How to use Light Therapy

Light therapy, depression, light therapy for depression, light box, light therapy for mental health depression

How to use Light Therapy:

Choose the Right Light Box: The first step in utilizing this kind of therapy is selecting the appropriate lightbox. With a google search, you can likely find one of these for sale. You must choose the correct light bulb with your light box for light therapy if it doesn’t come with one. Light therapy bulbs are called UVB light bulbs. These UVB light bulbs mimic light from the sun and encourage your body to produce more vitamin D. These devices emit bright light that mimics natural sunlight, helping to regulate circadian rhythms and boost mood. Look for a light box with at least 10,000 lux intensity, as this brightness level is most effective. Consult a healthcare professional before purchasing to ensure it suits your needs and that this strength of light is too much or too little for specific needs.

How to Use a Light Therapy Lamp, Light Box:

  1. Establish a Routine: Consistency is key when it comes to light therapy. Establish a daily routine by using the light box at the same time each day, preferably in the morning. Exposing yourself to bright light in the morning can help reset your internal body clock and improve sleep quality.
  2. Duration and Distance: The session’s duration depends on the light box’s intensity. Generally, sessions last between 20 to 30 minutes. The distance between you and the light also matters; sit about 16 to 24 inches away for optimal light exposure.
  3. Positioning: While engaging in light therapy, keeping the light box at eye level is essential. This ensures that your eyes receive the light indirectly and prevents strain. You can use this time to read, work, or simply relax. We encourage you to speak to your health physician or therapist before changing your health and wellness routine.
  4. Avoid Looking Directly at the Light: It’s crucial to avoid looking directly into the light, as this can cause eye discomfort. Instead, position the light slightly above your line of sight, allowing the light to enter your field of vision indirectly.
  5. Monitor Your Progress: Keep track of any changes in your mood, energy levels, and sleep patterns as you continue in your approach. It may take a few weeks to notice significant improvements, so be patient and consistent in your approach.
  6. Combine with Other Strategies: Light therapy can complement other healthy habits. You can pair it with regular exercise, a balanced diet, and good sleep hygiene for enhanced results. If you’re using light to address a specific condition, such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD), consult a healthcare professional for comprehensive guidance on approaching what you need.
  7. Be Mindful of Precautions: While light therapy is generally safe, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects, such as eye strain, headaches, or irritability. If you have pre-existing eye conditions or are taking medications that make you sensitive to light, consult your doctor before starting light therapy.

Upon review of how to use light therapy, we hope you consider the following. Incorporating light therapy into your daily routine can positively impact your well-being. However, it’s crucial to approach it with the proper knowledge and precautions. Consulting a healthcare provider before starting light therapy can ensure you use the technique safely and effectively to reap its potential benefits. Remember, each individual’s response to UV light may vary, so patience and consistency are critical as you embark on this journey to improved health and vitality.

Conclusion and Opinions:
As stated above, we encourage you to speak to your physician before starting such therapies. A reason is that your specific needs and unforeseen circumstances may be different than other individuals. We have provided this article to understand better how light therapy works and can be implemented. Ask your doctor how much light and strength your bulb should be for your circumstances.

My Experience with Light Therapy:
My light comes from going outside. However, some of you are in circumstances that have brought you to a need to understand better how light therapy works inside the home. I do the best I can to go outside for at least 30 minutes once a day to expose myself to the sun. There are days I imagine what it feels like to be a cat bathing in the sun. There are days I don’t experience this sensation, but other days I do. On these days, my mood becomes better. Living in Utah in the United States of America, we have winter months when the sun is not as available. Outside of taking vitamin D supplements, this could be a good option for me. Overall, we hope you have learned more about light boxes and how to implement them better and use light therapy with guidance from your provider. We hope this has provided you a good idea of how to use light therapy.


Professionally Reviewed by:
Abraham Hudson, Clinical Mental Health Counselor (CMHC)
Graduated from Johns Hopkins University, School of Education, May 2018
Active Mental Health Therapist with Trauma, Anxiety, & Depression since 2018