What is a Himalayan Salt Lamp?
Salt lamps or Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps are large chunks of pure Himalayan salt with a small bulb inside. These can be large chunks of salt or decorative baskets filled with large salt crystals. They provide a nice warm glow when lit and can benefit indoor air quality.
Himalayan salt lamp is made from pure food grade Himalayan salt crystals. True Himalayan salt comes from the Himalayan mountains in the Punjab region of Pakistan. Once extracted, this salt is hand-carved into lamps or ground into a powder to use as a salt in recipes.
The Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps
Night Light and Dim Lamp
My own doctor recommends avoiding blue light after sunset because it can interfere with the circadian rhythm and disrupt sleep hormones.
Unfortunately, many modern light sources, such as cell phones, tablets, computers, and televisions, emit a lot of blue light, and many of us spend most of our time looking at these screens, especially at night.
Salt lamps, on the other hand, offer a warm orange glow, similar to the orange hues found in a campfire or in candlelight. For this reason, they make an excellent source of light at night and can even be used as a night light without negatively affecting sleep.
Improve Air Quality
However, due to their hygroscopic properties, they can improve the air in other ways. In addition to providing a soothing glow, they can attract airborne pollutants and even help neutralize the effects of electronics.
Benefits of Light and Color Therapy
Soft orange tones are one of the calming colors often used to calm the mood and increase focus. Small amounts of negative ions can also be helpful in improving mood. But if you’re looking for the benefits of negative ions, spend some time outdoors!
My brother-in-law battled asthma and allergies for much of his life and found relief after using a Himalayan salt inhaler. Others notice the difference of having salt lamps in their homes or offices. I couldn’t find any studies looking at why, but the anecdotal evidence is strong in people with allergies.
How Does a Himalayan Salt Lamp Work?
Good question! We know that the body needs salt for things like hydration, electrolyte balance, proper regulation of blood pressure, and for the nervous system
Most of us don’t eat our salt lamps, so the benefits come from another property of the salt. Salt is naturally hygroscopic, which means that it attracts water molecules to it.
Since water in the air can also contain allergens, pollutants and even bacteria, these substances are also attracted to the lamp. The heated salt lamp is supposed to dry out the water vapor, leaving the particles attached to the salt. For this reason, many sources recommend wiping down your salt lamp several times a week to clean it.
Other sources claim that the benefits of Himalayan salt lamps are due to the creation of negative ions.
Do Salt Lamps Generate Negative Ions?
Yes. But not in large quantities. Spending time in nature, especially near water, is definitely the best way to expose yourself to negative ions, but salt lamps also generate small amounts of them, especially when used constantly at night.
Since positive ions are often created by electronic devices like computers, televisions, microwaves, and even vacuum cleaners, they can often exacerbate problems like allergies, stress, and sleep problems. Negative ions can neutralize positive ions (bind) and help purify the air. Additionally, salt lamps provide a calming glow that many people find relaxing.
Personally, I don’t use salt lamps strictly as a negative ion generator, but rather keep them around the house, especially near electronics. If negative ions are the goal, using a negative ion generator would be a much more concentrated source.
Choose a Quality Salt Lamp
We have salt lamps in most rooms of our house and we take advantage of them during the winter months when it is not possible to open the windows or spend so much time outdoors. We now have a solid salt lamp and a basket lamp in several rooms in our house and I love them for their ambient glow and orange color.
Salt lamps cost less than many other types of lamps, and a high-quality lamp can last for decades.
If you want to add a salt lamp to your home, choose one with these features for the best quality:
Darker colored lamps are generally considered to be of higher quality. Lamps should specify that they are made with 100% Himalayan pink salt, as cheap imitations may use lower quality salt.
The larger the salt lamp, the greater the effect. The small lights weigh between 5 and 6 pounds, while the larger ones can weigh up to 50 pounds. Smaller lamps are usually much cheaper, so we keep 1-2 in smaller rooms and 2-3 in larger rooms in our house.
Rougher lamps have a greater surface area than smooth, polished lamps and are more effective in improving air quality. In my opinion, they also look better and are a great decoration for most rooms.
The hygroscopic benefits are due to salt and heat, so it is important to use a light bulb that produces heat. LED bulbs do not achieve this. I use these cheap bulbs.
Salt lamps are not a panacea and are not a replacement for a quality air filter. They do not create large amounts of negative ions like those found in nature, especially around water. If the goal is negative ions, going for a walk or swimming in nature is a much more effective way to get them.
Himalayan salt lamps are a beautiful light source that can provide the benefits of chromotherapy, hygroscopically cleansing the air and relieving allergies. They are an inexpensive non-blue light source for use after dark and a suitable nightlight for children’s sleep.
Ultimately, by themselves they will not solve health problems or significantly improve indoor air quality. However, they are a beautiful green light source that produces a healthy spectrum of light. If you are choosing lamps for your home, they are an excellent option to consider.