There are few things in life as calming as a Himalayan salt lamp. It is the first thing I turn out when I walk in the house and the last thing I turn off when going to bed. These things are like crack and if you don’t believe me, try one out for yourself. You’ll want one in every room of your house. Himalayan salt lamp benefits have been getting a lot of attention recently, but are these benefits backed by science? Let’s find out.
What is a Himalayan salt lamp and what are Negative Ions?
A Himalayan salt lamp is a piece of Himalayan salt that has been hollowed out just enough to fit a small bulb inside. Many sources boast of the Himalayan salt lamps ability to be a natural negative ion generator, which technically it is, however, the amount generated is not enough to make a noticeable impact.
Back up. Negative Ions?
Negative ions are beneficial because they have been shown to to be great mood boosters, stress relievers, and aid in air quality. The most abundant place for negative ions is a waterfall, generating over 10,000 ions per cubic cm! Fresh country air has around 2,000-4,000 ions per cubic cm and cities typically have less than 100 ions per cubic cm. Although Himalayan salt lamps do generate negative ions, I do not consider them a significant source of negative ions. A walk in nature is a much better place to get a good dose of these mood boosting ions.
So although I don’t use Himalayan salt lamps as a negative ion generator, I do think they can be be beneficial (and neutralizing) around electronics and can be useful around the home for their other benefits.
Himalayan Salt Lamp Benefits
Calming for Allergies
Salt is hygroscopic; meaning it attracts water. This is significant because water in the air carries mold, allergens, bacteria, pollen, you name it. These airborne particles are drawn to your lamp, removing them from the air, and leaving them on the salts surface.
The heat from the bulb then evaporates the water particles, generating a small amount negative ions. If your lamp isn’t warm enough or left on for long enough the water particles won’t evaporate, making your lamp dewy and wet (not good).
Light & Color Therapy
This is one of my favorite Himalayan salt lamp benefits, and why we have so many in our house. The soothing warm orange glow of a Himalayan salt lamp is enough to bring me to my knees… with a blanket, warm cup of tea, and a good book. There is something about the glow is that is so relaxing and calming.
May Improve Air Quality
Due to salts hygroscopic properties, it helps draw pollutants from the air (that are being carried by water molecules) by attracting them to its surface. When the water evaporates upon hitting the warm surface of the lamp, negative ions are produced, which helps neutralized positive ions created by electronics.
Great Evening Light
Nothing kills a good dose of melatonin to the blood stream quite like blue light. Blue light after sunset interferes with our circadian rhythm by hindering our sleep hormones. Electronics, LED lights, and fluorescent lights emit some of the most powerful waves of blue light. I’ve noticed huge improvements in my sleep quality by dialing back on blue light after dark and using salt lamps and other orange lights to illuminate the house.
How to Buy a Himalayan Salt Lamp & What to Look For
I look for a few things when buying Himalayan salt lamps
- Made in Pakisan
- Orange color – If shopping in person look for the darkest shade of orange, these are typically higher quality
- 100% Himalayan Salt – This one seems obvious, but if it doesn’t say it, don’t assume.
- Rough Surface – this increases the hygroscopic properties. Avoid lamps with smooth surfaces.
- Non-LED bulb – You want your lamp to heat up a bit. LED bulbs wont. You can always replace your bulb with a non-LED one if you already bought the lamp.
I personally buy this brand of Himalayan salt lamps and have been very pleased with the quality!
Have you noticed Himalayan salt lamp benefits that I haven’t mentioned? I would love to know your experience with them. Let me know in the comments below.
Wiley, T.S. (2000) Lights Out: Sleep, Sugar, and Survival. New York: Pocket Books