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wooltonian
#1 Posted : 14 October 2016 13:56:50(UTC)
wooltonian

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This was an idea that someone mentioned on this forum about a year ago and it has been rattling around in my head ever since. The basic idea is that you fit a room in your house with a bright LED lighting system. So instead of sitting dutifully in front of your light box at the appointed time every day, craning your neck and squinting into the middle-distance, you go into your SAD room, turn the lights on and boom! I suppose the advantage of a light 'room' over a light 'box' is that you're free to move around and multi-task whilst receiving your dose of 10,000 lux and it just slots easier into your daily routine.

Anyway, me and Mrs. wooltonian have recently been talking about installing a new kitchen -- stripping the old one back to bare brick and starting from scratch including a small seating area in addition to cooker / sink / cupboards etc ....AND.... a powerful LED lighting system that is controllable via a dimmer switch. This would work brilliantly for me because I mainly use my light box between 3.00pm and 6.00pm -- which is precisely the time that I'm most likely to be in the kitchen making the tea and popping in and out to top up my wine glass. The idea is that it can be dark as pitch outside, but it doesn't matter because as long as the SAD room is a suitably bright, happy place (we're thinking of installing a sound system as well), what's to worry about?

So we're off to Taskers DIY store in the next couple of weeks to get the wheels in motion on our new project. Will keep you posted...
S100
#2 Posted : 18 October 2016 10:00:39(UTC)
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Hi Wooltonian, that sounds brilliant!

I like the new LED bulbs. Check the output in lumens. You can get an amazing 1000 lumens at 10W these days which is a trivial running cost. Halogens need 5 times the power.

I notice there are 2 main types now - soft light (with a chunky white plastic base) and LED filament (which look like old-fashioned filament bulbs). The Philips soft light bulbs are a bit pricey but excellent because the base is not too clumsy and they don't flicker at all. Some are dimmable but not all.

The LED filaments look nice and are a neat idea because the filament is a strip of many tiny LEDs in series. This means they can cope with mains voltages so there is a lot less electronics in them and they cost very little. I'm not sure if they are dimmable. We got some ASDA ones for £3 or £4 each - I was skeptical but they are very good! They are cooled by inert gas which circulates naturally within the glass. They look like they must run really hot but the glass is only warm to the touch. One downside with these bulbs is that they flicker due to the unsophisticated electronics. Wave your hand in front of one and you'll see what I mean. Probably OK for a kitchen but not great for office work.

You would struggle to get anywhere near light therapy doses so don't ditch the SAD lamp! I believe the Brazil outputs the equivalent of about 8 top-of-the-range LED bulbs, but there is an inverse square law at work regarding distance. If your kitchen lights are, say, 4 times further away from your eye you'd need 4x4x8 = 128 bulbs to get the same dose! Mind you, it would be a very jolly kitchen and you could invite us all to a light party :-)

Edited by user 18 October 2016 10:02:18(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

wooltonian
#3 Posted : 19 October 2016 11:34:08(UTC)
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Thanks, Simon. There's a lot of interesting stuff in your reply that I hadn't thought about and it's a good 'heads up' before going into discussions with planners / builders etc. I know very little about modern lighting systems and, at the 'concept' stage in our project, had some vague notion about dimmer switches probably derived from my memory of 1970s lounges complete with swirly carpets, sausages on sticks and Demis Roussos record collections!

I now realise that I need to give the lighting side some fairly careful thought and will look closely into the various options. I also take your point that the light room may not provide me with all my SAD light requirements and there may be a bit of 'trial and error' required in establishing how to top up light levels via my trusty Lumie Brazil.

Many thanks. Will update this thread as I go along.

Edited by user 19 October 2016 11:35:34(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

S100
#4 Posted : 19 October 2016 17:22:30(UTC)
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LOL, I realised how geeky my post was after reading it! I had just seen a display of electric light bulbs in a museum, going all the way back to the original Edisons, so that's my excuse for enthusing about the subject.

Personally I'd go for 2 or 3 separate circuits instead of a dimmer. A dimmer just dumps energy and does not work with every type of bulb so you'd always have that hassle of making sure you get the right ones.

Good luck with the kitchen, I think it is an excellent idea to have a really cheery room. With my geek hat on again, I'd say get a lux meter (they cost about £15) and aim for a few hundred lux (equal to a brightly lit office) or even more.
debbie
#5 Posted : 29 October 2016 09:43:33(UTC)
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Hi wooltonian s100
Debbie here,
The light room sounds very interesting,
I think I could do with something like that,
Just woken up yes at 10.0 am the lack of daylight is effecting me,
It's dull and drizzle here in Radcliffe, and the clocks turning back tonight fill me with dread!

Have you decided on your kitchen yet wooltonian?
They have installed the led street lights to the rear of my house, not in the front yet, I am reserving judgment on them in terms of light quality, I have a yellow one opposite the house, which I admit isn't very bright unlike the modern led lamps

Doctor keeping me on 10 mg citalopram has the depression is at bay fingers crossed, but my energy levels are depleting I liken my self to a solar powered light, bright when the sun is out, hardly function in winter!

Taking vitamin D also
Let's hope we have a bright cold winter, not a mild murky stormy one like last year!
The sun does help, I can wrap up to feed ducks,

Love Debbie 🌑🌝
wooltonian
#6 Posted : 29 October 2016 14:13:48(UTC)
wooltonian

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Hiya Debbie,

No, we've not got any further with the kitchen yet. Just got back from a short break in Portugal for half-term. It rained for two of the four days we were there! Now that we're back we shall probably head down to Taskers during the next fortnight. I want to get down there to get the whole process started before our minds start turning inevitably towards Christmas! I'm looking forward to it.

We've got an old-fashioned long, thin, galley-type kitchen, typical of 1930s semis, where a tiny kitchen has been knocked into a small pantry room. The current kitchen units are probably at least 30 years old and are a very poor quality, so it will be nice to rip it all out and start again, making it more of a 'liveable space' with a table and chairs, along with a powerful, but adjustable lighting system to blow away those SAD blues! I will update as soon as something happens.

I hope you manage to keep those energy levels up for the winter months. Like you, I hate it when the clocks go back. Why do we humans have to mess around and fiddle with everything? The loss of that hour of daylight in late afternoon always comes as a shock and feels like the winter has really started. My light box usage will have to increase immediately from this weekend.

I'm glad your doctor's appointment went OK. If you start to struggle, though, you should go back. The weather seems to offer nothing but gloom and drizzle at the moment. Even that nice weather lady on BBC North West Tonight couldn't promise us much in the way of sunshine for the next few days! I have bought a heavy weatherproof coat this morning so even if the weather is rubbish I can get out and go for walks. Hope you're not too put off by the weather and manage to get out and about. Say hello to your feathered friends for me!!

wooltonian

Edited by user 29 October 2016 14:18:42(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

debbie
#7 Posted : 29 October 2016 21:07:43(UTC)
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Hi wooltonian,
Lovley to hear from you too, glad you managed a break away despite two days of rain, at least it was a change,
Yes keep us posted on the kitchen really sounds interesting,

I have had a walk today into town swans are back on the canal, and geese now, for the forthcoming winter,
I will say hello for you x
I managed the treadmill tonight even though the mind was set on relaxing, but I applaud myself on doing 150 calories,
It's a manual treadmill so very hard going,
I am taking the vitamin d and trying to stay optimistic,

Sun is promised on Wednesday, at least that is some light at the end of a grey weekend,
I will turn my clocks back in the morning just can't do that at 2.am I will struggle loosing that hour dark at 5 is my dread, makes the evenings drag so much,

I hope you manage, I agree why can't they leave them at British summer time and stop fiddling with clocks, my sad hits rock bottom in December, my lack of motivation is dreadful,

Love Debbie x
wooltonian
#8 Posted : 06 March 2017 15:47:47(UTC)
wooltonian

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Looks like we're going to proceed with the kitchen upgrade just using a couple of bog-standard 4 x LED bulb light fittings. The problem is that the kitchen provider are happy to do the lighting for us, but because they are not lighting specialists they just wanted us to specify a couple of standard units for them to install. We have sourced two nice-looking chrome bar units from Taskers, each taking four 50w bulbs. When the time comes they will wire them in.

...so no fancy SAD lighting rig, no dimmer switches, no parallel circuits, no multiple switching or any of your fancy chicanery! Just a straight on / off switch. Ho hum. I suppose eight LED bulbs in a relatively small kitchen will still provide a decent hit of light -- and for the first time we will have a little seating area, so I can spend more time in the room soaking it all up! There is also the added possibility that I can experiment with more powerful bulbs, so we'll see.

Work will probably start in April. Will keep you all posted.....
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