Millions of Americans will have their biological clocks disrupted when Daylight Saving Time starts on Sunday, March 10 this year. You may not be able to get back that hour of lost sleep or avoid commuting to work before sunrise, but you can invest in a light therapy lamp that replicates the effects of the Sun on your desk.
Circadian Optics makes bright light lamps designed to regulate users' circadian rhythms, and the company's latest model packs a big punch in a little package. At 3.5-inches-by-3.5-inches and weighing just 9.6 ounces, the palm-sized Luxy is the world's smallest light therapy lamp, according to Circadian Optics. And it's here to keep you alert even if you have to wake up long before sunrise.
Your circadian rhythm dictates when you get tired at night and when you wake up in the morning, and it's influenced by light. Seeing bright, short-wavelength light first thing in the morning tells your brain to wake up, giving you the energy needed to start your day.
Ideally, your circadian rhythm would sync naturally with the rising and setting sun, but modern work schedules don't always make this possible. If you need to wake up before the sun does, a light box can be a replacement for natural morning light. In fact, exposing yourself to light for 15 minutes to an hour at the same time everyday can help train your body to wake up when you want it to.
That's where the Luxy comes in. It folds easily into a bag so you can bring it with you to the office on mornings when you have trouble keeping your eyes open, and comes with a USB power cord that plugs directly into the back of your computer. It's simple to operate, with just a single button that turns the light on and adjusts it through three levels of brightness. And even though its size means you can use it discreetly in an open office, the light is still bright enough to make you feel alert at 9 a.m. on a Monday.
Luxy emits 10,000 lux of full spectrum LED light—the intensity recommended for treating seasonal affective disorder—with a color temperature of 5500K. The result is a bright a white light that mimics the color of the noontime sun. (It's 99.9 percent UV filtered, so it's safe for your eyes.) The bulbs are designed to last 50,000 hours, much longer than regular fluorescents.
Even though they're therapy products, Circadian Optics lamps are built to look beautiful on your desk or bedside table, and the petite Luxy is just the beginning. The company also makes several other models designed to fit in with any aesthetic. The Lampu, for instance, is a minimalist, disc-shaped white lamp inspired by the sun, while the Lattis acts as a an accent piece, with a light panel built into the black, mod design. Each produces the same intense light as the Luxy.
Buy them on Amazon, with prices starting at $40 for the Luxy and and going up to $65 for the Lampu. As of March 8, Amazon is also offering an extra $10 off coupon for the Luxy, so it's a good time to buy.
And if you're still worried about recovering from Daylight Saving Time this year, here are some tips for navigating the time change.
Mental Floss has affiliate relationships with certain retailers and may receive a small percentage of any sale. But we only get commission on items you buy and don’t return, so we’re only happy if you’re happy. Thanks for helping us pay the bills!