Header burger open
Search Logo

Jump To

Currently Viewing:

Do SAD Lamps Use a Lot of Electricity?

a profile image of TSA author Alex

Written by Alex Petrović

Sleep Consultant

Featured image for do SAD lamps use a lot of electricity

19 December 2023 3 min read

For people dealing with Seasonal Affective Disorder, bright light therapy and SAD lamps are an incredibly valuable tool. However, those with limited resources might wonder “Do SAD lamps use a lot of electricity?” Let's talk about it.

Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) poses challenges to mental well-being, particularly during the darker months of autumn and winter. SAD lamps, or light therapy lamps, have emerged as a popular intervention for alleviating symptoms associated with this condition.

A common concern among potential users is the electricity consumption of these lamps. After all, a SAD light can be on the more expensive side, and people looking to keep their bills low might not want to deal with the high light intensity SAD lamps utilise.

However, rest assured that SAD lamps are actually quite cheap to maintain. So, let's crunch some numbers.

Understanding SAD lamps

An image of a SAD lamp in a dark room

A SAD lamp replicates natural sunlight, emitting bright light that aids in regulating circadian rhythms (your natural body clock) and mitigating the effects of seasonal mood changes.

The intended usage involves a daily session, usually in the morning, to recalibrate the body's internal clock and enhance overall well-being.

Bright light treatment typically has a person point the light at an angle towards their eyes, with the light being 10,000 lux or higher.

For context, that's about as bright as ambient daylight. But direct natural light is a lot brighter than that.

Power consumption

When you hear 10,000 lux, you likely assume that these LED lights must be taking up quite a bit of energy. However, it's quite the opposite.

SAD lamps are recognised for their energy-efficient design. Most models utilise fluorescent or LED bulbs, known for their low energy consumption compared to traditional incandescent bulbs. The prevailing LED technology is particularly notable for providing luminosity with minimal power usage.

Of course, the wattage can vary between different SAD lamps. So, while the best SAD lamps likely use energy-efficient LEDs, cheaper models might use less optimal models. But even then, they're unlikely to use anything stronger than 60 watts.

If you want to look at a few examples of different intensities and builds, check out our best SAD lamps list.

An infographic showcasing the energy cost of different lights

Daily usage

The recommended daily usage of SAD lamps usually floats around the 30-minute mark but can vary depending on individual needs and lamp specifications. This limited duration contributes to the overall energy efficiency of these devices.

It's also worth mentioning that for people who both want to treat SAD and have an easier morning, there are SAD lamps with multiple functions. The most common iteration is SAD alarm clocks. Aside from having the functions of an alarm clock, these SAD lamps usually also have dimmers, gradually increasing and then decreasing the amount of light used.

However, we don't think this tips the scales all that much. In fact, we'd be surprised if this added to the electricity bill of SAD lights for more than a few pence.

How much do SAD lamps cost compared to other appliances?

An image of coins stacked on a flat surface

If your head is still spinning from all the talk of lux and watts, let's make a better comparison. While it's difficult to find statistics for SAD lamps, we've covered how LED lights cost under a pound a year.

And mind you, this probably refers to constant use, while SAD lamps are only on for about 30 minutes a day.

Compared to that, just turning on your kettle for 10 minutes is going to cost you 17 pence. And if you keep your laptop on for 8 hours a day or more, the energy levels are easily going to surpass 50 quid.

However, it's also worth noting that buying a SAD lamp is a bit more expensive.

For example, to get the best SAD light on the market, you can easily spend more than 100 quid. And since they typically have a 3-year guarantee, that equates to about a 33£/year cost.

So, while they don't use up much energy, it's important to note that light therapy products aren't exactly cheap.

Is getting a SAD lamp worth it?

An image of a man thinking

Now that we know how much energy SAD lamps need and how much they can cost, the only question remaining is “Are they worth it?”

Of course, this is a subjective matter so, we can't blatantly tell you yes or no. However, we would like to put things into context. Firstly, when it comes to SAD, also called winter blues, a lot more people are affected than you'd think.

About 0.5-3% of people experience Seasonal Affective Disorder. For context, that means that you're more likely to experience SAD than to be a redhead. And about 10% of people who experience SAD will be affected during the warmer months. So, getting enough natural light might not be enough.

That being said, SAD lamps can't cure mental health issues – they can just help our brain deal with some of the SAD symptoms. Plus, if you don't mind getting up early in the morning, you can just count on bright sunlight to have a similar effect – even during winter months.

So, unlike dehumidifiers or weighted blankets, you can technically achieve your wanted results without buying anything. Having a SAD lamp just makes it easier and more convenient.

Environmental and safety considerations

In addition to personal electricity costs, it is imperative to consider the environmental implications of device usage. SAD lamps, characterised by their energy-efficient design and limited daily usage, contribute positively to a household's environmental footprint.

SAD lamps also don't use UV light, meaning that there are no known health risks involved. In fact, the blue light emitted by most modern electronics is a lot more harmful to your health than SAD lamps.

Conclusion

In conclusion, SAD lamps exhibit commendable energy efficiency. Their utilisation of energy-efficient LED lights, coupled with a short recommended daily usage duration, positions these devices as a practical and environmentally conscious solution for managing Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Individuals seeking relief from seasonal mood changes can confidently incorporate SAD lamps into their daily routines, knowing they offer therapeutic benefits without significantly impacting electricity bills in the UK or putting them at any type of risk.

However, they are not essential, and people with limited income might not be able to afford the right SAD lamp. So, depending on your financial position, just going outside in the morning could be a much more feasible alternative. But let us know in the comments what you think!

Comments (0)

There are no comments yet

About the author

Alex Petrović
Sleep Consultant
A CPD certified Sleep Consultant with more than 2000 hours of research into all the different ways we can get a great night's sleep. As a former insomniac, I know how difficult life can be without a nightly recovery and I love that I get to share everything I've learned with you all. So hopefully we can all sleep soundly!
Related Posts

Articles you don’t want to miss

Featured image for SmartGrid
26 December 2023

SmartGRID Technology - A New SmartSleep Experience

To understand what SmartGRID brings to the table (or should we say bedroom), we first need to understand what a smart grid is. The simplest ...
Featured image of what is the best material for bed sheets
08 February 2024

Best Material for Bed Sheets

Before we get into all the different materials, we'd like to cover the basics. More precisely, we'd like to talk about how much one bed shee...
Don't Miss Out!
Get the latest reviews, special offers, new releases and more…
@thesleepadvisors
Have you ever wondered what it's like to sleep in a cloud? ☁️☁️

Wrap yourself in the comfort of a cloud with our Panda Cloud Duvet ☁️✨ Fall into a world of cosy bliss every night, as this duvet cocoons you in softness like no other. 🤗

Say goodbye to restless nights and hello to the ultimate in comfort. Sleep tight, dream big, and let the Panda Cloud Duvet elevate your bedtime routine to new heights of relaxation. #PandaComfort #CosyNights #instareel #reelsofinstagram #t#thesleepadvisor
Sleep like a baby! Discover the perfect blend of innovation and natural elegance with Panda hybrid pillows. Get yours today for your best night's sleep yet!

 #sleepadvisorsuk #pandapillows  #PandaComfort #pillows
Did you know? Sleepwalking is like a secret midnight stroll, with the body in motion while the mind is in dreamland. 🌙✨ Tag someone who's wandered into the world of sleepwalking or share your own nocturnal tales! 💤🚶‍♀️ #SleepwalkingWonders #DreamyFacts
Dreaming for two! Did you know that pregnant women are the VIPs of baby-filled dreams? 🤰✨ Tag a mom-to-be who's already experiencing the dreamy anticipation! 💭👶 #DreamingForTwo #PregnancyMagic"
"We test the mattresses, so you can rest easy. Unbiased reviews, delivering the key to your best sleep. 💤✨ #SleepWellTrustUs #HonestMattressReviews
"Dive into the world of restful dreams with expert-approved mattress advice. Because a great day starts with a good night's sleep! 💤🛌 #SleepExpert #MattressWisdom"
Dive into a world of restful bliss, where every curve is cradled just right. Sleep like never before with our tried-and-true favorites. #SleepInComfort #PillowParadise #RestfulNights
Discover a whole new world of comfort! ✨🛏️✨ Our mattress reviews can show you the perfect topper to elevate your sleep experience. 

Let's make bedtime a magical adventure! #NewWorldOfComfort #TopperTransformation #SleepMagic"
Hypnia Supreme Memory Review

#instareel #reelsofinstagram #reelofinsta #thesleepadvisorsuk #Mattress #SleepReviews
#instareel #reelsofinstagram #reelofinsta #thesleepadvisorsuk #hypniamattress
Close button

Don't Miss Out!

Get the latest reviews, special offers, new releases and more…

By submitting this form, you are opting into our mailing lists.
See our privacy policy.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.