How to build your own Lumenator

by Eliezer Yudkowsky Feb 17 2016 updated Nov 3 2016

Treating Seasonal Affective Disorder using MOAR LIGHT can sometimes solve what dinky little lightboxes can't.

Brienne Yudkowsky found that her resistant Seasonal Affective Disorder, which didn't respond to ordinary lightboxes, did respond to stringing up multiple strands of dozens of high-quality LED lights in the bedroom and living room, and keeping them on until 9pm at night.

To construct your own LUMENATORs, we recommend using a mix of high-CRI, energy-efficient 2700K (yellow-white) and 5000K (blue-white) LED bulbs, with roughly 2:3 ratios of yellow to blue. We tried ordering cheap ones from Hong Kong, but they turned out to be dim and inefficient and low-light-quality, so we're recommending more standard models. In particular, the Cree 4FLOW bulbs are low-weight, look a lot like regular bulbs, don't shatter if you bump them, and have nice light quality.

5000K bulbs (blue-white):

If you look up these bulbs on your own, make sure you're looking at the 60W-equivalent and 5000k versions. 2700K and 40w are both cheaper, but not what you want for your blue bulbs.

2700K bulbs (yellow-white):

To string up your lights:

(To make bulbs easier to screw and unscrew, I use a shears to cut into the tops of the rubber sockets slightly, just the upper part above the ridge. It'll work without this, it's just an extra precaution against light bulbs getting stuck. More important if you plan to use any incandescent bulbs in the strand, because those could get baked in.)

To convert upright lamps into LESSER LUMENATOR assemblies:

We use 2x 25-strands in Brienne's bedroom, and 2x 25-strands plus an upright 10-complex in the living room, plus an upright 10-complex in the kitchen. Eliezer has one nest of 10 bulbs in his bedroom.

Update: We may now start experimenting with 100W-equivalent (~1600 lumen) LED bulbs instead of 60W, ~800 lumen bulbs. We've experimented with the following 2 brands of bulbs so far in LESSER LUMENATORs, where they seem perfectly fine:

At the listed wattage and tolerances, it should be possible to assemble 25 of these 1600 lumen bulbs into the 25-socket strand listed above, to create a double-brightness Lumenator, reducing the need to chain strands together.