Bright light therapy may be used as part of a treatment for seasonal or non-seasonal depression whether it is unipolar and bipolar disorder (but not to be used in the manic phase). It can also be helpful to reset a delayed phase sleep – this is where you go to bed late and get up late.
Suitable bright Light Boxes can be purchased from www.lumie.com. I would recommend the Brazil model or the portable Vitamin L model for light therapy. Both are 10,000 lux but the Brazil should be used 30 cm away and Vitamin L 20 cm away. The timing is for 30 minutes which can occur whilst having breakfast or reading. You do not need to stare into the light.
I also like their BodyClock Wake up lights especially Body Clock 150 (£99) to wake to sunlight and use amber lighting in the evening. Unfortunately, this is only 400 Lux and not suitable for providing Bright Light Therapy. A compromise is the Zest SAD and Wake up light which combines the Bright Light Therapy with an alarm.
The time of using the morning light should be optimised by using the Morningness Eveningness Questionnaire. It is important to use it every morning especially in the winter months. In the summer months, it may be sufficient to open the curtains and let the sunlight in or go for a walk first thing in the morning.
Bright light therapy can help synchronise your body clock to the sun. More information can be found on the website for the Center for Environmental Therapeutics.