Are Himalayan salt lamps safe? Warnings and Dangers

A Himalayan salt lamp on a table


Himalayan salt lamps are all the rage right now. They are meant to help improve your sleep, reduce stress, and purify the air in your home. 


You’ve probably seen lots of people using and talking about Himalayan salt lamps around the internet, but are they safe? 


Here’s what you need to know before buying one of these popular lamps.



What are Himalayan salt lamps?


Himalayan salt lamps are lamps made by placing chunks of pink Himalayan salt around a bulb.


Authentic Himalayan salt comes from the Khewra Salt Mine mine in Pakistan and is believed to be millions of years old.


When lit, these lamps will emit a soft orange glow that lights up your home and makes it feel warmer. The difference in light hue is a result of how these lamps are made. 


Traditional salt lamps are carved from solid blocks of rock salt, Himalayan salt crystals are heated until they become molten liquid. They’re then poured into molds where they cool down and harden into their final form. 


As they cool down, air bubbles trapped inside them create unique patterns on their surface—the same way snowflakes have different shapes based on air pressure and temperature during formation. That’s why no two crystals look exactly alike! 



How do these lamps work?


Himalayan salt lamps work by emitting negative ions. The salt absorbs moisture from the air and the heat from the bulb evaporates water molecules forming negative ions which are circulated back into your room.


When moisture is attracted to the salt, they bring impurities inside the room such as dust and dirt, and these impurities are trapped by the salt and clean the air.


Because so many people own allergies or respiratory issues nowadays, an improvement in indoor air quality can be a major benefit for many households!


Himalayan salt lamp in study room


Himalayan salt Lamp warnings


1. Corrosion

Salt in the lamp absorbs moisture from the air. This moisture will condense at the surface of the lamp and heat from the bulb will evaporate them.


If the bulb is not functioning properly or you have kept the lamp in a high-humid environment like in the kitchen or bathroom, the lamp can start to leak salt mixed water.


This salty water can corrode the base of the lamp and can damage the furniture kept underneath the lamp.


You can use a high wattage bulb, keep the lamp away from humid places or use a moisture absorber to prevent this from happening.


2. Salt toxicity in Cats and Dogs

Cats and dogs are curious animals that are often attracted to the lamp and they like to lick on the salt.


Salt is bad for cats and dogs and repeated ingestion can cause salt toxicity leading to symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, and seizures.


Always keep the lamp away from the reach of pets and take your pet to the veterinarian if you suspect the cat has licked the lamp.


Dog sleeping next to Himalayan salt lamp


3. Warnings to children

Children might find these lamps amusing and might play with them.


Authentic lamps can be heavy up to 60-70 pounds and there's a risk of children harming themselves if the lamps topple.


So make sure to keep the lamp out of children's reach.


4. Electric hazards

Defective lamps can overheat and cause electric and fire hazards. In fact, in 2017, more than 80000 lamps were recalled by CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) sold under the brand name Lumiere due to a faulty dimmer switch.


To prevent this make sure to purchase a lamp with high-quality wiring and pay special attention if your lamp is an old one.



How to identify authentic Himalayan salt lamps?


  1. The color of salt crystals is not uniform in authentic Himalayan lamps as they carry water trapped in them.
  2. White salt lamps are very expensive, so if you pay a very low price for one of them, it will most likely be a fake white Himalayan salt lamp.
  3. Real Himalayan salt lamps emit a dim and very soft light and can't light an entire room brightly.
  4. Real Himalayan lamps leak water when exposed to high humidity or when switched off. If you see that your salt lamp does not have any problem in humid environments and when switched off and does not leak water, then you probably have a fake one.
  5. Real Himalayan salt is fragile and should bread if fallen down



How to use Himalayan salt lamps safely?


Keep the lamp on as long as possible so that negative ions are generated and it does not leak causing corrosion.

Do not place salt lamps near sources of steam such as a dishwasher, washing machine, or in the bathroom. Salt can melt with prolonged exposure to high humidity, which is another reason for leaking water.

It is important to keep the lamp clean of dust. From time to time we will clean it with a soft cloth.

Care must be taken that the lamps are not within the reach of children due to their high weight, when handling them they could have accidents.

Keep the lamps away from the reach of pets, especially cats.


Two Salt Lamps Glowing


Benefits of Himalayan salt lamps

1. They clean the air

It's the best-known feature of salt lamps. They have the power to remove polluting substances from the air by attracting polluting molecules in the environment and trapping them.


As the lamp is heated by the heat produced by the bulb or candle inside, that same water evaporates again, expelling negative ions, which are those that provide us with a beneficial effect.



2. They reduce allergies, and asthma and protect our lungs

Putting a lamp in the rooms where you spend more time can reduce allergy symptoms since they eliminate microscopic particles of dust, mold, and fungus that are in the air.



3. They increase energy

Salt lamps create an environment similar to when we take a walk in the countryside, on the beach, in the mountains, or take a shower. And all this is due to the increased concentrations of negative ions in the air that they produce.



4. They neutralize electromagnetic radiation

Negative ions help counteract electromagnetic radiation generated by electrical appliances. That is why it is recommended to have a salt lamp nearby electrical devices that you use frequently.


 

5. They help to fall asleep

Positive ions can reduce the supply of oxygen to the brain, causing episodes of insomnia.


As Himalayan salt lamps generate negative ions, they help reduce this problem, causing relaxation and well-being. This has been proven by studies.



6. They improve mood and concentration

We have already seen that the effect of negative ions on the body improves the supply of blood and oxygen to the brain and other organs, and also provides an increase in the release of serotonin - the hormone of happiness.


That is why a salt lamp is great in any space where you need to concentrate, such as offices and study rooms.



Salt lamps are great for adding an interesting focal point to any room of your home or office space. They also look nice on a desk, and some people even use them as nightlights! If you’re looking for a cool gift idea, these lamps make great presents for friends and family members—especially those who love all things related to health and wellness. 


They can be used in many different ways around your home. For example, they can be placed in bedrooms (to help improve sleep quality), living rooms (to improve air quality), offices (to reduce stress levels), kitchens (for better food preparation), bathrooms (for relaxation), and more!


Himalayan salt lamp emitting soft glow


FAQs on Himalayan Salt Lamps


Are Himalayan salt lamps safe for cats?

The light or negative ions emitted by salt lamps are not harmful to cats. However salt is toxic and cats should not be allowed to lick the salt in the lamp at any time.


Are Himalayan salt lamps safe for dogs?

Similarly, Himalayan salt lamps are safe for dogs but dogs shouldn't be allowed to lick the salt crystals in the lamp as they can have salt toxicity.


Can salt lamps catch on fire?

Yes. The lamp contains an electric circuit and if there's an error on the circuit, it can get overheated and can catch on fire. To prevent this make sure to get a high-quality lamp with good wiring.


How long do salt lamps last?

If you keep the salt lamp on, it will last more than 10 years. If you switch it off frequently, the salt will absorb moisture from the atmosphere at will start leaking salt mixed water, shortening the lifespan of the lamp.


Are salt lamps safe to leave on?

Yes, you can leave your salt lamp all the time. Make sure there are no faulty wires or switches and you can leave it on to get the full benefits all day long.


Do salt lamps get hot to touch?

No. The lamp should not get hot and is a sign that the electric wiring is not working properly or you're using a high wattage bulb. The recommended wattage is 15-20 watts and the lamp should be only mildly warm but not hot.


How long can you leave salt lamps on?

You can leave your lamp on 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. It's not harmful to leave the lamp on. If you switch it off, make sure to store it properly otherwise it'll start to leak salty water.


Can I sleep with my Himalayan salt lamp on?

Yes. There are no side effects by keeping your Himalayan salt lamp by your bedside. In fact, the negative ions emitted by the lamp will help you to fall asleep faster and will improve the overall quality of sleep.


Do Himalayan salt lamps actually do anything?

Himalayan salt lamps emit a soft glow and also negative ions which are known to provide benefits including purifying air, reducing respiratory symptoms, improving mood, and many more.

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