Client Plug: Litebook

Han and the Litebook 2Back in December, I obliquely asked for Canadian, blogging SAD-sufferers. I guess I was needlessly oblique, but the reason I asked is because I was looking for some reviewers for one of our newer clients: Litebook. That’s the Litebook Elite, featured with Hoth Han Solo for scale.

As you might expect, they make Litebooks. They’re small, rechargeable light therapy lamps that house 24 LEDs. These LEDs mimic the peak wavelengths of the sun, and are a legitimate treatment for seasonal effective disorder. According to Wikipedia, it’s effective in 85% of cases.

Sleep Like a Normal Person

I’d have been more skeptical about this particular form of alternative medicine if I hadn’t read the science, as well as Sarah Pullman’s unadulterated (and unsolicited) praise for the device:

I’ve been using mine for just over a week now, and I don’t think it’s an overstatement to say that the improvement was dramatic and pretty immediate. My days of sleeping nine+ hours and then wanting to crawl into bed for a nap all day seem to be over. Since i started using my Litebook, I sleep like a normal person again (between 7 and 8.5 hours, ish) and I don’t feel tired all day. I feel… normal, I guess, again. I feel how I am accustomed to feeling, when I’m not in the midst of SAD season. My mood is also quite a bit better – and I’m not the only person to notice the improvement in me.

In fact, Sarah connected us with the folks at Litebook in the first place, after they contacted her. Here’s another endorsement of the device from a SAD sufferer in Ottawa.

Here Comes the Science

The basic premise, as I understand it, is this: for most of human evolution we’ve been a tropical people. We crawled out of the mud and evolved in warm, sunny climates with even days and nights. In recent times (relatively speaking), we’ve migrated north and south, and millions of us spend our winters in long periods of darkness, which screws up our body clocks.

To get a little more technical, the idea is that when light hits your eye, the retina transmits impulses to your body clock, located in the hypothalamus. The hypothalamus regulates sleeping, eating, body temperature and libido. Using light therapy early in the day helps to set and maintain your melatonin levels, and reduces the impact of SAD.

There are charts and diagrams and pictures of brains and such on the Litebook site that explain more. It’s also apparently effective for jet lag and shift workers who have to sleep during the day.

We’re helping Litebook with their online marketing. One of the things we’re doing is inviting some bloggers to try out Litebooks for a month to see what they think. I know we’re on the brightening side of winter, but I’ve got a couple of slots for reviewers in late February. If anybody else is interested, drop me a line.

UPDATE: Whew, that response was larger than I’d anticipated. Thanks to everybody who’s interested–I’ve emailed most of you. I only have so many trial units to share around, so I’d better put a hold on more requests for the time being.


  1. I am definitely interested in getting a unit if you have one for me to review. Sarah’s account above sounds an awful lot like what I’ve been experiencing these past couple of months. I sleep lots (9+ hours) but I wake feeling tired and I feel the need to take a nap during the day. I’ll drop you an email and we can arrange how you want to do this.

  2. I bought one of those for my wife a few months ago and it does seem to be having some impact.

    What I don’t really understand about this product though is why it appears to be so overpriced. For what is essentially a box of xmas lights, I paid almost $250 which probably puts it out of the range of most people.

    Also, I went to several pharmacies to compare prices and each of the pharmacists that I talked to weren’t all that keen on the products and almost seemed reluctant to sell me one. And each of them had only one or two items in stock. I’d say if you want to market this product, start with the pharmacists; they can be your best sales people.

  3. Chris: I asked about cost, and here’s the response I got:

    “The cost is due to the fact that we use premium white LEDs from Japan
    (as opposed to the cheaper knock-off LEDs from Taiwan or China) in order
    to deliver the therapeutic level of light in the critical wavelengths.
    Also we use a custom Fresnel lens and diffuser system to ensure adequate
    light reaches the eye without glare, as well as the newest rechargeable
    lithium battery technology to ensure the longest use between charges.”

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