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The Definitive Guide to Choosing a Red Light Therapy Device

The evidence supporting the benefits of red light therapy is substantial.  So let’s assume you already understand how red light therapy works and are aware of its many advantages. Perhaps you’ve even reviewed the clinical studies, seen some before and after photos, or maybe you know someone that’s experienced the healing and rejuvenating power of red light.

Okay, so you’re a believer.  But what next?  How do you get started?  Do a quick Google search and you’ll see the myriad of different options to choose from.  In some states, you can go to tanning salons where the beds have been converted to red light bulbs.  Some spas, physical therapists, and medical doctors offer red light therapy services as well.  Alternatively, you can purchase a red light device to use in your own home.

There are so many options.  So which one is right for you?  Well, that’s the question that we’d like to answer for you.  The following information is intended to simplify your decision-making process.

The wavelength of your red light device matters greatly.

Pay Attention to Wavelength and Delivered Energy

To maximize the benefits of red light therapy, there are two main factors: light wavelength and delivered amount of light energy.  Let’s start with wavelength.  While most devices deliver red light between 630-700 nm, you will see ranges from almost orange (600 nm) all the way to 800 - 900 nm, which is in the near infrared range.  

So which is the best?  You can find published studies that show benefits of virtually all of these wavelengths. However, the bulk of evidence suggests that light in the mid-600 nm range and low- to mid-800 nm range is extremely effective. (1,2)

This leads us to the second aspect you should consider, which is the amount of energy delivered to your cells.  NASA-supported research, including a lot of other published studies, have utilized 4 to 6 Joules/cm2  in terms of the amount of red light energy delivered to the body (3).  For the relief of deeper symptoms, like joint inflammation, up to 120 Joules/cm2 has been shown to work well too. (4,5)  

Once you know how much red light you need to experience its benefits, then you need to calculate how long it takes the device to deliver this amount of energy.  Some devices list the output in Joules per minute, while others may show the photon flux (also called irradiance) in mW/cm2.  The time in seconds can be calculated by taking the energy in Joules divided by the photon flux times 1000.  Let's look at a few different devices to get a better understanding for how this works.

With the DPL II, which has an output of 8 mW/cm2 (if you're right by the panel), the calculation is as follows:

4 J / 8 mW/cm21000 = 500 seconds.  Or a bit over 8 minutes.  

With the Joovv Light Mini, at a full 12” away from the light (area of 18” x 14”), the minimum light energy delivered is 17 mW/cm2.  So the treatment time for 4 Joules is calculated as follows:

4 J / 17 mW/cm2 x 1000 = 235 seconds.  Or just under 4 minutes.

As you can see, because the Joovv Light delivers more output, you don't have to use it as long as you would the DPL II device.  In summary, the equation is fairly straightforward.  As the power of the device increases, the amount of time you need to use it decreases.  Using the example above, because the Joovv Light is about twice as powerful as the DPL II, you need to spend about 50% less time using it.

Make sure your red light therapy option is convenient.

How Does Red Light Therapy Fit Into Your Life?

Once you understand wavelength and power, you should next consider the lifestyle implications.  Here are some of the questions you should ask yourself:

  • Do you have time to drive to a daily appointment for your red light therapy sessions?  
  • Do you have a budget that allows for ongoing treatment plans at a salon, spa, or medical practice?   
  • Do you have family members to consider as well?  

Many of our customers first experienced the benefits of red light therapy by purchasing sessions at a salon or spa.  In fact, two of our cofounders were introduced to red light therapy through a local tanning salon.  But, we have found that most people find ongoing sessions to be inconvenient and expensive. It’s just too difficult to get to a salon or spa 4-5 times a week on a consistent basis.  Plus, over time, the costs really add up.

The majority of people eventually want to experience the convenience of red light therapy in their own home.  Through a one-time investment, this approach allows everyone in their family to utilize red light therapy on a consistent basis in order to see the best results.

The size of your red light therapy device is important.

What Areas of Your Body are You Trying to Treat?

Are you intending to treat just your face?  Or do you want your entire body to experience the benefits of red light?  Many of our customers have started out using red light therapy to treat wrinkles or stretch marks.  But then have later realized it can help with muscle recovery, joint pain, and even wound care.

Most red light devices have such a small treatment area that it would require 20-30 minutes just to treat your face and then even more time to treat other areas of your body.  To better understand this, let's compare an average handheld red light device to the Joovv Light Mini.

All things considered, a decent handled red light device should have similar output to the Joovv Light Mini (approx. 4 J in about 4 minutes). However, even the best handheld devices will only treat a surface area of about 3-5 square inches. The Joovv Light Mini, on the other hand, can treat a surface area of about 250 square inches.  That's a major difference!

Therefore, carefully consider the intensity of the light output as well as the size of the area that your device can treat.

Choose a high-quality red light therapy device.

Don’t Settle for a Substandard Product

Just because you're after an in-home device, doesn’t mean you should settle for red light less that’s subpar or less powerful. Treatments with a red light device designed for the clinical setting can cost over $100 per session. And achieving the results you want typically requires several sessions per week. All in, this option is out of financial reach for the majority of people.

If you fall into this group, and you end up choosing an in-home red light device, don't sacrifice on its power output.  Make sure that it delivers enough intensity at the right wavelength.  

Utilizing the latest LED technology, we’ve modeled the Joovv Light after devices designed for the clinical setting.  We wanted a device that we could use at home, yet was powerful enough to see quick results, even for deep tissue healing.  Depending on what symptoms you're trying to treat, using either of the Joovv Lights, you can experience the the rejuvenating power of red light in just 4-5 minutes per day.  Granted, we're biased.  But you'll be hard-pressed to find another in-home device that provides that same amount of power over a similar treatment area at a reasonable price.

Summary: Consider These 4 Questions Before Purchasing your Light Therapy Device

In summary, ask yourself these 4 questions before purchasing a red light therapy device:

  1. How large of a treatment area do you want?
  2. How much time do have for each treatment session?
  3. How convenient is the device to use (and store)?
  4. How long will the device last?

Admittedly, we're biased.  But we think the Joovv Light should rank near the top of your list.   Unparalleled value, superior power output, and unmatched treatment area. That’s the Joovv difference.