Every morning I wake up and I sit in front of my "fake sun" for 20-30 minutes. Give or take depending how long my 3-year-olds agree to allow me to sit still.
For years, I had been so reluctant to buy an expensive light for the crummy Washington weather. I have now been using my SAD light for about three months and it's single handedly the best purchase I've ever made.
I bought a Verilux HappyLight because it gives off 10,000 Lux, the recommended amount for a SAD light.
However, it also has a nice feature, a comfort lens, which reduces it to 7,500 Lux. This is sometimes important because at first the light can be a bit overwhelming and some people may not like immediately starting out with the higher Lux.
I purchased one that was on the more affordable end to see if it helped at all, but if I have to replace it I will be looking into standing lamps with more coverage area. The Verilux HappyLight is small and compact, which is exactly what I needed. As I've read more, it is my understanding that a larger lamp can be more effective and be used for shorter periods of time.
Tons of friends have asked how I like it, as well what it does. I love it. It's changed my life. I wake up tired after even the best nights sleep. Before using the light I would feel groggy and as though I would prefer to just stay in bed a few more hours - who wouldnt? I wake up, give my kids breakfast and sit in front of my light. It makes the biggest difference not only in my energy level, but also with my mood. I don't wake up so often feeling grumpy and sleepy in the morning. I am able to survive our endlessly rainy weather here in the Pacific Northwest. On rainy days, I don't feel gloomy or down, as long as I use my light.
As the days get nicer I will use it for less time. In the winter it seems ideal to use it up to 30 minutes (at 7,500 Lux) or 15-20 (at 10,000 Lux), but in the summer I will likely use it for 10-15 minutes in the morning, since we spend tons of time outdoors and I won't need my faux sun. This light has helped me survive the gloomy Seattle winters that bring about sluggish feelings and constant coffee drinking.