Ashland grad creates light box for pets, lands on 'Good Morning America'

Ashland High School graduate Max Marvin has created the Sol Box to help animals combat the effects of dark and dreary winter days. photo courtesy of Pawsitive LightingCourtesy of Pawsitive Lighting

Ashland High School graduate Max Marvin knows dark and dreary winter days can affect people in a bad way but says it can be hard on Fido, too.

Feeling depressed in winter and struggling with sleep loss, Marvin was told by doctors to get more sunlight. But that can be a problem in Oregon, which isn't exactly California. To combat the dreary winter months, the doctor suggested artificial light, so Marvin went home with a bulky boxed lamp.

As Marvin, a 2009 graduate who is now 22, fired up his lamp, he noticed he wasn't the only one enjoying it.

His golden retriever, Luke, seemed to spend more time lying in front of the light than whining to be taken on outside.

A bulb went on in Marvin's head. What about light therapy to help combat seasonal affective disorder (SAD) in animals? Pawsitive Lighting was born. He called it the Sol Box.

After getting fabrication going in the United Kingdom and distribution in Portland, as well as some good local publicity, Marvin awoke Thursday morning to a big surprise. His invention had piqued the interest of ABC's "Good Morning America." The crew wanted to shoot the segment that afternoon and air it today.

"I told them 'yes, definitely' and began frantically cleaning my apartment," Marvin said with a laugh.

By 1 p.m., Marvin's living room was brimming with camera and crew.

"Honestly, it was a bit nerve racking," said Marvin, "I've done interviews before but never one that was going to air on national TV and reach millions of people."

The Sol Box is a sleek, 15-inch-tall, boxed lamp that radiates UV-filtered fluorescent light.

"Animals need light just the way humans do," says Marvin. "Sunlight triggers chemical responses in the brain that raise serotonin levels and stabilize moods and overall sense of well-being."

For more on Pawsitive Lighting, see

— Colin Darling

Read more in an upcoming edition of the Mail Tribune.

Reader Reaction
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Rules. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or fill out this form. New comments are only accepted for two weeks from the date of publication.