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Light Box Therapy: Safety, Effectiveness and Comfort
Several safety components should be incorporated into any light therapy device you use:
The SunBox Company's light boxes have all been tested for UV emissions
by an independent laboratory, which has concluded that they are UV-free.
We have the reports available upon request.
In addition to spreading the light evenly over the light box surface, the diffuser also absorbs the UV wavelengths that are emitted by the bulbs (all bulbs emit UV light to some degree). Without a diffuser you are not protected from the potentially harmful effects of UV rays.
The only case of eye damage with bright light therapy of which we are
aware occurred in a man who had built his own light box. Unfortunately,
he attempted to save money by omitting the diffusing screen, and suffered
retinal damage from using his homemade light box.
Some manufacturers state that their products have "UL Listed Components." This is very misleading, since electrical components available to U.S. manufacturers must be UL Listed in order to be available for sale. That is, all electrical components used in U.S. manufacturing are UL Listed. The absence of a UL listing on a light therapy device indicates that either the manufacturer is unwilling to spend the money each year to have their products evaluated, or their product does not pass UL's strict guidelines. In either case, you cannot be assured of the electrical safety of such products.
There are four important factors when considering the effectiveness of a light box:
In 1990, a study was published which showed that 10,000 lux, a brightness equivalent to being outside on a clear spring day shortly after sunrise, delivered for a much shorter duration produced similar results. Since then, numerous other studies have replicated this finding, and 10,000 lux has become the standard for light therapy equipment. Using this brighter light typically decreases needed treatment time to under 30 minutes per day, which, researchers believe, increases compliance and therefore efficacy...after all, it's much easier for busy people to plan to sit still for 20-30 minutes each day, instead of 2-4 hours!
We are unaware of any research that supports the use of light brighter
than 10,000 lux for bright light treatment, either in terms of efficacy
The SunBox Company has incorporated several important features designed to increase user comfort:
Full Spectrum Light
Full spectrum light, regardless of whether it contains UV, appears whiter than other types of artificial light such as cool white, warm white, and broad spectrum, since it contains a greater distribution of colors within the visible spectrum. Cool white bulbs, for example, appear yellow-orange when compared to full spectrum bulbs because they are significantly deficient in the blue-green part of the spectrum.
All SunBox light boxes use bulbs that emit color temperatures of 5,000-5,500° Kelvin. As stated in the Safety section above, the potentially harmful UV wavelengths are eliminated from our light boxes with the acrylic diffuser.
High Quality Electronic Ballasts
©2002 The SunBox Company
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The products and the claims made about specific products on or through this site have not been evaluated by the United States Food and Drug Administration and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. The information provided on this site is not intended as a substitute for advice from your physician or other health care professional. You should not use the information on this site for diagnosis or treatment of any health problem. You should consult with a healthcare professional if you have or suspect you might have a health problem.
LightBox 4 Therapy, a division of Organic
and Healthy, Inc.,
Ashland, Oregon, 541-708-0614
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