Lightbox time

I’ve alluded on this blog before to the fact that as autumn comes on I use a lightbox. Well, lightbox time is well and truly here. About 10 days or so I took it down from the cupboard where it lies hibernating for the spring and summer and set it up on my desk. 10000 lux await me every morning and blaze out on my right hand side as I begin to look at e-mails or write a blog post.

I’ve been using the box at this time of year for six or seven years and would not want to be without it at this latitude. Others who see it say that the can’t imagine sitting next to something so bright every day but I find myself hankering for it.

Here is what I’ve found:

  • you can do other things whilst using a lightbox eg work at computer
  • it really does ward off the feeling that the sky is going to fall down
  • it needs to be over 40 minutes a day to make a difference for me
  • I prefer it to sit slightly to my right than either centrally or to the left (brain hemispheres?)
  • after a few weeks of it I’ll need a break from it (head gets a bit buzzy)
  • I don’t need it nearly as much after the winter solstice as before – part of the trouble is the natural light going away each day

Whenever I say out loud that I use a lightbox in autumn/winter, I find that other people I know also use bright light too. Others ask me what type I use. The answer is a Philips lightbox that came from Boots. Cost me about £200 when I got it and seemed ludicrously expensive at the time but has proved to be cheap and effective therapy over the years. Don’t mess about with daylight flavoured lightbulbs. Its the brightness of the light that makes a difference, not the colour of the light that matters most.

Oh, and if you are just fed up all the year round, lightbox tricks in the autumn are not for you. This one is strictly seasonal.


  1. you forgot to mention that light boxes work much better in proper offices, rather than those shared with cats.

  2. Oh, that’s one of those PhD theses never yet completed: Symbiosis and Stasis – the effect of cats on lightboxes, the effect of lightboxes on cats and the effects of each on those living with Seasonally Affective Disorder.

  3. According to those posters on the underground, catowners are apparently more stress-free and content and the norm so, surely, a cat AND light box owner ought to be chirpy as Santa Clause!

  4. We have one. Not out yet but it might have been had it not been for a few days earlier this week in Belfast while NI pretended to be Spain in summer!

  5. Thanks Coxy. Can I also saw how much I am in awe of your Church Times Page 3 Stunner success this week.

    A media triumph.

    Now, if I dressed up in pink and had my photo taken running about in shorts, I wonder if the Church Times….

  6. Not a CT subscriber, so : Link?!! Hope it was the neon number 😉

    Although surely, given the choice, Italian Vanity Fair makes for the more impressive C.V. entry 😉

  7. ….with and without the Cope of Glory, Kelvin??

  8. Kelvin, no.

    But let us just enjoy that for once Nick looks better in pink.

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