In recent years, some manufacturers started making blue light sun therapy lamps based on the theory that blue light simulates a clear blue sky. However, experts in the industry argue there is no evidence to support this theory. Still, we tested the Philips goLITE BLU Energy because it’s made by one of the biggest manufacturers of consumer health products. Unfortunately, the light coverage and lux brightness are very minimal, though the manufacturer claims it doesn't need to be as bright as a white light.
But perhaps more importantly, the Center for Environmental Therapeutics (CET), a non-profit organization of light therapy experts, warns against using blue light because it can cause severe aversive glare. In addition, the relative proximity to UV on the light spectrum means it can cause photosensitizing reactions if you take some types of prescription drugs, which can lead to retinal damage.
Because the goLITE is so compact, it is easy to travel with and can potentially help alleviate symptoms of jet lag when you take it on the road. The lamp's surface is 5.63 inches tall by 5.63 inches wide, so it fits in a purse or carry-on luggage. It also comes with a storage pouch for a little extra protection when you pack it. However, since it's so small, it lacks the necessary coverage for effective therapeutic use for seasonal affective disorder.
The goLITE BLU has five brightness levels, though I'm not sure why. The brightest setting didn't reach 8,000 lux on the light meter, and that was with the sensor placed directly on the light. That said, Philips never claims this is a 10,000-lux light. Rather, the manufacturer says it's as effective as a 10,000-lux light. Unfortunately, there isn't any evidence to support this. In addition, despite being the dimmest light therapy lamp I tested, the blue light was the least comfortable to sit under, so it's effectiveness is questionable.
The Philips goLITE BLU Energy’s best feature is its low heat output. Blue light doesn't produce as much heat radiation as full-spectrum light, so it doesn’t get uncomfortably hot. For example, in my tests, the lamp’s surface temperature reached only 85 degrees Fahrenheit after 30 minutes. By comparison, the Day-Light Sky reached 122 degrees, and the Aura Daylight reached a scalding 144 degrees. And when aimed at a wall from a distance of 16 inches, those two lamps increased the wall’s temperature by nearly 2 degrees, while the goLITE BLU barely increased its temperature by 0.2 degrees.
The Philips goLITE BLU Energy is a compact lamp, but its blue light isn't recommended by experts in the field. In addition, despite having the lowest brightness measurements, the blue light was the least comfortable on my eyes. That said, it has potential to help alleviate jet lag symptoms, and its small size makes it great for traveling. It's just not recommended for long-term use to treat seasonal affective disorder.