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SAD Lamps

The library has two Light therapy lamps available for use in the library. Light therapy lamps are one mode of treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), also known as the “winter blues.”

The lamps are designed to mimic spring and summer light levels.

They are used by reading, working or relaxing in front of them for only 20-30 minutes per day.

How the service works

Where can I use it?

One of our SAD lamps is stationed in the library, and another is available upon request. Our SAD light therapy lamps are available on a first-come, first-served basis. The lamps cannot be taken out of the library.

Why does the library provide it?

Research by the Canadian Mental Health Association – British Columbia Division suggests that about 2 to 3% of Canadians will experience SAD in their lifetime. Another 15% will experience a milder form of SAD that leaves them only slightly depressed but still able to live their life without major disruptions. People with seasonal affective disorder make up about 10% of all depression cases. There are some groups of people who are at higher risk of seasonal affective disorder.

Light therapy lamps can be expensive to purchase. This service provides our community with the opportunity to use light therapy.

How to use a light therapy lamp?

Turn the lamp on and sit, read or work in front of it for 20-30 minutes. For sensitive users, gradual exposure is recommended. Sit about 2 feet away. Face the lamp and allow the light to shine on your face but not directly in your eyes. Do not stare directly into the light. Adjust the angle of the lamp to suit your position.

Are the lights safe to use?

Light therapy is considered to be safe. Side effects are rare; if they occur, they are usually mild and can include nausea, headaches and/or eye strain. There are no known long-term side effects of light therapy. If you experience discomfort, stop using the lamp and contact your doctor.

People with certain medical conditions (retinal disease, macular degeneration or diabetes) and those taking certain medications (melatonin, thioridazine, or lithium) should consult a doctor before using light therapy lamps.

The light therapy lamp should not be viewed as a cure, and other measures, including staying fit, sleeping well and eating healthy, are also very beneficial for treating the symptoms of mood disorders. Use of the lamp is at your own discretion. Fort Nelson Public Library is not liable for any health issues related to the use of the lamp.