Red Light Therapy at Home | Choosing a Proper Device That Works For You
Red light therapy is a form of low-level light treatment that possesses tremendous benefits. There are hundreds of companies that specialize in selling in-home light devices. So, if you decide to purchase your own red light therapy panel, there are many options to choose from. This can make your selection a bit overwhelming because not all red light devices are created equal. However, knowing what factors to consider can make this decision much easier.
What To Consider When Choosing The Red Light Therapy Device
- The light frequency range in nanometers
- Beam angle
- Flicker rate
- FDA Classification
- The reliability of the company
Light Frequency Range
Frequency range is one of the most important features of a light therapy device. Lights of all the different colors are characterized by the frequency of the wavelengths. They are measured in nanometers (nms). The chart below shows the distribution of light wavelengths with regards to visible color:
When choosing a light therapy device, the first thing you want to look at is this variable. The reason is simple – not all light waves are equal, and you need ones that have the most benefits.
If you’re looking for an effective red light therapy device, you need to search for wavelengths in a range of 650-850nm. The type of light that falls into this range is characterized as a low-level light and has the power to penetrate the skin on a deeper level.
The optimal light frequency for red light is from 650-700nms. Any more than 700nms falls into the infrared range. In fact, many red light therapy devices incorporate both red and infrared wavelengths. Research indicates that near-infrared light is more effective for healing and regenerating damaged tissue. As NIR works excellent with a red light, it may be a good idea to get a light therapy device that uses both.
Another essential characteristic of the red light therapy device you need to be aware of is beam angle. It is an angle at which the red light panel releases the light. The wider the beam angle, the quicker the power density drops as you move away from the device and vise versa – the device with a narrower beam angle produces steady, consistent light even at a distance. For instance, an intensity of light therapy device with a 30-degree angle is much more robust than the device with a 90-degree beam angle.
So, to ensure that your efforts pay off, aim for a red light therapy device with a narrow beam angle. This way, you won’t have to stress about being too further away from the light panel during your sessions.
Flicker is a repeated change in light’s brightness over time. It occurs when the voltage of the power supply fluctuates. When we talk about the flicker, the first thing that comes to mind is an annoying light bulb that glimmers every now and then. However, not all flicker is visible to the human eye. If the flicker rate is above 60Hz (light frequency changes 60 times in a second), we are unable to perceive it consciously.
With that said, invisible flicker can cause biological stress on humans. Even though we can’t see the light change, it triggers our eyesight. For instance, if we look at LEDs that flicker at a 90Hz rate, our eyes will still try to keep up with the light change 90 times a second. This may cause eye strain, blurred vision, and develop headaches.
So when choosing a light therapy device, you need to make sure that LEDs are not producing any flicker. Many companies claim that high-frequency flicker is unavoidable in LEDs as the power supply is always unsteady. However, if the manufacturer uses high-quality, expensive power drivers, flicker can be eliminated entirely.
When you’re shopping for any medical device, don’t forget to check whether it has FDA approval. Regardless to say, this rule includes red light therapy devices. FDA diversifies medical devices into three categories. RLT devices that successfully pass all the requirements are registered as FDA Class II devices.
So, when you land on the red light treatment panel of your liking, don’t forget to check whether FDA registers them and that they fall into Class II.
Choosing the Right Seller
Once you find the device that checks out all the requirements, the only thing left to do is make sure that you’re purchasing from a trustworthy company. One of the best ways of determining the reliability of the RLT device seller is their warranty period. Usually, quality red light therapy devices come with a generous warranty. After all, if the company can’t guarantee that their product will stand the test of time, why should you purchase at all?
Don’t settle for anything less than a few years of warranty, and you will surely get your money’s worth!