7152208954
logo

Red Light Photobiomodulation Buyers Guide

Thaddeus
Posted by: Thaddeus December 24, 2017

Pay Attention to This When Buying a Light

“In the next few years, every home with have one more maybe two light therapy devices” Dr, Michael Hamblin, Harvard University

5708524807 e03ab70ed5 z

Are you ready to buy a red light?

Hold up there!

If you want to benefit from a red light, you have to know a little bit about the science. Just because you buy a “red” light doesn’t mean it’s doing anything more than causing your neighbors think you're running a brothel.

Here's the Summary of What We Recommend

  • Know the wavelength and ensure it's appropriate for your needs. 
  • Buy an intensity meter and use it to determine the time to use the light and distance to keep it from your body. 
  • Get an EMF meter for magnetic and electric fields and measure the electric and magnetic field to ensure it's not too high. 
  • Buy from a company you trust and has good customer service.
  • Enjoy the benefits

Wavelength

All light originally comes from the Sun!

All the light on this earth, every photon, even from artificial light, originally came from the sun. The sun is the original photobiomodulation. Our bodies, mind, and eyes were designed to use light from the sun to keep us optimally healthy. 

There is more to light than meets the eye. This is important!  It’s not just light that we can see that comes from the sun. There are invisible, to us, lights from the sun that shine down on the earth.

Take a look at this chart:

VisibleLightSpectrum

Notice the sun emits light in many wavelengths that most don't consider “Light”, they are not things we usually think of as light. That’s right, radio waves, x-rays and infrared are all “light” and come from the sun.

Science has categorized light such as an x-ray, blue light or red light by the wavelength of that light. So what we call a color of light is really based on the wavelength that the light has. A wavelength of light is measured in nanometers, abbreviated nm. So if a photon is moving through the air with a wavelength of 600nm, we call it visible red light. 830nm wavelength photons will be called invisible infrared light and so on. The shorter the wavelength, the faster the photon is moving and the more energy it carries. So blue light at 400nm has a shorter wavelength and therefore more energy than red light at 660nm.

It’s important to use a light with a wavelength that actually has a biological impact on the issue you are trying to solve. We want the right type of photons hitting our body. Some lights actually use a white or blue wavelength of light and add a red filter. In other words, the LED driver is based on blue light and it only looks red because there is a red filter over the light. We want pure wavelengths of light, not just a red filter that might not give off enough red light in the wavelength we want. Other lights do use a true red wavelength but use one that has not yet been shown to be biologically helpful.

Cytochrome C Oxidase Activation by Red Light 1024x1024

This chart pulled from the Joovv site shows that one of the receptors of light energy in our body, Cytochrome C Oxidase, absorbs many more photons at certain wavelengths.

I was able to spend an hour talking with Dr. Michael Hamblin from Harvard, one of the foremost researchers on photobiomodulation and we discussed wavelengths of light.

According to Dr. Hamblin: “This is probably the parameter where there is the most agreement in the LLLT community. Wavelengths in the 600-700 nm range are chosen for treating superficial tissue, and wavelengths between 780 and 950 nm are chosen for deeper-seated tissues, due to longer optical penetration distances through tissue. Wavelengths between 700 and 770 nm are not considered to have much activity. Some devices combine a red wavelength with a NIR wavelength on the basis that the combination of two wavelengths can have additive effects, and can also allow the device to be more broadly utilized to treat more diseases. There is of course much more work to be done to define what is the optimum wavelength for the different indications for which LLLT is employed.”

The bulk of clinical literature suggests that light in the mid-600 nm range and low- to mid-800 nm range is extremely effective. That is because these wavelengths have the greatest effect on the cellular respiration process. [r]

The most beneficial of these peaks are in the range of 660-670 nm and 830-850 nm. These wavelengths have been proven to produce substantial improvements in cellular function with a wide range of resulting benefits including improved skin health, enhanced muscle recovery, reduced joint pain, increased testosterone, and even weight loss! Alternatively, other wavelengths such as 700 nm or 720 nm have almost no biological effects. So, it's critical to choose a device that delivers optimal wavelengths of light.

So, it's critical to choose a device that delivers optimal wavelengths of light.

A recent paper showed the most biological activity in wavelength ranges of 1) 613.5-623.5 nm, 2) 667.5-683.7 nm, 3) 750.7-772.3 nm, 4) 812.5-846.0 nm

In another paper, wavelengths were tested including 670, 728, 770, 830, and 880 nm with the most effective ones being 670 nm and 830 nm, which parallel the NIR absorption spectrum of oxidized cytochrome c oxidase. 

Wavelengths showing 780 nm light stimulated bone healing in rats [31] and the use of 804 nm laser decreased damage inflicted in rat hearts after creation of heart attacks [32], 

It has also been shown that Red light can penetrate 15mm into the body at 694nm wavelength.

I asked Dr. Hamblin if it was possible that synergies between multiple wavelengths would increase the benefit of a healing light device over one without such synergies.

Synergies between multiple wavelengths have not been well studied. However, Dr. Hamblin agreed that a combination of NIR and Red light worked well together and it’s possible there could be synergies between wavelengths but this isn’t something he has studied.

Intensity

Do you want to be sprayed by a fire hose or a sprinkler?

It’s all about intensity. The fire hose pushes more water out of the hose in a given time than the sprinkler.

Getting hit with a firehose is not pleasant and is certainly harmful.

Same concept with lighting, except instead of water, it’s photons. This is best described by Dr. Hamblin as follows: You can cook a turkey at 350 degrees for a couple hours or you could cook a turkey at 10,000 degrees for a couple seconds. Both deliver the same energy. If you cook a turkey at 10,000 degrees for one minute, you won’t like the results. The same is true with PBM. More intensity isn’t better.

4257698339 15e378b398 z

This leads us to the second aspect you should consider, which is the amount of energy delivered to your cells.

Intensity if the measure of photons hitting our body in a given area.

Intensity, also known as irradiance, is the power of the light at a surface. This is measured typically with an intensity meter that measures in units of watts per m2. Many research papers show study conditions using light in units of mW/cm2 or Joules     

Dr. Hamblin believes everyone should have their own light meter. Otherwise, you would have no way to know the intensity of the light device you are using and therefore no way to know when your photobiomodulation session is over.

After borrowing Joovv’s intensity meter for a short time, I went out and bought my own.

NASA-supported research and many other published studies have utilized an intensity of 4 to 6 Joules/cm2 of energy delivered to the body. That translates to about 50-100 mW/cm2.  For the relief of deeper symptoms, like joint inflammation, up to 120 Joules/cm2 has been shown to be very effective. [r]

This intensity of light is then delivered for up to a total dose of about 50-60J in many studies, meaning you would use the light of this intensity for 10 minutes to get the total amount of photons (50J for example) needed to match the clinical study.

Dr. Michael Hamblin from Harvard University claims in a 2008 paper that in general under 100 mW/cm2 is best for LLLT. (r)

Don’t think that just any red light will work for PBM.

This is a mistake many people make. Often, if you have the right wavelength of light, you may think you are good to go. This may NOT the case!

If you do not know the intensity, then you may not get you the benefit you are looking for. If you chose a light with too high an intensity, you may be getting too much light. Too low an intensity and you may not get an effect without long enough use.

It’s important to either know the intensity of the light you buy in order to know how long to use it for to obtain a benefit or have a time of use recommendation from the manufacturer that is based on the intensity of the light to provide a clinical benefit. This time of use can also be based on evidence from other users.

Because LLLT is so new, we will be seeing a lot of “field research”. This is what biohackers love. Self-experimentation.

Intensity matters when specific wavelengths are research for specific effects, which is demonstrated in this study [r]. In this study, wavelengths of 660 and 810 nm with the fluency 8 J/cm2 demonstrated the potential to reduce cognitive impairments associated with aging and mitochondrial dysfunction. But when the fluency was at 4J/cm2 the light had minimal effect. 8 J/cm2 is a lot of energy. Just changing the wavelength slightly or the combination of wavelengths would change the results. 

While intensity matters, it’s not everything. Too high is bad. Too low will not yield a benefit.

This is called a biphasic response. Too much light causes the opposite of what we’re trying to achieve. Too little light has no effect.

So higher intensity is not better. LLLT has a dual response curve. Meaning if the intensity and light delivered is too high, a negative effect will occur. If it’s too low, no effect will occur.

Biphasic Dose

Figure from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2790317/

There’s a Goldilocks zone of the right dose. Unfortunately, this zone is not well studied yet. We know what this zone and response curve is for specific wavelengths that have been studied, but not for all wavelengths and not for combinations of wavelengths. And again, this is studied using specific parameters, usually Cytochrome C Oxidase activation. Who's to say there could be more things that happen in the body, some of them taking weeks or months to fully show up. This has not been studied. 

One important point Dr. Hamblin made was that, just like a fire hose, you do not want too much light at once. So you do not want too much power or intensity. He said it’s like baking a turkey at 10,000F for 1 second. It’s different than baking a turkey at 350F for 5 hours. Gettng the same number of photons over a longer time is better than shoving them all into your body at once.

Again, intensity matters. We want just the right amount of intensity without going over or under.

Dose

Dose matters. A lot.

It's really very similar to intensity. Intensity is the number of photons hitting a surface and dose is the number of photons delivered over a period of time (the use time). 

You can’t just turn on any red light device and sit under for as long as you want. There’s an optimal time under the red light before things turn bad. If you don’t know what that is, then be careful!

Dr Hamblin recommends everyone, especially practitioners, but also those using photobiomodulation devices purchase a light intensity meter. Without this tool, you would have no way of knowing the total energy and intensity of the device, nor how far away to keep it from your body.

HHLM3 HHUVA1 l

 

The intensity meter tells you the energy at a given distance. Closer to the device, the energy will be higher than further away. Some devices may require that you stand further away because they might be too intense close-up and others you may be able to touch to your skin. The meter allows you to determine how long to use the light and how far away to stand. 

Mercola and Dr. Wunsch indicate that an intensity of 10-20 mW/cm2 is ideal, while Joovv and some research studies argue 50-100 mW/cm2 are better. I believe both ranges work. Remember that more is not better.

Dr. Hamblin talks about the biphasic dose-response curve. Too much light has a negative consequence and too little may do nothing.

Hamblin – “Because of the possible existence of a biphasic dose-response curve referred to above, choosing the correct dosage of light (in terms of energy density) for any specific medical condition is difficult. In addition there has been some confusion in the literature about the delivered fluence when the light spot is small. If 5J of light is given to a spot of 5 mm2, the fluence is 100 J/cm2, which is nominally the same fluence as 100 J/cm2 delivered to 10 cm2, but the total energy delivered in the latter case is 200 times greater. The dose of light that is used depends on the pathology being treated, and in particular upon how deep the light is thought to need to penetrate into the tissue. Doses that are frequently used in the red wavelengths for fairly superficial diseases tend to be in the region of 4 J/cm2 with a range of 1-10 J/cm2. Doses of the NIR wavelengths that tend to be employed for deeper-seated disorders can be higher than these values, i.e., in the 10-50 J/cm2 range. The light treatment is usually repeated either every day or every other day, and a course of treatment can last for periods around two weeks.”

A Biphasic Dose Response means that if you use too little you won’t get an effect and if you use too much you will get a negative effect. You need just the right amount. Using too much, too high an intensity, too long of a time under the light can be worse than no light at all.

It is not understood why the negative effect from PBM happens, but it could be due to too much ROS (reactive oxygen species) being created in the cell.

The red light you buy should list the intensity it uses. This is the only way to know how long to use it. It’s also helpful for the manufacturer to suggest how long to use the device for certain conditions. If you don’t know the intensity, or the manufacturer doesn’t list it, get an intensity meter and measure it. You want to ensure you don’t get too much light and harm yourself.

Get a light intensity meter and use it!

Flicker

According to Dr Alexander Wunsch and Dr Jack Kruse, LED lights can flicker and this can cause biological stress. Most of us do not notice the flicker of LED screens on our devices or LED lights in our homes and offices. But our brains may pick up on this flicker and cause stress.

LED lights flicker because with alternating current the LEDs (light diodes) are turning on an shutting off many times a second as the current changes directions.

Would LED red light panels cause stress due to the flicker?

I took a slow-motion video of my Christmas tree lights vs the Joovv and Redjuvenator to find out. Often using slow motion on a camera, we are able to show the flicker effect.

Joovv was contacted about flicker and described the drivers on their LEDs being of sufficient energy that they would not completely shut off during the AC current cycle and therefore should not flicker. 

Dr. Hamblin mentioned that pulsing of LED lights studied in the lab showed more benefit than constant photon flow and also said that flicker should not be an issue in PBM. Admittedly, he did not know much about flicker. But his belief is that pulsing light is more effective and therefore flicker in a light panel may possibly be a good thing. Remeber, it's not good for working or general lighting to have flicker, but for short time use as light therapy, it might be worthwhile. None of the lights I tested appeared to have flicker.

EMF Effects

Magnetic, electric, and microwave radiation all have biological impacts. Knowing how high the fields are from the device you are using is important.

I don’t know of any red light device that uses microwaves (similar to a cell phone, blue tooth, or wifi). So we’ll rule this one out.

Magnetic fields are created by electrons flowing through a circuit. High magnetic fields could be damaging.

Electric fields are created with moving charges and are often present when magnetic fields are present.

All our appliances and wiring and lights create magnetic and electric fields. The goal is to minimize our exposure to these fields for optimal health.

Check to determine the EMF output of your red light device. I spent some time checking these four red lights for EMF

I measured the electric fields in units of volts/meter (v/m) with an ME3030B  Analyser and magnetic field in units of miligauss with a AC Milligauss meter model UHS2 from alpha labs.

EMF meters

Not only did I measure the EMF from the devices, as well as the intensity and flicker, but I looked up safe recommended limits for EMF exposure. I used the following sources: 

https://www.home-biology.com/electromagnetic-field-radiation-meters/safe-exposure-limits

http://www.who.int/peh-emf/publications/facts/fs322/en/

https://www.safespaceprotection.com/emf-health-risks/emf-health-effects/emfs-in-the-home/

http://emfinfo.org/guidelines-exposure.html

 

Device Magnetic Field (miligauss) Typical Home Magnetic Field (mG) Recommended Safety LImits (mG)
Joovv  3.38 1.1 3-4
Redjuvenator 0.83 1.1 3-4
GembaRed 0.70 1.1 3-4
Suana Space  0.3-1.0 1.1 3-4
660nm Red Light 1.45 1.1  3-4

 

Device Electric Field (V/m) Typical Home Electric Field (V/m) Recommended Safety LImits (V/m)
Joovv 43 30-70 27-62
Redjuvenator 728 30-70 27-62
GembaRed 80 30-70 27-62
Sauna Space 1 30-70 27-62
660nm Light 290 30-70 27-62

 

 Device Intensity (mW/cmw2
 Joovv  80-300
 Redjuvenator  11-19
GembaRed 9-12
 660nm Red LIght  50-70

  

PBM Devices

If you have to supplement, you want to supplement with some of the important the missing components of indoor lighting. Red, infrared, UVA and UVB are missing in indoor light and can be supplemented.

Before using or buying a device, ask yourself what benefit you are looking for.

Chronic health concerns vs vanity concerns like wrinkles, age spots and collagen may require different criteria in a device.

Do you want to Detox? You want heat (mid and far infrared), in enough quantity to sweat?

Do you want to reduce aging, wrinkles, increase collagen? Light in the 630-660nm wavelength stimulates cytochrome C oxidase and has effects on improving mitochondrial function and visual signs of aging.

Do you want help with improving mitochondrial function? You want red light in this wavelength 630-670nm and 830-870nm.

Ensure that the wavelength you select is appropriate.

Be sure to know the intensity of the light so you know how long to use it.

Check the EMF to ensure it isn’t too high.

Supplementing with Red and Infrared

It’s been proven that red light therapy can:

  • Reverse photoaging
  • Reduce Wrinkles
  • Increase Collagen Synthesis
  • Increase healing and recovery
  • Decrease inflammation

In research, there are 2 clear details that determine how effective red light therapy will be. First is the wavelength of the light. There are two wavelengths of red light that show the most benefit, wavelengths of red light that show the most benefit.  630-670nm?  And 820-870nm?

Second, the intensity of the light matters. Lower intensity light will have less effect and take a much longer time to benefit. Higher intensity light will penetrate the body deeper and take less time to be effective.

Red light works on the skin by stimulating cytochrome c oxidase in the cells. Infrared light is said to penetrate the skin up to 1.5 inches and works on cells deeper that what red light can penetrate. However, studies show that both red and infrared appear to do similar things in the body and thus infrared does what red light does, but passes deeper into the body. So infrared can work on joints, bone, cartilage, and musculoskeletal problems. Near-infrared also shows benefits for athletic performance and recovery, diabetes, kidney disease and eye health!

I even heard Dr. Mercola say that red and infrared on the patella or sternum can increase stem cells release from bone marrow!

While there are many devices out there, we only list those for which we’ve had experience and talked with the founders and scientists in the companies.

In full disclosure, Chris and I own a Joovv light. One was given to us for free and one we purchased at full price. We each own a REDJuvenator that we purchased for the full amount. Thaddeus has a Sauna Space EMF free Sanctuary EMF blocking Sauna created by Brian Richards. The Sauna is on loan from Sauna Space. Thaddeus and Chris each own full spectrum infrared saunas that were purchased at full retail price. Thaddeus owns a red 630nm light from Amazon purchased at full price. Chris and Thaddeus own a GembaRed red light. We purchased one at full price and receveid one to test.  We do make money if you use our Joovv discount code or GembaRed discount code (code Primalhacker). 

Joov

 IMG 20170814 201838

Joovv was developed by two couples who include medical device professionals. After paying high fees for using a red light device at the spa, the Joovv was put into development as a lower cost light device for use at home. The name actually comes from a combination of rejuvenation and domain names that weren’t yet purchased.

Joovv based their light design on scientific studies of LLLT.  Joovv is transparent about the wavelengths and intensity they use and have made a rugged and effective device.

In addition, Dr. Michael Hamblin is on their scientific advisory board and supports that the Joovv is an effective light for PBM.

Chris and I both own a Joovv. I use mine nearly daily, in the morning, all winter. I do my qigong in front of the Joovv for 18 minutes each winter morning. I usually stand completely naked in front of the Joovv. 

Joovv Wavelengths

Joov uses 2 proven wavelengths of red light, 660 and 850nm. Joovv also uses an intensity of 100 mW/cm2 at 10cm from the device, which is high enough to match the clinical studies that have been performed to show a benefit. 

Joovv Intensity

Joovv also uses an intensity of 100 mW/cm2 at 10cm from the device, which is high enough to match the clinical studies that have been performed to show a benefit. My measurements show this varies considerably based on distance. Close to the device, about 1” away, you will get closer to 200-400 mW/cm2 depending on the LED. Some LEDs were more intense when I measured them than others.  Remember, you don’t want too much light all at once. Dr. Michael Hamblin likened this to cooking a turkey at 10,000 degrees. You won’t like the results.

Irradiance Joovv

Joovv explains that specific wavelength and intensity red lights are required to receive the therapeutic effect of a red light device. They claim that their intensity and wavelength are well studied in the literature to provide a benefit while other red lights do not have the right wavelength or have too low a frequency to produce an effect without many hours of use. THIS article validates Joovv’s point that wavelength and intensity matter and that they use the right wavelengths and intensity.

Use Code “PRIMALHACKER” for $25 off a Joovv light (yup, we get a commission)

This is the same light Ben Greenfield uses to shine on his balls while he takes client calls. Ben claims it can increase testosterone. I haven’t seen any evidence of this in the literature, but anecdotally Ben and others claim it’s true and supposedly have some data of their own to back it up.

IMG 20170814 201717

I spoke to the founders about how to use the Joovv Original and here's what they said:

1) Stand about About 6-12" away.  The closer you are, the more Joules of energy you'll receive.  Here are our general treatment guidelines if you're interested.

2) For proactive health, I'd recommend 8-10 minutes per treatment area.  For "problem areas", you can probably go a little longer (10-12 minutes).

3)It's completely safe to look at the light.  In fact, the specific wavelengths you're using have been clinically proven to be beneficial when it comes to vision.  Here's just one of many published studies.

EMF

Joovv, based on feedback from Dr. Mercola, added a shielded cord to significantly reduce EMFs. The EMFs measured very low on Joovv fro electric field and low, but not as low as Redjuvenator or Sauna Space on magenetic field. 

EF Joovv  Electric Field

magnetic JoovvMagnetic Field

 

GembaRed

GembaIcon 2

Developed by chemical engineer Andrew LaTour, the GembaRed is his solution to an affordable PBM device. So many of the lights on the market were being sold for more than $500 and were out of reach for most people to afford. Andrew took his engineering knowledge and designed a red light with the proper wavelengths for under $300.  He then went a step further and measured the EMF, intensity, and wavelengths and published all that on his website. He gets an A for transparency and an A+ for customer support. He not only listened to his customers and reduced the EMF of his light, but he's offering to upgrade anyone who bought his original light by replacing it with a low EMF version for a very tiny (under $20) fee. 

We're impressed by this light for the value, low EMFs, and proper wavelengths. 

GembaRed Wavelengths

Andrew used three wavelengths of light in this device.  Gembared wavelengths are 630nm 660nm and 850nm.

GembaRed Intensity

The intensity of the GembaRed low EMF red light is not as high as I would like. It ranks lowest of all tested lights. This means we have to use the GembaRed for longer than we'd use other PBM devices in this article. This isn't necessarily bad because it means you can read or work on your laptop while using the light without fear of getting too much. The measured intensity is the lowest of all tested lights coming in at just 7-12mW/cm2. 

GembaRed EMF

GembaRed is truly a low EMF light. Andrew actually redesigned the light from the original to massively reduce EMFs. We tested both the original and reduced EMF light. The original light had the same EMF readings as the RedJuvenator #3 while the reduced EMF version came in about the same as the Joovv or lower. 

GembaRed Discount Code

Use code PRIMALHACKER for 10% off. 

Scale Picture Body

REDjuvenator #3

The Redjuvenator was developed by Leanne Venier, an engineer, artist, and student of energy medicine and eastern medicine.

Redjuvenator

The Redjuvenator has many hundreds of testimonials claiming great benefits from use including healing sun sensitivity (people who always need to wear sunglasses) to healing rashes, muscle pain, and speeding recovery. Some users claim that it works well to induce sleep and cure jetlag. Leanne Venier, the inventor of the Redjuvenator, has a private Facebook page where people post their results using her devices. There are certainly lots and lots of positive testimonials.

There are 4 different devices that Leanne sells. Each was created for a different purpose. The #3 is termed the "Universal" and is best for multiple types of uses, with the exception of killing bacteria. Killing bacteria and reducing acne requires her blue light formulation.

I've used the Redjuvenator for months as have other members of my family and we all enjoy using it and agree that we have benefitted from its use. 

IMG 20171126 160507

Redjuvenator Wavelengths

This panel contains two undisclosed wavelengths of RED light and one undisclosed wavelength of infrared light. Leanne will not disclose the wavelengths of light that she uses. She claims that they are effective but not well studied in the literature.

Because we do not know what the wavelengths are, Leanne keeps them secret, we cannot make claims pointing back to the scientific literature. However, Leanne is very well read in the literature, the physics, and in energy healing and Eastern medicine. We believe her when she says that the wavelengths she uses are effective and the testimonials on her Facebook page and website support this.

In discussions with Leanne she claims that the wavelengths she has chosen work in synergy with each other to provide more benefit than by themselves. Dr. Hamblin agrees that this is possible, but hasn’t seen any literature to definitively support it, except for using a combination of Red and infrared light.It's possible then that the Redjuvenator does use synergy in the red and infrared light to create more benefit than any of the lights by themselves. 

Redjuvenator Intensity

The Intensity of the Redjuvenator is also undisclosed, but based on the fact that it doesn’t have fans to cool the LED drivers and subjectively, looking at it in comparison to the Joovv, it is less intense.

Remember, intensity matters to know how long to use the device for. Higher intensity isn’t always better, but it helps to know what it is in order to determine how long you might want to use it and how close to put it to your body.

I purchased an intensity meter and measured the Redjuvenator intensity:  17 mW/cm2

Irradiance Redjuvenator

Redjuvenator Woo Factor

Here's where The Redjuvenator differs from all other lights. Leanne adds “quantum healing codes” and her knowledge of eastern medicine, energy medicine, and color into her light design. She claims this makes it far more effective than traditional lights that are based only on what’s been studied in the literature. Often the literature studies focus only on what NIH (National Institute of Health) funds and may exclude testing effective therapies for many reasons.

Leanne likes to say that her light has systemic effects and it does not have to be used on every individual body part to impart an effect. Others say that this is not possible. However, the literature does suggest this is true as highlighted by Dr. Hamblin of Harvard University in this paper:

"Although LLLT is mostly applied to localized diseases and its effect is often considered to be restricted to the irradiated area, there are reports of systemic effects of LLLT acting at a site distant from the illumination [82, 83]. It is well known that UV light can have systemic effects [84], and it has been proposed that red and NIR light can also have systemic effects. These have been proposed to be mediated by soluble mediators such as endorphins and serotonin. There is a whole field known as laser acupuncture [85] in which the stimulation of specific acupuncture points by a focused laser beam is proposed to have similar effects at distant locations to the more well known needle acupuncture techniques."

Quantum Healing Codes 

Quantum healing codes are not something I’m familiar with at all. Leanne claims that they make her light far more effective than others. I Googled quantum healing codes and came up with things about sacred geometry and oddly enough the phrase “quantum healing codes”.  The information I found on Quantum healing codes actually led me to a set of numbers, the so-called quantum healing codes. The site linked the codes to the various chakras in the body and eventually to colors via terahertz(THz) frequencies of light.

Here are the Quantum Healing Codes

Quantum codes number 700wrong

These codes are derived as sacred numbers that can be used to heal.

Here is a chart showing the codes representing frequency of light and their conversion from frequency to wavelength, thus telling us what color light they refer to.

There are wavelengths in the red, orange, and yellow wavelengths that appear to correlate to the Quantum Healing Codes.

Quantum Healing Codes

The light frequencies in THz are shown at the bottom of the photo and light in wavelength units of nm (nanometers) is shown at the top of the photo above. 

Quantum healing codes Wrong COlors

quantum codes shakras

Perhaps Leanne is using lights within the nanometer wavelength of that shown in the Quantum Healing Codes. Perhaps the layout of the light diodes in the Redjuvenator are in the shape of some sacred geometry like the Star of David. None of this has been confirmed with Leanne. It's just what I was able to find on the internet. 

Here is a video of Leanne at the Bulletproof Biohacking Conference discussing what makes her light different. 

 

Redjuvenator EMF

Leanne claims her panels are low EMF but did not provide any indication of how she engineered that into the panel. In my testing, the electric field was very high, while the magnetic field was lower than Joovv and the single Suana Space light and about the same as the Sauna Space EMF Sanctuary Sauna.

EF Redjuvenator

Magnetivc Redjuvenator

RedLightMan

RedLightMan is a company based out of UK, founded in 2014 after the owner thought red light devices on the market were underpowered and too expensive. They have decent information delving into the PBM science on their website and appear to make a good product.

I have not personally used one of their lights. A friend of mine has one of their lights and it’s the one with 4 wavelengths in it.

Are 4 wavelengths better than 2? It’s hard to say. Dr. Hamblin says the wavelengths they use are so similar that likely the 2 added wavelengths do not do anything beyond what 2 wavelengths would do.

Wavelength

620, 670, 760, and 830nm. Redlightman claims all these wavelengths show activity by CCO per the chart from their website shown below.

Intensity

The website claims 100mW/cm2 from 20cm away. I have not tested this as I do not have access to one.

EMF

I asked the Divine Superconductor from Mitolife to test his full combo Redlightman light for EMFs. It registered only 1.5 miligauss magnetic field. Electric field measured at close to zero, but was measured with a Trifield meter, which isn't super accurate. However, it does tell if something is high or low emitting in electric field and the Redlightman appears to be very low. 

Redlightman makes this claim about grounding on their website: Whenever you touch this device and it is plugged in, it is providing a natural electrical connection to the Earth, even if it’s not turned on. By being grounded electrically, you are protected from EMFs in your environment.

I disagree with this statement. According to what Brian Hoyer showed me with his meters, you can be grounded and acting as an antenna with all the EMF passing directly through you to the ground. It appears you are protected from EMF if you test with certain meters, but testing with meters that measure body voltage you can see that some of the EMF are adding to the voltage of your body and using you as an antenna. Best to ground all devices and ensure you buy things with low magnetic and electric fields.

Quantlet

Developed by Dr. Jack Kruse and Ruben Salina, the Quantlet is an evolutionary design in wearable technology that is designed to use PBM on your wrist. We wrote an entire article on The Quantlet. We think it's the right direction and sorely needed in our modern world. At this time, warranty and quality issues are keeping us from wholeheartedly backing the device. If Quantum Dynamics, the company selling the device, steps up quality and customer service, we will review it again.

It's also hard to know how well it works because the intensity of this device is different than others. Since it is supposed to be putting light into the blood via the wrist and keeping blood vessels dilated, it may be able to use a different irradiance to obtain an effect, but that is unknown at this time. 

We would hold off on buying this for therapeutic use, but encourage biohackers to get it if they want to experiment and keep moving the industry forward. We just don't know how well it's going to work until more people try it out. 

That being said, there are many users, device quality issues or not, that swear by the life changing and healing benefits they have received from using it.

 The Quantlet uses 2 frequencies of light that are critically important in ALL life, ultra-violet (UV) and infrared (IR). These two light frequencies can be captured by water and drive numerous processes in the body that maintain health. Without these two frequencies, we do not thrive, we are left open to disease and increased aging.

The Quantlet also claims to help keep the body at its preferred temperature so that it can operate more efficiently. When the body overheats due to training or disease, physical performance, and cognitive function decline.

Check out our review article, HERE.

Sauna Space

IMG 20171126 155020

Can Sauna Space, which uses incandescent technology and is designed to be a Suana, be used for photobiomodulation?

Dr. Michael Hamblin – “Yes, incandescent light could be used for PBM, but you’d want them to have a red filter covering them to get more red light out. I’m not sure why you would use these though because they generate a lot of heat.”

Heat indeed. Sauna Space makes a sauna. For detox and creation of heat shock proteins. They heat using incandescent tungsten lamps. These lamps have a red coating on them. So, in theory, you can get the benefits of a sauna and additionally get some PBM at the same time.

In addition, Sauna Space has spent time, like Joovv, grounding their device and protecting the user from EMFs.

Wavelength

Sauna Space uses a broad spectrum of wavelengths. I was not able to determine the intensity of any one wavelength and it’s not possible with my equipment. Certainly, the lights contain wavelengths that are effective and cited in the literature. They also contain other wavelengths, mid and far infrared, that are absorbed by water and largely just heat the body (although that’s what you want in a sauna and it does provide true benefit, just different benefit than PBM).

Some people argue that there is too much long wavelength light in the Suana Space for PBM, but longer wavelengths just MIGHT be PBM too and work, via a different mechanism:

There is also some evidence suggesting that longer wavelengths (eg. 980 or 10600 nm) might have a unique mechanism of action that isn't based on absorption by cytochrome c oxidase. Some hypotheses have been published, describing intracellular water as the primary photoreceptor mediating the photomodulatory effects observed with longer wavelengths (Wang et al. 2017Hamblin 2017).

While the sun and incandescent lamps can do photobiomodulation, the incandescent lamp is not ideal. We always advocate that the sun is the ideal, especially while barefoot connected to the earth. Countless suneaters, breathatarians, and other wizards swear by it.

Incandescent contains little to no blue and a good amount of red and infrared, it is hard to identify the intensity of light in each wavelength. Because an incandescent is putting out a broad array of wavelengths, there is no indication of the intensity of any one wavelength, making it hard to perform photobiomodulation with an incandescent bulb. Covering the bulb with a red filter is ideal as it puts even more red and less blue onto the skin, but it’s still too difficult to determine the intensity of any one wavelength.

Short answer is that sauna space and any incandescent bulb can perform photobiomodulation, but it’s unknown how good it is without knowing the intensity and having testimonials and other data to back it up. I’d argue that you’re getting photobiomodulation, but it’s hard to quantify how it compared to a red LED light with a known wavelength and intensity.

Stick to using Sauna Space as a Sauna for detoxification and infrared therapy. I’m sure you do get photobiomodulation benefits as well, but it’s a bonus.

Intensity

I was unable to determine the intensity of the different wavelengths because it produces many wavelengths.

Intensity measurement

irradiance sauna space

EMF measurement

Electric F sauna space

magnetic sauna space single

Sauna Space has extremely low electric fields, almost unbelieveable. The EMF Sanctuary Sauna that I'm borrowing also blocks microwave radiation from cell and wifi from coming into the sauna. Not only do you get the detox benefits of the sauna, but you are protected from microwave radiation at the same time. 

Sunlighten/Clearlight and Other Infrared Saunas

Many companies make infrared saunas. Of course, infrared is light, so we discuss them as part of photobiomodulation.

Most infrared saunas, including full spectrum (meaning they contain near, mid, and far-infrared), do not use high intensity near infrared light.

Saunas are designed to heat the body by sending light into the water of the body and heating it up. Mostly this is accomplished with mid and far infrared heaters.

Heating of the water in cells of the body certainly has benefit including detoxification and generation of heat shock proteins. See THIS ARTICLE by Dr. Rhonda Patrick about the many benefits of Sauna.

However, the studied benefits that come from red and infrared light, that stimulate cytochrome C oxidase, are not what you get from infrared saunas.

Infrared saunas are best used in addition to red and infrared light therapy for additional benefit.

It is not suggested to use a red light device in a sauna because the heat will eventually thermal degrade the light diodes and they will not produce the correct wavelength of light once this happens. Joovv mentioned that their light is rated to last 50,000 hours but if used in a sauna it may last only 20,000 hours or less.

It is also worth noting the EMF exposure in a sauna. Many reduced EMF saunas cut out the magnetic fields but fail to reduce the electric fields or vice versa. It’s always best to check both the electric and magnetic field in any sauna you wish to purchase to ensure it is acceptable with all the heaters turned on.

Use infrared saunas for the detox and heat shock protein benefit and not for red and infrared benefits.

I used to own a Sunlighten Sauna and was able to test it for magnetic and electric fields, here’s what I found: The EMF claim that many of the low or no EMF sauna companies make is based on only one type of EMF. Beware and test your own. If you find a lower EMF infrared sauna, you will almost certainly benefit from using it. 

Conclusion

Based on the science, if you buy a red light in the right wavelength, it should work. Higher intensity lights deliver photons faster. I am undecided on what the optimal intensity is, but Joovv and Dr. Hamblin think it’s between 50-100mW/cm2. I’m not convinced that’s the optimal window, just the most studied. Though, for clinical studies, it’s  the intensity that most studies use. Doesn’t mean it’s ideal, but that’s what’s used if you want to do a research study. I have seen other references suggest 10-20 mW/cm2 is the ideal and this is more in line with lower power red light devices. 

If you are more interested in results than science, you can look into the device using quantum healing codes and undisclosed wavelengths. This has numerous testimonials and dives deeper into the “woo” and if quantum healing codes and eastern medicine is your thing, this is up your alley.

You’ll want a good idea of what problem you are trying to solve, why you want a red light device, and then choose a device based on the proper wavelength, knowledge of the intensity, and as low EMF as you can get.

Ideally, you want to buy a light where many others consistently obtain noticeable benefits.

I am not recommending any light. I thought about this for a very long time. I do own a Joovv, and if you buy one using my link, you save money and I get a commission. I also own a Redjuvenator, Sauna Space, 630nm Red Bulb and Sunlighten Sauna (I just sold it). I get a commission on the Sauna Space, and not on the Redjuvenator. I use all the lights. I have not had any major sickness, injury or other issue to put them to a true test.

Do a little research, talk with others, and choose the light that feels right to you.

About the Author


Thaddeus

Thaddeus began his journey outdoors, camping and fishing as a boy in the Adirondacks and Central NY forests. After a decade spent developing pharmaceutical products, he just couldn’t face another day adding terrible ingredients like high fructose corn syrup and numerous red dyes into children’s medicine. He shifted gears and engineered a successful work from home assignment following Tim Ferriss’s 4 Hour Workweek. From there, he was able to find a way to incorporate more movement, nature and sunshine into his work environment.

After learning about biohacking from the man who coined the term, Dave Asprey, Thaddeus healed his own anxiety, lowered his blood pressure and fixed his sleeplessness using biohacking, PrimalHacking and Qigong. He spends his free time experimenting on himself in hopes of helping others on their journey. He writes about his experiments on PrimalHacker.com. He also spends time with his two boys learning martial arts, shooting arrows at targets and hiking.  

Thaddeus is a certified Bulletproof Coach from the first ever class of coaches, holds a personal training certification, nutrition certification, Master’s degree in Holistic Nutrition and studied Chemical Engineering a long time ago.


Related Stories


Comments

Qualia
The Most Advanced Nootropic Stack In The World - Use Code ERISFIT for 10% off

EBook
GET OUR BIOHACKING 101 EBOOK, FREE!

Swannies
Sleep Better With Blue Blocking Glasses From Swanwick Sleep!

EarthRunners
Reconnect with EarthRunner's Grounding Sandals

VivoBarefoot
Check Out All The Styles of Our Favorite Barefoot Shoes

TrueDark
Upgrade Your Sleep and Protect Yourself from Harmful Blue Light. Use the code PRIMALHACKER to get a free set of TrueDark dots to help block out the blue light in your home.

Joov Light
Harness The Healing Power of Photobiomodulation with Joov. Use code PrimalHacker for $25 off