DIY Lightbox for Seasonal Affective Disorder

To help his sister who suffers from Seasonal Affective Disorder, Boris Legradic of Letters from Lausanne blog made her a DIY lightbox:

My sister suffers from seasonal affective disorder, also known as winter depression. A commonly prescribed therapy is light therapy - about thirty minutes of bright light in the morning. Bright in this context means more than 10 000 Lumens. You can of course buy commercial light-boxes, but I wanted to construct one by myself...


Newest 5
Newest 5 Comments

Another way to combat SAD is to walk at work using a treadmill desk. It has been shown to increase levels of dopamine and serotonin and improve mood. You can read more about it at
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
I believe light boxes to treat SAD actually need some UV output, like full spectrum lights. The UV triggers the skin to produce vitamin D, which in turn improves mood. In the winter natural UV from the sun diminishes, triggering the SAD.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
The light spectrum from most fluorescents is very poor. Compact fluorescents are even worse. The best I have seen is normally about 82 CFI- and these are expensive special order items intended for video production. There are some expensive tubes for photo and video in the low 90s, like the Kino Flo tubes. Based upon my understanding, its very unlikely that anything less than the very best of these video lights will help seasonal affective disorder.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
aren't light boxes traditionally full spectrum light bulbs, which are a touch different than fluorescent? am i wrong? i have a light box which works amazingly well, but i know it takes special bulbs and has a crazy reflective surface to reflect more light back at the user.
Abusive comment hidden. (Show it anyway.)
Login to comment.

Email This Post to a Friend
"DIY Lightbox for Seasonal Affective Disorder"

Separate multiple emails with a comma. Limit 5.


Success! Your email has been sent!

close window

This website uses cookies.

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By using this website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our Privacy Policy.

I agree
Learn More