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Aurora LightPad Mini Review – SAD Light Box

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Product: Aurora LightPad Mini

Manufacturer: Aurora Light Solutions

Treatment: SAD Therapy

LED Count: 180



The Aurora LightPad Mini is the most powerful portable SAD device on the market. It produces the recommended 10000 lux of white light at a distance of 25 inches. The manufacturer Aurora Light Solutions have been in business 23 years and give a great guarantee on this product. Lets take an in depth look.


Aurora Light Solutions; the manufacturer/supplier of the Aurora LightPad Mini was founded in Homer, Alaska in1993. Now with offices in Reno Nevada; Aurora Light Solutions have sold over forty thousand of their light therapy boxes since opening for business some 23 years ago.
The Aurora LightPad Mini is one of the four light boxes in their range. It is specifically targeted at providing treatment for Seasonal Affective Disorder sufferers.


With the Aurora LightMini we have an extremely powerful and portable therapeutic SAD treatment device. It provides pure white light through180 LEDs that are both shock and vibration resistant. This is one of the most powerful SAD lamps on the market today. Most of its competitors advertise 10,000 lux at 12 inches. The Aurora LightMini produces this at a more comfortable distance of 24 inches

Because it measures a tablet sized  7.5 x 0.5 x 5.2 inches it can just slip into your bag to take with you where ever you want. It is not have a built in battery so it needs at least its cables, transformer and plug when travelling.

There are three levels of brightness intensity that can be selected from the single touch-sensitive button on the front of the device.. The 180 LED array treatment panel is housed in a lightweight white coated chassis. We like the design of the device a lot. It looks and feels a quality product.

What we did not like so much was the power cable and particularly the large transformer that ships with the device. As a very light weight device we feel it is rather let downs down its portability. If it is portability you are looking for then whilst the device will slip into your bag nicely, the peripherals wont. Of course electrical safety standards have to be adhered to, but we wonder if something could be done to reduce the cables and AC adaptor to a more manageable size.

The Aurora LightPad Mini does not provide any frills. But what it does provide is power and that will really shorten the overall treatment time if it is used correctly.

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Aurora LightPad Mini Directions for use

The Aurora LightPad Mini is an extremely bright white light so care in correct placement is important. It should be placed where it bathes your face in light. The important thing is that both retinas are exposed to the light. Do look directly at the light, that should be avoided.

Most people find it convenient to place the unit on a table while taking breakfast, or adjacent to their work desk. You can easily read, eat, work at your computer, while using your light.

Remember the proper hormonal response to SAD light therapy is through the retina of the eyes, not through the skin. However, never stare at the light.

Treatment period

SAD light therapy normally involves daily sessions ranging from 30 minutes to 1 hour. As a precaution when first using any SAD device it is wise to start at small increments of time such as 10 minutes, and then to gradually work up to longer periods. Light therapy is most effective if used in the morning, quite soon after waking up. 

Using light therapy at night prior to going to bed will almost certainly disrupt sleep.

Top Tip

The Aurora LightPad Mini will produce 10,000 lux at 25 inches from the light source. Compared to other SAD lamps this is about double the power.
See our article explaining LUX and Lumens  >>

As the distance from the source increases the LUX value decreases.  This is common to all SAD lamps.

Here are some approximate sample values:

  25 inches =  10,000 lux
  50 inches =    2,500 lux
100 inches =       625 lux

Many users of light therapy who are dis-appointed with treatment results have not fully understood the importance of how close they have to be to the light for optimum therapeutic effect.

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We found the design of the Aurora LightPad Mini to be really appealing.  Some of the newer SAD lights on the market have gone for sleek design, and reduction in size, Aurora Light Solutions have achieved this too with the LightPad Mini, and still managed to pack a massive 180 LEDs into the treatment panel.   The use LEDs as a light source means no bulbs to install or change.

We would have liked to have seen the support stand incorporated into the device body. As it is it’s an accessory that needs to be either carried with it, or stored away separately when not in use. The stand is lightweight and well made though. With its 13 tilt options serves it purpose perfectly.


  • Aurora LightPad Mini device.
  • 2 x Cables
  • AC Adaptor
  • Users Guide
  • Warranty


Easy to use:          No frills, an on/off device. Just choose your setting.
Light options:      Three intensity settings.
Price:                      Not cheap. But packs in 180 LEDs of lighting
Finish:                    Good quality finish.
Reviews:                Good feedback. Customer Service excellent.

Bottom Line

We can’t really find any competitors to the Aurora LightPad Mini that provide such power in such a small device. Size really doesn’t matter in this case! 

With some other SAD lamps, particularly the larger ones, you really need a mental commitment to set them up. Then get yourself positioned in front of them, and start your treatment session. It can sometimes all get a bit of a ritual. The Aurora LightPad Mini fits effortless around the user, which we liked.

We were a little disappointed that what at first glance should be such a portable device, does need a lot of extras to be carried with it. Most people will probably use it at home, so it should not be such an issue. It does have a small storage footprint when not in use.

The Aurora LightPad Mini  comes with a very good guarantee which we liked. Aurora Light Solutions offer a 100% refund during the first 60 day period if you are not fully satisfied. And a lifetime warranty on it for defective parts, with the usual caveats. So you can really try it; and see if it works for you, and still have a possibility of returning it if you are not satisfied. Which is great.

Although in recent years more SAD light boxes have become available to the market, compared to the number of SAD sufferers worldwide; the choice is still quite small. Fortunately many of the new devices have been downsized, but still manage to maintain the same therapeutic treatment value. This gives buyers options unavailable some years ago. What we find appealing with the Aurora LightPad Mini is its no frills approach. It has no gimmicks to offer. But what it does have is good design,  massive power and a great warranty..


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