YumaLite and Me

August may not be the best time for YumaLite.

This LED-equipped visor is supposed to counteract the effects of too little sunshine. Light deprivation, seasonal effective disorder — call it what you will — there’s no denying the darkness of northern winters can get you down. When New Hampshire reports nearly seven times the rate of seasonal affective disorder as Florida, something’s up.

I awoke excited for my first day with YumaLite, but was dismayed to see the sun inconveniently streaming through my windows. How am I supposed to be sad when it’s so damn nice out? Morrissey and news from Syria only go so far.

Toronto’s Sean Miller successfully sold the YumaLite concept on CBC’s Dragons’ Den in 2011. Despite incredulous looks from Kevin O’Leary et al., the Dragons invested a significant stake. An infomercial gadget for depressed people who don’t see much natural light was a logical gamble.

The instruction manual recommends 20 to 30 minutes of use each morning. Do it while you prepare breakfast, read the paper or curse the heavens for another day on this godforsaken rock. It’s a matter of personal preference. The point is, the inconvenience of traditional light box therapy is a significant reason many people stop. YumaLite goes where you go.

Press the button on the visor once and your forehead is bathed in the cool 800-lux glow of white LED light. Press it again and the wavelength switches to an 80-lux red. I didn’t notice any immediate difference between the two, but the reds kind of made me feel like Geordi La Forge.

Summer may be here for now, but there’s no denying it: the days are getting shorter. The nights are growing cooler. Winter, as they say, is coming. If global warming delivers again, we might not be cloistered in hibernation from November through March. Unfortunately, sweet, sweet greenhouse gases have no effect on daylight. As the solstice approaches, I’ll be keeping my YumaLite close.

Find out more about YumaLite on the official site. You can also get one via Sean’s indiegogo fundraising campaign.

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