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Lightbar patrons sit in a purple glow from special lights in Portland Dec. 19. Designed to mimic sunlight, light boxes are now being featured at the bar and a cafe in Seattle to help those with seasonal affective disorder, or SAD, an energy-sapping depression that occurs at the same time each year and affects an estimated 3 percent to 5 percent of Americans.

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Brightness on tap at Portland, Oregon, bar

PORTLAND — Saturday marks the shortest day of the year — the pinnacle of dread for people who feel depressed when there’s less sunshine.

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