In recent years, using Himalayan salt to produce stunningly beautiful salt lamps has become wildly popular, for the health benefits as much as the aesthetics. These lamps are simply large chunks of salt that are hollowed out and modified to include a small light. Alternatively, you can also make a lamp by burying a light source in large chunks of salt to create a glowing ambiance. Proponents of these lamps claim they are like sitting next to an open window that constantly provides you with fresh, clean air, free from impurities like dust, pollen and cigarette smoke.
How Do Salt Lamps Work?
The secret behind Himalayan salt lamps is that salt is hygroscopic, meaning it attracts water molecules right from the air. Large blocks of salt are especially attractive to water vapor and the pollutants it carries. Once these molecules are attracted to the salt, they linger on it and are removed from the air you breathe in. These lamps slowly become saturated with water vapor from the air around them, but the inside lamp helps heat and release the cleaned water molecules, which ensures the air purifying effects last as long as the lamp is on. All the maintenance your lamp needs is to be turned off for an hour every few weeks to fully cool down. Then, gently rub the lamp with a damp cloth to clean off any trapped dust and particles.
Himalayan Salt Lamps Benefits
People that love their salt lamps know how many benefits they have. Below is a short list of some of the advantages a salt lamp can have for your space.
1. Negative Ion Collector
Negative ions are used by nature to combat air pollution. Not only do they collect harmful particles from the air, they also balance and neutralize them. Salt lamps are renowned for their ability to add negative ions into your living spaces. You won’t get as many ions from your lamp as you should spending a few hours at the ocean, but the ion-producing effects of a salt lamp can certainly build up over time. To get the best effects, keep your lamp close to electronic devices like computers or microwaves in order to counterbalance their positive ion production.
2. Purify Water
Because salt lamps attract water to their surface and let it evaporate off cleansed of impurities, a salt lamp in your home will help purify the water vapor you breathe in.
3. Reduce Allergy & Asthma Symptoms
Cleansing the air you breathe from microscopic particles prevents your lungs from taking in dust, dander, mold, and pollen, which can make a big difference for your allergies. Even chronic asthma sufferers notice a big difference when using salt lamps.
4. Improve Mood and Concentration
As a way to naturally enhance your mood, Himalayan salt lamps can’t be beat. Not only does a softly glowing lamp help improve your concentration, it also affects the amount of blood and oxygen supplied through your brain (through the increase of negative ions) and improves the blood, oxygen and serotonin supply to your brain, allowing your internal chemical balances to make you feel happier.
5. Treat Seasonal Affective Disorder
For those that suffer from seasonal depression, a salt lamp might be part of the solution you are looking for. The warm glow of these lamps is similar enough to sunshine to help treat the symptoms, so plugging in your lamp when short days are a downer on your mood can make a big difference.
6. Environmentally-Friendly Light Source
Finally, salt lamps are easy on the environment. At the rate that Himalayan salt is currently being mined, the reserves should last for another 350 years. So long as you choose a low wattage bulb that doesn’t consume gobs of electricity, your salt lamp will be as good for the planet as it is for you.
Are Their Benefits Fake or For Real?
Looking at the real scientific evidence (or lack thereof) for salt lamps makes it clear the magic-sounding benefits are often misleading. In truth, salt lamps do produce negative ions and help to purify the air, but the range at which they are effective is quite small. You would need an enormous salt lamp to cleanse an entire room, but placing one in places you spend lots of time, like beside your bed or a work desk, is a smart idea for keeping the air around you clean. It’s also smart to avoid the hundreds of cheap imitation products on the market today. If your salt lamp doesn’t seem heavy enough or doesn’t let light to pass through, there’s a good chance that it’s a fake. When in doubt, simply give it a lick and see if your lamp is actually worth its salt!
If you want a device that will produce as many negative ions as possible, skip the salt lamp and look for a negative ionizer like this. If your goal is to have beautiful mood lighting with some air purifying benefits, a salt lamp is a smart choice for you.