The Lightphoria doesn't make it onto our list of the best therapy lamps, but it's not a bad lamp for the money (around $60). Indeed, it performs better than both the Circadian Optics Lumine and the Verilux HappyLight Compact, which are similarly priced and sized.
Unfortunately, none of these three lamps really provide the brightness or coverage recommended by light therapy experts, so they're best used for jet lag, night shifts and circadian issues related to pregnancy.
Handily, the Lightphoria comes with a travel case, so you can keep up with your light therapy when you're away from home – though you'll still need access to an outlet to use it.
The Lightphoria has three brightness settings, allowing your eyes time to adjust in the morning. However, given the lamp’s size, you can’t really adjust the angle of the light unless you hold it. It uses a kickstand to rest on surfaces, which allows you to adjust the angle by about 15 degrees.
There's a built-in timer that automatically shuts off the light after 15, 30 or 45 minutes. When you set the timer for short periods of time and use the lower light levels, you can do late-afternoon sessions that keep you energized but don't interfere with your sleep cycle.
As previously mentioned, the Lightphoria has three brightness settings: On low, the lamp's specifications suggest it generates 5,000 lux of light; on medium, it generates 8,000 lux. Using a light meter, we found that the lamp’s 10,000-lux reach on its brightest setting was 6.5 inches. This is impressive compared to other lamps, considering how small the Lightphoria is. However, 6.5 inches is still too close to sit comfortably during light therapy sessions. At 16 inches, the recommended distance for a comfortable session, the brightness was 1,627 lux – far below the 10,000 lux of a sunny day.
By comparison, the Day-Light Sky has a 10,000-lux reach of 12 inches and measures over 3,000 lux at 16 inches. It also has a much bigger coverage area, allowing for a more comfortable session than the Lightphoria.
The manufacturer doesn't list the color temperature of the lamp’s LED lights. However, compared to other lamps, its light seems most like that of the Sunbox Sunlight Jr, which has a color temperature of 5,000 Kelvin – the top of the recommended range for light therapy. Any higher than that and the light moves from the white full spectrum and gives off a cooler, blueish light, which can potentially harm your eyes if you take photosensitizing drugs.
The experts at CET.org recommend lamps with fluorescent light because of the color temperatures it produces, but the advantage of an LED lamp is it doesn't produce as much heat. After 30 minutes, the Lightphoria’s surface reached only 90 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition, the Lightphoria barely raised the surface heat of a wall when we placed it 16 inches away. So, you won’t feel uncomfortably hot under its lights.
Should you buy the Lightphoria?
The Lightphoria light therapy lamp is small enough to be a travel-friendly way to treat jet lag. However, its output isn't powerful enough for daily sessions, unless you sit very close to the lamp.