Blue light

That headline reminds me of the Blue Light Discos I attended in rural South Australia as a teenager. These were founded in 1982 by the SA police to provide good clean fun for young people and reduce crime. Ah, those were the days. Rick Astley, rah-rah skirts, smile jeans, neon ankle socks.

I’m pleased to see they are still happening but I’m sure they’ve changed. They probably play Kanye West and Nicki Minaj these days. Shudder.

While a 1980s style disco would undoubtedly lift my spirits at the moment, the only blue light I get close to these days is my Apollo GoLight.

I’ve always suffered from seasonal affective disorder, even in Australia, so in the UK it is a lot worse. I usually begin using the light when the clocks change at the end of October but this year I’ve started early. I can already feel the urge to eat my bodyweight in spaghetti carbonara and hibernate. When I start scoffing peanut butter out of the jar (last week) I know it’s time to act.

I get up at 6am on weekdays and sit in front of the light for half an hour. Within a week or so it causes a marked improvement in my mood and energy levels.

I thought about getting one years ago but the older white lightboxes were huge and you had to sit with your face right up near them. I mean, check this out:

I don’t use mine at work but imagine if I brought that along to the office. I’m already a figure of fun for being an Australian and a woman in IT. That would provide the icing on the cake.



  1. escapingdarkness · · Reply

    I remember going to the blue light discos when I was at school in QLD! So much fun!

  2. Tatielane · · Reply

    I get SAD too. Never an easy riser, I am almost comatose on winter mornings. Maybe a light would help… But getting up half an hour early to sit in front of a light would probably damage me more than getting the extra sleep. Do you use a sunrise lamp/clock? Something like this one
    I am thinking of getting one of those.

    1. I used to have that exact dawn simulator but found it didn’t make any difference. I was sceptical about the blue light at first too but now I wouldn’t be without it – I use it for most of the year! Once you use it for a while, getting up half an hour earlier isn’t a problem and you feel more energetic during the day. I do, anyway. I don’t think mine is made anymore but this one is almost identical:

      I think it’s definitely worth a try. Stick at it for 2 weeks, then see if you feel any different.

      1. In case you were wondering what happened next….

        Well, since it was purely an experiment I balked at two hundred quid for the blue light. But I did go ahead and risk sixty on a Lumie lamp. Having read the reviews, one comment stuck in my head: buy from somewhere with a good returns policy. So I got it from Boots online. I am now finding it easier to wake up and, crucially on the dark drives to work, I am more alert and more capable of controlling my vehicle safely. I consider this a sufficient benefit to the motoring populace of Bedfordshire to declare the experiment a success.

        I have now replaced my Lumie lamp with a more expensive model with a radio.
        Boots were very good about taking back the original, even though it was used, when I explained that it wasn’t broken, but rather it was so good I wanted to upgrade it. So now after my sunrise I am accompanied by waves lapping on a shore (a bit naff to be honest) or Radio4. The news these days, it’s generally bad enough to propel me out of bed and away from it with even more alacrity.

    2. I was wondering whether you started any light action – glad to hear the dawn simulator is working for you! And pretty good service from Boots, I’m impressed. My Lumie lamp eventually became faulty and would flicker on and off whenever it felt like it – definitely not conducive to a smooth awakening.

  3. The “happy light” helped immensely when I was in the far north of the US. Now, in Arizona, I get it naturally and I am grateful everyday 🙂

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