Towards a uniform specification of light therapy devices for the treatment of affective disorders and use for non-image forming effects: radiant flux

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Abstract

Background: For treating affective disorders like SAD, light therapy is used although the underlying mechanism explaining this success remains unclear. To accelerate the research on defining the light characteristics responsible for inducing a specific effect a uniform manner for specifying the irradiance at the eye should be defined. This allows a genuine comparison between light-affect studies. An important factor impacting the irradiance at the eye are the radiant characteristics of the used light therapy device. Method: In this study the radiant fluxes of five different light therapy devices were measured. The values were weighted against the spectral sensitivity of the five photopigments present in the human eye. A measurement was taken every five minutes to control for a potential stabilizing effect. Results: The results show that all five devices show large differences in radiant flux. The devices equipped with blue LED lights have a much lower spectral radiant flux than the devices equipped with a fluorescent light source or a white LED. The devices with fluorescent lamps needed 30 min to stabilize to a constant radiant flux. Limitations: In this study only five devices were measured. Radiant flux is just the first step to identify uniform specifications for light therapy devices. Conclusions: It is recommended to provide all five α-opic radiant fluxes. Preferably, the devices should come with a spectral power distribution of the radiant flux. For the devices equipped with a fluorescent lamp it is recommended to provide information on the stabilization time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)142-149
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Affective Disorders
Volume235
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2018

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Phototherapy
Mood Disorders
Equipment and Supplies
Therapeutics
Light

Keywords

  • Affective disorders
  • Device
  • Light therapy
  • Non-image forming
  • Specification
  • Treatment

Cite this

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title = "Towards a uniform specification of light therapy devices for the treatment of affective disorders and use for non-image forming effects: radiant flux",
abstract = "Background: For treating affective disorders like SAD, light therapy is used although the underlying mechanism explaining this success remains unclear. To accelerate the research on defining the light characteristics responsible for inducing a specific effect a uniform manner for specifying the irradiance at the eye should be defined. This allows a genuine comparison between light-affect studies. An important factor impacting the irradiance at the eye are the radiant characteristics of the used light therapy device. Method: In this study the radiant fluxes of five different light therapy devices were measured. The values were weighted against the spectral sensitivity of the five photopigments present in the human eye. A measurement was taken every five minutes to control for a potential stabilizing effect. Results: The results show that all five devices show large differences in radiant flux. The devices equipped with blue LED lights have a much lower spectral radiant flux than the devices equipped with a fluorescent light source or a white LED. The devices with fluorescent lamps needed 30 min to stabilize to a constant radiant flux. Limitations: In this study only five devices were measured. Radiant flux is just the first step to identify uniform specifications for light therapy devices. Conclusions: It is recommended to provide all five α-opic radiant fluxes. Preferably, the devices should come with a spectral power distribution of the radiant flux. For the devices equipped with a fluorescent lamp it is recommended to provide information on the stabilization time.",
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author = "M.P.J. Aarts and A.L.P. Rosemann",
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