Red light therapy is becoming more and more popular, so the need to know which is the best red light therapy device is growing. It’s popularity is growing for a good reason. It can be used to improved so many aspects of our lives. In the past it was only limited to the those who had the money and time to go to a beauty salon to get a treatment. Now it’s available to almost everyone and in the future will be available to more people as the awareness grows and the science backing it’s success keep coming out.
The wonderful thing about this is that it has almost no side effects if used properly. In fact it may not have any at all except for the not working when used too much. The leader in this field is someone called Dr Hamblin who has been researching red light and near-infrared light therapy for a long time.
How to know if a red light therapy device is good
Before we dive into the individual devices and figure out which is the best red light therapy device, it is necessary for you to know how good devices are chosen. To do this, I will unfortunately have to walk you through a couple of pretty basic mathematical formulae. This sounds boring but is essential for you to understand.
We will discuss this first, as this will indicate whether the light provides enough “power” to actually provide benefits. You will see this displayed as mW/cm2. The power density that appears to provide benefits is somewhere between 20-100 mw/cm2. This basically means how much power (mW) the light the emits over an area (cm2).
To make it easier to understand, I’ll explain it like this. If you shine a light on your body over an area of 25 cm by 50 cm then the area equals 1250 cm2 (25×50). If the light emits 150 watts, which is 150,000 mW then the resulting calculating equals
150,000 / 1250 = 120 mW/cm2
This would be a pretty strong light and would certainly provide benefits.
Stronger is better
Even though exposure to stronger light is not always better, the advantage with strong lights is that that you have the option of moving farther away to match whatever it is you want to achieve and depending on what tissues you wish to target. If the light is too weak then even moving closer won’t work. The alternative option is that you will only be able to do one thing with it such as use it for skin care. This means that you can forget using it for deeper tissues such as muscles.
Most benefits are gained at 20-100mW/cm2. As described previously this indicates the how much power light emits over a given area (cm2). This is why a common consensus is that stronger is better. You have more control.
Generally speaking, it’s a pretty safe bet to choose a powerful light when deciding which is the best red light therapy device.
As with strength, the lights size also matters. The bigger the light, the more tissue you can target at any one time. This is a huge advantage and a substantial time saver. For example, the light I use can be used to target my entire torso. It isn’t the most expensive device but I can target my whole body (1-2 min per section) within 10-15 minutes. This has become part of my morning routine as well as converting some family members to the wonders of red light therapy.
The problem with smaller lights is that they tend to be weaker and are generally only used for the face or very small segments at a time. This means that if you want to follow a particular protocol for your entire body you will have to invest more time to get the same light exposure (as the light is weaker), as well as spend additional time to target more parts of the body.
As mentioned in my article on red light and near infrared light therapy, wavelengths have a profound impact on whether the device will have an impact or not. In addition knowing the wavelengths is important when considering the tissue you wish to target.
It is worth noting that some companies sell lights which include wavelengths which have been found to have no benefits. You could be wasting 20%+ of the power of your light if you purchase one of these. On the plus side, there are plenty of companies that sell lights which purely emit beneficial wavelengths.
Unfortunately, the power output of certain red light therapy devices don’t match the claimed power output. There are some dedicated folk out there who own a variety of different lights and have measured the power density of certain companies. All the brands mentioned in this article are lights which have had their power density measured.
If you decide to go with a different brand you will need to measure the power yourself, which might not be worth the risk. The reason I say this is, is that the tested lights are also some of the cheapest and most reputable companies. There could be a reduction of up to 50% in power density.
The Best Red Light Therapy Devices
This is the company I bought my own light from. Having spent hours researching, and now using it, I can say that I am extremely happy with my purchase. Not only was it cheaper than some of the other brands mentioned here, but it is also reputable and tested.
Medium Sized Light
This is red light therapy device you can get in red light light, near-infrared light or a 50/50 mix. It has as a power density of 300 watts and provides a power density of 87 mW/cm2 at 6″. This is great!
It contains about 100 LED lights and measured 19″ x 9″. Price wise, this is likely the best option.
This light is 600 watts and provides a power density of 100 mW/cm2 at 6″ It is larger than the other large lights mentioned below at a size of 36″ by 8″. As with the BIO 300 you can you can choose the wavelengths you would like. Be it 660 nm, 850 nm or a 50/50 combo.
Medium Sized Light
This light is 120 watts with a power density of 74 mW/cm2 at a distance of 6″. Still sufficient for great results but also more expensive. This brand is extremely popular, especially in the USA.
This light is 300 watts and provides a power density of 70mW/cm2 at a distance of 6″. This is pretty solid but not as powerful as the BIO 600, especially as the distance from the red light therapy device increases. The size is roughly 8.75″ by 36″, which means it’s essentially the same size as the BIO 600.
Medium Sized Light
This is the most powerful light with a power density of 92.5 mW/com2 at 6″. It contains 120 LED lights and is 16.3″ x 10.6″. This means that it is slightly larger than other lights mentioned of a similar size.
The other thing they have done, is almost completely remove EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies), for those who want to minimise their exposure to EMFs. The price of this device is also excellent.
The Best Red Light Therapy Device
Ultimately, the best red light therapy device is up to you. It depends on a variety of factors such as price, shipping, warranty, wavelengths and strength. In my opinion the BIO 600 is probably the best red light therapy device, but I personally don’t own one. The light I chose to get as my first light was the BIO 300, which is an excellent!