Product review - Philips goLITE BLU light therapy device
The goLITE is a portable bluewave light, designed to reduce the impact of seasonal affective disorder, or other disorders where your bodies clock is messed up, including jetlag.
I first became interested in the technology behind these devices when I picked one up at a Costco several years ago. Being the geek I am, anything with lights and buttons that claims to help make me feel better is always worth trying.
Thankfully, the positive effects of blue light treatment are not just another wacky technology sold in infomercials at 3am. The effects have been studied by the Mayo clinic, Nasa and the US National Institute of Health.
Subjecting yourself to blue light, stimulates your brain to create more Serotonin, which is what researchers believe to be the key to reducing winter blues and other mood and energy problems.
The blue light also suppresses the creation of Melatonin, which is responsible for our hibernation patterns.
Finally, researchers have also concluded that the blue light can help reset our circadian rhythm, which is particularly helpful if you are trying to reduce the impact of jetlag.
My first blue light device was from Apollo Health, and their products were apparently so impressive that electronics conglomerate Philips purchased the company. To me, the support from a large company like Philips also helps reinforce the claims made of how blue light can help you.
Let's move on to the device itself - The new goLITE BLU is a small 5.5"x5.5", 1 pound device with up to 10,000 lux of blue light. The device is powered by an internal rechargeable battery and has an LCD screen with touch sensitive controls.
The goLITE has a small removable stand on the back, which is held in place by a magnet. When you want to use the device, you simply place the stand in a small hole in the back.
The touch sensitive controls regulate the brightness in 4 steps, adjust the light therapy duration, and allow you to set the time.
One of the most interesting features for travelers, is the ability to wake to light. Imagine waking up in your hotel room to soothing blue light, instead of the roar of the wood grain hotel alarm clock. Of course, if light is not enough to wake you, you can also enable a soothing chime on the unit.
The goLITE comes with a nice carrying case, so it makes the perfect travel alarm clock. The internal battery should last for 4-5 treatment sessions of light therapy.
Of course, the big question is whether the goLITE BLU actually works. Since I am often stuck in my office for days at a time, and have to suffer through the 6 month winter of the Midwest, I'm happy to report that I often did see quite an improvement in my mood, especially on dull and dark days.
I've also packed my blue light in my luggage for long haul trips, and brief treatments of the light really did make the impact of jetlag go away quicker. If you want to learn more about the process of reducing the impact of jetlag using the goLITE, you can read the tips on page 16 of the user guide (PDF link!)
It could be the geek in me that responds well to gadgets, but I honestly believe the technology behind the product works as advertised.
The Philips goLITE BLU costs $279, and comes with a full 30 day guarantee, which should be long enough to see how well you respond to the product. The unit comes complete with a protective carrying case and a US charger. An international charger kit is available from Philips for $15.
Filed under: Gadling Gear Review