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Buyers' Guide

The best SAD lights for Canadian winter

You can feel it in your bones. Winter is coming.

The days are getting shorter, which means there will be less sunlight. And less sunlight means that our energy levels tend to be lower and its harder to keep a positive mood.

A growing trend to help combat the winter blues is SAD lights. These special lights simulate sunlight and have been proven to help improve your mood. People living in Canada and the northern United States are affected more than most, particularly if they live and work somewhere with few windows to get any direct sunlight during the shortened days.

A good SAD light will have about 10,000 lux to provide similar results to morning sunshine, but different options exist depending on how much you want to spend. Somewhere just above $100 should be able to get something to handle all of your needs, but there are budget and premium options available as well.

Carex Day-Light Classic Plus

Carex Sad Light

Though Carex has a model of SAD light that’s a step down from the Day-Light Classic Plus you see here, the extra few dollars will get you a bigger light and more stable stand. Aesthetically it looks more like a studio light and it’s a bit more modern too.

It’s white light comes with two settings. The “Task” setting can be used throughout the day, while the “Therapy” setting is ideal for dedicated time for mental wellbeing. The light is UV-filtered and 10,000 lux, meeting the clinical requirements to help with winter blues, circadian rhythm, jet lag, and more.

Buy at Amazon Canada for $170.07

Northern Light Technologies Flamingo

Northern Light Sad Light

If you’re willing to spend some extra cash, Northern Light’s Flamingo is an excellent option. The Canadian-made product can produce a 10,000 lux light up to a foot away, and instead of taking up desk space, it has a floor stand that can go up to 53-inches.

This makes it a more convenient option for those that may not have a desk to place the light on, and the extra angle adjustments are a welcome feature. If you’re looking for a more versatile SAD light, this could be your answer.

Buy at Amazon Canada for $269.99

Circadian Optics Lumos Light Therapy Lamp

Circadian Optics Sad Light

The Lumos by Circadian Optics is a great option for those looking for a bit more flexibility. Though the light itself is smaller, the modern design of the Lumos offers more versatility when it comes to the settings and adjustment of the light.

As with the other SAD lights on the list, it is rated for 10,000 lux, and it’s UV filtered. Those with less available real estate and the need for a more targeted light should consider looking here.

Buy at Amazon Canada for $102.92

Verilux HappyLight VT10 Compact

Verilux Sad Light

Those on a budget — or wanting to dabble in the SAD light space before fully committing — should look no further than the HappyLight VT10 by Verilux. It’s a portable, lightweight model that you can use on your desk or take with you as you travel, but you’ll still get the benefits of the 10,000 lux light.

Because it’s smaller, it’s recommended to have longer sessions to get similar benefits to the larger lights, but if you’re using it on your desk during work or school then that shouldn’t be a problem. It may not be flashy, but the VT10 is an inexpensive way to test the technology.

Buy at Amazon Canada for $39.99

Philips HF3670/60 SmartSleep

Philips SmartSleep Light

I’m taking a bit of liberty with this one, but it’s good to know your full spectrum of options as you research ways to help with those winter blues. If you like products that have connected apps, and you don’t mind dropping some extra cash, Philips’ SmartSleep is a great way to help you sleep better and feel more relaxed throughout the day.

Yes, it has some extra bells and whistles such as a clock, FM radio and wind down exercises before bed, but the main selling point for the Philips Smartsleep is its ability to simulate sunsets and sunrises. This helps with your circadian rhythm during the winter’s short days, giving structure to your sleep. It’s not technically a SAD light, but for this is a Smart Home light that’s well worth your attention.

Buy at Amazon Canada for $425.99

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