How to Build a Light Box for Light Therapy

What You'll Need
Electrical tape
Wire strippers
Light bulbs
Light bulb holders
Extension lead
Electrical screwdriver
Electrical plug

Light therapy is a popular treatment using light boxes which are used to deliver light. Light therapy is most commonly used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD for short. This is a type of depression which is caused by bad weather conditions during the winter.

Studies have shown that a light therapy treatment lasting 30 minutes a day will start to improve the condition. It is possible to buy commercial light boxes for light treatment, however these are very expensive. A much more affordable option would be to create your own light box. Making your own light box is actually pretty easy as long as you have the right tools and materials available.

Step 1 - Preparing the Wooden Box

The first thing that you need to do is prepare the wooden box to become the perfect light box. This needs to be painted using a white paint so that it will reflect the light rather than absorbing it. Once the box is painted set it aside and allow it to dry fully.

Step 2 - Fitting the Light Holders

Draw round the light bulb holders on the back of the box so that there are the right number inside. Then use a saw to cut the holes out so that the light bulb holders will fit properly. Make sure that the holes aren't too big because this could create a leak of light.

Once you are happy the light bulb holders can be secured in place using glue and electrical tape. This will prevent the holders from slipping and moving around.

Step 3 - Wiring

Now you need to strip some pieces of electrical wire and connect each light bulb holder in series. This means that you will connect the positive terminal from one to the negative terminal of another and so on. The last two terminals either side will need to be wired into a plug.

Ensure that none of these connections are shorting out because this can cause damage. The plug needs to be fitted carefully so that it provides the best connection. Wrap the connections in electrical tape to prevent anything coming into contact with them.

Step 4 - Covering the Wiring

Place the box over the back of the box to conceal the wiring and make the whole thing much safer. You should secure the back of the box with glue and tape. Make sure that none of the wiring is exposed as this could be dangerous.

Step 5 - Testing

Now plug the whole thing in and test that the lights come on. If not then you've probably made a mistake with one of the connections. You may also want to fit a switch in line with the light bulbs so that you can easily control the lights.

Be very careful when using this to make sure that the bulbs don't get too hot. Bulbs can get very hot and could potentially burn through the box which is why you must never leave it unattended.