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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!

Edit 08-07-15: the updated version of this lamp is the Philips HF3420/03 Intense Blue Energy Up Energy Light - search under the serial number for further details.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 3 December 2009
Vine Customer Review of Free Product( 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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on 29 March 2010
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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Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The Philips goLite BLU Energy Light is a compact SAD light in the apple mold of industrial design; its white, uses magnets to hold its stand in place and has soft curves. Its main feature is an array of tuned LED's that emit a blue light designed to mimic the effect of being in daylight. These LED's emit a very bright blue light tricks your body into thinking its a summers day.

I am a workaholic and during the winter months I never see daylight getting into work at about 6am and leaving work long after the sun has set. As winter draws on his makes me more and more tired. I planned to use the lamp for 2 weeks and then write my review. I felt that using the light seemed to perk me up and gave me an energy boost that felt similar to putting sugar into my coffee (which i don't normally do.)

You can use the light as an alarm clock but i personally found this disturbing as my eyes went from the dark of sleep to very very bright light and they didn't like it. So i used it on my desk when i got into work gave me what felt like a good energy boost that lasted most of the morning. I used it for my planned two weeks each day for 15 minutes had to charge it once a week. The sense of extra energy hasn't diminished over that time; so i have actually kept using it for another week to see if the effect wained and it hasn't yet.

If its something you are interested in; Philips have a money back guarantee on it so you can try it for a month safe in knowledge that you will get your money back if it doesn't work for you. Have considered buying this a number of times but wasnt aware of the money back guarentee so was glad of the chance to give it a test and pass on that vital information.
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on 1 February 2010
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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on 10 September 2010
I'll echo what the most recent review said, this is currently being sold by the manufacturer's own online shop for significantly less.

It's a very well made unit and it's very effective for me, but Amazon's price is currently far too high. When I bought it (from Amazon themselves) in March this year it was a penny under one hundred pounds.
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on 24 January 2010
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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on 22 February 2010
I have suffered from S.A.D. for 10 years now and I have had a lightbox and Dawn Simulator Alarm Clock for 8 years. To say that these items changed my life is not a word of a lie or an exaggeration. I have an 'old style' lightbox which I have relied on for the last 8 years . My son pointed out the new small and lightweight, led lightbox to me. I was sceptical and reluctant to change as I know my old lightbox works so well for me. I decided to try the new one though and bought it at the end of January. My old lightbox is like an old style portable television set, size wise, very large at the back. This new one is just amazing!! I took it with me on the plane when I went away for the weekend. Something I couldn't do with my old one. It is so compact and lightweight you can take it anywhere. It is much more discreet as the light is as effective but not as obvious when you are using it. If you suffer from S.A.D. or the winter blues..get yourself one!! You won't regret it.
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on 4 December 2011
So the question is, does it work? In one word... YES. I don't think many people realise the effect of the lack of sun has on their mood and energy levels. In England we are certainly known for the uplift in the nation during the summers and the extensive use of caffeine during the horribly dark winters. I purchased this lamp because I am already on antidepressant medication and I noticed a significant dip in mood during the onslaught of the winter months. For me this is a clear thing, however, it may be more subtle or more severe in others. It is probable that this effects everyone, but when it is severe and compromises quality of life, its is called seasonal affective disorder or SAD. SAD can be treated using light therapy and there are numerous manufacturers on the market. Be careful to purchase the right product as some are not certified medical devices, the Phillips model however is fully certified and this is one of the reason for my choice. Presumably like you, I searched the net for reviews and finally settled on this model. There are a number of reasons:

1) Effectiveness - the majority of people who have used this product state a significant positive effect within days of use. In my case, after 2 days of use at 30mins per day at 50% intensity, I have a massive effect. Not only am I sleeping better, but I wake in the morning easier and feel move alive, so much so that I have, under the direction of my GP reduced the dosage of my medications (obviously, always discuss pertinent things like this with a qualified professional). Now, instinctively, the fact that a light can make you feel happier and healthier does not make sense, but believe me when I say that this lamp truly is magical.

2) Treatment time - One of the reasons I purchased this model is that the treatment time is far lower than full spectrum lights. Studies have shown that only certain wavelengths emitted by lightboxes are effective in treating SAD. By providing only these wavelengths, a lower lux or brightness is necessary and this focused application results in shorter treatment times. For comparisons sake, this product can do its job in a mere 30 minutes as opposed to 1-2hrs for traditional full spectrum lights. I certainly do not have 1-2hrs in the morning to spare.

3) Safety - there is alot of information that postulates that blue light MAY be harmful to the eyes and contribute to macular degeneration. The evidence is inconclusive. Blue lights are found in many appliances such as TVs, Computers etc. Moreover, blue light wavelengths are found to a greater degree in 10,000 lux full spectrum lights and naturally occur in sunlight... things are blue in colour because they absorb the blue wavelengths in natural sunlight. I personally think it is safer to expose my eyes to a low lux blue light for a shorter period rather than a 10,000 lux full spectrum light for 2hrs. The choice is yours but as always, trust your own body. If your eyes hurt when using this product, then try turning the brightness down and using shorter treatment times. If problems persist, then maybe this product is not for you. Also it is worth noting that whilst this light is bright, the cells in your eyes that respond to these wavelengths lie at the periphery of your retina... thus you do not need to look directly at the light, rather it is most effective when it is placed at an angle to your face.

4) Quality - the quality is high and there are a few small touches that make this so. The touch screen is responsive and holds the controls for the light as well as a digital clock. There is an alarm feature which can be set to make a sound, turn on the light to simulate sun in the morning or both. The stand is magnetic and when not in use, magnetically sticks to the back of the unit. There is also a slip case included that serves in addition to the units size and recharge-ability to make it portable.

5) Battery - The unit takes around 2 hrs to charge and once charged, will last me 5 days using at 50% intensity for 30 mins per day.

In conclusion, for me, the goLite and has been greatly beneficial. It is a quality product that doubles as an alarm clock and uses selective blue wavelengths to permits lower lux and shorter treatment times whilst still maintaining comparable or improved effectiveness compared to 10,000 lux full spectrum lights with 1-2hr treatment times. Phillips also offer a 30 days trail period, thus if you are not satisfied, you can return the item. The price on Amazon is great but note that it does fluctuate, increasing to £200 in the winter and as low as £100 at other times (I have been watching this item for years!). I am so happy with my goLite and it has made a big difference to the quality of my life. Sometimes, magic actually does exist. Whatever you decide, may you find the perfect lightbox.
All the best
Kajendiran
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on 10 February 2010
i bought this for my rather aged mother-who complains every winter about being miserable-and missing the sun.
i was-sceptical-and offered to make a cheaper version with 2 torchs.....but the box arrived-and i had to eat my own cynical words
dead simple to use, clean lines and very clear wel laid out instructions
more importantly-my mother is much happier-and is convinced that she feels better for using it-and that means a happier life for all of us!
share the sunshine-we see precious little of it
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