The Northern Light TRAVelite light therapy lamp is marketed to have a brightness output of 10,000 at 10 to 12 inches and 5,000 lux at 18 inches. In my tests, it was close to reaching these specifications, though it still fell short. Its light intensity and coverage were good, though not elite. Overall, it performed better than most light therapy lamps I tested but not good enough to justify its high price – there are less expensive lamps that perform better. In fact, its price is the primary reason it isn’t ranked higher. However, if light therapy works for you, it's worth spending a little extra for a better performing lamp.
Overall, the TRAVelite earned a B+ in my tests for light therapy performance, making it the third-best lamp in these tests. 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 wasn't as good as the Day-Light Sky’s and the Sunbox Sunlight Jr’s, it was still very good. That said, I don't think it is $200 good.
Northern Light doesn't provide specifications for the TRAVelite’s color temperature, but when I 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 was the average temperature for all the lamps. However, it raised the surface temperature of a wall by 1.85 degrees when placed 16 inches away, which was among the hotter readings. Only the Day-Light Sky raised the wall’s temperature more from this distance.
The Northern Light TRAVelite light therapy lamp was the third-best performing lamp in my tests, but its high price keeps it from ranking higher. At such a high price, you'd expect it to be brighter at greater distances.