of commitment, it does require that it actually is used. My husband has used it intermittently. He gets up very early, and so tends to use it, if he does at all, first thing in the morning. He seems to, like me, 'like' it, though I can't truthfully say that I've noticed a huge improvement in his mood and well-being. However, as mentioned, he probably does not use it regularly nor frequently enough to obtain any measurable benefits.
I will soon be flying to San Francisco. Another indicated use of the light box is to combat jet-lag. However, it's not an easy treatment - it's not simply a case of using the light box upon arrival and letting it work its magic. Instead, according to the instructions, you have to alter your sleep patterns several days before flying. In my case, as I am travelling west across eight time zones, I should use the light for 30-40 minutes in the late evening (and again later in the evening, apparently) each night, starting two or three days before I go. I should also shift my bedtime two - three hours later each night over that time. Once I get there, I should stay awake until bedtime and wear sunglasses to avoid bright evening light for a few days. I am only going for over a week, so I would have to do the bedtime shift again each morning for a few days, waking up earlier and earlier each day. Should I follow all these recommendation, I will have strange sleeping patterns indeed for my time there. This could be tricky, as I am going for work, and will be expected to be compos mentis during normal working hours. Furthermore, it would be difficult to tell whether alleviation of jet-lag is caused by the time-shift in sleeping patterns or by the blue light itself, or by a combination of the two. I have not tried this yet, and really don't know if it will be practical. Time will tell (as they say).
As mentioned many words ago, I got this product at a serious discount as part of my participation in the BzzAgent programme. I am not upset about spending £40 on it; I think I have had £40 of benefit from it. Admittedly, I haven't been as scrupulous in using it regularly as I might be, but then, I don't believe I suffer specifically from SAD or from general depression. I just feel slightly glum when the mornings are so dark. I do use the light, and will continue to do so. As a general feeling of lethargy or winter blues is all in the head anyway by its very definition (as opposed to clinical depression, which needs urgent attention by the medical profession - this is not a substitute for a doctor's advice), the light may well be doing me some good.
I'd be less willing to pay the full RRP of £249, however, if you have a look online, you can purchase this for far less - around £150. I also have a number of vouchers for £100 off if you order from the Philips website - this would bring the cost from there to (unsurprisingly) £149 as of the voucher's printing.
If your doctor recommends one, by all means get one. If you have reason to believe you suffer from SAD, it might be worth a go, so long as you are going to use it regularly and as directed. If you suffer from non-seasonal depression, it may help to speak to your doctor, and see if he or she recommends trying it.
It's not a panacea, and will not have you dancing in the streets. It is debatable whether the specific wavelength of blue light it emits is clinically effective, but it is unlikely (with the above caveats) to do you any harm, except to your wallet. If you're interested, shop around, or see if you can try one before buying (tricky, I know). But don't expect a magic wand - it's not that. But then, nor is any treatment. Not ever.
Therefore, I can conditionally recommend the Philips goLITE BLU, on the basis that I have not tried any other light boxes, so cannot compare it to other offerings, only to what it's like without it.
Several sites are referenced within the article. I found most, and followed them up, by reading this article from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_therapy#Light_boxes
http://www.sad.org.uk/ may be helpful to those suffering from SAD. It highly recommends light boxes.
I have also referenced Philips' own leaflet that came with the product.
I had heard of people using a light box to combat SAD (or winter depression) for a long time and, although I do not specifically suffer from SAD, I had wanted to try one but had been put off by the high costs involved. I was over the moon when I was offered the chance to trial a Philips goLITE Blu for the website Bzzz for just £40, a huge saving on the RRP of £250 and started to use it as soon as it arrived.
****What Do Lightboxes Do?****
Many people suffer from low energy levels, depression and sleep problems during the long winter months. Our bodies need bright light to help us regulate our body clocks and during winter when sunlight is in short supply many people have a hard time coping. They can also be used to help to combat jetlag by helping your body to adjust to local time zones quicker.
Traditional lightboxes are big and bulky and provide full spectrum light. Studies have shown that it is the blue light in sunlight which people need to regulate their bodyclocks and a new generation of smaller and portable devices has been developed which only emit blue light.
****The Philips goLITE Blu****
The Philips goLITE Blu is a compact lightbox which emits only blue light. It weighs under a pound and is around the size of a paperback book. It comes supplied with various plugs so that you can use it around the world and a carrying case. It has a small stand which can be stored in the back of the unit when it is not in use. The unit can be charged up and used away from the mains, I have found that by fully charging the battery I normally get around 3 or 4 days use before I need to charge it up again, a meter on the box tells you when the charge is running low.
The lightbox can be set using the small touch screen, something which I have found fairly fiddly to do. You can change the intensity of light, it is good to use a low intensity of light when you are starting out and then gradually increase it. You can set the lightbox to go on at a specific time every day and also time and pause your sessions.
I read that it is best to place the lightbox above your eyes as the receptors which respond to blue light are located in the bottom of your eyes. I use mine when I am at my PC and balance it above my monitor and resting on a shelf which sits above it but it can also be placed on a table or any flat surface.
****Why I Use My Lightbox****
I do not suffer from SAD but from cyclothymia, a disorder on the bipolar spectrum which is characterised by both depression and periods of hypomania. I also have huge problems regulating my sleep cycle and am in fact waiting on an appointment at a sleep clinic to see if they can shed some light on my sleep problems. Over this winter my depression has worsened despite taking medication to control my moods. I find myself unable to get up in the mornings (I set at least 3 alarm clocks every night to try and jolt me awake) and in the mornings I feel extremely sluggish and it is a real effort to motivate myself into any kind of action and not give up and go back to bed again. I don't think people who have not experienced depression can understand exactly how physically as well as mentally drained the condition can leave you.
I read up about blue light before I started to use my box and one website raised the possibility that overexposure to blue light could cause manic episodes in those susceptible to them. I checked with my specialist whether or not he thought light therapy would be suitable for me and he gave me the go ahead to give it a try and said he believed the risks were very low.
****How I Use My Lightbox****
The instructions on when to use my lightbox and for how long were not very clear in the supplied manual although for someone like me who experiences trouble waking up it is best to use the box in the morning. I found a website which has a questionnaire to fill in about your mood and sleep patterns and it gave me more detailed instructions. On the first day it told me to use the box mid morning for 20 minutes and to change this time to early morning and use the lightbox for longer. After a month I now tend to use the box on full intensity for at least half an hour in the morning.
****Does It Work?****
The first day I used my blue light my eyes struggled to adjust to the bright light and I in fact ended up with a migraine. I persevered with it, using it as early as I could in the morning at a low intensity for 20 minutes and soon saw the effects.
I find the light has an immediate effect on my mood, it is not as good as sitting out in the summer sun but I do feel that it helps to perk me up in the morning better than a cup of coffee.
I have found that it has made a difference to my sleeping pattern too, I still struggle to get up in the morning but have found it easier to get to sleep at night and the tiredness in the morning is not as pronounced. I don't think my body is ever going to like getting up when it is still dark outside but I do appreciate the little boost the light gives me.
I do find that after a month of using the lightbox that my depression has lifted somewhat, I am now using the box for half an hour at a time at the highest intensity and found that my body soon adjusted to the bright light and it doesn't give me any headaches.
It can be difficult to sit still for half an hour in the morning to use the lightbox and on the days that I have not managed to use it at all I have really missed the boost that it gives me and noticed that I struggle more getting up the next morning.
I intend to keep using the lightbox until the spring and even then might continue using it as I am often stuck indoors a lot and don't get a lot of natural light.
I had often wondered if lightboxes were some kind of wacko alternative medicine that never really worked and I'm glad to be proved wrong as I have now seen for myself that they can make a difference. It is not a miracle cure by any means, I still rely on my medication and am far from cured of my mood and sleep problems but anything that can give me some relief is welcome.
If you suffer from SAD or need help with jetlag then I would recommend that you try a blue light box for yourself. The Philips goLITE Blu is a high quality unit and I appreciate the high costs will put many people off buying one but it is a device that will hopefully be able to be used over many years making the purchase price worth it.
As I have got older I have found myself resenting the shorter winter days more and more. I think the move back to Scotland after 14 years in London just reiterated how much I disliked those short days - instead of it getting dark just before 5pm in deepest midwinter, it would be dark by 4pm - and I didn't like it.
Of course you do get the payback of longer days in summer the further north you are, but I find that just reiterates how short days are in winter.
For several years now I have been reading of people affected by SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) and how this condition can affect people emotionally and physically. The solution to this problem has been to treat SAD with light - energy light in particular - and there has been a slow but steady growth in this market. Unfortunately the lamps can be rather expensive and this has always put me off buying one, even though I have been tempted on a fairly regular basis - usually every October when the clocks go back.
I am a BzzAgent - this means I write about products informally that I am sent to test. Recently I was given the opportunity to test the Philips goLITE BLU Energy Lite and I jumped at the opportunity. The recommended retail price for the lamp is £250 but for testing the lamp and writing about it I could get it from BzzAgent for just £40. The lamp is currently priced at £160 on Amazon.
The goLITE BLU energy lamp comes well packaged in a sturdy box. The box contains instruction manual, lamp, stand, power lead and a pouch to use if you are travelling.
The lamp is compact - it's square in shape and white with a silver metallic trim measuring 14 x 14 x 2.5 cm. It's also lightweight, coming in at less than a kilo. The top half of the lamp is where the LED bulbs are and this takes up three quarters of the front of the lamp. Underneath is a digital display which has a clock with an alarm facility and also has some touch screen controls.
The stand for the lamp is just a silver metal stick and it quite ingeniously can be placed in a hole at the back of the lamp to stand it upright or be stored in a space at the back for portability.
The lamp has a rechargeable battery built in which increases its portability.
~~What the Lamp Claims to Do~~
Philips claim their goLITE BLU energy lamp can help to deter the winter blues within 2 weeks use and help if you are having difficulties either sleeping or staying awake. They also claim the lamp can help your body clock adjust after a long journey and help fight off jet lag.
I have been having a bad time sleeping recently and was intrigued to see if the lamp could help me sleep through the night and therefore make me feel better during the day, so I have been using the lamp solely for this since I got the lamp several weeks ago now.
I am curious to try this for jet lag in the future however and will be packing it for my next long haul trip. The lamp has a plug which can be adapted for use virtually worldwide with sockets which are compatible in the UK, Europe, US and Canada and Australia making it the perfect travel companion.
The light helps deal with the lack of circadian rhythms in our body clock which are naturally dealt with by circadian light which acts as cues such as daylight telling us to rise and evening being the time to go to bed. According to Philips, the blue light therapy "naturally restores the essential light signals needed to regulate our body clocks, as well as our mood and energy levels".
I have been using the lamp now every day for three weeks and feel I can write a fairly decent review of the lamp now. It's worth noting that Philips do sell this with a 30 day money back guarantee so if you use the lamp and find it's not helping you they will allow you to return the lamp to them and give you your money back. There's no way I'll be doing that however as after 3 weeks I have noticed a difference for the better since using the goLITE BLU energy lamp.
The lamp is very easy to set up. I use the lamp in my office as I find it easy to remember to switch it on as I sit beside my computer. The lamp needs to be plugged in prior to first use, the power switch at the side turned on and then you need to set the clock using the touch screen buttons at either side of the display panel.
You then choose how strong you wish the light to be - there are two settings for light intensity - and also how long you wish to use the lamp for each time. You can also set an alarm if you know you are going to be in the house each day and a sound will ring informing you it's time for your daily dose of light.
Having read the instruction manual thoroughly and setting the lamp up, I decided to use the lamp to help me sleep and get through the day without feeling tired around the late afternoon. The manual suggested to alleviate this I use the lamp in the evening.
I started off using the lamp at lower intensity for fifteen minutes each evening. I do try not to use this within two hours of going to bed, and usually use it around 5.00 pm which after a little trial and error, seems to be the best time for me.
When you use the lamp for the first time the intensity of the light can be a bit overpowering - especially as the light does have to reach your eyes. You don't have to sit staring at the light all the time - in fact I couldn't think of much I would wish to do less - but it's worth bearing this in mind when it comes to choosing where to position your lamp - certainly locating it a level which makes it easy for the light to reach your eyes is a good idea.
After using the lamp for a week I only noticed slightly increased energy levels in the late afternoon so I decided to increase the intensity of the light and this helped me enormously. I have also stopped waking up at stupid o'clock in the morning on a regular basis - instead waking at 7.00 am when the alarm goes off and more importantly, feeling refreshed upon waking. I have also found I feel less miserable than I did before I started to use the lamp - my mood has lifted from the desperate lows I was experiencing in early December when the snow first started to fall.
I have slowly increased the length of time I have been using the lamp for too. You can increase or decrease how long the lamp is on for very easily and I am currently using the lamp for 25 minutes each day on high intensity.
Obviously the nights are now beginning to get a little shorter but I do plan on using this every day until the end of March when the clocks go forward again as I really think it's a great device for helping get me through what has been a particularly miserable winter.
I have mainly been using the lamp plugged in at the mains since I bought it, but I do like the fact the lamp is portable. The battery life is around the 90 minute mark however. This is fine for a weekend away but if you need it for recovering from jetlag on holiday I wouldn't rely on battery power alone. It's unfortunate the battery doesn't last longer but when you see how much light this lamp produces you can see why it's not as long lasting as that on an iPod.
I must admit that I love this lamp and am delighted I was given the opportunity to try it at such a low price. At full price however it falls into the territory of "unaffordable" for many people who have SAD which is, I believe, a terrible shame. It is, however, cheaper than a winter sun holiday and when I think of how a few days of sunshine did me a power of good last year in February when I spent several days in an unseasonably warm Las Vegas, then the lamp is cheaper and a lot less hassle too.
I find the lamp easy to use and functional too. Being able to increase and decrease the light intensity and the time chosen to have the lamp on for is excellent, along with the alarm function. The controls are straightforward and easy to understand and the instruction manual carefully explains the best times to use the lamp depending upon which benefits you want to get from it, including informing you of ensuring you use it differently to combat jetlag depending on travelling east or west.
This may seem an expensive luxury but SAD is no joke and if you consider that this lamp should provide you with several years of relief from the condition I suppose it has to be a price worth paying. I certainly recommend it - sleeping right through the night has made a huge difference to my emotional and physical well being in just over three weeks - which is pretty impressive!
I will be honest and openly admit that I was very unsure about this product when I first heard about it. I managed to get this on offer and decided to go for it. There are 3 of us in the house and I decided that even if I didn't like it someone would get use out of the product.
What is it for?
This product is known as a SAD light. This is to be used if you have seasonal affective disorder (SAD). If like me you feel low or depressed when the winter weather comes in these products are meant to help you get over that feeling. It's a light that is meant to be like sunlight and used in the morning to feel like the morning is bright and you awaken naturally in the winter months instead of waking up in pitch black.
This product in particular is a Philips goLITE BLU. The light is (as it says on the box) blue in colour which is not a design flaw it's actually been researched and the reason they are blue is Philips have scientifically proven that the receptor in your eye responds to blue light as it simulates bright blue sky. I have to say that I was still sceptical at this point.
When I received this product I was surprised by how small it is, I expected it to take up most of the room on my bedside table. So I was pleasantly surprised at the size. The dimensions are 14 x 14 x 2.5 cm so even if you don't think you will have enough room you probably will.
Ok so why is it called a golite?
It's called a go lite because this can be easily used on the go as well as at home. So you could even have it on whilst travelling to work. This product has an adaptor to charge it but is powered by internal rechargeable batteries, which makes this product completely portable. It even comes with its own black leather protective case so no need to worry about scratching it. If like my husband you work away often and stay in hotels then it's the perfect alarm to take with you.
What else does the product have to offer?
Ok so for a small product you wouldn't expect much more from the product apart from the light or so I thought. I will admit I didn't read up much about the product before I got it so I was impressed to find that the light also had a clock too.
How it works
To switch the product on there is a power button on the side to turn the lights on and off to get it all working there is an LCD display below the light. It was very straight forward to set the clock and also to set the alarm.
You can choose to have the alarm as just the light coming on so you wake up naturally or you can have the alarm to beep as well as the light. You can also just have it to beep instead of the light coming at all. It really is your choice.
There is also a timer to set how long you have the light on for e.g 15 minutes. After the time you have it set the lights will switch off automatically. This is a great idea if you have the light on throughout the day so you don't forget to switch it off afterwards. It is recommended that you use the product for 15-45 minutes per day again the timer is great to make sure you don't use it all day.
There is also buttons on the LCD to change the brightness of the lights, to be honest no matter what setting you have it on I find that it's still extremely bright but you do get used to it once you've had it on for a couple of minutes. The LCD display also has a backlight so you can see the clock and what you're doing even if it's dark. The light does go of after a few seconds but just touch the screen again and it'll light up again.
How I got on
When I received the product I was really excited to see how it worked. So once taking it out of the packaging I couldn't actually believe how stylish the product looked. It was definitely one of the better looking SAD lights I've seen. It's white in colour which blends in anywhere.
We set it up in the kitchen to try it out at first and putting it on I first got a shock at how bright it was but as I stated earlier I did get used to the brightness. I set the timer for 15 minutes and stayed close to the light but didn't sit and stare at it. I couldn't believe how quickly the 15 minutes passed and the light went off.
After the first time I used it I set the alarm to beep and the light to come on in the mornings for me. I do suffer badly from SAD as I live in the Highlands of Scotland we barely get daylight. Getting up at 7am looks like 4am outside and it gets dark at about 3.30pm so no daylight at all.
The next morning the alarm went off as well as the light coming on and I have to admit I got out of bed very easily which isn't like me at all. I am not a morning person so this was a big surprise for my husband.
The next morning I decided just to have the light set to come on, I also used my old alarm to go off 10 minutes later just in case I didn't wake up to the light (I am a very heavy sleeper). So the next morning the light went on, I actually woke up, the light makes my whole bedroom bright so there was no getting away from it. Since then I've never had the alarm beep and just used the light - it's absolutely fantastic for me and I feel like I'm happier throughout the day with just using the light for 15 minutes each morning.
I have taken this light into work to show my colleagues and different people find they have different results from this light. A couple of people found they felt happier straight away and a few others felt after a few days they felt brighter and more awake, especially when they usually have their afternoon slump after lunch.
What I've missed
Just to add this product doesn't just help you wake up in the morning, it can also be used for jet lag, increase alertness and as above increase energy levels which a lot of people get late afternoon.
You don't need to stare at this light for it to work, as long as you are close to it whilst it's on should be enough to help you out.
The product can either be held or it can stand alone. To make it stand upright there is a metal stand that is stored on the back, there is a slot to put it in which doesn't need screwed in as it is magnetic, it holds very well.
The only thing I could criticise about the product is the alarm doesn't have a snooze button, but if you're using the light at the same time I would doubt you would manage to get back to sleep for a few minutes.
Amazon are currently selling it for £135 which is a really good price for one of these as they are priced in other stores at about £255.
To sum up
I would definitely recommend this light to others looking to feel better in the winter months. I was definitely surprised on how much better I felt after using the light for a few mornings. I know that it does sound too good to be true and I definitely thought this at first but now I wouldn't be without mine.
I also like the size of the Philips golite and think it's great that it uses a rechargeable battery as it means I can take it to work with me without having to rummage around trying to find a socket to plug it in.
Overall it has completely won me over.
I was initially sceptical yet hopeful for this product. I had read the reviews, which are on the whole, excellent, and have been umming and ahhing for a very long time about trying one of these SAD products out. I finally got the opportunity to try this Philips goLITE BLU as part of a Bzz campaign and am not disappointed. As mentioned before, I was slightly sceptical. Before starting to use it, I wondered to myself that should I feel better and more energised, whether this would be 'real' feelings or a placebo effect. Well after only 3 days' of usage, I can 100% totally and utterly confirm that my energy and increased vitality is very much REAL!! Before using the Philips goLITE BLU, I struggled to fall asleep until very late, almost midnight, I then struggled to wake in the mornings, I was groggy and it would take at least 30 minutes to drag myself out of bed. I would have a major slump early to mid afternoon where I could literally fall asleep wherever and whenever.... this is no more! I drift off to sleep quickly, more like 10.30pm, and wake up feeling revived and positive (don't get me wrong, I'm not going to exaggerate here, I don't exactly wake up and bounce out of bed singing with the birds lol, I don't think I'll ever be that kind of person!!). I use the light for 15 minutes on the medium setting first thing whilst having my morning cuppa, you can just get on with the normal routine, ie in my case whilst sitting doing my hair and make up. I then use it again after lunch for 15-20 minutes. This is when I notice it the most, as I then am revived and energetic throughout the entire afternoon, I would even say I am - bouncy - which is an absolute first for me!! You need to work out when the best session timings are for you personally, this is simply worked out thanks to the straight forward instruction booklet. For me, this product is an absolute MUST, I will be using it every single day. Top TOP product, which I can not recommend highly enough - thank you Philips!
A big box from Amazon arrived one evening when I was sitting on the bed all in tears right in the middle of a nervous breakdown. I had no idea what would be inside: I did not order anything from Amazon. I just couldn't afford to order anything! Inside was a smaller box. I got it: it was an early Christmas present. The SAD lamp I was so desperate to have. I started researching SAD lamps as early as October since the approaching Winter seemed more and more dreadful. I've been using this lamp for a bout 2 weeks now.
Of course, when writing a review like this one has to be careful not to fall victim of the placebo effect. I saw tons of excellent reviews for SAD lamps in all sorts of price categories, but I found most of those reviews are a bit over-optimistic. So to remain on the realistic side, I will start with unpacking...
What's in the box?
1. The lamp itself. Very stylish and slick. Obviously, designed with one eye kept on an iPad. The look of the lamp alone can improve your mood (like environment points in The Sims).
2. The funky magnetic leg which can be removed from its slot and safely attached to the back of the lamp. It's a small detail, but proves that somebody thought of you, the customer. That's why the lamp is sold for almost £250 in some shops.
3. The cord with replaceable adaptors for at least the whole European Union.
4. The case in which you can carry your lamp around.
5. Documentation and two user's manuals. Perhaps Philips expects me to keep one in the drawer at home and one elsewhere, but I'm sure I will keep them together anyway and if I ever lose them, I'll lose them both!
Apart from its main function of radiating blue light on the user, the lamp has a clock, a timer (to times your sessions), and an alarm clock (to wake you up with light, or chimes, or both). All these can be controlled with a touch screen.
Now to the main question... Does it actually work?
I think the answer is YES. It did improve my sleep cycle in a very gentle and natural way. It even takes some effort now to remember that just a month ago I woke up and began functioning only by lunchtime and if I were asked to choose between sleep and the main Euro Millions prize at 7am, I would choose sleep without any doubt.
Now I wake up and have enough energy to start my day right away. I even get the impression that I manage to have more things done. The only thing the lamp doesn't do though is give energy to extend the day. So if I go to bed late and don't get enough sleep, I will still wake up fine in the morning, but most likely will want to have a nap in the afternoon.
I use the lamp to wake me up with light in the morning (the chimes turned out to be rather annoying and I disabled them after the first morning of use) and then occasionally in the afternoon. I am absolutely certain that this is my first Winter in the UK that I spend like a normal human being in terms of sleep.
Seasonal affective disorder and depression are linked in the same way and often treated with the same drugs, although i have had clinical depression for years and have had all kinds of treatment from therapy, drugs, counselling nothing has managed to work on a long term basis. My specialist had me on a waiting list to get a light box the list was so long i had forgot about it plus i honestly thought how a stupid light would not change me or my depression. Eventually the nhs light box arrived and i could keep it for two weeks only due to the waiting list.
After trying the light box i was hooked and handing it back i went straight online and bought my own.
The philis golite is used to support and cure seasonal affective disorder . The golite cost me £199 and are cheaper now. The light comes with easy to follow instructions, the light unit is no bigger than an alarm clock. It has quite a long cable around 180 cm so enough room to move it around to get a good spot. The unit has a touch screen clock , treatment alarm and timer and all controlled via the touch screen. As it is small it is portable and comes with a hard case for travelling. The unit it covered in tiny led blubs these light up when treatment starts, they are dull to start with then get so bright its amazing something so small can let of that much light. The only way to describe the unit when on it like opening a sunbed up when on but most importantly it is like natural sun light that's how it works. You can use the unit from 15 minute until 45 minutes maximum.
I used the unit in my bedroom first thing in the morning for 30 minutes, i could read a book or just tidy the room either way it works without looking at it. No way does it hurt the eyes or cause any damage. I choose to use it in my bedroom as it is nice and quite there but can be used anywhere.
I used it at night as well twice a day. This really has worked for me over the last year and although i continue to use it my doctor has reduced my therapy to once a month and my pills have come way down to the weakest does. Using the box makes me feel warm inside , happy and most importantly i start my day off positively and that is amazing for me.
This unit can cure depression and sad but may not work with everyone, i do not recommend anyone to come of there pills or anything else.
I highly recommend the philips golite unit, seems expensive but to me it is worth every penny.
I have had the Philips goLITE BLU Energy Light for around 8 months now. I work four 12 hour shifts a week and in the winter I go to work in the dark, and come home in the dark. I found at work the lights are so unnatural, then I used to go home, and was not getting enough natural light. I was diagnosed by my doctor with S.A.D seasonal adjustment disorder, and was told to buy a light product, so I decided after a lot of research to go for this Philips light.
I am telling you it has worked for me very well, has lifted my mood, increased my energy levels and has definitely helped me to fight the winter blues. You can use the light from 15 to 45 minutes a day, I tend to have it next to me when I am reading a book or on the computer. It has become a part of my everyday life, I don't know what I would do if I did not have one, because it is so effective. You can literally feel the benefits as the light is focused on you.
The Philips goLITE has a backlit touch screen with a clock, a battery indicator, plus you can adjust the timer and light intensity. There are 4 levels of brightness, at the start I started on level 1 and gradually built it up over a month to the highest level. The design is very sleek and comes with a rechargeable battery, and Philips says that if you use the light everyday for 30 minutes, the LED'S will last 50 years. So definitely a quality product. It's not cheap, at around £100 but such a life changing product that is also clinically proven.
Please watch out. as there are similar product on the market that claim the same, but my research found that some other products don't mimic the same natural light as the Philips goLITE, and are not as effective.
Philips goLITE BLU is a portable and rechargeable SAD Light Box for quick and natural relief for winter blues, low energy, sleep problems and the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder.