Not only are we the original bright light box company, but we are recognized worldwide as a leader in light therapy products.
In the early 1980’s, Neal Owens was diagnosed with Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) – a newly identified medical disorder characterized by winter symptoms which included fall and winter weight gain, carbohydrate cravings, oversleeping, decreased interest in normal activities, and low mood and energy.
He contacted the National Institute of Mental Health (N.I.M.H.), as they were conducting investigations into treating this newly identified problem with an experimental treatment called “bright light therapy.” Though he didn’t qualify to participate in the program (he was excluded because he was taking antidepressant medications at the time), the researchers allowed him to borrow one of their light boxes so he could try it on his own.
Two weeks later, when he was asked to return the light box to N.I.M.H. for their study, he was convinced of its efficacy in treating his symptoms. He asked where he could buy one, and the researchers told him there were none available commercially – they had jury-rigged the units they were using.
So Neal made his own, using specifications for brightness and safety provided to him by the researchers. When they saw Neal’s SunBox, which was superior to their light boxes, they asked him to work with N.I.M.H. to develop a light box for their research that was safe, durable and effective.
As people left the study at N.I.M.H., those who responded well to bright light therapy were referred to Neal so they could special-order SunBoxes for their use at home. This is how The SunBox Company began. Founded in 1985, we were incorporated in 1987.