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Q: Parts for a full spectrum light box to treat seasonal affective disorder. ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Parts for a full spectrum light box to treat seasonal affective disorder.
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: williamharry-ga
List Price: $50.00
Posted: 12 Jul 2005 04:34 PDT
Expires: 11 Aug 2005 04:34 PDT
Question ID: 542520
I'm interested in manufacturing a full spectrum light box to treat
seasonal affective disorder. (A depression people experience due to
lack of seasonal sun light.) I want to know (1) where I can buy full
spectrum fluorescent light tubes (2) where I can buy/have developed a
metal or plastic "light box" that houses the fluorescent tubes. There
are numerous web sites that sell light boxes with full spectrum lights
to treat "SAD."  Who manufactures these boxes that house the full
spectrum fluorescent tubes? Again, they're generally made of metal or
some plastic material and have a "diffuser" screen that cover the
fluoresent tubes to minimize glare.
Subject: Re: Parts for a full spectrum light box to treat seasonal affective disorder.
Answered By: nenna-ga on 12 Jul 2005 09:46 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello Williamharry-ga

?Since the discovery that light therapy was the most effective
treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder, researchers and
manufacturers have sought to create the ideal light box or SAD lamp.
Generally, light boxes have been the preferred devices because they
can produce a diffuse field of full spectrum, 10,000-lux light.

Since light boxes produce a much larger field of bright light than SAD
lamps, more photoreceptors in the eye are subject to exposure. This
phenomenon, called spatial summation is an important factor in light
therapy. When searching for SAD lights, one should consider whether
the light box or SAD lamp can produce a large, diffuse field of 10,000
lux light at an effective distance of 15 inches or more.?

In addition, it?s recommended you buy one and not make your own as you
could harm your eyes.
?For light therapy to work, explains Dr. Brainard, the light must
illuminate your retina, the part of the eye that conveys light signals
to the pineal gland. "But it's very important to get a specially
designed light box from a reputable dealer," says Dr. Brainard.? 

Please read this article on ?Can I build my own Lightbox?? 

Here?s this suggestion as well
?You can make your own "Light Box" with inexpensive "Shop Lights". I
recommend obtaining 4, twin lamp, 4 foot, "Shop Lights" and a plug
strip. Screw them to a board, install "cool white" lamps and set them
against a wall and sit 3 feet away. Remember, light follows the
inverse square rule, so if you sit 6 feet away you will only get
one-fourth the light?

It looks like the goal is to get 10,000 lux for 30 minutes, or to even
that out. For example, if you had 2,500 lux, you?d have to sit in
front of it for 2 hours.

I have found you full spectrum fluorescent light tubes at a number of locations.

Those four sites offer fluorescent tubes, full spectrum in a number of
wattages, the most common being 40 watt.

Now, about the boxes, here?s instructions on how to make one from an
old drawer and bulbs. It?s for photography, but the principle is the

Here are a few companies that make slim light boxes. You may be able
to custom order boxes from if you?d like to mass produce.,fvalid

Here at Hallpro they custom make light boxes and tables, you may be
able to get some made through them. The wall-mounted one would be

And, how to make your own decorator one by Christopher Lowell

I tried calling a few companies that manufacture light boxes to find
out who the actual Box (housing) supplier was, and they would not
divulge that information. I?m thinking the best bet would be a
photography box supplier that would do a custom order.


If this answer requires further explanation, please request
clarification before rating it, and I'll be happy to look into this

Google Answers Researcher
williamharry-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $10.00
Very thorough!  Thank you.

Subject: Re: Parts for a full spectrum light box to treat seasonal affective disorder.
From: nenna-ga on 14 Jul 2005 10:35 PDT
Thanks for your kind rating and generous tip. I'm glad I could be of help.


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