Holiday gift ideas: home and office gear

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BlueMax Lighting 70w Desk Lamp, by Full Spectrum Solutions

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This is a desk lamp that aims to reproduce natural lighting in an indoor situation. It uses "scotopically enhanced lighting" technology, which basically aims to "stimulate the eye's photoreceptors, making the pupils contract to increase visual acuity."

The light therapy lamp produces 10,000 lux (approximately 4,300 lumens of light) to help those with seasonal affective disorder and aims to help you see more clearly and color more accurately. Features of the lamp include a flexible neck design for aiming the light downward or off to the side (good for projects), a dimming switch that lowers the light to about 20% power, and a solid base that prevents the lamp from tipping over. The company says that about 30 minutes of light therapy in the morning (such as reading e-mail or doing other work) can help you feel better if you're affected by seasonal affective disorder (or if you live in New England in the winter).

I tried this out in my office for a few days and turned off the overhead fluorescent lighting, and it does have a calming effect. Certain things on my desk and my computer screen looked brighter. It's hard to tell whether I'd benefit from this if I contracted seasonal affective disorder -- when I was testing this, it was mainly sunny outside, and the winter hadn't kicked in yet. Still, any lighting beats fluorescent lighting in an office situation, so if you can swing the money, pick one of these up.

Cool Yule Rating: 3 stars

Price: $159

Product Web site.

Reviewed by Keith Shaw

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