A HappyLight illuminates culinary delights for food photography

Apple gallette anyone? The HappyLight Liberty 5k provides a great boost to lighting for food photography.

Caramel apple gallette anyone? The HappyLight Liberty 5k illuminated the delicious dessert in this photo.

We recently wrote on the blog about a DIY light box design and the benefits of Verilux lighting for photography.  Now we’ve heard from Joelen of What’s Cookin,’ Chicago? who discovered that all she needed was her HappyLight to enhance her food photography.  During the shorter days of winter, her HappyLight helps create photographs and raises her spirits.  Read on to learn more or visit her full post here for the recipe!

“I recently posted about the Verilux HappyLight Lamp and I used it for lighting in the top picture above. Originally used with the intention to simulate natural sunlight and ease “winter blues,” the effects of shift work, jet lag, malaise or fatigue, I found this to be an alternate photo light option. It brightened up my galette without it being too glaring. And because it’s dark out much earlier, I wanted to try to simulate natural light a bit.”

Even after daylight savings, HappyLight brings hope for brighter days

"Daylight Savings Time has begun and so begins the countdown to my least favourite season. You know, that much-dreaded W-word.  To help combat the tiredness and malaise associated with the winter blues, however, we will be using our new HapplyLight."

“Daylight Savings Time has begun…To help combat the tiredness and malaise associated with the winter blues, however, we will be using our new HappyLight.”

Diana from Toronto Teacher Mom isn’t winter’s biggest fan. The start of Daylight Savings Time is a reminder that darker days and snow are soon to come to Toronto. However, this year, her family is using a HappyLight to help them combat the low energy and malaise of winter time.  Read on to learn more about Diana’s light therapy strategy or visit her full post here.

“Daylight Savings Time has begun and so begins the countdown to my least favourite season. You know, that much-dreaded W-word. Which subsequently leads to an equally unspeakable four-letter S-word. Now, if we were talking about a three-letter S-word, then I would gleefully take part in a delightful conversation about sun and warmth and pristine beaches… Oh, to escape the cold temperatures and travel down south where sunshine is a-plenty! It’s the perfect way to beat the winter blues, isn’t it? Yet, no matter how many times my husband and I talk about heading to the Caribbean with the family for Christmas and New Year’s, it rarely seems to pan out. We end up stuck at home, often succumbing to the effects of the seasonal change. (Think hibernation.) To help combat the tiredness and malaise associated with the winter blues, however, we will be using our new HappyLight Libery 10K Natural Spectrum Energy Lamp by Verilux.

The HappyLight Liberty 10k looks great with any decor.

The HappyLight Liberty 10k looks great with any decor.

Similar to the Verilux SmartLight Desk Lamp, the HappyLight offers light therapy to help reduce fatigue and increase alertness through the use of Natural Spectrum light. It cues the body’s natural energy enhancers, thereby reducing lethargy while helping to regulate the body’s natural cycles. And just like the SmartLight, it helps to improve focus and concentration. The HappyLight comes with two lens options which provide a different light range and energy: high-energy and comfort. It also has a light intensity control switch on the front for additional output flexibility.”

HappyLight brings focus to school work and an extra lift to morning coffee

A HappyLight brightens this child's work space helping to enhance focus and productivity.

A HappyLight brightens this child’s work space helping to enhance focus and productivity.

Heather from Only Passionate Curiosity tried out the HappyLight to test its ability to enhance her children’s focus and productivity in her home school, but was pleasantly surprised to find it seems to also add pep to her morning coffee routine.  Read on to learn more about her experience or visit her full post here.

“These lamps use natural spectrum light to bring the benefits of sunlight into your home. They work by stimulating the eyes which can help your body regulate it’s natural sleep/wake cycle and boost your mood, energy level, and ability to focus during the day.

Many people have trouble with tiredness and/or [malaise] in the winter months, so a tool like this is wonderful for stimulating the body and helping balance mood even when natural outdoor light is unavailable. For the best effect, the light needs to be able to reach your eyes, so it’s recommended that you place the lamp in front of you, and you sit pretty close to it. You don’t want to close your eyes or wear sunglasses, because it’s your eyes that absorb the light and make a difference to your mood and energy level.

HappyLight Liberty 10k Natural Spectrum Energy Lamp

HappyLight Liberty 10k Natural Spectrum Energy Lamp

This particular light (the Verilux 10K Natural Spectrum Energy Lamp) is fully customize-able, with two intensity settings, interchangeable filters, and a tilt feature which will let you more easily program the light to your needs. It has the highest recommended output of natural light available on the market, so you can have more flexibility in how far you sit from the lamp and what you do while using it.

How did it work with the kids?

I have been using this lamp with the kids when they work at the school table for about an hour each day in the mornings. I enjoyed being able to angle the light down so it was more comfortable for them, and as an added bonus, it lights up their work space very well.

Unfortunately, it did not make much of a difference in Mr. Man’s ability to focus on his work. He is young, and doesn’t always express himself well, so I am hoping perhaps he feels more of a benefit than he is able to self-report. My older son reported that he did feel like he was more focused using the light than without, and will go out of his way to make sure it is set up and turned on before he sits down to do his morning work.

Final Thoughts

One thing I do want to note is that some people will experience light sensitivity, which makes this product difficult to use. My kids were not bothered by the light at all, but it did give me a headache when I positioned the light in front of me (as recommended). In the end, I moved the light to be angled from behind me, so I was getting a less direct effect (which, in all fairness decreases the effectiveness of the light).

For me, the jury is still out on the effectiveness of light therapy, but the kids enjoy the brightened work space, so this product is going to stick around in my home. I do enjoy the clean, bright light. My home is on the dark side because of the small windows and large trees around us, so we need all the natural light we can get! I have enjoyed using it in the morning while I drink my coffee to help me wake up and get moving, so it’s promising to me that it will help in the winter months as well.  I think that if you struggle with seasonal [mood changes], or have kids who could use some help focusing, this product is worth a try!”

Healthy lighting boosts a DIY light box design

While we often only consider the great benefits of Verilux lighting for reading or the winter blues, here’s someone who took things a step further to improve the quality of her photography!  Athena from The Stuff of Success has really got me to thinking about things I might do better with better light.  How about you?  Read on for more on how she built her light box or visit her full post here.*

light-box-with-verilux-600x462

“Now that it is dark in the morning when I leave for work and dark at night when I get home – my opportunities for taking pictures of the items I need to review and the projects I am undertaking for my blog are much more slim. With the lost daylight I either need to find a way to adjust my photos or wait until I have access to daylight on a weekend.

Don’t get me wrong there really is no substitute for a beautiful day in the neighborhood when it comes to taking photos. But it cannot be the only option.

Clamp lamps for light box containing 23W Verilux CFL bulbs

Clamp lamps for light box containing 23W Verilux CFL bulbs

A PVC light box can be made any size you want. I made mine approximately 16×16. It is not a true box – which is easy enough to do but I wanted it to be collapsible so I made it “table” like where the legs can just fold into itself. That means I can take it anywhere I go. Of course the lamps are a bit bulky but still quite manageable.

I used Verilux Natural Spectrum Lighting – the equivalent of 100W. You must use natural lighting bulbs to make sure your photos are crisp. I picked up some inexpensive clamp lights (3 of them) to be clamped one on each side and one on top.

To build the light box you need 1/2″ PVC piping. If I wanted to make it very large, I would use 3/4″ PVC.

Verilux PVC light box with dimensions

Verilux PVC light box with dimensions

  • (4) 15 inch legs
  • (4) 12 inch cross bars
  • (4) caps
  • (4) T’s
  • (4) Elbows

Then simply purchase some strips of Muslin or white sheets – I need larger strips but this still works. If this were a permanent box I would actually attach the muslin to it but since I fold it up, I merely lay the muslin over all sides of it.

The light box draped in muslin and ready for lighting installation.

The light box draped in muslin and ready for lighting installation.

You can use fabric for the background or poster board. In this photo there is just another strip of muslin hung over the rear bar but you could hang any type of fabric over it. I actually sit this right on the kitchen table or on the couch to take photos.

Here’s a side by side comparison so you can see just how much the light box photo has improved the quality. The photo on the left has some shadowing, the details of the car are not very clear and it is just not that appealing. I can do some editing to make it a bit nicer but not entirely.  The photo on the right was with my “new” light box and on the same muslin background.

Left: photo without light box. Right: notice major improvements in color and clarity with Verilux light box

Left: photo without light box. Right: notice major improvements in color and clarity with the Verilux light box

The key to this entire process is the lighting! The best photos are those with natural lighting and the Verilux Natural Spectrum Lighting are just 23W but the equivalent of 100W. They are 10,000 hour bulbs and will last for years of me taking beautiful photos.”

*As always, be careful – and smart – anytime you’re doing any that involves electricity or that “re-purposes” a light bulb for any use other than the one for which it’s primarily intended. All content provided on the Verilux blog is for informational purposes only. Verilux makes no representations as to the accuracy or completeness of any 3rd party information on this site or found by following any link on this site. Verilux will not be liable for any errors or omissions in this information nor for the availability of this information. Verilux does not promote, recommend or endorse the use of our product in ways it is not intended to be used. Verilux will not be liable for any losses, injuries, or damages from the display or use of this information.

When you turn back your clock, turn on your HappyLight!

Graph depicting the number of daylight hours lost on December 21st across North America. In the northern half of the continental US, between 5 and 7.5 hours of daylight are lost.

Graph depicting the number of daylight hours lost on December 21st across North America. In the northern half of the continental US, between 5 and 7.5 hours of daylight are lost.

With the beginning of daylight savings time this weekend, we’ll soon be looking at late sunrises and early sunsets that greatly reduce the amount of natural light we get each day.  In fact, the northern half of the continental US loses between 5 and 7.5 hours of daylight on December 21st compared to June 21st.  And, if you’re like 20% of American adults, having less light can make you feel down.  Flip on your HappyLight energy lamp to help improve your mood and energy!  HappyLights naturally help you fight fatigue, increase alertness and regain focus and concentration.

HappyLights naturally help you fight fatigue and increase alertness.

HappyLights naturally help you fight fatigue and increase alertness.