Thursday, December 4, 2008

Blue Light Special

One of the items I received to review last month from Amazon was a blue light therapy device manufactured by Philips under the goLite moniker.

I didn't know these devices existed, much less their purpose until it appeared on the list of items from which to choose. Out of curiosity I selected it and a couple of days later it arrived.

Here is part of the product description:

Light therapy provides a natural boost that helps you feel better, increases energy and even helps you sleep. Using the right wavelength of light, you can trigger your active hormones naturally, boosting your mood and overcoming those down feelings, whatever the season. Blue light is the key. Researchers have learned that receptors in our eyes convert the blue light from the summer sky into the chemicals our bodies need to be active and energetic. We don't get this light in the winter, and indoor light doesn't replace this color, which is why our mood, energy and sleep patterns suffer.

I've only used it a couple of times and so far haven't noticed any difference in the way I feel. I think this light is primarily for people who get depressed during periods in which there is a shortage or absence of sunlight. Me, I don't ever recall ever feeling that way. I can be just as depressed on a sunny day as a cloudy one!

The light can be adjusted to varying degrees of intensity. As recommended for starting out, I set it to 50% power and angled it off to the left side of my computer desk about 30" away from my eyes. Even at 1/2 intensity, this thing is bright! Imagine those bright blue LED's on many electronic items these days, except multiplied by 100 or more and all shining right at you.

Here are some pictures. First, device off with no camera flash.

Next, device off with camera flash.

Finally, device on at 50% intensity.

Hmm.. when it is on like that for some reason I want to go looking up and down the aisles for sale items.

When I was in elementary school and junior high, often I would feel sad in the afternoon, around 4:00. It's hard to describe the exact feeling. It was sort of like the sadness one feels when a friend moves away or you are losing something precious or cherished. Loneliness? Something about that particular time of day, perhaps the position of the sun or the shadows cast? I don't know.. maybe I could have used some blue light therapy at that time!

As I grew older that feeling decreased in intensity and disappeared. But when I was little, I felt it very strongly and it bothered me.

Anyway, I'm going to continue trying this blue light to see if I can actually discern some sort of effect from it. It would be nice if it had some other use, like killing bugs or something..

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