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Light boxes - can photosensitive lupus people use them?

Hi All

Last winter a colleague started using a light box, they're used for treating Seasonal affective disorder. They made a very noticeable difference to his mood. As I get gloomy by January every winter, I bought one to give it a go, however by this point it was March so it was a bit late really.

This is a link to the one I bought


Since then I have developed photo sensitivity. Does anyone know if they are okay to use if you have light sensitivity? I read the Lupus uk eclipse guide to lighting, but I don't know what sort of bulb the light box uses, so I couldn't figure it out.

Any advice gratefully received!


10 Replies

All light is potentially able to trigger lupus - there are varying wavelengths but anything you can see is a risk.

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My experience in using one was a malar rash as if I'd been sitting in the sun. I don't know what strength or intensity it was but a friend with SAD appreciated it. I haven't experienced any sensitivity to other indoor lighting.


Thank you for the feedback. After I had posted my question on here, I saw that the website I bought it from had a enquiries and feedback form, so I emailed them to ask about the bulb. They said

"We can confirm that your SAD light uses what is known as a full-spectrum bulb. Full-spectrum light is light that covers the electromagnetic spectrum from infrared to near-ultraviolet.

We would recommend speaking with your GP/Optician to gain a better understanding of if you should be using the unit further."

All in all it looks like I had better give the box away.


Oh dear, i didn't realise it was all light, that's depressing! Thanksfor letting me know.

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Hello Jenny

Yes, it's all light.

I spend my life hiding from the sun. I'm completely covered except for feet and hands - I've been told to wear a hat every time I go out. I had a reaction to the lighting at the dentist recently - operation standard lighting and the new electronic gadget they set your filing with - was too much for me. So personally I can't think of anything worse. But we are all different and some lupus sufferers are not photosensitive and still sun bath etc. I guess no one can decide if it's worth the risk, other than you. Let us know what you decide.


Hi Wendy,

Crikey that's bad. I'm only getting a flare after direct sun for an hour or so at the moment. You must have to think about it and plan all the time.

I didn't react at first to the light, we had holidays in Austria in the mountains and I was fine (albeit with factor 50, because I'm a red head so burn easily anyway). But earlier in the year I spent too long in the sun when we had that hot weekend in April and got ill. I experimented with a shorter period in the sun the next time it got hot and that also triggered a flare, so I bought a new hat and started wearing lotion in the sun.

I was worried when I looked through the guide on here to light bulbs, we have flourescent lights at work. I might start wearing foundation which includes spf. It's al more hassle isn't it?

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You should wear Factor 50 all year round on your face. The dermatologists insist on it. I replied to someone about Factor 50+ creams and make ups today. I'll post the link for you. Lupus UK have information on photo sensitivity on their website. A lot of us get our sun creams on prescription.

It's all a learning curve for us all and the severity of your symptoms changes over time. So just when you think you have it sussed it all changes again.

Best wishes


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That's great, that's really useful information, thank you very much

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No problem. Plenty of people have helped me out here. x


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