9 Best Salt Lamps | March 2017
- durable metal basket
- salt chunks can be replaced
- burns out quickly
- 6-foot ul listed cord
- sturdy wooden base
- sits slightly off-center
|Brand||Crystal Allies Gallery|
- won't get too warm to touch
- well-placed power switch
- stand is too small
|Brand||Crystal Allies Gallery|
- bases feel stable
- have five-foot cords
- may drip water in humid environments
- stones are securely weighted
- bowl shape is simple to clean
- uses an eco-friendly light source
- comes with a 40-watt bulb
- can eliminate kitty litter smells
- peaceful light reduces stress
What Are HPS Lamps?
A new trend appearing in homes around the world are Himalayan Pink Salt (HPS) lamps. They are simply lamps made from salt mined near the Himalayan mountains in the neighboring Punjab region of Pakistan. This salt can vary from nearly transparent to a pink, orange, or reddish hue. The warm colors are attributed to impurities of iron and copper found in the salt.
HPS is extremely versatile; while not technically table salt, it's used in cooking at several stages of preparation. It can be heated and placed in an oven at temperatures of 200 degrees Celsius. Himalayan salt can also be used as a brine and as a serving dish. Lastly, it can be used as a bath salt for relaxation purposes.
This salt has recently been recognized for its therapeutic values as a lamp. While many other materials prove to be better illuminators, the salt lamp's opacity gives off a soft, ambient glow that is associated with relaxation or a campfire. For this reason, they are common in yoga studios, massage parlors, and meditation areas.
Considering the recent popularity of these lamps, most consumers might not know what attributes to look for when purchasing. Some key features will include size, color, and functionality. As far as size is concerned; the bigger the better. They can be presented as one large slab of salt, or several pieces compiled together. They come in a variety of sizes from several inches to a few feet.
The color indicates the purity of the salt. Look for darker color to ensure it is 100% Himalayan salt. Cheaper imitations will not be pure nor have the dark rich color. Salt lamps may have a tendency to sweat, or condensate. Salt is hygroscopic; meaning it attracts water and vapor, causing condensation to form. This is beneficial as the vapors encourage bacteria and mold growth. Think of your salt lamp as a germ dream catcher!
Some are non-electric and require a simple wax tea light. While most salt lamps on our list are powered by electricity and require a lightbulb, manual lamps exist that accommodate wax candles.
Many claim that salt lamps can work wonders; clean air, reduce allergies, and elevate moods. There is, however, little scientific evidence to fully support these claims. Visually, the orange glow admitted by the lamps is no coincidence. The blue light offered by electronics tend to stimulate the brain, while the warm colors resemble candlelights and campfires which have been shown to aid with sleep and rest.
Salt lamps are labeled as natural negative ion generators. Negative ions are found in lightening storms, rain, and waterfalls and they are associated with relaxation and the feeling of being refreshed. If these lamps generate negative ions, that means they will mimic the soaking in the sun and lapping waves effect, right? Not exactly. Salt lamps do generate negative ions, however, not a significant amount.
If you want the full effect, spend time in nature, particularly around water. The rationale being that negative ions will cancel out the positive ions, thus cleansing the air. While there is no scientific evidence that salt lamps actually improve air quality, it is a belief that is widely spread and it may be effective only for the placebo effect.
If you truly want to generate a large amount of negative ions, a negative ion generator is a method to produce negative ions in a more effective way than the salt lamps.
A Brief History of Salt Lamps
Salt, also known as NaCl, is an ionic compound of sodium and chloride. It has been a commodity for thousands of years since humans need salt in their diet to survive. In ancient days, salt reigned supreme: Roman soldiers were paid in salt, or sal in Latin, giving birth to the definition of salary. Salt can preserve food and it created the Salt Roads of commerce since salt was not readily available everywhere in the world.
Salt can be obtained in two ways; from seawater or from rocks known as rock salt. Rock salt is evaporated seawater from ancient bodies of water. Salzburg in Austria derives its name from the salt mines which are abundant.
The emergence of the salt lamp as therapy was stumbled upon three to four hundred years ago. Salt miners worked in the environment on a daily basis and they became the healthiest people in the village. The fine salt vapor in the air inhaled by the miners aided in congestion and breathing. They then carved out salt mines for themselves and their families and stayed in them for extended periods of time to refresh themselves.
Forty years ago, the idea to carve out a hunk of salt and place a light inside to warm it would produce negative ions. The first lamps were outrageously priced, however, most are now affordable because more people are using these lamps and recognize the benefits.