Welcome to T3's Lumie Halo review. If you suffer from SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) or general winter blues during the darker days and longer nights, light therapy could help. By mimicking natural sunlight, today's best SAD lamps promise to make you feel better in as little as 30 minutes per day. While the evidence for such claims is largely anecdotal, people who have SAD lamps really, really love them.
Lumie is known for making some of the best wakeup lights on the market, so can it recreate that Bodyclock magic is this light therapy lamp? Launched in November 2020, the Lumie Halo is particularly lovable because unlike most SAD lamps it doesn't look like something you'd encounter in the dentist's chair: it has the same powerful illumination as other SAD panels but it's designed to look and work like a contemporary table lamp too. Read on for my full Lumie Halo review.
Lumie Halo review: light function
Almost all SAD lamps offer an intensity of 10,000 lux, but they do it over different distances. That's important because intensity drops dramatically the further you are from the lamp, so an intensity of 10,000 lux at 10cm drops by half if you sit slightly further back. Lumie's lamp is one of the most intense models I've tested, with its 10,000 lux rated for a distance of 20cm compared to the 15cm or 10cm of more budget models.
The light is dimmable via the touch controls on the top of the lamp, and you can switch between cool white LEDs for light therapy and warm white for a cosy glow. You can do that in two ways: by tapping the button to toggle between Day (maximum brightness) and Evening (maximum warmth) modes, or you can slide your finger along the touch control to mix the lights. That means unlike many SAD lamps you can use the Halo as an ordinary or decorative lamp too.
Lumie Halo review: design
I really like the design of the Halo. There are thoughtful touches such as the magnets that snap its copper-faced legs into the perfect position without the need for screws or tools, and the lamp itself is edged in black and surrounded by a copper-coloured, backlit reflector that makes it look very striking and emits a cosy glow in Evening Mode.
The combination of cool white and warm white LEDs works really well here, and I particularly like the way in which you can mix the two to create your own preferred colour temperature. That gives you increased flexibility: by mixing the warm white with the therapy light you can use the Halo throughout the day without dazzling yourself or feeling like you're being inspected in a lab – although if you prefer to get your light therapy done in one 30-minute blast of full brightness you can do that too. It also means this can double up, for example, as a traditional bedside lamp.
The contemporary design of the Halo does mean that it's a lot bigger and heavier than similarly sized therapy lamps: it's just over 12 inches across (32.4cm) and it weighs 2.22kg, so you're not going to want to lug it around from room to room. I think it's best suited to a permanent position within arm's reach of where you like to work, read or watch TV.
If you've been diagnosed with SAD you won't pay VAT on your purchase, and given that this is a premium product that means a significant saving. Lumie also has an excellent 45-day no-quibble returns policy provided you hang on to the packaging.
Lumie Halo review: verdict
I'm writing this on a rainy day in Scotland, where I spend much of the darker months with a SAD lamp next to my laptop. I find SAD lamps energising, but they're so bright I don't leave them on any longer than I absolutely need to. With the Lumie Halo, though, I'm happy to have it on throughout the dark days: by adjusting the light I can get all the benefits in a more subtle way during the day before turning on Evening Mode after work.