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722 of 728 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (4.5 stars) Surprisingly effective
I've been using this product for two weeks now, and I'm surprised just how much difference it's made to me in that short amount of time.

I have had a history of suffering from depression, and with hindsight these episodes have tended to occur with the onset of the winter months. I'm fairly open-minded about trying different treatments, and I've always...
Published on 3 Dec 2009 by L. Hennessy

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105 of 113 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Results not immediately clear, but it's helping me get up in the morning
I bought this product because I suffer from depression during the winter. One of my major symptoms is difficulty in getting up in the morning, and whilst I cannot be sure of the effect this light has had on my mood, it has certainly helped me get up on time. I started using it for 20 minutes as soon as I got up, and then for 20 more minutes later in the morning...
Published on 29 Mar 2010 by Jennifer Malsingh


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722 of 728 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars (4.5 stars) Surprisingly effective, 3 Dec 2009
By 
L. Hennessy (Twickenham) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Philips HF3330 goLITE BLU Energy SAD Light (Personal Care)
I've been using this product for two weeks now, and I'm surprised just how much difference it's made to me in that short amount of time.

I have had a history of suffering from depression, and with hindsight these episodes have tended to occur with the onset of the winter months. I'm fairly open-minded about trying different treatments, and I've always understood the problem to be a chemical deficiency rather than a purely psychological one, as cognitive behavioural therapy had little effect whereas anti-depressants worked far better (although it's not adviseable to take them for long). [Edit 22-12-10]The issue of anti-depressants is a complicated one though, and my experience of using them might not be the same as that of others.

The surface area of the light is quite large, and can be set at varying levels of brightness. It functions as an alarm clock, and can be programmed to shine when it wakes you up, too. The LCD display is large and easy to read, and the unit comes with a faux-leather slip that can be used to take it with you on your travels.

A nice touch is the metal stand it comes with - it has a recess it lies on on the back of the light, and is held there by magnetic means when not in use.

I found the easiest way to use this light is to place it on the desk beside me while I surf the internet in the morning - at first it feels very bright, but that sensation quickly goes away and is replaced with one similar to how you feel when you open the curtains in the morning and the sunlight hits you. It's a lovely refreshing feeling that makes you feel like a flower opening (apologies for the bad analogy).

I have it set to shine at 75% for 25 minutes, and over the last two weeks I've noticed:

- Improved mood
- More energy
- Increased libido
- Better sleeping patterns
- More dreams

There are three shortcomings to this particular model:

1) The price - if you want to try light therapy to see if it works, it's a lot to pay (although as another reviewer points out, there is a 30-day money back guarantee).

2) The rechargeable battery only lasts for about 3 sessions before it needs to be recharged again. I can see that it takes a lot of juice to keep the light as bright as it is though, so perhaps this is to be expected.

3) A small point - the stand makes the light shine upwards too much - I'd prefer a directional stand that could give me more control over where it points.

I look forward to each day with vigour now. I hope this outlook continues and that these improvements aren't temporary. I really don't think it's a placebo effect, either.

So although I can understand why some of the 'reviews' on this page are so sceptical about this product, I can only say that it has worked for me - perhaps I'd find it hard to believe that it can be effective if I didn't need to use it too.I haven't tried the smaller cheaper models so I wouldn't know whether to recommend them or not. All I know is that this works for me, and I wholeheartedly recommend trying it if you suffer from the winter blues too.

I'll write more as the season progresses.

Edit 08-12-09: Week 3 - I'm finding it a lot easier to go to bed early. I was asleep by 10.30 last night - a very refreshing experience!

Edit 26-01-10: Week 8? - I'm only having to use it once every two days now; whether this is because I'm 'dosed up' to capacity, or because the worst of the initial impact of winter is over, I'm not too sure... but I'm still feeling good, and free from bleakness and fatigue.

Edit 23-2-10: I tried out a week of not using it to see what would happen (a 'control' week, if you like), and the effects were noticeable, even though they crept up on me rather slowly; I became rather irritable and tired after 5 or 6 days - snapping rather unpleasantly at loved ones, and I found it hard to get to sleep. Rather than continue the misery I switched on the light again, and three days later I'm feeling a lot better for it again.

Edit 12-09-10: Well, the nights are drawing in again, and I'll start using the light at the beginning of October I think. It's a great relief to know it's there when I need it. The prospect of the oncoming winter doesn't seem quite so bad.

Edit 03-10-10: I've started using it today; I'm not a pleasant person to be around when the SAD kicks in, and stupidly I waited until I (and others) suffered from my mood swings before I did so. Not a nice feeling. At least I've proved to myself that I need to use it, I suppose - it's so easy to forget. I just hope it works as well as last year. It's a bit pointless to update this much further, so I'll do a final one in a week or so when hopefully I'll be feeling better.

Edit 18-10-10: I feel better, thank goodness. I can be nice to people again, I have energy, and everything doesn't seem so bleak. The dependency I have on this light worries me slightly, but what an improvement it's made - for people who suspect they might be sensitive to these seasonal light changes, I'd recommend trying it out under the 30-day money back guarantee; that's enough time to have noticed any differences. Good luck to you, and I hope it helps you as much as it has me!
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195 of 201 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Banish the blues!, 3 Dec 2009
By 
Big Bertha (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Philips HF3330 goLITE BLU Energy SAD Light (Personal Care)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
The Philips goLITE BLU is compact (approx 6" X 6"), portable and comes with a neat little black case. It's rechargeable and the charging lead comes with a multi-adapter so it can be used just about anywhere.

I was dubious about what good (if any) these lights can do, but have to admit that after using it for nearly two weeks I'm pretty impressed. Going to work in the dark and coming home in the same is dismal to say the least, but after just a couple of weeks I've found myself waking more alert, with more get up and go and work colleagues have commented on my brighter mood.

Don't expect a quick fix with this light, the manufacturer recommends that you start using it at 50% intensity for 15-30 minutes each day for a few days and increase the intensity if no benefit is noticed. I've been using it as recommended, at 50% for 15 minutes every morning for the nearly two weeks and am definitely feeling the benefits now. The light is placed at the side of you (approx 50 cm or 20 ins away) so that the light bathes your face but you are not staring directly into the light. Using for 15 minutes a day I only need to recharge it once a week.

The light can be used at different times of the day depending on when you find yourself flagging and feeling lethargic and should not be used within 2 hours of going to bed. It can also be used to combat jet-lag suffered when travelling through different time zones. The booklet that comes with the light is easily followed and gives clear instructions for getting optimum results.

The booklet also advises that this light may not be suitable and you should seek medical advice before using if you suffer from depression, bipolar disorder, are hypersensitive, have had eye surgery or if you are taking photo-sensitising medications.

It's certainly not cheap, but if you suffer from the winter blues it could be a godsend. If you just don't like getting up in the dark a Wake-Up Light may be a cheaper alternative.

UPDATE: Three weeks on there's a definite improvement in both my sleeping patterns and ability to get out of bed in the mornings. I'm sleeping really well and no longer huddling under the duvet in the mornings but instead bouncing out of bed feeling awake and raring to go. Still using the light for 15 minutes every morning at 50% intensity as haven't felt the need to increase it.

FURTHER UPDATE: Winter again - my goLITE kept me going through last winter, for me using the same 50% intensity for 15 minutes each morning worked and I stuck to it. Just after the clocks went back I found the dark mornings and evenings were getting to me so out came the goLITE and it was back to the 15 minute sessions and yes, it definitely makes a difference.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Seems to do all it claimed., 26 Jan 2010
By 
Bryan (East of England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Philips HF3330 goLITE BLU Energy SAD Light (Personal Care)
My wife is usually very sceptical about devises such as this lamp but as she often moans about the lack of sunshine at this time of year I thought it was worth giving it a go. She has been using it now for 30 minutes each breakfast time for about two weeks and is convinced she feels better for it. I can see a big difference in her general demeaner, she is much happier in herself, more active and admits she puts it down to the lamp. A great buy. If you are wondering - go for it. I don't think you'll regret it. By the way we are both in our 70s.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Impressions after 2 weeks use: Good but not great., 16 Feb 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Philips HF3330 goLITE BLU Energy SAD Light (Personal Care)
I have been using this product daily for up to 2 hours over the last two weeks and whilst it hasn't helped with my mood or cognitive disfunction, it has had a positive effect on my energy levels and I now sleep much better at night.

The product was just as described and works as expected and, despite the intensity, I no longer notice when its on. My only minor niggle is that it would benefit from an adjustable stand and some means of wall mounting. Also, from my readings on SAD I am unconvinced that blue light offers any advantage over white light.

To conclude; whilst I haven't seen the drastic improvements some people have, it has no-the-less proved beneficial and I doubt that any other comparable lightbox would have shown better results. I am happy with my purchase.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This light has changed my life for the better!, 1 Feb 2010
By 
Mrs. B. G. Nichols "Jonsysmum" (Preston, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Philips HF3330 goLITE BLU Energy SAD Light (Personal Care)
I have suffered from SAD for a number of years and tried all sorts including St John's Wort and anti depressants prescribed by my GP which I hated having to take. The anti depressants worked a bit but I was on quite a high dose. I hate taking medication of any kind and so I wasn't happy about this so gradually came off the anti depressants during the summer months. I felt great until the Autumn, particularly when the clocks changed and the daylight hours became shorter. There I was back to the old feelings of lethargy, not wanting to get up and not wanting to socialize. I was also very grumpy both with the family and at work. If I could have hibernated until Spring arrived I would have. I got so desperate that I searched the internet for a solution and came across this light. I have been using it each morning for 2 weeks now on 50% for 30 minutes and just about the middle of the second week I really began to feel the benefit. I get out of bed and start my day shortly after waking and no longer have that awful feeling in the pit of my stomach. I get up at 6am when it is still dark so this is a real bonus. When I get to work I use the light at my desk whilst I go through my emails. I am sleeping so much better too. Not waking up in the early hours, able to go to sleep earlier in the evening too and it is real quality sleep. I feel as if I have really rested. I was encouraged by the fact that I could send it back after 30 days if it didn't work so thought it really worth a try. It has worked and I wholeheartedly recommend it to anyone who has SAD or the winter blues!!
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105 of 113 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Results not immediately clear, but it's helping me get up in the morning, 29 Mar 2010
By 
Jennifer Malsingh (Bristol, UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Philips HF3330 goLITE BLU Energy SAD Light (Personal Care)
I bought this product because I suffer from depression during the winter. One of my major symptoms is difficulty in getting up in the morning, and whilst I cannot be sure of the effect this light has had on my mood, it has certainly helped me get up on time. I started using it for 20 minutes as soon as I got up, and then for 20 more minutes later in the morning.

I would recommend this product for people who have specific SAD symptoms such as difficulty getting up, excessive tiredness, craving for sweets, etc. Don't expect it to make you instantly happy, but I think you will notice a change in your energy levels which should help you make other changes. Don't forget that to really help yourself you need to get outside in natural sunlight as much as possible, do some exercise and eat healthily.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Liked product BUT Philips Customer Service very poor, 24 Jan 2010
This review is from: Philips HF3330 goLITE BLU Energy SAD Light (Personal Care)
I've rated the product 4 stars when it was working!!
Despite this rating, I would like to warn potential purchasers about Philips Customer Care Service before they decide to buy this expensive product.
I purchased the Philips goLITE BLU Christmas week and was unfortunate to receive a product that presented a couple of problems.
The first problem was a faulty LED cell which did not illuminate like the rest of the LED cells in the light panel. However, after using it a couple of times the faulty LED suddenly started to work so I cancelled returning the product to Amazon for a replacement.
Unfortunately, after using the light every day for 10 days, a second fault developed with the recharger. Despite following the instructions the recharger just would not recharge the battery making the light not functional.
I emailed Philips Customer Care asking about the faulty recharger and despite follow up emails they did not reply until 16 days had passed. By this time I had got fed up of waiting for Philips Customer Care to reply and returned the product to Amazon.
It is most frustrating that Philips Customer Care was very poor because I did think the goLITE BLU was very good in helping improve my SAD symptoms (whilst it was working!!).
I was prepared to try another recharger before returning the product because the light was effective. The light is very small, compact and easy to use. Treatment time is short which means you can fit a 'session' into your day very easily.
However, because of my bad experience with Philips Customer Care I am now reluctant to purchase another goLITE BLU in case it goes faulty (it's not a cheap product!!).
The product comes with a guarantee but after this expires how can you hope to get a fault resolved with such poor customer service. Chances are you would probably be left high and dry by Philips.
If it was half the cost I would not be as reluctant to try another one because it was effective in relieving my 'winter blues'.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This lamp may change your life, 18 Mar 2011
By 
Vlodec (LEICESTER, Leics. United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Philips HF3330 goLITE BLU Energy SAD Light (Personal Care)
For as long as I can remember I've been prone to depression and lassitude during the winter months. I'd heard about Seasonal Affective Disorder with interest, and about these lamps with considerable scepticism but after reading so many positive reviews here on Amazon I decided to risk it. I chose the Philips on the basis that you get what you pay for.

The difference it's made is hard to exaggerate. Most people seem to notice a difference after 3 or 4 days. I noticed it after two. 3 months later I have far more energy, feel happier, and sleep better over fewer hours. I wish I'd done this years ago.

Let's be clear about this, it won't of course solve all your life's problems. You'll still have good days and bad days, but if you're like me you'll have many more of the former and be far better able to handle the latter.

You will not, of course, obtain the same benefit I have. It's clear that I'm particularly susceptible. But if you suffer to any degree from the same affliction, then you may expect a proportionate relief.

This lamp may change your life.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars i just wish i'd bought it earlier!, 20 Nov 2010
This review is from: Philips HF3330 goLITE BLU Energy SAD Light (Personal Care)
i bought this product a couple of months ago and can't believe how much it's helped me. it helps me to wake up in the morning, and doing shift work mean that this is a great help, but more importantly to me and everybody else around me it seems to have alleviated my S.A.D symptoms. i have energy, i am happy and i am motivated again. i cannot reccommend this product enough. well worth the money.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Sad light, 6 Jan 2010
By 
A. Mowat (Scotland UK.) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Philips HF3330 goLITE BLU Energy SAD Light (Personal Care)
This light gives off a strong but ajustable blue light that you don't need to have sitting directly infront of you like most sad lights, It can be set off to one side and the effect is just as good. I have suffered from SAD. for many years and owned many lights and this one is by far the best. even my wife likes to use it just to relax as it is a every comfortable light to read by or listen to music by.
18/03/2011 I have now owned this sad light for just over a year and i can say that it is the best light i have used by far. Although most sad lights are by there very nature seasonal and so are packed away in the spring i have used this light through the summer as a very effective alarm and even when depressed i find it helps even though it shouldn't, just the relaxing nature of the light helps. One warning though don,t use as the soul form of lighting as this gives me a sore head after only a few minutes but even used with weak sunlight on problem. if you suffer from SAD or even bi polar i would highly recommend this light
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Philips HF3330 goLITE BLU Energy SAD Light
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