The Gadget: Philips' goLITE BLU, a blue light dispensing clock that helps reduce the effects of seasonal affective disorder, a.k.a. the winter blues. It's best used in 15-30 minute daily intervals when it's dark out.
The Price: $250
The Verdict: I'm pretty sure it works. Unlike normal things we review, which can (for the most part) be expressed quantitatively, a device that raises your mood is by nature, subjective. But this little blue clock has noticeably eliminated my seasonally-created low energy, low mood and a general sluggishness in the past few weeks.
The goLITE is supposed to be placed about 15 degrees off center to where your attention is—the monitor, in our case. You use one of the four brightness settings for somewhere between 15-30 minutes (or more if you like) every day in order to simulate the missing sun. The light works through your eyes, which explains why it needs to be in your field of view. Even at the lowest setting, this thing is bright as hell, so avoid looking directly at it.
Whether or not I'm actually feeling better because the blue light's rays are working or it's just me and the placebo effect wanting myself to feel better, I don't know. But there are other reviews out there that say that it works. And I believe this does. My energy is up, I don't feel as depressed, and as a result, I don't feel like I'm trudging through the day.
The $250 price tag may seem like quite a bit to pay for something you only use 30 minutes a day, but think of it like this. We buy electronics all the time in order to give ourselves and emotional boost; the goLite is one that's actually designed for that purpose. [Light Therapy and Amazon]