Scott Nelson

The Definitive Guide to Choosing a Red Light Therapy Device




For newcomers to red light therapy, the wide range of options and variables can be difficult to sort through. In this post, we’ll make sense of choosing a red light therapy device, and break down the most important factors to consider. These include:

  • Size & Coverage
  • Power
  • Design
  • Safety
  • Service

You can check out Joovv’s full-body red light therapy devices to get a sense of what quality LED light therapy devices can do in your home. If you still have questions after reading this article, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Our customer service experts are happy to help.

Red Light Therapy 101

Joovv red light therapy

Red light therapy is a natural, noninvasive treatment that’s been found safe and effective across thousands of peer-reviewed studies and trials. If you’re not familiar with red light and its benefits, this overview post gives you a good idea of
what red light therapy is and how it works

The short version is this: light therapy delivers safe, concentrated wavelengths of natural light to your skin and cells, with no chemicals, UV rays, or excess heat. These red and near infrared wavelengths of light stimulate the mitochondria in your cells similar to natural sunlight, reducing oxidative stress, and increasing circulation, so your body is able to make more core energy to power itself. This post has a breakdown of how your cells use natural light to make adenosine triphosphate (ATP) energy.

Red light is also a natural anti-inflammatory that helps your cells regenerate and repair, a foundation of the major skin health and wrinkle-fighting benefits that have so many estheticians and dermatologists using Joovv systems. 

Red light therapy has also been shown across hundreds of trials to improve physical performance like speed and strength when combined with exercise, and speed up the muscle recovery process and prevent soreness afterwards. That’s why so many pro athletes, sports teams, and world-class trainers are Joovvin’ every day with full-body systems. 

To check out more about the other health benefits you can see from red light therapy, check out our learn library.

Size and Coverage are the Most Important Factors for Red Light Therapy 

UFC Champ Anthony Pettis uses the Joovv Elite

Size matters for red light therapy. For the best results, you need a larger device that can cover a wider surface area across more of your body. A full-body treatment with a larger device is more powerful and effective than just treating a small part of your body. With a larger device, more of your cells across your body are exposed to natural light, for more total energy transfer.


For expertise on light therapy power, we turn to Dr. Michael Hamblin of Harvard Medical school, one of the leading photomedicine researchers in the world, and a member of Joovv’s Scientific Advisory Board. Here’s what Dr. Hamblin says about measuring power:

“Total light energy is the most accurate and comprehensive way to measure the power of light therapy devices and treatments,” said Dr. Hamblin. “If you only account for irradiance—versus how much total energy a device delivers—you miss the larger picture of how light therapy positively benefits the person using it.”

The Joovv Elite is the largest red light therapy device available, and the one you’ll find in training facilities across the NFL, UFC, PGA, and leading gyms and clinics. With its superior size, the Elite provides the most coverage, most power, and best results. The image above is UFC champion fighter Anthony Pettis getting his full-body Joovvin' in to train and recover. 

Some devices only offer targeted treatments but advertise full-coverage. Either they’re too small or awkwardly shaped—like showerheads or belts for instance—and require you to continually adjust your body or the device to get an even treatment. Joovv’s full-body devices, available in several sizes, offer the consistency and coverage you need to see the benefits of clinical red light therapy.

Joovv’s patented modular design lets you start with a smaller device and build up to a full-body system over time, so you can increase the size and coverage of your treatments and get better health results in return. Other brands are more one-and-done. We’ll go deeper on this in the design-related section below. 

The Best Red Light Therapy Devices for Smaller, Targeted Treatments

Bigger devices with wider coverage perform best, but there’s still a place for smaller devices that offer enough power to effectively treat targeted areas. Smaller, handheld devices with sufficient power can be used for facial skin treatments to fight off wrinkles and fine lines. You can also use a smaller device to target a problem area like an arthritic wrist or knee, or a healing injury. 

If you go with a smaller, less expensive device, make sure to go with the best. The Joovv Go is the only portable, handheld red light therapy device with medical-grade power, just like the larger, full-body Joovv devices. It’s perfect for red light therapy treatments when you travel, and at $295, it’s the most cost-effective clinical red light therapy available. The image below shows natural health expert Dr. Josh Axe with his trusty Joovv Go

Dr. Josh Axe uses the Joovv Go

Power is Important, and So is Independent Verification of the Device Specs

Measuring the power of natural light is fairly complicated, and it doesn’t help that a lot of light therapy brands make big claims about power and irradiance specs, without anything to back it up. We wrote a whole post on measuring the power of red light therapy, and what to look out for. It includes independent diagnostic laboratory data about the power of Joovv’s devices, and some other brands. Check out the link for a full run-down on the power of light therapy.

Here are the basics:

Irradiance measures power per unit area, typically defined in milliwatts per square centimeter (mW/cm2). Another way to think of irradiance is the rate of energy delivered. The total amount of energy delivered per area during a light therapy treatment is measured in Joules/cm2.

Total Energy Matters Most: Irradiance can be misleading, because it doesn’t account for how a treatment affects the person using the device. That’s what really matters, how much total energy is transferred from a device to the person using it. Total energy is how light therapy researchers measure devices, and Joovv does the same. 

The Most Powerful Light Therapy Systems: Our full-body devices are the most powerful red light therapy systems on the market because they deliver the most total energy, as confirmed by independent third-party testing. 

Make Sure a Company is Legit: Unfortunately, many of the cut-rate red light therapy brands make big claims about the power of their small devices, but don’t actually back that up with any independent diagnostic data. You can’t trust specs from a company if they haven’t been independently tested, and you shouldn’t buy a device from a brand that isn’t transparent about all their power measurements. 

Joovv contracted ITL (Independent Testing Laboratory) to conduct a series of radiometry tests on our devices, and the devices of some other companies. Check out this post for a look at the power data on Joovv and competing brands.

Bottom Line: Don’t buy a small, cheap device that makes big claims about its power with nothing behind it. Those little devices aren’t going to deliver anything close to medical-grade red light therapy like a Joovv system.

Modular LED Light Therapy Devices Offer the Best Design

The most effective red light therapy devices use modular LED devices to deliver natural light across a wide surface area of your body. The Joovv Go uses the same principles in a portable, handheld model that’s great for targeted treatments on the move.

Portable Joovv Go

Other devices come in a wide variety of designs, from handheld wands, to lamps, to wearable belts. These devices are all on the cheapest end of light therapy because they’re small, under-powered, and you have to use them for an enormous amount of time to receive any sort of clinically-relevant benefit. Some of these targeted devices may be able to give you a few beauty results in very specific areas, but to experience the wide range of benefits that come from light therapy, you need a device that delivers medical-grade power. 

Joovv’s LED devices are unique among light therapy brands because of their patented modular design. Joovv offers red light therapy in 6 sizes, from the Joovv Mini and Joovv Solo, up to the Joovv Duo, Joovv Max, Joovv Quad and Joovv Elite. The modular design lets you start with a smaller device like the Joovv Solo, which is 1 LED device, and then build onto it with additional devices to make a larger system like the Joovv Quad, which combines 4 Joovv Solo devices and offers full-body coverage. Other brands offer products that are one-and-done. In other words,you get what you get, and can’t build out a full-body system over time.

Joovv’s devices are also customizable to your space and health needs. Our flexible set-up options let you use Joovv’s devices on a stand, hanging on a door, against a wall, and more. Joovv’s devices also feature Bluetooth connectivity that allows for remote control via the Joovv app.

Check out this article to get all the details about the setup and mounting options available for each device. You can also check out this post about choosing the best Joovv for your health goals. This useful document also provides technical specifications for our modular devices.

Joovv Elite full-body red light therapy

Safety First with FDA-Registered Light Therapy Devices 

The huge base of clinical light therapy research has proven that natural light treatments are safe, with virtually no side effects or risks. But you need to choose a quality device that’s registered with the FDA like Joovv. Many discount brands are not registered with the FDA, and they don’t follow GMP (Good Manufacturing Practices) either. These brands are likely to sell you a dud device. 

The Best Brands Offer Great Service and Help if Something Goes Wrong

You can determine the legitimacy of a red light therapy company by how much faith they put in their own products. A company that offers a warranty on their devices is much more likely to make a quality product than a company that offers nothing. No warranty is a way of saying, “once you buy it, it’s your problem.”

Joovv’s modular devices come with a 2-year warranty. Made with the highest quality LEDs and hardware, Joovv devices are built to last. The Joovv Go includes a 1-year warranty and is made with the same high-quality components. In the off chance that anything does go wrong, Joovv has you covered.

Joovv also offers expert customer service ready to help you out with anything related to light therapy, plus an extensive learn library of educational articles about the science of red light therapy

Joovv red light therapy for skin and beauty

Joovv’s Devices are Trusted by Customers and Professionals

Check out Joovv’s testimonials section to read hundreds of reviews from real customers.

You can also see all the pro athletes using Joovv here, the world-class fitness pros who train with Joovv here, the skincare professionals using Joovv for their clients, or the many natural health experts who trust Joovv here

Joovv light therapy products are indicated for use in the relief of muscle and joint pain, including arthritis and muscle spasm pain, and increasing of blood circulation, and relaxation of muscles. The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not intended to support the safety or effectiveness of Joovv devices, or diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. It's not a substitute for a face-to-face consultation with your healthcare provider, and should not be construed as medical advice.

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