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Bright, cool running, easy to mount but does it work?
on 22 November 2012
[Edit Dec 2012 - see footer of this review]
I've only had this unit for a couple of days so it's far too soon to discover whether it "works" or not. There are, however, a few points worth mentioning even at this stage.
Firstly, although it might look like a table lamp in the pictures, it's actually about 50% bigger than what I had anticipated. So a LARGE table lamp are the proportions you should expect. I mention the table-lamp design because I felt it would be easier to place on a shelf or small table than some of the other SAD lamps which look like mini sun-beds (square or rectangular). In this respect I was correct,it's easy to put it anywhere.
It appears very well made (although of white plastic, not painted aluminium) and the neck is quite wide (my wife said it reminded her of ET's extendible neck and she's not wrong) and its strength makes the unit very sturdy. The lamp head does not wobble about like some standard desk lamps I've had. It wouldn't look out of place on an office table or lamp stand, for instance.
I like the fact that it runs on a low voltage from a plug-in transformer (wall wart) just like your mobile phone. This means that there are no mains voltages anywhere near the lamp itself. And if you, like my wife just did as I was writing this review, trip over the cable connecting the lamp to the transformer the plug just pops out the back, the lamp being sturdy enough to resist being dragged to the floor (unlike my laptop).
The lamp has 4 levels of brightness; the brightest setting is an independently certified 10,000 lux which is what you want, apparently, from such a device to provide the necessary benefit. The other levels of brightness are there should you find you eyes aching from the bright light. The touch switch to turn the lamp on and adjust the brightness is conveniently placed on the base so no fumbling around the back of the unit is required. I say "touch switch" but I found it more of a very light touch-and-press switch. It's easy to use although there's no indication at what level of brightness the lamp is current set to (other than OFF, obviously).
So is the light bright? Without the diffuses it is VERY bright. And to get the benefit you should ensure you have the light aimed at you so you can actually see the lamp bulbs, which are cool-running LEDs actually. Having the light behind you (like a reading lamp might be positioned) isn't good enough.
With the diffuser attached the light is more comfortable but necessitates an increased exposure to the light up from 30 minutes a day to 60 minutes a day; easy enough, I'm finding, when watching TV.
So far so good; I'm certainly expecting some good SAD results from this unit and so far I've not been put off using it which is a good first step. After all, if I disliked it, either because of its looks or the way it worked, then the chances are that I wouldn't use it at all. As it is, I think it looks stylish, if a bit bigger than expected, and it not something I want to hide away.
I'll give it a few weeks and hopefully update this review with the details.
Interim conclusion is that this is a well made, stylish, sturdy lamp that could be used all day long.
[EDIT: December 2012. It's been three weeks now and the interim results are inconclusive. It certainly hasn't done any harm and if anything I'm leaning towards the "improving" end of the scale. Certainly there appears to be more energy to be had in the morning, I feel, but this may be just the "placebo effect" at this early stage.
More updates as I continue to use it.