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Lifewire / Sandra Stafford
Adjustable light levels between 3,500 to 10,000 lux
Bulb is included in the two-year warranty
More expensive than other lamps
No handle for easy carrying
No automatic start option
10,000 lux intensity only reaches a short distance
The Aura Daylight Therapy Lamp has a user interface that is simple and accessible, bringing a warm wakeup light to everyone’s mornings.
Light therapy clocks are a popular choice for people who want the gentle wake-up of light without being tied to the sun’s schedule, but they don’t fit everyone’s needs. Lamps like the Aura Daylight Therapy Lamp offer the benefits of energizing light therapy in a device that can be used throughout the house. Several thoughtful features like timers and the ability to mount the lamp to the wall are useful, and the super bright 10,000 lux output doesn’t skimp on performance. We tested it for a few weeks, read on to see what we thought.
The Aura Daylight Therapy Lamp is quite large at around 9 inches wide and 13.5 inches tall. The base is large and stable enough that our dog’s huge tail wasn’t able to knock it over. It’s easy to find the single large button at the bottom center in the dark. The button has tactile imprints to designate its three functions: power, increasing the timer, and decreasing the timer. The lamp will run for ten minutes automatically, and the timer can increase in ten-minute intervals to run for an hour.
We preferred to use it on desktops and tabletops each morning, but it can also be mounted on the wall. Unfortunately, the cord keeps the lamp from sitting flush against the wall when mounted.
The features that are included are accessible to anyone, with large buttons and dials that don’t require strength or mobile dexterity.
A more positive design quirk is that the Aura Daylight Therapy Lamp can be opened to allow for replacement bulbs, meaning a defective bulb doesn’t require replacement of the entire product. One small thing we wish the design incorporated is a handle. It’s nice to carry the lamp to wherever you’ll be in the morning, but without a handle, it’s a bit awkward to do if your hands are full of coffee and books.
Unless you want to mount this lamp to the wall with the included wall anchor and screw, the Aura Daylight Therapy Lamp requires essentially no setup. Opening the stand requires a good bit of force, so don’t be afraid of breaking it. Once the stand is down, just plug in the lamp and turn it on. It couldn’t be simpler.
The Aura Daylight Therapy Lamp is bright. The fluorescent bulb emits energizing white light. A dial on the side adjusts the light from 3,500 lux to 10,000 lux. We first turned it on in a dimly-lit room just to make sure everything worked, and it was almost blinding. During testing, we usually kept the lamp on a computer desk and kept it on for an hour while checking emails, working on other reviews, and the usual browsing that occupies our mornings. Skeptical as we were that the lamp would wake us up faster than a computer or overhead light, the results can’t be argued with. Working in front of the Aura Daylight Therapy Lamp eliminated morning sleepiness within minutes.
Working in front of the Aura Daylight Therapy Lamp eliminated morning sleepiness within minutes.
On days we didn’t work in front of computers, the lamp still woke us up quickly. We kept it on a dining room table for our days off and read while sitting about 18 inches away from the lamp. At that distance, you won’t be getting the full 10,000 lux of intensity, but the lamp was still energizing and kept us awake. The warmth of the fluorescent bulb has the added benefit of attracting cats, the perfect wake-up buddies. Don’t let that scare you, though. Even when we used the lamp for over an hour, it never got so warm that we couldn’t touch it.
The Aura Daylight Therapy Lamp demands enough power that it can’t be operated by batteries, only by a power cord. The plastic-coated power cord is only about five feet long, which does somewhat limit where the lamp can be placed.
Once the stand is down, just plug in the lamp and turn it on. It couldn’t be simpler.
Despite the user manual stating that the manufacturer’s two-year warranty doesn’t include the light bulb, Aura Daylight has clarified that the bulb is covered for the length of the warranty. The UV-free bulb has an estimated 8,000 hours of use, or around eleven years if used for two hours per day, which is obviously far outside our testing period. Replacements are available for purchase if the bulb stops working after the warranty term.
One thing we didn’t like about this lamp is its $85 price on Amazon. There are definitely cheaper light therapy options on the market. That said, its ease of use and simple but thoughtful features like timers and light adjustment make the Aura Daylight Therapy Lamp a good choice for many people.
We like the Aura Daylight Therapy Lamp for its simplicity, which makes it especially well-suited to anyone who doesn’t want to fiddle with devices with lots of options or complicated manuals. The features that are included are accessible to anyone, with large buttons and dials that don’t require strength or mobile dexterity.
The Circadian Optics Lumos 2.0 is another option for light therapy without an alarm clock. It has a slim profile, adjustable stand, and incredibly bright 10,000 lux LEDs that should hypothetically last a lifetime. At about half the price of the Aura Daylight Therapy Lamp, it’s a good option for basic light therapy lamps.
If you prefer light therapy in an alarm clock for a gentle wake-up, the Philips HF3505 is a great choice in a similar price range. The 200 lux brightness mimics sunlight slowly filling a dark room in the morning. A simple user interface on the front does require a little more dexterity than the giant button and dial on the Aura Daylight Therapy Lamp, but it’s still no problem for most people to manage.
Basic light therapy in a slightly too-expensive package.
The simple but functional Aura Daylight Therapy Lamp is great for people who want to wake up to the energizing light of the sun without being bound by the sun’s schedule or exposed to harmful UV rays. If you need a lamp that isn’t easy to knock over and doesn’t require fiddly stand adjustments or a lot of bells and whistles, this is a strong contender in its price range.