The Aura Daylight is a medium-sized SAD lamp with above-average light coverage. However, it isn’t as bright as some of its rivals, and therefore doesn't make it onto our list of the best therapy lamps.
It's definitely one of the more attractive light therapy lamps on the market, with a sleek and compact styling giving it an air of contemporary assurance. And its range of timers and settings is impressive too, providing a generous amount of adjustability to better suit your lifestyle.
If you're thinking of buying it because you're experiencing Seasonal Affective Disorder, we'd suggest you also take a look at the best sunrise alarm clocks, which can be used to wake you up more naturally. Good sleep, nutrition and exercise will also benefit you during this time, so consider using one of the best fitness trackers to get in plenty of exercise (outdoors if possible), and ensure you have the best mattress and the best pillows for your sleep style.
Aura Daylight review: Features
One of the Aura Daylight’s best features is its timers. This feature alone certainly isn’t worth the lamp’s $150 price, but it's a nice touch that ensures you don't overdo it with too much light. The lamp has six timers in total, set at 15-minute intervals. In addition, the light rests in a swivel base, so you can adjust the angle by as much as 45 degrees upward or downward. This makes it one of the most adjustable lights on the market.
The Aura Daylight also has four brightness settings. However, since the brightest setting doesn't reach the recommended range for comfort, the lower settings aren’t very effective.
Aura Daylight review: Performance
In our light performance tests, the Aura Daylight earned a C grade overall. While it's a 10,000-lux lamp as advertised, it reached this brightness up to only 4.5 inches away. At the expert-recommended distance of 16 inches, the brightness was just 477 lux. These measurements were taken on the lamp’s brightest setting. By comparison, the Day-Light Sky and the Sunbox Sunlight Jr both reach 10,000 lux up to 12 inches away.
The Aura Daylight’s light coverage is above average but not great. Its beveled edges allow the light to cover more area, but the diffusing cover diminishes the luminous intensity. This means the light covers a good-size area but not with bright light. It's more of a glow, measuring just 477 CDs (a measurement for luminous intensity). This means the light's brightness diminishes the further you get from the center, so you don't have as much freedom to move without losing a significant amount of effective light.
The manufacturer doesn't list the lamp’s color temperature, but compared to some models, it has a cooler light effect. In fact, its light is almost identical in color to the Verilux HappyLight’s, which is 6,500 Kelvin. That can be a concern, as the Center for Environmental Therapeutics (CET) recommends that light therapy lamps don't exceed 5,000 Kelvin – lamps with higher temperatures have a higher risk of creating aversive glare and can damage your retinas if you take photosensitizing medications.
Should you buy the Aura Daylight?
The Aura Daylight has some good features – for example, six timers to help you get the right amount of light. However, its overall light performance wasn't great. Its 10,000-lux reach was just 4.5 inches, and with a low luminous intensity you have to sit uncomfortably close to this lamp to reap the benefits of light therapy.