In this Lumie Vitamin L, I'll be sharing my thoughts on this medically certified SAD lamp. Essentially, these devices are designed to improve the symptoms of Seasonal Affective Disorder (tiredness, low mood, lack of appetite, overeating and a lack of energy or motivation) and lift SAD sufferers' moods during the dark winter months and beyond. Lumie's SAD products – including the Vitamin L – undergo extensive testing, passing the standards required to become medical devices.
The Lumie Vitamin L works by emitting light to help stimulate the release of serotonin, the feel-good hormone. It's recommended you sit 16cm away from the device for a period of 30 minutes a day during the colder seasons. The Lumie Vitamin L is unique in that it releases a powerful light but in a much more compact shape than many of today's best SAD lamps. Its rippled diffuser helps to soften the light making it more comfortable to sit next to for 30 minutes. Lumie has spent time designing a contemporary SAD lamp that looks good on or off.
Lumie is perhaps best known as the brand behind the Bodyclock sunrise lamp range that pops up repeatedly in T3's best wake-up light ranking (these aren't to be confused with SAD lamps – they're simply designed to offer a more pleasant and gradual wake-up experience). In its light therapy range, the Vitamin L is a bestseller and I can understand why. It's one of the more expensive SAD lamps on the market but it makes sense to pay the extra when it comes to this product.
Lumie Vitamin L review: design and features
The Lumie Vitamin L measures 28 x 20 x 3cm and weighs 830g. It's a good size and can sit neatly on a shelf without taking up much space. It's slender, creating a SAD lamp you can take with you anywhere.
You can place the Lumie Vitamin L in either portrait or landscape orientation, I prefer using it in portrait as it's sturdier. The stand clicks in and holds it firm in portrait orientation, with a rubber base to avoid it slipping.
I like the power button on this SAD lamp. It's hidden behind, on the lower right hand corner when in portrait. It's responsive and can easily be turned on or off without having to move the SAD lamp itself. Even when it's on a shelf, you can easily tap it on and off without turning the lamp around.
Lumie Vitamin L review: performance
The Lumie Vitamin L is a top-quality SAD lamp being made from strong plastic and feeling substantial in its weight and design. It looks modern and sleek, suiting any home or location. It comes with a 1.8m right-angled power cable that fits tightly, so there's no risk of losing connection. The connection is strong even when you place it onto a surface with the power cable at an angle. I like the cable groove in the stand that helps to keep your space tidy and the lamp secure.
The design of the stand means your lamp won't be easily knocked over when in portrait, however, this isn't the case when in landscape. The stand has two prongs spreading the weight of the lamp equally when oriented in portrait and on uneven surfaces. In landscape, sadly, this isn't the case. The stand only sits on the short edge of the lamp so when in landscape, one tap to the opposite upper corner and it can be knocked over.
When the light is turned on, it projects the industry standard of 10,000 lux (lumens per square foot) at 16cm from the user (the recommended distance for a 30-minute treatment). The Lumie Vitamin L has a rippled diffuser making the light more comfortable for your eyes, producing an orange tint even though, behind the diffuser, there are cool white LEDs. This stylish diffuser also allows the lamp to look good when it's not in use. There's the added bonus that it's UV free.
This SAD lamp is a certified medical device meaning that it has undergone extensive testing to receive its certification. You can rest assured knowing that the Lumie Vitamin L is actually helping to improve your mood.
There aren't many negatives with the Lumie Vitamin L but there is one. There's no option to hang it unlike other SAD lamps. Therefore, you do have to have space to place this lamp onto a surface in your home. This is something to bear in mind if you have a small space.
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Lumie Vitamin L review: verdict
Now to the crux of my Lumie Vitamin L review: the verdict. If you're after a quality SAD lamp, Lumie is the brand to look at. And if you're looking for a long-lasting, first-class SAD lamp that you can take anywhere, the Lumie Vitamin L is the product for you.
I love its compact design and ease of use. It looks fab turned on or off due to the clearly thought out design, meaning it takes a back seat among other items in the house while off and never looks garish when on. You can leave it out all year round. I use mine frequently throughout the year, not just in the winter, but whenever there's a dull day. Compared to other SAD lamps I've tried, the Lumie Vitamin L has a softer light meaning you can enjoy soaking up the brightness, knowing it's doing a good thing for your serotonin levels. There are fancier and pricier options with more bells and whistles – the fact there's only one setting is a bit of a down-side here – but for a straightforward, compact SAD lamp, this does the job perfectly.