Overall, the Northern Light TRAVelite performed better than most light therapy lamps we tested, but it wasn't good enough to justify its high price – there are less expensive lamps that deliver a stronger performance, including those that feature in our list of the best light therapy lamps (opens in new tab).
The TRAVelite is competitive in every other department. It looks swish, its easily transportable, and its durability is underlined by long-lasting fluorescent tubes that should last for years. If you suffer from the Winter Blues or the more intense Seasonal Affective Disorder, we'd also recommend using one of the best sunrise alarm clocks (opens in new tab), which wake you more naturally each day with a sunrise glow that's usually absent in autumn and winter.
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Northern Light TRAVelite review: Features
The TRAVelite boasts a sleek, modern design that would look equally at home in your living space or office. It's just as well, then, that it's a very portable device, measuring 13 inches in height and weighing just 2.5lb.
The lamp is fitted with long-lasting fluorescent tubes that offer a touted 20,000 hours of usage, along with an electronically powered ballast that ensures no flicker or hum. A stand supports the TRAVelite in either a horizontal or vertical position.
Northern Light TRAVelite review: Performance
Overall, the TRAVelite earned a B+ in our tests for light therapy performance. It had a 9-inch 10,000-lux reach, which is just an inch shy of the manufacturer’s specifications. However, the light fell well short of the 5,000-lux specification. In fact, it reached just 2,467 lux at the recommended sitting distance of 16 inches.
Its luminous intensity measured at 908 CD. Even if a lamp's light has good coverage, if the luminous intensity is weak, the light is more of a glow. You also have to sit centered in the light to get the full benefits of the brightness when a lamp has low luminous intensity. Thanks to the TRAVelite’s good luminous intensity and coverage area, you can move comfortably within the light's field without losing much brightness. While this lamp's coverage isn't as good as the Day-Light Sky’s or the Sunbox Sunlight Jr’s, it was still very good. That said, we don't think it is $200 good.
Northern Light doesn't provide specifications for the TRAVelite’s color temperature, but when we lined it up with other lights, the color temperature was very easy to compare. This lamp has a color performance similar to the Day-Light Sky, which has a color temperature of 4,000 Kelvin. This makes sense because their fluorescent bulbs are of similar wattage and size.
The lamp’s heat output is average. The surface of the lamp measured at 122 degrees Fahrenheit after running for 30 minutes. This is a fairly average temperature for light therapy lamps. However, it raised the surface temperature of a wall by 1.85 degrees when placed 16 inches away, which is among the hotter readings.
Should you buy the Northern Light TRAVelite?
The Northern Light TRAVelite performs really well, but its high price keeps it from ranking higher. At such a high price, you'd expect it to be brighter at greater distances.