LED lighting has really come a long way from the days of red, green and amber (blue took a lot of time to join the party). In fact, the Mona Lisa now has her own specially calibrated LED lamp to keep her centuries-old smile at its most vibrant.
Unfortunately, some real people often struggle to smile: while depression is still poorly understood, it’s now acknowledged that it is indeed an illness, and a serious one. Another thing we know today is that our eyes’ input has a major effect on our brain chemistry and mood. Most experts recommend, for instance, not using any electronic devices closer than an hour to bedtime: the blue light they emit mess up your melatonin levels and keep you awake.
Speaking of electronics, this very special lamp looks a little like a tablet and is convenient for shoving into a briefcase or largish purse, but don’t expect it to run Angry Birds. Instead, it utilizes the link between your optic nerves and brain to cheer you up and make you more productive.
The basic idea here is that humans were designed a) to live in warm, sunny climates and b) spend almost all our time outdoors, not go to work in the dark and come home after sunset. Civilization is an evolutionary eyeblink: our brains actually get scrambled by a lack of sunlight, which is in clinical terms called SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder). You can, however, replace natural sunlight with an artificial substitute and avoid the whole problem.
These devices used to be really expensive and uncomfortable to use; with modern LED technology, this is no longer the case. It’s amazing how powerful this affordable, compact lamp is: you can use it to supplement your normal room lighting (perhaps by placing it on your desk), or specifically counter SAD by looking directly at it for 30 minutes or so.
Many people, probably including several you know, get the “winter blues” every year. Medication to treat this doesn’t come cheap and usually has unfortunate side effects: if a device costing less than a dash cam can chase their storm clouds away, wouldn’t you be glad you gave them one?