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 20-30 minutes per day.
Find them at the following locations in Robarts Library!
- 3rd floor Media Commons (adjacent to Screening Room 1, on the right hand side of the Media Commons entrance)
- 4th floor Reading Room (apex corners at the back of the room)
- 5th floor outside Map & Data Library, Room 5052 (beside micro-format reader, follow right when exiting the main elevators)
- 10th floor (adjacent to shelf #30, follow left when exiting the main elevators)
The lamps are available for use by all in the library, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Instructions for Use
Turn the lamp on and sit facing it, approximately 16-20 inches away, for 20-30 minutes while you are reading, working or relaxing. The light needs to shine on your eyes, but do not stare directly at the bulb. Adjust the angle of the lampshade downward, ensuring that you can still see both tubes. Please turn the lamp off when you are finished using it to preserve the bulb.
Please consult a health-care professional before using the lamp if you have been told you must wear sunglasses in sunlight, have a medical condition including retinal disease, macular degeneration, bipolar disorder or diabetes, or are taking certain medications (including, but not limited to, melatonin, thioridazine or lithium). If you are unsure whether using the lamps is contraindicated due to a medical condition or medication you are taking, please consult your doctor first. If you experience discomfort, stop using the lamp and contact your doctor.
The use of light therapy lamps should not be viewed as a substitute for seeking medical advice. Use of the lamps is at your own discretion. The University of Toronto Libraries are not liable for any health issues related to use of the lamp.
About Seasonal Affective Disorder
- From the Mayo Clinic
- From Northern Light Technologies
- Partonen, T. & Lonngvist, J. (2000). Bright light improves vitality and alleviates distress in healthy people. Journal of Affective Disorders, 57(1-3). 55-61.
- Resources are available for University of Toronto students, staff, and faculty.
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