Those of us who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) know how difficult it can be to live in the doldrums during the winter. When light is scarce, our moods go south. But there are several ways we can combat this, including getting winter sun exposure and using SAD lamps.
SAD lamps are designed to provide 10,000 lux of light over a 30-minute time span, which is the target “dose” for the treatment of Seasonal Affective Disorder. There are several popular brands of these lights, including Verilux (reviewed here) and Circadian Optics, makers of the Lumos 2.0 SAD lamp.
This lamp has a great design, is quite stylish, and works well to give you a 10,000 lux dose of light. But it is plagued with many of the same problems that most other SAD lamps run into.
This article is a Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Review, and details the effectiveness of this SAD lamp. We also discuss some other options that may be more effective at treating Seasonal Affective Disorder than the Lumos.
Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 Review
Featured in many different TV shows such as Shark Tank and famous magazines, Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 is one of the best adjustable light therapy lamps that can fit in just a little space. Due to the ease of use, it is an ideal choice for aging adults and the elderly.
The button and interface are easy to use, and only an additional tap can adjust the level of brightness.
Keep reading to find out about the details, aesthetics, functionality, quality, and other important aspects of Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0.
Key Features at a Glance
- Eco-friendly light therapy lamp
- Three adjustable brightness settings
- Full-spectrum light
- Provides 10,000 LUX of brightness for effective light therapy at 8-16″ distance
- LED bulbs with a 50,000-hour lifespan
- 100% UV-free
- Sleek and unique design
Dimensions and Specs
- Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 3.5 inches
- Shipping weight: 1.7 pounds
The Circadian Optics Lumos’s manufacturers define it as portable daylight. It is one of the best among its kinds, and it’s the only SAD lamp that you can power through a USB port. It has three ranges of brightness levels, and by tapping thrice on the button, you can change between the lowest, medium, and highest light intensities. A fourth tap will switch the lamp off.
It has an appealing look and a sleek design. It is incredibly bright, with 10,000 LUX of brightness as the highest intensity. This makes it very useful for treating Seasonal Affective Disorder, sleep disorders, and depression. The lamp’s white light is full-spectrum, and mimics natural light.
You can easily adjust the lamp through 360 degrees to set the position as per your need. The hinges in the base and the top of the light panel help with easy adjustment. It also has long-lasting LED bulbs that have a 50,000-hour lifespan. This prevents the hassle of replacing expensive LED bulbs with new ones.
Circadian Optics recommends charging it for six hours before use. When you plug it in for charging, a red light will come on, indicating that the charging has started. Once the red light goes off, the charging is complete. You can then use the charged lamp cordlessly. It also has an AC wall plug adapter so you can use it while plugged into a power source.
You should place it 8 to 16 inches away from your eyes and use it every morning for 30-60 minutes in order to get your 10,000 lux dose. The closer the light is to your face, the shorter the time you need to sit in front of it to get 10,000 lux.
Place it 8 to 16 inches away from your eyes and use it every morning for 30-60 minutes in order to get your 10,000 lux dose.
The credibility and effectiveness of Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 are quite evident because various famous TV shows like Shark Tank and The Today Show with Dr. Oz featured it. Many different famous magazines also reviewed Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 including Forbes and Vogue, etc.
The company gives a two-year warranty for both the lamp and the adapter. Most reviews you are going to find about this product suggest that it is one of the best of its kind, and the compact size of the light therapy lamp makes it even better option for customers.
But the truth is that there are better choices out there.
Circadian Optics has done a very good job of designing this light therapy lamp. It is lightweight, portable, and looks like any stylish desk lamp. The lamp is slim and sleek and has a small light panel with 60 individual LED lights on it. The light panel of the lamp disperses the light equally in all directions, preventing it from being harsh or too bright.
You can choose between two different colors, white and grey. Both the colors are equally eye-catching.
Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 has several rotation points on the arm and base. It helps the user to rotate and reposition based on their needs and requirements. It also does not slip or readjust from your set position. The base supports the extended arm to keep the lamp stable.
The lamp has a very appropriate size and compact design. It folds flat, allowing the user to store it easily. This increases the portability of the lamp tenfold. You can easily carry this thin lamp anywhere and can even mount it on a wall.
The Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 has the highest setting of 10,000 LUX brightness at 8-16″ distance, which is the target to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder.
There are also two other settings of medium and low, which can make you turn the device into a desk lamp for reading as well. It is easily adjustable, allowing the user to place or position the lamp in a way that makes the light therapy session the most effective. It has a full-spectrum, white, UV-free light. The lamp has been clinically proven to treat winter blues, depression, SAD, and sleep disorders.
Despite the small surface area of the light, the 60 LEDs make this lamp as useful as any other light therapy lamp. Like all other similarly-designed SAD lamps, functionality can be slightly questionable. This is because most light therapy lamps claim to provide 10,000 LUX but skip out on the detail that you need to sit very close to the lamp to get that exposure.
Most SAD lamps suffer from the same design flaws that make using them a challenge.
Material and Build Quality
The body of the Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 is made of high-quality plastic, and it is also stable in most positions. With the dimensions of 14×1.5×3.5 inches and a total lamp weight of 1.5 pounds, it is lightweight, portable, and one of the smallest light therapy lamps available in the market.
You can easily mount the lamp on the wall as well with a small hole on the back of the lamp. This is important, as SAD lights should shine down in order to work properly (see below for further details)./
The light of the lamp is full-spectrum, white, and UV-free. It contains all seven colors of the rainbow, like a natural daytime light. The highest setting provides light of 10,000 LUX that is most effective for SAD treatment.
The LEDs of the lamp last for about 50,000 hours, which is much more than anyone could ask for. This also means that they can last much longer than fluorescent bulbs and relieves you from the replacement of expensive bulbs.
Apart from the long lifespan, the LED bulbs are also very energy efficient and use only 50% of the power that a standard fluorescent bulb would use. They also stay much cooler than other bulbs, preventing any damage to the plastic body of the lamp.
There is nothing much to assemble the Circadian Optics Lumos lamp as it can be used straight out of the box. All you have to do is attach the power cord to the unit and the wall socket. The improved 2019 model of Lumos 2.0 is no longer rechargeable, so you do not need any extended set-up to get the lamp working.
The power button allows you to switch between three brightness settings. You can also rotate the extended arm of the lamp to adjust or position the lamp according to your needs.
Problems with SAD Lamps
Most SAD lamps suffer from the same design flaws that make using them a challenge. The Lumos suffers from these issues as well.
In order to get 10,000 lux of light from most lamps, including the Lumos, you need to sit 8-16″ away from the lamp. That’s close!
And the lamp should be located above your head so that the light shines down into your eyes. You want to mimic sunlight, which enters your eyes from above. The Lumos can be mounted on the wall, which is a help, but that takes away from its ability to be a desk lamp.
To get a target dose, you need to sit in that position for 30 minutes each morning.
But who has time for that? And sitting that close to the lamp for an extended period gets pretty uncomfortable. If you move the lamp further away, you need to sit in front of it for a longer time period to get the 10,000 lux dose.
All of this adds up to a product that works well if you have the schedule and discipline to use it regularly. But most people just don’t have 30 minutes to spare each morning to sit still in front of a lamp 8″ away from their heads.
This is why light therapy glasses have become so popular, and why we feel that glasses are a much better solution to fighting seasonal depression. Light Therapy Glasses use blue/green wavelength light as opposed to a full-spectrum light, but they are much less bright and can easily be worn while you move around. You can go about your morning routine while getting your dose, which is critical to use in the real world.
It’s much easier to use light therapy glasses during your busy morning. They simply work better and are easier to actually use.
The Bottom Line
The Lumos 2.0 by Circadian Optics is a solid product that works well. It’s sleek, compact, and effective if used properly. It is relatively inexpensive and is covered under a 2-year warranty.
All of this leads to the conclusion that the Lumos 2.0 is certainly one of the best, if not the best, SAD lamps available.
However, most users will find that it’s not the best way to treat SAD. Light Therapy Glasses like the Pegasi 2 are much more practical to actually use for many. If you think a lamp is right for you, the Lumos is a great choice. But consider LT Glasses as well!
Good luck in making your SADness go away.
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