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):
- Recommended: Cree 4flow 5000K 60w-equivalent, 10pk. (Cheapest source last time we checked.)
- Alternative slightly cheaper type of 5000K bulbs: Slimstyle Daylight 60w-equivalent.
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):
- Cree 4flow 2700K 60w-equivalent, 10pk
- I don't recommend the Slimstyle for 2700K, it looks awful.
To string up your lights:
- String of 25 lights, black strand, non-suspended. Amazon version seems to be unavailable, so if searching on your own, make sure you look for the non-suspended version where the sockets are directly on the strand, vs. the "suspended version" where the sockets dangle below the strand. (We think the suspended version looks less pretty and is harder to wrangle into good positions.)
- White strand on eBay.
(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:
- 7-to-1 version of this light socket splitter
- Screw into center socket of above: 4-to-1 socket splitter
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.