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A bright idea: New Coquitlam library program to help beat seasonal blues

Ever tried an LED lamp? It's widely-known to have a positive effect for those experiencing seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Happy Lamp Lights offered by the Coquitlam Public Library are set to help local residents that are feeling the effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

The wind rolled through the Tri-Cities last night (Nov. 4), which followed a couple of weeks several monsoon-like rainfalls.

Now, with an apparent snowfall expected to bring 15 cm at higher elevations, the weather changes may possibly have an effect on local residents' mental health.

The Coquitlam Public Library (CPL) is hoping to shed some light on the subject of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) by offering a new program to combat the form of depression.

Known as 'Happy Lights,' residents will be allowed to rent portable LED lamps over a two-week period.

Each have three brightness settings to match the person's comfort level up to 10,000 lux — the measurement of a bulb's intensity — and are scientifically known to help improve sleep, mood, energy and focus.

"15% of all Canadians will experience some level of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) when our days become shorter — this can show up as low energy, depression, and sleep disorders," the CPL explained in a statement sent to the Tri-City News.

"Sure, this year we did have an extended summer....but the grey days have begun and many Coquitlam residents may start to feel a little blue."

The library is instructing interested renters to sit near the Happy Light for up to 30 minutes to feel its effects, but no longer than an hour.

The therapy lights have been available to the public since Nov. 1 at both the City Centre (1169 Pinetree Way) and Poirier branches (575 Poirier St.).

They're also set to be included with the CPL's Library Link when the outreach vehicle hits the road next summer.

For more information on the LED lamps, or to reserve one, you can visit the Coquitlam Public Library's website.