What is a Himalayan salt lamp and does it work?

What is a Himalayan salt lamp?

A Himalayan salt lamp is a hand-carved solid brick comprised of ancient crystal salts.  The lamps can range in color from pink to pinkish orange depending on the intensity of trace minerals found in the salt.  In addition, the inside has been dug out in order to make space for a light bulb which will generate both light and heat.  This light is key for the salt lamp to not only provide a calming, pleasant glow, but also, to give off the necessary heat to produce the health benefits.

The concept behind how Himalayan salt lamps work

Think of it like this – our homes naturally have a certain amount of water vapour (moisture in the air) constantly in motion.  Unfortunately, this water vapour is a carrier of many allergens such as pet dander, dust, smoke particles, and pollen.  Also, it’s a culprit of holding onto bacteria and viruses.

The nice thing about salt is it’s hygroscopic or has the ability to draw in and hold onto water molecules located in its adjacent environments.  What this means for us is that all those harmful microscopic compounds will stick to the salt rather than be in the air for us to inhale.

Time to heat it up!

Now where does the generated heat come in to play you ask?  When the Himalayan salt lamp gets dewy from the water vapour, the heat produced by the lamp causes the vapour to dry up.  In turn, the hygroscopic effect continues and repeats itself the entire time the lamp is left on.  Keep in mind, the heat will send back the water vapour into the air except for the airborne contaminants which were drawn in and will be kept at bay.  With this being said, it’s a good idea to wipe off your lamp when it’s cool (about an hour after turning it off and every couple weeks) to rid the lamp of any trapped dust or particles.

How about the production of negative ions?

Himalayan salt lamps can produce beneficial negative ions, but not in abundance.  This production occurs primarily from the photoelectric effect which happens as moisture evaporates from the heated rock salt.  However, the area of coverage is minimal and some suggest a good negative ionizer would be a better choice.  Although, studies have proven that leaving your salt lamp on continuously for a few days can actually boost air quality in the future.

Other health benefits to Himalayan salt lamps

  • Can offer you some protection from electromagnetic radiation emitted from electronic equipment such as your t.v., laptop, I-phone, etc.
  • Color therapy which can give you more energy, feel more positive, and more focused mentally.
  • Can help with sleep by offering a calming color rather than the typical artificial light and its emission of blue light.  This blue light has a contrasting effect on the human body by actually lowering your levels of melatonin and causing you to have trouble sleeping.

Where should your salt lamp be located in your home?

Try to place your salt lamp in an area where you spend a great deal of your time throughout the day. Examples would be: on your coffee table near your television, the kitchen if you do a lot of cooking, and on your office desk.

So how do I choose a quality salt lamp?

  • The darker the hue of pink or orange, the better the quality
  • The larger and heavier it is, the better the return on your health.
  • The sturdier the base and enough wattage from your light bulb (does it feel warm when I touch it?)

Here’s to your health and the ambient glow of the Himalayan salt lamp!



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