Friday, February 4, 2011

Two Bright Light Ideas

I read all the "build your own 10,000 lux bright light therapy boxes" and they're great-- but they all involve building.  I went on a tour of Home Depot to see what I might be able to come up with instead.  One of the associates said his friend had made one for his wife, and showed me the gigantic fluorescent light array he had used for theirs.  It was a six-bulb thing that took up, like, a whole wall.  He insisted it was supposed to be a certain temperature of light that you could only get that from those long, full-size fluorescent bulbs, but all the research I've been reading, particularly from this book "The Depression Cure" (great book, by the way, it's a six-step program; one of the steps is therapy light, one's CULTIVATE THE COMPANY OF OTHER HUMAN BEINGS-- I'm still working on that) says it only needs to be white light. 

In the book, he mentions a certain model of therapy light, and I found that on Amazon, I also found another like it but better quality and doesn't have the complaints about bad smell or tipping over like that the recommended model has.  The only downside was the price *choke gack*  $200!!! 

At that point is when I went to Home Depot to see what I could come up with instead (yes, got this narrative a little out of order  :-)
I thought I might use one of those four-bulb bathroom vanity mirror fixtures.  The trouble was, after perusing the selection of light bulbs and comparing lumens and wattage, I realized the vanity fixture only takes 100 watt bulbs and I'm gonna need something heftier.  They also sell basic sockets that you can use to build your own, but there we're back to building again, so we either have to get into cabinetry or end up with something that looks homemade.
DH had been following me around from idea to idea, just observing, but at this point he started picking up stuff from the shelves and throwing it into the cart.  Yay! I only had to pick a color! 
These outdoor floodlight fixtures come in black, grey, brown or white. 

The bulbs are 2,780 lumens each, so 8340 lumens.  The lux conversion is a tricky thing so I'm gonna go with "we've got quite a lot of light going on here."
We probably won't have 10,000 lux, but I've seen therapy lights that were only 6,000 lux, and we'll have more than that. 

Once all plugged in the effect reminds me of Dr. Octavius the Spider-Man supervillain, "The power of the sun!!  Harnessed for the good of mankind!!!"
It really does seem like a tiny sliver of sol for our personal cheerment.  In this picture below, the rest of the room is NOT dark.  That's all my digicam could handle  :-)
You can't possibly look directly at it, but you're not supposed to, you're supposed to eat or read or do whatever in its light for half an hour a day.  It's actually TOO BRIGHT for me, so I gave up after a session or two, but Karen's been using it every morning for a couple weeks now and she loves it. 
And the cost was $31...

The other bright idea was something I happened across while searching for therapy lights.

I had read about those before and wanted one, but wouldn't spend the money.  How cool it would be to wake up to nothing more than light!  
While I was in do-it-yerself mode that brought on another bright idea-- I just plugged a little table lamp into a light timer.  I had both a light timer and a table lamp lying around the premises, so the cost of that idea was an even-better $0.
It works just fine!  I wake up in the morning now to the delightful sound of peace and quiet, and soft light, AND a feeling of smug complacency, "Oh, the cleverness of me!"   :-)

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