The Travelite Portable Desk Lamp is ideal for commuting SAD sufferers, thanks to its sturdy yet lightweight aluminium frame. With the winter months meaning that one is commuting in the dark in both directions, the chance to revitalise yourself at work in a convenient manner is a welcome one. The lamp provides 10,000 lux of diffuse light, at a distance of up to 12 inches (30 cm). At this range, light treatment will only take up 30 minutes of your day. The maximum range of the light is 16 inches, where 6,000 lux will be reached and treatment must last at least 60 minutes. For maximum benefit, users are advised to undergo light treatment at the same time each day. It works well alone or as a complement to other forms of treatment to treat insomnia, depression and even poor appetite. Whilst the Travelite is perhaps priced prohibitively, anyone buying it will find that they purchased quality, getting exactly what they paid for.
The lamp measures 7 x 2.5 x 13 inches and weighs just 2.9 pounds, meaning that it should fit easily inside most briefcases and larger laptop bags. It comes with its own stand, allowing it to be propped up vertically or horizontally, as the space allows. There is no disadvantage for either orientation. The angle of the lamp can also be shifted, meaning that it can be pointed downwards if you must place it above you. There is also the option to mount the lamp of a tripod and even affix if to a treadmill, to really make the most out of your time.
The light itself comes with a great range of features. The large screen size means that it does not have to be within your field of view to be effective. The screen also blocks out all UV rays, leaving just harmless white light to help alleviate your symptoms. The white light does a better job of mimicking the sun than other lamps which rely on blue LEDs. The lamp makes use of a parabolic lens reflector to ensure that light is emitted equally from all points on the screen. Ballasts built into the base eliminate flicker, which could prove distracting or even lead to headaches.
On top of all this, the whole thing is incredibly energy efficient, using just 48 watts of power.
- Lightweight and portable
- Beige light is closer to natural light
- No flicker and buzz
- Energy efficient
- Quite expensive
- Full benefits require the light to be up close
- A sizable lamp
Overall then, this is a dependable product, promising to provide an effective solution to many SAD symptoms. Some users may find that the proximity and brightness of the light will reduce its appeal and indeed the size of the lamp will mean that is not ideal for all working environments. Whilst it is not one of the biggest light boxes on the market, it is far larger than many of its competitors in a similar price range. If light sensitivity is not usually a problem for you, then there is no reason that you should encounter that here. For best results, the light should be placed slightly above you anyway, which should help to minimise any glare. As mentioned above, the technical features of the lamp make the light appear similar to the light from the sun. In person, this makes the lamp very enjoyable and bathes your surroundings in a more natural glow so that not only do you benefit from the light treatment but you get the added bonus of a visual reinforcement. You start to associate using the light box with an improvement in your surroundings.
The quality of the lamp is very high, with the aluminium casing and plastic cover being well constructed. The use of aluminium does involve a trade-off between weight and rigidity, so it may sustain visible wear and tear if jostled hard during transit. The lamp could also be described as stylish as the whole design is quite unobtrusive, with elegant curves and a professional colour scheme.
Users should find that their SAD symptoms begin to clear up very quickly, with some people reporting benefits after only three days though I felt its effects after about a week of consistent usage. The Travelite then, is a sensible purchase for anyone looking to invest in a long-term light box.