It’s boosted my mood and improved my sleep during these trying times.

By Maya Gandara
Updated April 01, 2020

Even though spring weather has just about arrived, the current unfortunate circumstances mean most of us won’t be out and about in the sunshine for the time being. This may be especially difficult if you’re stuck inside a tiny apartment with no access to an outdoor area that complies with the social distancing guidelines. Luckily, there’s a simple way to bring a bit of the outdoors inside your home, and I’ve sworn by it for a couple of years now.

Especially useful for those who struggle with Seasonal Affective Disorder during the shorter days of the year, light therapy lamps are an effective method of regulating sleep patterns and boosting moods. I personally feel a negative impact on my overall wellbeing when I’ve had less contact with the sun, but I’ve found that my Verilux Happy Light Lucent Therapy Lamp is a successful stand-in during the winter when I’m spending more time inside. And though I had previously reserved this light therapy lamp for the colder months, I’ve found myself using it almost every day during the global coronavirus pandemic. I turn it on while sipping my morning coffee to get me focused for the work day, and I also find it helpful as an energizing pick-me-up in the afternoon. A few times each day, I’ll take a quick break from my computer, close my eyes, and stare in the direction of the lamp, letting the light relax me and trick my mind into thinking I’m sitting outside.

With a flat, sleek design that almost looks like a tablet, the HappyLight Lucent LED lamp can be displayed nicely on a desk or nightstand without looking like an eyesore. You can position it upright vertically or horizontally on any flat surface, and it includes a detachable stand if you want to prop it up. Simply plug it into an electrical outlet, and with the click of a button, it projects 10,000 lux—the measurement of light intensity—of white light. The bright glow of the lamp is flicker-free and glare-free, and it’s equipped with 72 LED lights that have passed internationally recognized safety tests for vision. What’s more, it’s UV-free, so you won’t have to worry about being exposed to harmful UV rays like you do when you’re outside.

The Happy Light is a great addition to any home, especially if you’re feeling sunlight-deprived like I am. The lamp will also prove itself useful beyond these hard days, working to alleviate insomnia and adjust REM cycles, minimize the effects of jet lag or night shift work, and spiff up darker office environments. By aiding your body's natural energy to reduce sluggishness and winter blues, personal light therapy can leave you revitalized and more alert.

Shop the Verilux HappyLight lamp for just $45 at Bed Bath & Beyond if you want to try this simple tool for bringing some sunshine into dreary days indoors.

Verilux Happy Light Therapy Lamp

To buy: $45;