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Himalayan salt lamp 2

Himalayan Salt Lamp Benefits: Do they Actually Do Anything?

You may have noticed an increase in the popularity of Himalayan salt lamps in homes, offices and shops. These lamps are decorative lights carved out of pink Himalayan salt. They have a globe inside and like any other lamp, need to be plugged into an electrical socket to work. The lights add a warm, decorative pink glow to any space, and they are claimed to have various health benefits. We have no doubt salt lamps are a cosy addition to your home, but the supposed health benefits are yet to be confirmed, so we thought we would do a little research. Here’s what we found out.

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Himalayan salt lamp 1

How do Himalayan Salt Lamps Work?

If you are wondering how do Himalayan salt lamps work, the science is less intimidating than you might think. In fact, it boils down to a few key elements.

Air Ionisation

Air Ionisation is typically referred to as negative air ionisation and has proven to work wonders in reducing chronic depression and seasonal affective disorder. According to Healthline, it is suggested that Himalayan salt lamps may produce these ions by attracting water particles that evaporate off as a salt solution when heated by the lamp. This process is said to form mostly negative ions. Tests have revealed that negative ions like the ones produced by crashing waves and radiation, increase the amount of oxygen in the blood. However, it has not yet been proven whether salt lamps produce these ions at all.

Air Purification

Another claimed function of Himalayan salt lamps is purifying the air in any room by removing dust particles and pollution from the air. Healthline suggests that Himalayan salt lamp companies claim that their lamps can achieve this with the negative ions they produce. However, Healthline opposes these claims on the basis that they do not emit enough negative ions to help improve air particles. This has been proven by research, scientists failing to identify enough negative ions being emitted from the salt lamp to create any real impact.

Summary

In light of this information, Himalayan salt lamps are indisputably a form of decorative light that you can buy for your home. Many people claim that salt lamps have positive health benefits in cleansing the air through ionization and purification in a way that helps soothe allergies, boost mood and help with sleep. However, there is no hard-scientific evidence suggesting that these benefits are true. Despite this, they certainly serve a useful function in creating ambience through the pink glow of the lamp and as an intriguing example of what is belief, myth and fact for all your guests to delve into.

Himalayan salt lamp

Himalayan Salt Lamp Benefits

The benefits of Himalayan salt lamps are varied and often over-reported, so it’s important that you get the facts right. Here are the real benefits of using a Himalayan salt lamp.

  • They Look Good – One thing that cannot be disputed is the fact that Himalayan salt lamps are an aesthetic contribution to any space. They are decorative lights that are carved from pink Himalayan salt, with a light bulb that sits inside. When turned on, the light emits a warm, pink glow. The pink salt gives the light its natural colour and results in casting a moody, soft ambience to any space. So, unless you don’t like pink, you can’t argue that salt lamps are a good-looking lamp to have.
  • They Create a Satisfying Ambience – Part and parcel with looking good is the ambience that Himalayan salt lamps create. Any interior design expert will tell you that every room can be ruined if it has terrible lighting. Hence, the term mood lighting came into existence, Nowadays, you can’t walk into any space without noticing the lighting. Chances are, if it is harsh, bright lighting, the space will appear tacky and sterile. In comparison, soft, warm lighting creates a warm, cosy space for you to enjoy. So, the soft pink glow from the Himalayan salt lamp is one of many ways you can effortlessly achieve mood lighting. The ambience also helps create a dull glow at night that helps you to unwind before sleep. Best of all, you only need one!
  • They Act as a Sort of Night Light – The soft glow from the Himalayan salt lamp is perfect for a night light. For those of us that don’t like sleeping in pure darkness, the salt lamp is the perfect solution. Place the lamp on your bedside table if you like having a little bit of light close by or place it in a corner if you like having some light but a little further away. Just having your salt lamp turned on at night also limits one’s exposure to bright light in the evening. This is great for those who struggle to sleep, as using dim lights is a practised tool at helping the brain to shut down and prepare for sleep.

Himalayan Salt Lamp Myths

Like benefits, there are a number of mixed reviews and myths surrounding the Himalayan salt lamp. As an instrument shrouded in mystery, it makes sense to be sceptical. Here’s what you need to know.

  • Do they Improve Air Quality? – Salt lamps are claimed to help improve the air quality of your home. According to Healthline, there is no evidence to suggest that salt lamps can remove pathogens and in turn, improve air quality. Advocates argue that salt lamps improve air quality in a way that helps people with allergies, asthma or diseases that affect breathing, such as cystic fibrosis. The one way salt lamps may help these types of people is through halotherapy (Healthline, 2021). This is the treatment of chronic respiratory conditions through spending time in salt caves, breathing conditions deemed to improve due to the salt in the air. However, as Healthline maintains, there is also little evidence for the benefits of this practice much like there is little evidence for whether air ionization does benefit people with respiratory issues.
  • Can they Boost Your Mood? – Another common conception is that salt lamps help improve mood, due to the number of negative ions they produce. This claim is contradictory due to a large number of studies revealing the lamps do not produce enough negative ions in the first place, if any, to expose you to the amount needed to have an impact on mood. Similarly, studies on how negative ions affect mood have been carried out in animal studies. In these studies, negative ions have proven to improve levels of serotonin which helps with mood regulation. Yet, human studies in a similar vein have had no reports on levels of negative ions improving mood. Therefore, the suggested link between salt lamps and improvements in mood have no connection in the first place and are perhaps a casual occurrence with no scientific evidence.
  • Do they Help You Sleep? – Salt lamps have been proven to help people sleep. One argument is that sleep is achieved easily through the effects of air ionization on helping with relaxation. Yet, according to Healthline, there is no evidence to support this claim and no studies suggest a link between air ionization and sleep patterns. Yet, the use of a salt lamp as a dim light to have on at night as a way of helping to promote sleep is deemed useful in promoting the production of the sleepy hormone, melatonin, according to Healthline. The evidence surrounding this is largely empirical and non-specific to the salt lamps, however.

Best Himalayan Salt Lamps

Dimmable himalayan salt lamp

1. Dimmable Himalayan Salt Lamp

Built with high-quality hand-crafted natural Himalayan salt crystals, this light is durable and can be dimmed for the perfect mood lighting.

Buy it here

Ledgle himalayan salt lamp

2. LEDGLE Himalayan Salt Lamp

This salt lamp is imported from Pakistan and is small and lightweight with a convenient plug, perfect for a night light.

Buy it here

Pyramid himalayan salt lamp

3. Pyramid Himalayan Salt Lamp

The pyramid shape of this salt lamp is visually appealing, and the USB plug makes it easy to use and accessible.

Buy it here

Round himalayan salt lamp

4. Round Himalayan Salt Lamp

This salt lamp with a round appearance resembles a moon, and is made from natural crystal rock and emits an orange glow, perfect for a dim light to have on at night.

Buy it here

Selenite skyscraper tower lamp

5. Selenite Skyscraper Tower Lamp

Selenite crystals are the basis of this lamp, which are extremely peaceful and cast a soft, whiteish glow upon the room.

Buy it here

General FAQs

What do salt lamps do?

Salt lamps give out a warm, pinkish glow. Sellers claim the maps can purify the air and in turn boost mood, improve sleep, ease allergies and help people breathe better.

What light bulb does a salt lamp take?

The salt lamp requires an incandescent light bulb and with candelabra base.

How do you clean a Himalayan salt lamp?

To clean, simply wet a cloth with water and use the damp cloth to wipe the surface clean.

Where is the best place to put a salt lamp?

The best place for a salt lamp is your bedroom, as they are known to help with sleep.

How long should you leave a salt lamp on for?

You can leave it on for as long as you’re at home, like most lamps, but don’t leave it on for days on end or it will drip and may stain the table it is on.

About the author

About the author
CONTRIBUTOR

Aimee O'Keefe

Aimee O’Keefe is a Sydney-based freelance writer with a background in fashion, entertainment and technology coverage. She completed a Bachelor's degree in Media and Communications at the University of Sydney and has previously worked with Universal Magazines and the Ministry of Style. She currently works as Content Writer for a leading digital marketing agency.