The very first thing that strikes you about a natural himalayan salt lamp is the beautiful pinkish orange light they give off. There’s no doubt that they really are a great piece of home décor, that alone is reason enough to have one, but is that all there is to it? Well… no. Pink salt lamps are also claimed to provide a great many health benefits but do they really work? Well, luckily for us, they aren’t just pretty ornaments but do in-fact interact with the environment in many ways and provide multiple health benefits to their owners. Due to the popularity of salt lamps in recent years they now come in all kinds of shapes and designs, but the most popular by far, is still the classic natural shaped Himalayan salt lamp.
So what actually are these benefits and how do they come about? The vast majority of salt lamp owners can attest to the benefits they experience first hand from owning and using salt lamps, however there are many sceptics as well, some even going far enough to call it the salt lamp hoax. In this article we will look at how does a salt lamp work and what benefits they can (and can’t!) provide, so keep reading.
What is a salt lamp?
Before we even get into the questions of do they work? What exactly is a salt lamp? Whoever invented salt lamps was a genius because as intricate as a salt lamp looks, it’s actually a very simple item. Salt lamps are made by hollowing out the core of a natural chunk of Himalayan rock salt and inserting a light bulb into it. Pretty simple, there’s no extra processing or electronics involved like with lava lamps or other lamps. But from this one simple item a whole range of health benefits are achieved.
Air purification ability
One of the benefits of salt lamps is their ability to purify the indoor air of your home. How do salt lamps purify the air? In short it’s because of something called “hygroscopicity” that’s just the scientific word for “naturally attracts water”. So, if you leave a salt lamp in a room it will naturally draw in all the moisture around it. These tiny moisture droplets in your room carry with them all the microscopic dust particles and pollutants that are polluting your breathing air. So as the water droplets are drawn to the lamp so are all the pollutants, leaving the air behind clean and pristine.
However, if you leave your windows open or if you have a very large room, just one lamp alone won’t be enough to really purify the air. For maximum effect, we recommend buying lamps larger than 5kg and pair them up with one or two smaller lamps.
Natural negative ion generator
As well as purifying the air, salt lamps also have another unique and quiet amazing property. They generate and emit negative ions. But how does this really happen? Remember how we said salt lamps are hygroscopic, when they attract the water from the air, the heat from the light inside the lamp makes the water evaporate again. This evaporation process is what produces negative ions. That’s great for any salt lamp owner because several research studies have shown that negative ions are hugely beneficial to our health and can help fight depression and boost our immune system (studies cited at the bottom).
However a regular salt lamp on it’s own doesn’t produce a lot of negative ions. In-fact one small salt lamp alone produces so few negative ion’s that it’s hardly detectable! So how can this end up being beneficial? The answer is simple. If you leave your lamp on 24/7, over time the negative ions in the air will increase. It takes time. To really get the maximum benefits of this effect you need to have either a large lamp or more than one salt lamp and you need to keep them on all the time so the negative ions can build up in your room. It’s also thought that the photoelectric effect helps salt lamps in generating negative ions also.
However there are other negative ion generator devices on the market that are far better at just generating negative ions. If that is all you are looking for it would be better to go for one of those. But salt lamps are the only natural item that can have this effect.
This is one our favourite parts about salt lamps. Chromotherapy, or color therapy is beneficial when salt lamps emit a really warm and comforting shade of light, which is always. Scientists have discovered that this shade of light is very natural and we are attuned to it by nature. In contrast intense lighting, or blue lighting, like what we experience from staring at our phone screens or from bright lamps at night, are not natural and interrupt our hormonal balance. Salt lamps counter this effect, elevating our mood and bringing us better and deeper sleep.
How to use salt Lamps
To really get the most out of your salt lamps its important you use them properly . Both their air cleaning properties, and their negative ion generation have a range and limit so correctly placing your salt lamp is key. Below are 4 things you should keep in mind to get the most out of your salt lamps.
- The bigger the better – the bigger your salt lamp is the more surface area it will have, which means the better they will work for you, we recommend lamps above 5kg.
- The more the merrier – if you can’t or don’t want to get a big lamp, getting two smaller ones is even better! Because two small (2-3kg) lamps or 3 tiny (1-2kg) lamps will have just as much benefit as a 5-7kg.
- Spaces between places – keep your salt lamps apart, don’t place them together. Place them in opposite corners as this will increase the area of their positive effects.
- Keep them close – place your lamps right next to places where you spend most of your time, like next to your bed, or next to your sofa where you watch TV or read a book. The closer you are the more of positive effects you will feel, because the lamp has a stronger effect in its immediate range.
Other benefits of salt lamps
Many healing energy practitioners who own salt lamps have experienced feng shui and spiritual benefits as well from their lamps. Although these experiences aren’t yet explainable, it’s very possible that salt lamps act in ways that aren’t fully yet understood by science.
The final word – do salt lamps work?
Yes, the majority of salt lamp owners experience some kind of benefit, and even without it, at the very least salt lamps looks pretty and emit a wonderful glow. It’s important to remember to use your lamp properly, keeping it close to you and on at all times. With this we have no doubt you will experience a change, just try for yourself.