Coffee Break: Desktop Light Therapy Lamp

Hammacher Schlemmer Desktop Light Therapy Lamp | CorporetteWomen make up 75% of those suffering from depression due to seasonal affective disorder (SAD), a condition that’s caused by shorter daylight hours in the fall and winter. The primary treatment is light therapy — and while I’ve played around with light therapy lamps in the past, the ones I’ve had were always horribly ugly and difficult to position to actually get the light to shine on your face. So I like the clean and simple look of this desktop light from Hammacher Schlemmer. Note that this sucker is pretty large (see the computer in the background of the picture!) but it could serve a second purpose as a document holder — just tape your paper to it and away you go. This one is $99. Hammacher Schlemmer Desktop Light Therapy Lamp

Ladies, do you have a favorite lamp to help with SAD?



  1. la vie en bleu :

    Foreshortening. It’s not that big, it’s smaller than a piece of legal paper: 13 1/2″ H x 6 1/4″ W x 2″ D.

  2. My SO and I are both nail biters, so I was interested to read the thread this morning. I do all the things mentioned (often keep them painted, obsessive filing and cuticle trimming when they’re bare) but SO doesn’t have a good coping mechanism. If we’re at home he’ll use a file and lotion, but won’t keep those things at work, where he’s most likely to be biting his nails. He’s definitely against trying one of the clear anti-biting nail polishes. Any additional suggestions/methods that have worked for the male nail biters in your lives?

    • he won’t keep hand lotion at work? why? seems like the easiest solution…

      • I agree it’s easiest, and would partially help, but he bites mostly when he’s stressed/deep in thought, dry skin or no. As for why he won’t bring it to work, he’s in a shared workspace. He says he doesn’t have anywhere to store it, plus a co-worker is sensitive to scents and he doesn’t want to aggravate their condition.

    • Fish oil capsules and/or eating more oil in general like coconut oil. In addition to harder nails and soft cuticles, recently my mom hasn’t been able to stop talking about my shiney coat, ha!

  3. Anonymous :

    Has anyone flown Lufthansa? I’m going on a 4-5 day international trip and I’d like to carry on. I don’t have a problem packing light, except…do they actually enforce the weight requirements for carry ons? (And if so, any recs for light rolling carry-on bags?)

    • It’s like most other non-budget airline where you carry it on and they don’t say anything unless it’s ridiculously large or there is no space, which is not usually a problem on big international planes.

    • Anonymous :

      No specific experience with Lufthansa but in my experience foreign airlines are much stricter about carry-ons than US airlines. Air Canada once made me check a carry-on because it was over the weight limit and British Airways tried to deny my (totally standard size, taken all over the world) carry-on boarding because it didn’t meet their size requirement for flights between the UK and US, even though I was only flying British Airways intra-Europe and was on a US carrier for the Heathrow-US flight.

      • la vie en bleu :

        Yes, and I think it kind of depends on the airport/connection? I haven’t flown Lufthansa enough to remember exactly, but I feel like if I get on in the US they don’t weigh the carryons, but when i had to change planes inside Europe once I did get forced to check my carryon bc it was overweight. But I don’t remember exactly which airline and which airport that was. I would be extra cautious and have a backup plan, though, if I was you.

      • Air Canada :

        Well, that would be something Air Canada would do….don’t get me started.

        I’ve flown them and they were great. I don’t think you’ll have a problem, if worse comes to worse you have to check and it should be free for international, correct?

        • TO Lawyer :

          +1 Air Canada is the WORST

        • Anonymous :

          I love Air Canada in comparison to West Jet. West Jet sucks.

          But yea, Lufthansa, KLM, BA, etc. are all better than AC

          • I much prefer Air Canada over West Jet. Though when AC messes up they really do so in the most spectacular fashion…

    • As someone who travels a lot... :

      Pretty sure it depends wholly on the mood of your gate agent at the very moment you board the plane.

    • My friend and I flew Lufthansa (and Austrian Air – an affiliate) in the fall and had no issues with carry-on. They weren’t weighed or measured or whatever.

    • I have flown Luftansa, and it depends on the airport/country etc. Every international airlines allows two check-in bags for flights from USA to India and India to USA. However, Luftansa charged me 70$ for the second check-in bag when I was returning to US from India. I never flew Lufthansa after that.

      I have had my hand baggage weighed in India so many times irrespective of the airlines and I very clearly remember getting my hand luggage weighed once (for Cathay Pacific) airlines in San Francisco as well. Rarely, they say the total weight of your hand luggage must be under 7 KGs which includes your laptop bag as well as other carry on, So, I suggest you to be on the safer side.

    • I flew Lufthansa last year, and my normal carry-on was too deep. I looked up international carry-on dimensions after the trip, and they are considerably smaller than domestic US restrictions. I gate checked for free, so it wasn’t a huge deal, but some of my traveling companions were over the weight limit for checked bags, and had to pay a hefty fee.

  4. I’ve had a long day of meetings and just popped out to Starbucks and the feeling of SUN perked me up immediately. Thank goodness its almost spring!

    • Yay! Coffee Break! I love Coffee Break and the idea of this kind of a sunlamp. I do NOT have SAD, but I think those with office’s with NO window’s should have something like this built into the BUILDEING. I spoke with a cleint, who design’s LEEDS gold certified buildeings and he say’s that you can pay to get INTERIOR OFFICE SPACE with specieal lighteing that does the same thing. This way, peeople work harder and it pay’s for itself in a coupel of year’s. From a WC perspective, I say FOOEY b/c there will be more peeople working and less malinger’s and that could mean less busness for our firm if they are not pretending to be out sick with WC issue’s.

      I will have to address this with my partner’s at the partner’s retreat Friday. We are goeing to have this at the manageing partner’s house in the Hamton’s and he’s invited me to stay the weekend and bring Myrna if she want’s. I said OK, but ONLEY if his BROTHER stay’s in the city. I do NOT want him walkeing around half clothe’d showeing us how viral his winkie is. FOOEY!

      I have been VERY busy today so I apologise to the HIVE for being late to the party for each p’ost. But I have to bunch up my billeings this week and next so that we can spend time packeing and moveing and not have to worry about billeing the cleint’s. YAY!!!!

  5. Talking about nail biting… Any advice for someone whose SO bites their nails relentlessly and won’t stop? As a reformed nail biter, I sympathize, it is really difficult to break the habit. While it bothers me that he has absolutely mutilated his fingers, the more pressing issue is him constantly biting them in front of me. Whenever we are sitting on the couch or driving in the car, he has his fingers in his mouth. It grosses me out and is distracting!!! I’ve begged him to please not do it around me, to only do it around me for 5 minutes and then stop, use clippers instead of his fingers, ect., ect. Is there anything someone could do to make any of you nail biters stop?!?!? After 5+ years, I’ve run out of ideas.

  6. Anonymous :

    This post would have been way more timely in October/November/December, when people usually start to suffer the effects of no sun, instead of March when the days are getting longer.

    • Must be Tuesday :

      Yes, the odd timing was my first thought when I saw this post.

      • I am noticing how much the increased light improves my mood- so maybe it’s perfect timing to buy and have for next year. I forget how bad it gets!

    • Anonymous :

      Unless they are in the southern hemisphere.

      I also remember last spring/early summer being very gray.

    • Agreed–I feel like I’m just finally getting the sun back! That said, I would still be interested to know if these actually work for people (i.e. make them feel better).

      • I have a very nice one that my BF gave me. I thought it was a terrible birthday present, but my birthday is in the middle of winter and it actually really helped me a lot. I decided it was NOT a terrible present after all. He clearly noticed that I was down in the winter months and picked something out that would help. I use it every single morning.

      • I use a small one in the morning. It’s on a timer to come on about 20 minutes before the alarm and it seems to help with these northern winters. I’ve been sale stalking one for my desk – my officemate had a large one and it had a huge impact on the lighting and feeling in the room.

    • I thought the timing was odd too. Maybe so we can look for sales?

    • I definitely have SAD but it doesn’t kick in until late winter (January/February). Either way, the lamps definitely help me!

      • I use a desktop light box from late Nov through about now. First thing every morning for 30 minutes while I drink my coffee and read. It makes a huge difference. Mine is a small one, brand name Sphere. I think I bought it on Amazon. I was skeptical about the whole thing but my sister convinced me to give it a try five years ago and I noticed an improvement in my energy level and general mood within two or three weeks. Highly recommend.

  7. SoCalAtty :

    Agree about odd timing for the season, but GREAT timing for me! I’ve been moved upstairs into an “office” with, essentially, no windows. There is a cut out behind me but no light comes in that way, and the florescent lights are killing me. My old spot was next to a floor to ceiling window and was wonderful. I’m finding myself just bummed out for no reason, nauseous (worse than just the 1st trimester morning sickness – it is worse in this office), and reluctant to go into work at all. I’m thinking something like this plus a few plants might help. Hmmm….

  8. Wedding tip question :

    I am looking at different makeup artist and hair stylist for my wedding in July. It will be in a city in the mid-west (not super expensive NYC/SF) and I am trying to plan it remotely. Most decently rated makeup/hairstyle vendors have 300-500$ minimum needed for coming to your hotel/on location. I would prefer to do this instead of driving around on day of the wedding in an unknown city and stressing out about timeline/traffic etc. Problem is I won’t have any bridesmaids/sisters etc for extra hair/makeup application to meet the minimum.

    Minimum quote is around 800$ for hair and makeup together (along with trial), this sounds outrageous to me ! I am having a sticker shock. But let’s say I agree to go with it, do I still have to tip the artists? If so, how much? They will just have to do hair/makeup for me, not extra 3-4 people that would have been included in this minimum otherwise.

    • Cream Tea :

      $800 for a hairdo and makeup, even with trials, seems absolutely insane to me. Could you put some of that money towards paying for a car to take you to the hairdresser’s, instead? You wouldn’t have to drive – and you won’t be sitting around panicking if he/she is running late on his/her way to you.

      (Edit: I know this wasn’t your question – sorry for the unsolicited suggestions)

    • Anonymous :

      Yes, even though I think 800 is crazy town, if you can’t afford the tip you can’t afford the service. I guess I would still tip 15-20% so I think you should plan on $150.

    • Meg Murry :

      Could you invite your mom and MIL to have their hair and makeup done too? Any friends that would want to come sip champagne and get a blow-out while you are getting your hair and makeup done?
      Have you already booked the hotel you are staying at? Any chance it has a salon or spa in it or within the block? Could you call the front desk or concierge if there is one and see if they have any recommendations for someone that will come to the hotel? Ask your other vendors (like photographer) for a recommendation?

      I think if you are going to pay $800 for one person’s hair and makeup (which seems crazy) you don’t need to tip on that whole amount, but you should check to make sure gratuity or a “service charge” isn’t included in the bill

    • Wedding tip question :

      Good to know that $800 for one person’s makeup/hair is pretty steep. I will spend that much or even double for a good pair of shoes or handbags that can last years, but just for 1 day, this feels crazy

      Sure I can afford it financially no problem but I am just not that wedding crazed. Whatever does a good job with minimum hassle is fine. I am already paying for almost 70% of the wedding myself thanks to traditional in-laws who think bride’s side should cover most costs, ughh. It’s alright I guess, I do make twice as much as my fiance and have been working much longer.

      Time to email more vendors, not just the ones with 100+ reviews on knot/weddingwire. If I had my way, I would just do a court wedding and splurge on a honeymoon.

      • Meg Murry :

        I think it has to do with opportunity cost – most of these services book for only 1 wedding per Saturday so they dont have to deal with the same issues you were worrying about – traffic and running late.
        In a smaller Midwest city we paid $1000 to have 6 or 7 hairdos and 2 sets of makeup for a wedding- it was 2 stylists and 5+ hours of their time, plus a hair and makeup trial for the bride

        • For reference I paid in (a very expensive city) about $1500 for my makeup (only) and 9 hairstyles without tip. That included travel by both hair (~2 hours) and makeup.

          That said, it was super nice to have it done onsite and not have to try to run around.

    • Ditto the others indicating 800 is really high – I got my hair and makeup done in the midwest (Tulsa, OK) for my wedding last year at the same place and I think it was $200, 250 total including trial runs? Granted this was the cheapest place I looked, but even the higher priced places were like $200 for hair alone.

  9. I’m feeling discouraged by the adoption process. After years of infertility treatment and now the beaurocracy of adoption, it feels like we’re never going to have a child. Of course, everyone around us seems to get pregnant within a month of trying. It’s so hard to see friends having their 3rd when we’re still waiting on the 1st. Any encouraging stories?

    • Anonymous :

      No stories of my own, but as someone who is very interested in adopting at some point in the future (not necessarily an infant), I’m interested to hear any stories.

    • I have some family friends who adopted a little girl from Armenia. I think she was about a year and a half. They also struggled for years with not being able to get pregnant. I think it took a year or two for the whole process to be completed, and there were many frustrations along the way, but they couldn’t be happier with their daughter now. Actually, they planned to adopt another child from the same orphanage and as they were getting all their paperwork underway it turned out that they were pregnant and now they have two sweet lovely children two years apart.

      I can only imagine how frustrated you must be by all this, but don’t give up. I hope you find the little boy or girl to join your family soon.

    • I’m in the middle of an international adoption – when finished, the entire process will have taken about 2 years – so get started (we started as soon as our fertility issues become obvious). I would recommend adopting from foster care or domestic if you want things to go quicker, both are great options and ones we’re exploring for future adoptions.

      • I have considered adopting and will probably do so in a couple of years– so when there was a kindle daily deal written by Nia Vardolas (aka the lady from My Big Fat Greek Wedding) on her experience with infertility & adoption via the US foster system, I picked it up. I thought it was inspiring and a great read & had a path that I had not really considered before, plus she’s hilarious– so highly recommended.

      • Can I ask which country you’re adopting from? I’ve been researching international adoption and talking with parents who have adopted, and it seems like 2 years is on the fast side of the spectrum.

        • Sorry, just saw this – we’re adopting from Ethiopia and 2 years is fast (even for our agency). That said, we were a bit flexible on age (not demanding a newborn) and there are definitely starting to be big slowdowns in the country – which is why we’re not planning on pursuing a second adoption from there but instead going with domestic or foster care.

          • Thank you. My friend adopted two children from Ethiopia a few years ago and the children are doing great. Good luck!

    • My dear friends are in the process of adopting two darling elementary school age girls through domestic foster-adoption. They had about a year and a half of incredibly frustrating bureaucracy (stuff like having to wait 1.5 months with multiple follow up phone calls for one signature, incredibly frustrating). They met their daughters this fall, and they were placed with them to foster a few months ago. It will be 6 months to 2 years before they can adopt them, but they get to raise them starting now.
      They are seriously the sweetest, cutest, smart little munchkins. I adore them, all our friends adore them. Their parents adore them, and overall, it’s been amazing to watch. Even seeing the good, the hard, the bad, it really made me willing to consider domestic foster-adoption, including older kids, if we have fertility problems, which I never would have before.

  10. I have the Philips goLITE BLU; it’s compact, so I can take it from office to home, but it puts out some serious blue light. It definitely makes a difference in dreary winters. Typically I start to feel some circadian rhythm issues when daylight saving time ends, continuing until a few weeks after DST begins again. I use the light for 15 minutes each morning when I get to work.

    • I have this one too, it’s great!
      I’m in so-Cal & often have depression & sleep issues & I swear it’s helped with both.

  11. +1 for Philips goLITE. I use it from November through April. Got a bad case of SAD after moving from Phoenix to the northeast-had to go on antidepressants as well during a few years in Boston, but I have been able to manage with just the light after moving to the Philadelphia area. It really does work.

  12. Does anyone use these lights to help keep their energy / morale up when working long hours?

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