Philips goLITE BLU Price: $129.99 Rating: Recommend* Do you suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)? Do you notice a change in your energy levels as the region approaches winter? If so, you are probably in the market for a light box. In addition to banishing winter blues, light boxes also purport to increase energy levels and help kick that midday hump that has us reaching for our black tea. We perused the various options available in light box tech and took one of the sleekest models, the Philips goLITE BLU, out for a test drive. At less than half the size of comparable models we knew this was the unit that we, for the sake of apartment dwellers and winter blues sufferers everywhere, needed to try.
Design: One of the first things we were struck by is how incredibly cute this device is. It might seem strange that this was our first reaction, but after looking at other light boxes on the market like the Apollo SunTouch and the Verilux HappyLite, the clean, simple good looks of the goLITE really stand out. This device does not look like something you would find in a hospital room nor is it something that you have to clear a massive amount of space for and hide away when it is not being used.
With its rounded corners and clean white body, the goLITE looks like it could have been made by Apple. The biggest giveaway that it is not made by our favorite creator of white tech, is the black power cord. The device comes with a tiny magnetic wand that is adheres to the back of the device and props it up. When the device is not in use you simply pull the magnetic wand and place it in the storage area on the back of the device. The device has two buttons, one to adjust the brightness of the blue LED lights and the other to power on the device and set the timer.
Usage: Can you really get energy from a light? This was one of the questions that we set out to answer when we were given this product to review. Since we don't suffer from SAD which is what this device is primarily used to treat we decided to evaluate it on one of the other benefits, one of which is increased energy. Sitting next to a light for 15 minutes is much more pleasant than drinking copious amounts of caffeine, so we were eager to give this device a shot. We started using the device for 15 minutes after placing it the required 50 cm away. We began our trial by using it during dinner at home. We disregarded the warning to not use the light within two hours of bed and did not have any difficulty falling asleep. If you are not the type of person that crawls into bed exhausted to your core prior to 11pm every night then perhaps it is wise to heed the warning. After a few days of using it in the evening, we switched to powering it on during our early breakfast which often happens, thanks to the change in seasons, when it is still dark outside. We are not morning people and felt marginally more alert after the morning light therapy session. Wanting to test the portability of the device and what the effect might be of using it in the middle of the day, we took it with us to the office. Using it for 30 minutes in the office gave us a pleasant increase in alertness that we used to turn to caffeine for. The weather was rainy and the days dark the majority of the time we tested this device and the darker days were not helping our energy level in the least. We did notice an improvement in our energy levels and desire to get things done after our third day of using the device.
Pros: - inexpensive - small, lightweight design - bright and powerful despite its size - easy to transport (although you need to bring the adapter) - fairly quiet Cons: - does not run on batteries - the black power cord really sticks out when plugged into the white device
The Bottom Line (& Who Should Buy): If you suffer from SAD or are looking for a way to increase alertness naturally then this is a good device for you. The goLITE also purports to help conquer jet lag which makes it attractive to frequent travelers although needing to plug it in does detract from its portability. We think it would be great if this device could also run on batteries making it much easier to travel with and transport from home to office and around various rooms in your home. All in all the device packs quite the punch in a small footprint making it perfect for those looking for a light box solution for a very small space. Our Ratings: Strong Recommend Recommend* Weak Recommend Don't Recommend Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. However, the manufacturer did give us the product for testing and review purposes.