Pining for Sunshine? Try Real Sunlight

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I have issues with bad weather – big issues. Huge. As Julia Roberts might say if she wasn’t a shopping call girl and instead hated the cold, the dark, wet and snow. The result is I’m not exactly at my happiest right now. But, I may have found a solution that doesn’t require flying off to the sunshine – it’s called Real Sunlight and you’ll find it in an underground room close to St Paul’s Cathedral.

Specifically, I’m talking about the Real Sunlight room at The Grange Hotel St Pauls’ Ajala Spa. Imported from Sweden Real Sunlight uses a combination of large bright lights that have the spectrum of sunlight (but with most of the UV filtered out) and infrared to create the feeling of sunbathing. It’s not a sunbed, you won’t tan while you’re in there – although the sensation is so real I did spend the whole time checking myself for tan lines.

real sunlight fakes the heat and light of sun - perfect for winter

Head here instead – you may need to bring your own sand

You can choose your setting – from superhot 30 degrees Miami to more sunsetty 20 degrees of Bali – but whichever you choose the lights emit a lux (a measure of brightness) of 15,000-20,000 considering you only need around 4500 to boost your mood this does lead to you feeling much cheerier when you leave.

You stay in there about 20 minutes – it’s hardly an arduous way to spend time you just lie there. In fact it’s like sunbathing without sand and wasps. If someone had wandered past with a pina colada, or attempted to drum up a heap of volunteers for a limbo contest, I wouldn’t have been surprised.

I admit, it’s not living in Australia but it’ll have to do for now – and for £20 a session it’s a great way to get a light lift. There are a couple of other real sunlight rooms around the UK. Check for details.


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  1. bipolaronfire

    Love your story, and REALLY loved the associated picture. As a SAD sufferer, just the picture grabbed my sun-starved eyeballs 🙂

    1. healthehelen

      Thank you. Hope the story helps as well. I don’t have official SAD more a loathing of winter but it really does feel like a beach.

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