Attempting to beat the winter blues with the Lumie Vitamin L SAD Lamp

As days get shorter and the night creeps in earlier I'm one of many people that find their mood greatly affected by the seasonal change. It's got easier over the years but when I was younger this gradual darkening coupled with the return to school affected me more negatively than I realised at the time. It was hard to pin down why I felt so negative because it crept up, gradually as the nights drew in and you couldn't remember when you felt happier if at all.

Skip forward to a few of years and I was shopping around for a new alarm clock. I think most people agree that waking up in the morning is rarely ever a fun activity and so anything you can do to ease the transition from being comfortably asleep to getting ready for work is a bonus. I started looking into sunrise alarm clocks and liked what they purported to offer; a gently illuminating glow to rouse you rather than a shrill beeping.

Long story short I spent £120 on a Philips sunrise alarm clock which is basically a fancy light bulb but I would go as far as to say it changed my life. That sounds a little hyperbolic I agree but for me this thing is amazing. A question I often ask people is "would you buy another one if this one broke?" and my answer to that is; yes, immediately. I wake up much easier and more positively in the morning which has improved my mood overall, especially during the winter.

We've recently moved to a new house and the position of the clock isn't ideal, it should really be facing you

But back to the Lumie Vitamin L. It's been a while since I got the sunrise alarm clock and I finally got a SAD lamp after putting it off for ages, not knowing if it would be worth it for me. The sunrise alarm clock and SAD lamp are two different products, offering two different things but I'd definitely say they're related and if you find one a positive improvement it's likely you'll like the other.

It's a very neat looking unit compared to some

Unusually for me I didn't really do much research into the different models so I can't say why the Vitamin L is any better or worse than anything else. All I can say is the compared to an older Lumie lamp my mum owns this one is significantly smaller and better looking.

The little stand is easily detachable but solid in use

I got it out the box and took some photos before I turned it on. When I did turn it on it was quite a shock, this thing is seriously bright. You don't want to look directly at it when you reach to turn it on!

This shows the texture/design on the front of the unit and isn't meant to show how bright the unit is It's always hard to judge photos of things like this on your screen but I tried to balance the exposure of this shot to show how bright it is but you do lose the intensity

I have it sitting next to me on my desk and have had it on for about half an hour this morning. You don't need, or want, to look directly at it but even with that in mind I'd say you don't want to be doing anything that you really need to see properly. For example I wouldn't be editing images while it's on because it just messes with how bright you think everything else is. It'd be great to have on while you're eating breakfast, reading the newspaper, while you're answering emails or something similar.

Ignore the slightly scary painted Barbie, look at the lamp, or the debonair monkey

I'm not sure if the SAD lamp with work for me, but I'll give it a go and let you know. Does anyone else have any experiences with SAD lamps or any ways they help beat the winter blues?