Verilux HappyLite Mini Ultra

I have been eyeing this lamp for quite sometime because I am in need of a desk lamp with natural light along with its therapeutic promise. Finally, after reading a review from the Gadgeteer site, I purchased one.

When I first use the lamp, the light seems too bright and shines to my eyes instead of illuminating the desk. However, that’s what the lamp was designed for: shining the light into the user’s eyes for therapeutic effect. The power switch has three settings: off, low, and high. I normally set it on low, but during the day, I set it on high to compete with the ambient light. Why do I have to turn on a lamp in daylight, one might ask. If you live in Seattle during the winter, you know that the sky is mostly gray and dark. In order to operate the switch I have to use both hands: one to hold on to the lamp and the other to slide the switch. Otherwise, sliding the hard switch with one hand will only slide the whole lamp around the desk. After a few days of use, I started to get a hang of turning on and off the lamp with one hand, but it is still a difficult task nonetheless.

After a week of using this lamp, I have to admit that it does not make a good desk lamp–and rightly so because Verilux did not design this as a desk lamp, but a therapy lamp. As a desk lamp, the HappyLite Mini Ultra shines directly onto my eyes, as the result, I can hardly see anything else on my desk. My idea of a desk lamp is something that would illuminate the desk, not my eyes.

So, if it is not a good desk lamp, does it make a great therapy lamp? To answer that question, one must have a metric to measure happy mood. That means I cannot objectively say that the lamp works. However, it does brighten up my office and in turn reduces my eye fatigue. I find that by putting the lamp just slightly behind me, it makes an excellent reading light. For this reason, I am considering buying a floor model for my night reading.

In conclusion, it was me that chose the wrong kind of lamp: I looked for a desk lamp and purchased a therapy lamp instead. Nonetheless, the lamp does help me with my reading and brighten up my den, especially at night.


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