Red light therapy is a non-invasive treatment method that can be used for treating acne, psoriasis, speed up tissue healing, help improve sleep, ease pain, and fight inflammation. The list of benefits doesn’t even end there, making it clear why so many people turn to red light therapy.
The good thing is that RLT sessions are easily accessible at doctor’s offices and salons. However, for more convenience and money-saving in the long term, you may be better off trying red light therapy at home. RLT in-home devices of all sorts are widely available for purchase. So if you’re thinking about buying your own light therapy panel, you can do it without much of a hassle.
Regardless of the vast selection, not all red light therapy devices are the same. There are a few essentials you need to take into consideration to ensure that you’re buying the red light therapy device that works for you.
What To Consider When Shopping For RLT Device
- FDA classification;
- Light frequency;
- Flicker rate;
- Beam angle;
Let’s take a look at each of these factors one by one to ensure that you have a full understanding of their importance.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lists approved medical devices in three classes. The difference between devices classified as class I, II, and III are mostly safety and amount of contact with patients and their internal systems. Considering this, the highest and most desirable rank FDA can give to any red light therapy device is Class II.
Class II devices are considered to have intermediate-risk. If you look into the list of items that fall into this category, you will see many widely used products. Examples include computed tomography (CT) scanners, catheters, blood pressure cuffs, syringes…
So when shopping for a red light therapy device, the first thing you need to look at is the FDA approval and which class the device belongs to. Being in the FDA Class II means that the red light therapy device went through extensive testing and passed all the qualifications so you can purchase it without worrying about damaging your health.
Light Frequency Range
Different types of light waves are distributed across the electromagnetic spectrum. All these light wavelengths are measured in nanometers. In light therapy, frequency range determines how powerful the particular light is, how deeply it can penetrate the epidermis, and how our body reacts to it. Therefore considering this variable when selecting an RLT device is essential.
Red light wavelengths fall into the range of 650-700nms. Anything less than that doesn’t possess the benefits you’re looking for. The light frequency range over 700nms falls into the infrared category. In fact, many red light therapy devices incorporate near-infrared light wavelengths with red light. NIR light is proven to enhance healing properties and enhance red light’s power. Therefore, purchasing a device that uses both red and near-infrared light can be an excellent idea.
Flicker is a repeated change of light frequency that is measured in Hertz. For instance, if the flicker rate is 70Hz, the light frequency changes 70 times per second. If the flicker rate is above 70-80Hz, we are unable to perceive it consciously. However, the adverse effects of invisible flicker are pretty concerning. Research indicates that being around flickering LEDs causes eye strain, blurred vision, and develop headaches.
LED’s flicker due to unstable power supply, which is the same in any environment. Because of this, some red light therapy device manufacturers claim that it can’t be removed from the equation. However, using high-quality, expensive power drivers can effectively eliminate flicker and spare users unnecessary damage to their well-being.
So don’t forget to look for the information about LED flicker in the device tech specs. If the seller doesn’t disclose it, don’t hesitate to reach out to customer support for details.
The beam angle is an angle at which light is distributed from the device. This variable determines how stable the light power stays as you move away from the source. A wide beam angle means that power density drops quickly far from the device and vice versa; a narrower beam angle ensures intense exposure even at a distance. Keep in mind that while a narrow beam angle is desirable, it should be wide enough to cover sufficient parts of the body.
So what is the optimal beam angle for the red light therapy device? Depending on the best practices and research available, a 30-degree angle is considered the most effective. It produces steady light that allows you to have some freedom of movement during sessions.
Warranty is not merely an extra benefit you get when you purchase a product. Almost always, the length of the warranty period is directly related to its quality and durability. Company that offers a generous warranty and money-back guarantee, believes in the product they are promoting. Therefore, when choosing red light therapy devices, make sure to consider this factor.