The 8 Best Light Therapy Lamps of 2022, Tested and Reviewed

Verilux's HappyLight Therapy Lamp made our tester feel more alert every morning

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best light therapy lamps

Verywell Mind / Jhett Thompson

Light therapy lamps are bright lamps commonly used to treat seasonal affective disorder (SAD), depression, and sleep disorders. The lamps are widely available, and you can use them at home: Simply turn on your light therapy lamp and sit near it for a set period of time (typically 15–60 minutes).

Tested & Approved

Our Best Overall pick, the Verilux HappyLight Light Therapy Lamp, is compact, user-friendly, and effective. Our Best Budget pick, the Carex Light Therapy Lamp, has a no-frills design and wallet-friendly price point.


Regular light therapy has been shown to alleviate symptoms of SAD, depression, and other mood disorders. And though it’s unclear how light therapy works, some suspect the bright light exposure may boost serotonin (the “happy chemical” that naturally occurs in our bodies) or reset our circadian rhythms. As you shop for light therapy lamps, consider size, style, light intensity, and brightness settings. A good light therapy lamp should suit your space, offer 10,000 lux of light exposure, and make it easy to adjust brightness when needed.

To find the best light therapy lamps, we tested 15 top-rated options at home, performing five-day tests to find the eight best lamps. Each tester assessed one lamp at a time, using that lamp for 30 minutes daily for five straight days. Every day, testers noted their mood, energy level, and sleep quality before and after using their lamp. And they also assessed the lamps for design, ease of use, and value.

According to our test, here are the best light therapy lamps on the market.

Best Overall: Verilux HappyLight Light Therapy Lamp

4.8
Verilux HappyLight Light Therapy Lamp

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Mood
    4/5
  • Energy
    4.5/5
  • Design
    4.5/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Effective

  • Adjustable position

  • Two brightness settings

Cons
  • Expensive (for its no-frills design)

The Verilux HappyLight Light Therapy Lamp was one of the most effective lamps we tested, boosting our tester’s energy level every time she used it. 

At its brightest, the lamp delivers 10,000 lux of light. That’s the recommended light intensity for a light therapy lamp, but it may seem harsh at first. Thankfully, the lamp comes with two brightness settings, so it’s easy to start with the dimmer setting and work your way up to the brighter one. Our tester did exactly this: At the start of our test, she preferred the dimmer setting because she found the brighter one “a little too intense.” But by day four, she preferred the brighter setting and found it more effective.

The lamp is also compact and easy to use. At 12.5 inches tall and 6.25 inches wide, it’s small enough to place on your table, desk, or nightstand. And its adjustable base makes it easy to angle. “I love that this light therapy lamp has a lever that lets you tilt it back or forward, so you can get the exact angle that you want when positioning the light,” our tester wrote. She also loved that the lamp’s long power cord made it easy to use in different places.

Throughout our five-day test, this lamp made our tester feel more alert and energized, earning a rating of 4.5 out of 5 for its energy-boosting effect. And while the lamp didn’t seem to impact our tester’s sleep quality, it did slightly boost her mood.

Product Weight: 2 pounds | Dimensions: 4.5 x 6.25 x 12.5 inches inches | Brightness Settings: 2 | Light Intensity: 10,000 lux | Type: Table lamp

Verilux HappyLight Full-Size - UV-Free Therapy Lamp

Verywell Mind / Jhett Thompson

What Our Testers Say

“This light therapy lamp is very effective and easy to use. With two brightness settings, it's a no-frills option that can be placed pretty much anywhere, thanks to its long cord and small-space-friendly design.” —Isabella Broggini, Verywell Mind editor and product tester

Best Budget: Carex Sunlite Bright Light Therapy Lamp

4
Carex Sunlite Bright Light Therapy Lamp

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Mood
    3.5/5
  • Energy
    4/5
  • Design
    3/5
  • Ease of Use
    5/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Effective

  • Easy to use

  • Compact

Cons
  • Looks cheaper than other options

The Carex Light Therapy Lamp isn’t made from durable materials or packed with fancy features. But its beginner-friendly design and accessible price point make it a great option for people who want to give light therapy lamps a try without commitment.

The no-frills lamp has just one brightness setting. Turn it on, and you’ll get 10,000 lux of light. Unsurprisingly, our tester found this lamp “very easy to use.” “Simply plug it in, open the stand on the back, and push the big button on the front,” he said. He noted that the table lamp is also easy to move around, thanks to its 3.25-pound weight and its long power cord.

Though this lamp didn’t impact our tester’s mood, it did seem to dramatically improve his sleep quality. After the first day of using the lamp, our tester reported a night of uninterrupted sleep—which was unusual for him. “I often wake up during the night, even when I have no trouble falling asleep,” he said. “While using the lamp, I was consistently sleeping throughout the night without waking up.” This pattern continued every night of the test, leading our tester to feel more well-rested and alert every morning, which is why he gave the lamp a score of 4.5 out of 5 for sleep quality.

Product Weight: 3.25 pounds | Dimensions: 2 x 8.8 x 13.38 inches | Brightness Settings: 1 | Light Intensity: 10,000 lux | Type: Table lamp

Carex Health Brands Sunlite Bright Light Therapy Lamp

Verywell Mind / Jhett Thompson

What Our Testers Say

“If I wanted to try light therapy but wasn't sure where or how to get started, this would be a reasonable option, because it's not too expensive and it’s very simple to use.” —Nick Ingalls, MA, Verywell Mind associate editorial director and product tester

Best Floor Lamp: Lavish Home Sunlight Floor Lamp

4.5
Lavish Home Sunlight Floor Lamp

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Mood
    4/5
  • Energy
    4/5
  • Design
    3.5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Provides overhead light

  • Easy to use

  • Budget-friendly

Cons
  • Clinical and bulky

  • Requires assembly

Of all the light therapy lamps we tested, the Lavish Home Floor Lamp was the best at diffusing light across the room. Our tester loved that this lamp offered bright overhead light, thanks to its height and its floor lamp design.

Whereas most light therapy lamps are shaped like tablets or boxes, this one looks like a classic floor lamp. And that unusual design gives the lamp two advantages. First, the 4-foot lamp is tall enough to provide overhead light. (Our tester comfortably sat and read underneath it.) Second, the lamp’s light is unlikely to get in your eyes. Since the lamp’s illuminated surface faces the floor and its on/off switch is easy to reach, you never have to look directly at the light to turn on the lamp or adjust its position.

The no-frills lamp has just one brightness setting, so it’s very easy to use, which is why our tester gave it a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for ease of use. And our tester noted that she felt more upbeat and alert most mornings after using the lamp. All that said, our tester did have one problem with the lamp: She thought it looked bulky and clinical. “I liked the functionality of the lamp a lot,” she said. “It's something I'd want to keep in my house, but it looks too clinical to keep as decor.”

Product Weight: 10.3 pounds | Dimensions: 7 x 9 x 48 inches | Brightness Settings: 1 | Light Intensity: 10,000 lux | Type: Floor lamp

Lavish Home Sunlight Floor Lamp

Verywell Mind / Jhett Thompson

What Our Testers Say

“Designed like a classic floor lamp, this lamp diffuses light around the room, offering bright light that doesn't feel too harsh or too targeted.” —Lindsey Lanquist, Verywell Mind writer and product tester

Best for Large Spaces: Northern Light Technologies Boxelite

4
Northern Light Technologies Boxelite

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Mood
    4/5
  • Energy
    5/5
  • Design
    3/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Value
    3.5/5
Pros
  • Effective

  • Strong

  • Easy to use

Cons
  • Bulky

  • Expensive

The Northern Light Technologies Boxelite is one of the biggest light therapy lamps we tested, making it a great pick for large spaces.

At 17 inches tall and 12.25 inches long, the lamp is smaller than the floor lamp we tested but bigger than many table lamps we tested. And it had the biggest light screen of the bunch. When you turn on the lamp, most of its surface lights up—giving you 1.3 square feet of intense light. This makes the lamp great for big spaces, where you need to diffuse lots of light around the room. “I see this being good if you're seeking to use this type of light in a larger space, like a kitchen, studio, or yoga room,” our tester wrote. “I did use it once while doing yoga in the morning, and it was lovely.”

Our tester noticed that the lamp made her feel more positive and alert, giving it a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for energy-boosting effect. And she loved that the lamp was easy to use: It never tipped over or got hot to the touch, and its 8-foot power cord made it easy to move around. The only problem? Due to its size, the lamp isn’t small-space-friendly. “If you're looking for a light therapy lamp for a large space, you'd probably be happy with this,” our tester wrote. “But if you’re looking for a light therapy lamp for your desk or personal area, I think you'd be better off with something cheaper and smaller.”

Product Weight: 8 pounds | Dimensions: 12.25 x 3 x 17 inches | Brightness Settings: 1 | Light Intensity: 10,000 lux | Type: Table lamp

Northern Light Technologies Boxelite Light Therapy Lamp

Verywell Mind / Jhett Thompson

What Our Testers Say

“The light is pretty bright, and it definitely makes you feel more awake and energized. I really like incorporating the light therapy lamp into my morning routine. It feels like it sets me up for a positive, more energized day.” —Riddley Schirm, Verywell Mind product tester

Best Portable: Erligpowht Light Therapy Lamp

4.2
Erligpowht Light Therapy Lamp

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Mood
    3.5/5
  • Energy
    2.5/5
  • Design
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4.5/5
  • Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Portable

  • Budget-friendly

  • Easy to use

Cons
  • Small light screen

The Erligpowht Light Therapy Lamp is small enough to put in your purse, lightweight enough to carry around, and budget-friendly enough to replace if you needed to. And these features make it the most transport-friendly lamp we tested.

The lamp is just 6.69 inches tall and 5.11 inches long, and our tester found it incredibly easy to use. The lamp comes with a built-in stand that makes it easy to prop up. It has three basic buttons: a power button, a brightness button (which toggles between three brightness levels), and a timer button (which programs your lamp to automatically shut off after 15, 30, 45, or 60 minutes).

While the lamp’s small size is great for portability, it limits how much light it gives off. On its brightest setting, the lamp delivers 10,000 lux of light. But since its light screen is so small, it doesn’t feel as bright as some of the others we tested. When using this lamp, our tester only noticed a slight boost in mood and energy—though she did report great sleep quality every night of the test, rating it a 4.5 out of 5 for sleep quality.

Product Weight: 2 pounds | Dimensions: 5.11 x 0.59 x 6.69 inches | Brightness Settings: 3 | Light Intensity: 10,000 lux | Type: Table lamp

Erligpowht Light Therapy Lamp

Verywell Mind / Jhett Thompson

What Our Testers Say

“The Erligpowht Light Therapy Lamp is the perfect no-nonsense option for a light therapy lamp that's minimal, functional, and user-friendly at a price that's hard to beat.” —Andria Park Huynh, Verywell Mind editor and product tester

Best Design: Sunrise Sensations DayBright Light Therapy Lamp

4.7
Sunrise Sensations DayBright Light Therapy Lamp

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Mood
    4.5/5
  • Energy
    5/5
  • Design
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Value
    4.5/5
Pros
  • Stylish

  • Multiple brightness and color temperature settings

  • Comes with a remote control

Cons
  • Expensive

Our tester loved the design of the Sunrise Sensations DayBright Light Therapy Lamp for two major reasons. First, the lamp’s stylish design made it look like an ordinary piece of decor, earning it a score of 5 out of 5 for design. Second, its pentagonal shape made it great at projecting light across the room. 

While most light therapy lamps have 1–2 brightness settings, this one has multiple. You can adjust the lamp’s brightness between 5,000–10,000 lux. And you can also change its color temperature, making it warmer or cooler during different times of the day.

Our tester found these settings easy to toggle through using the lamp’s remote control, though she wished there was a readout telling her which settings she’d selected. She also appreciated that when she turned on the lamp, it reverted to the brightness and color temperature settings she’d most recently picked.

Our tester found that the lamp made her feel more positive and alert, even when she used it on its lowest brightness setting. But what she loved most about the lamp was its sleek appearance. “The lamp can disguise as an accent piece on a shelf or desk, whether it’s turned on or off,” she said. And though this lamp is the priciest product on our list, our tester said it was worth the money, thanks to its sleek look, adjustable settings, and convenient remote control.

Product Weight: 6.2 pounds | Dimensions: 15 x 8 x 15 inches | Brightness Settings: 2 present brightness modes that can be customized further | Light Intensity: 5,000–10,000 lux | Type: Table lamp

Sunrise Sensations Light Therapy Lamp

Verywell Mind / Jhett Thompson

What Our Testers Say

“The Sunrise Sensations DayBright Light Therapy Lamp was surprisingly bright for such a style-driven model. The remote control offers flexibility to customize the brightness and color temperature beyond the preset modes, which is especially helpful if you’re sensitive to bright light. From a style perspective, the modern, geometric design looks more like a cool accent lamp versus a piece of medical equipment and can stand on its own on a desk or shelf without the need to hide it in a closet.” —Emily Stone, Verywell Mind writer and product tester

Best for SAD: Carex Day-Light Classic Light Therapy Lamp

4.7
Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Mood
    4/5
  • Energy
    5/5
  • Design
    4/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Effective

  • Strong

  • Two brightness settings

Cons
  • Expensive

  • Bulky

  • Requires assembly

Intensely bright, the Carex Day-Light Light Therapy Lamp was even more effective than our best overall pick. Our tester felt a big boost in energy every time she used it, which earned it a perfect score of 5 out of 5 for our energy-boosting effect rating. “Once you turn on the light, it's as if you have your own personal sun in the room,” she said.

At 10.75 inches long, 13.69 inches wide, and 27.25 inches tall, this lamp is very big. So while it’s technically a table lamp, it’s not easy to store on a shelf or side table. “This lamp is quite large—not optimal for small spaces,” our tester wrote. But the lamp’s large size has a major upside: It puts off a lot of light. “This lamp gave me a higher surge of energy than the other lamp I tried, probably because this one is bigger and shines more light on me,” our tester wrote. 

Our tester noticed that the lamp slightly boosted her mood as well, giving it 4.5 out of 5 stars for its mood-boosting effect. And she noticed an “obvious surge in energy” every time she used it. That said, the lamp isn’t as versatile as some of our other top picks due to its large size, intense brightness, and heavy-duty feel.

Product Weight: 8.2 pounds | Dimensions: 10.75 x 13.59 x 27.25 inches | Brightness Settings: 2 | Light Intensity: 10,000 lux | Type: Table lamp

Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp

Verywell Mind / Jhett Thompson

What Our Testers Say

“This light therapy lamp would be best suited for someone who has a little more room in their living space and who suffers quite intensely from SAD and needs a light therapy lamp that is very bright to help their condition.” —Isabella Broggini, Verywell Mind editor and product tester

Best Alarm Clock: Philips SmartSleep Wake-up Light

4.7
Philips SmartSleep Wake-up Light

Amazon

Our Ratings
  • Mood
    4.5/5
  • Energy
    4.5/5
  • Design
    5/5
  • Ease of Use
    4/5
  • Value
    4/5
Pros
  • Effective

  • Compact

  • 20 brightness levels and six sounds settings

Cons
  • Hard to program

  • Buttons are tough to press

Part alarm clock and part light therapy lamp, sunrise alarm clocks have become a popular way to wake up in the morning. And according to our tester, the Philips SmartSleep Wake-Up Light is worth the hype. She felt more positive and alert most of the days she woke up to this alarm clock, rating it a 4.5 out of 5 for both mood-boosting effect and energy-boosting effect. Our tester also found the lamp gentler than a traditional alarm clock or phone alarm.

The alarm clock looks like a large lightbulb. And though it came ready to use right out of the box, our tester had trouble navigating all its settings. The lamp lets you choose between 20 brightness levels, several volumes, and six sound programs—including an FM radio setting and a chirping bird program our tester loved. It ultimately took our tester 30 minutes to program the alarm clock. But once she got it set up, she found it much easier to use. “There seems to be a steep learning curve, but the effects are worth it,” she said.

Thanks to its compact size, the alarm clock is easy to store on a nightstand. And our tester loved waking up to it every morning. “Each day, I noticed that it was slightly easier to wake up using this sunrise-style lamp versus a traditional alarm clock or phone alarm,” she said. “The warm glow simulates a real sunrise in your room.” This gentle wake-up routine slightly boosted her mood and energy levels every morning, though she didn’t notice an impact on sleep quality.

Product Weight: 2.45 pounds | Dimensions: 7.8 x 10.6 x 10.3 inches | Brightness Settings: 20 | Light Intensity: 10,000 lux | Type: Alarm clock

Philips SmartSleep Wake-up Light

Verywell Mind / Jhett Thompson

What Our Testers Say

“Once you get used to the nuances of the unit, it’s a unique and pleasant alarm clock.” —Emily Stone, Verywell Mind writer and product tester

Compare

Overall Rating Mood Energy Design Ease of Use Value
Verilux HappyLight Light Therapy Lamp
Best Overall:
Verilux HappyLight Light Therapy Lamp
4.8
4 4.5 4.5 5 4.5
Carex Sunlite Bright Light Therapy Lamp
Best Budget:
Carex Light Therapy Lamp
4
3.5 4 3 5 4.5
Lavish Home Sunlight Floor Lamp
Best Floor Lamp:
Lavish Home Floor Lamp
4.5
4 4 3.5 4 4.5
Northern Light Technologies Boxelite
Best for Large Spaces:
Northern Light Technologies Boxelite
4
4 5 3 4 3.5
Erligpowht Light Therapy Lamp
Best Portable:
Erligpowht Light Therapy Lamp
4.2
3.5 2.5 5 4.5 4
Sunrise Sensations DayBright Light Therapy Lamp
Best Design:
Sunrise Sensations DayBright Light Therapy Lamp
4.7
4.5 5 5 4 4.5
Carex Day-Light Classic Plus Bright Light Therapy Lamp
Best for SAD:
Carex Light Therapy Lamp
4.7
4 5 4 4 4
Philips SmartSleep Wake-up Light
Best Alarm Clock:
Philips SmartSleep Wake-up Light
4.7
4.5 4.5 5 4 4

Final Verdict

Verilux's HappyLight Light Therapy Lamp was one of the most effective light therapy lamps we tested, boosting our tester’s energy levels every time she used it. But the lamp earned our top spot because it wasn’t just effective—it was also well-rounded. The lamp was compact, adjustable, and easy to use, making it more versatile than the other highly effective lamps we tested.

Our budget favorite, Carex Light Therapy Lamp, wasn’t as durable or customizable as our top pick. But it was effective, affordable, and easy to use—making it a great wallet-friendly alternative to our best overall pick.

How We Rated the Light Therapy Lamps

4.8 to 5 stars: These are the best light therapy lamps we tested. We recommend them without reservation.

4.5 to 4.7 stars: These light therapy lamps are excellent—they might have minor flaws, but we still recommend them.

4.0 to 4.5 stars: We think these are great light therapy lamps, but others are better.

3.5 to 3.9 stars: These light therapy lamps are just average.

3.4 and below: We don't recommend light therapy lamps with this rating; you won't find any on our list.

How We Selected and Tested the Best Light Therapy Lamps

To select the best light therapy lamps, we asked 12 members of our team to test multiple light therapy lamps at home over the course of several weeks. We tested 15 lamps in total, and each tester volunteered to test 1–3 lamps.

We tested each lamp one at a time. Our testers used their lamps for five days in a row, turning the lamp on for 30 minutes each morning. And testers kept their start time, location, distance from the lamp, activities, and eating/drinking habits consistent within each five-day test. Testers made note of their mood, energy levels, and sleep quality before and after using the lamp each day. And they assessed each lamp for effectiveness, ease of use, design, and value—giving the lamps a rating out of 5 stars in each category (with 1 being the worst of the bunch and 5 being exceptional).

Of the 15 light therapy lamps we tested, only eight scored well enough to earn a spot on our list. All eight of these lamps earned an overall rating of 4 stars or higher. And each was best-in-class for a given use case (light intensity, compact design, price, etc.).

Verilux HappyLight VT10

Verywell Mind / Stephanie Vermillion

What to Look for in a Light Therapy Lamp

Type

Light therapy lamps are available as table lamps, floor lamps, sunrise alarm clocks, and more. To decide which light therapy lamp style is right for you, consider when you plan to use the lamp, where you plan to use it, and how much space you have to spare.

Size and Weight

Light therapy lamps come in many sizes and weights. So before buying, consider where you’d like to use your lamp. Compact lamps can fit on crowded shelves or nightstands. Large lamps can illuminate bigger rooms. Lightweight lamps are easy to transport to and from the office. And heavy lamps are best left somewhere consistent. (That way, you don’t have to lug them around very much.)

Adjustable Settings

Many light therapy lamps come with multiple brightness settings, allowing you to dim or brighten your lamp as you see fit. This can make it easier to use your lamp at different times of day, and it can help you adjust to the lamp when you’re just beginning to use it. But light therapy lamps without adjustable settings can be just as helpful: Thanks to their no-frills design, they’re often easy to use.

Light Intensity

To get the most out of your light therapy lamp, experts recommend using a lamp that offers 10,000 lux of light exposure. (Lux is a measure of illuminance. So the higher the lux, the brighter the lamp.) Research suggests that indoor lighting generally provides 100 lux, while a sunny day offers 50,000 lux. So your light therapy lamp should fall somewhere in between. 

Philips Smart Sleep Wake Up Light

Verywell Mind / Stephanie Vermillion

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How do you use a light therapy lamp?

    Light therapy lamps are easy to use. Simply turn on the lamp, and sit near it (about 1.5–2 feet away) for a set period of time (about 15–60 minutes). Because the lamp is so bright, you won’t want to look directly at it.

    Before using your light therapy lamp, be sure to check the manufacturer’s suggested guidelines. Some brands may recommend placing the lamp at or above eye level or limiting your time of exposure based on intensity. Be sure to follow these instructions. They’ll make sure you’re using your lamp safely—and they’ll also help you get the most out of your lamp.

  • How long does it take for light therapy to work?

    It’s unclear how long it takes for light therapy to work. According to some studies, you can see benefits after just one light therapy session. But other studies have found that you may need to use light therapy lamps consistently for several weeks to get the best results. 

    If you’re using a light therapy lamp for the first time, be sure to talk to your doctor or therapist. They can answer your questions and offer individualized guidance on your light therapy routine.

Why Trust Verywell Mind

As a seasoned health and wellness writer, Lindsey Lanquist understands how vital quality product recommendations can be. She is careful to recommend products that are reliable, thoughtfully designed, and genuinely well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them.

Additional reporting by Lily Moe and Tori Zhou.

As a previous fitness coach, long-time wellness enthusiast, and current health editor, Lily Moe understands the importance of products that meet your individual requirements. After moving from sunny Arizona to Brooklyn, New York, Lily experienced seasonal affective disorder firsthand and recognized the value of light therapy lamps. Most importantly, Lily always looks for research and firsthand reviews when it comes to deciding on a product.

Tori Zhou is a writer and Associate Commerce Editor for Verywell. She enjoys staying up-to-date on wellness trends and products with a focus on holistic health.

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Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
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