Table of Contents
- What is red light therapy?
- How to do a red light therapy treatment?
- How does red light therapy work?
- Most important factors to consider in a device
- Size and coverage
- Power and energy transfer
- Red light therapy device design
- Safety and service
- Joovv versus other red light therapy brands
- Which Joovv device is right for you?
- Health Benefits of Red Light Therapy
- Side effects and risks of red light therapy
In this post, we explain how red light therapy devices work, and break down the most important factors to consider—like size, coverage, power, energy transfer, design, and service. Then we compare Joovv’s red light therapy devices to other brands, and offer guidance about which red light therapy device is best for you and your health needs.
What is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy is a simple, non-invasive treatment that delivers concentrated natural light to your skin and cells. Treatments are quick and easy: all you have to do is sit or stand in the light for 5 to 15 minutes, ideally every day.
A high-quality home device like a Joovv uses medical-grade LEDs to shine natural red and near infrared light on your body. Just like the wavelengths of light your body needs from natural sunlight, but without the heat or UV rays that cause sun damage, and without the need for sunny weather.
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As a term, “red light therapy” refers to treatments from LEDs or cold lasers that deliver wavelengths of natural red and near infrared light. These are the same therapeutic wavelengths that come from natural sunlight, but without the UV rays or heat.
What isn’t red light therapy? The term “red light therapy” does not include white light, blue light or blue LED masks, and it is not the same as full spectrum light. Red light therapy does not rely on heat, a major difference between natural light treatments and heat-based modalities like an infrared sauna, traditional sauna, or other type of heat therapy.
Backed by clinical research: Red light therapy is backed by thousands of peer-reviewed medical studies and clinical trials, which have shown overwhelmingly positive results, and an almost total lack of side effects or health risks.
See the health benefits of red light therapy, and the science behind them.
How to Do a Red Light Therapy Treatment
Consistency and proper use is key for effective red light therapy. Check out this how to use a Joovv post for guidelines on optimal red light therapy, including a wide range of frequently asked questions about results, pets, children, clothing, eyes, and more.
For optimal results with a high-quality, LED-based device like a Joovv, follow these basics for general wellness benefits:
- Position yourself about 6 inches from the device
- Expose your skin for best results
- Approximately 10-minute treatment times per coverage area
- Daily use is ideal
- Any time of day
See how red light therapy compares to other health modalities like heat lamps, saunas, and more.
How Does Red Light Therapy Work?
Our cells need natural light to function, just like they need water and nutrients from food. Unfortunately, most people don’t get as much natural light as they need for optimal health (the average American spends over 90% of their time indoors).  Red light therapy allows you to supplement the light you get from your environment with concentrated wavelengths of red and near infrared light at home.
Red light therapy works by enhancing your energy production at a cellular level. Healthy, natural light stimulates the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, and enhances the cellular respiration process that makes ATP (adenosine triphosphate) energy. Humans make ATP every day, and it fuels everything we do. The more energy our cells can make, the better our bodies look, heal, feel, and perform.
Read the details on red light therapy and ATP here, including how red light therapy reduces oxidative stress and nitric oxide, for a more efficient cellular environment.
Red light therapy has also been found to enhance blood circulation, reduce the body’s inflammation, and encourage antioxidant production. 
See more details on the science behind red light therapy.
Most Important Factors to Consider in a Red Light Therapy Device
Not all red light therapy devices and approaches are created equal. This is a look at the most important factors to consider when you buy an LED red light therapy device.
Size and Coverage are Crucial for Red Light Therapy
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.
Greater coverage with a larger red light therapy device simply produces better results. Targeted treatments with a smaller device have their benefits, especially for trouble spots like injuries and skin blemishes. But if you want full-body health benefits, you need full-body power and coverage with a larger device. A treatment that stimulates the cells across your body and helps them produce more ATP energy is going to have more clinical effect than treating a small area like your elbow.
See more on why size and coverage are so important to a red light therapy treatment.
Red Light Therapy Power and Energy Transfer
The power of a light therapy device—or the effectiveness of a light therapy treatment—is more complex than just a measurement of irradiance (power per unit area). Irradiance alone won’t give you a sense of the power of a treatment, because it doesn’t tell you how much energy is transferred to the person doing it.
Generally, larger red light therapy devices that offer more total coverage will also deliver more total energy. The larger a device and greater the coverage, the more light power a person can absorb at one time, and in a single treatment.
Check out this post for an explanation of red light therapy power, including what irradiance means, and how red light therapy power is measured by professionals. We also include independent diagnostic power data for Joovv and other devices so you can compare power specs before you buy.
Learn more about how to measure and compare red light therapy power.
Red Light Therapy Device Design and Styles
The most effective red light therapy device designs are systems that use high-powered LEDs to shine natural light on the body. Design varies widely, from panels of lights, to whole LED beds a person lies in. Other light therapy products come in the form of wands, lamps, or face masks.
There’s one big problem with a lot of red light therapy devices and designs: most just aren’t large or powerful enough to deliver clinically relevant health results. Bargain-basement panels of LEDs that can’t deliver medical-grade power leave most people unsatisfied, and they won’t produce significant health benefits.
Joovv’s modular design: Joovv makes the only light therapy devices that are designed to let you build a larger, more powerful system over time through a patented modular system. Other light therapy devices are one and done, you get what you get. Check out this post for the full story on Joovv's modular systems.
Joovv’s devices come in 7 sizes, including several powerful, full-body options with large enough coverage to get a full day’s worth of light in just 10-15 minutes.
Joovv Versus Other Red Light Therapy Devices
Let’s look at how Joovv’s devices compare to some of the other red light therapy styles and systems on the market. If you want to see what verified Joovv customers think of their devices, check out our testimonials page.
Brighter design, better device: Joovv’s sleek, adaptable devices are available in 7 sizes to fit any space. Joovv’s full-body systems are the largest in-home red light therapy devices available, with the broadest coverage area. That means you can customize your red light therapy in just about any space in your home.
Joovv is the most powerful light therapy: Joovv’s full-body devices deliver the most total energy to your cells, for optimal health results and short treatment times. Joovv’s devices are the most powerful light therapy systems on the market today, as proven by independent diagnostic testing from ITL laboratories, one of the most respected photodiagnostic companies in the world. See the graph below, which breaks down how two of Joovv's devices compare to other LED light therapy devices.
Joovv devices for clinical settings and research: Unlike most red light therapy brands, Joovv conducts our own clinical studies. We also provide devices to some of the world’s leading clinical researchers. Check out this post to learn more about some of Joovv’s red light therapy research.
Safe, reliable, and registered with the FDA: Joovv’s devices are all registered with the FDA as Class II medical devices. We follow Good Manufacturing Practices that ensure a standard of safety and accountability. Some other light therapy brands skip this step, leaving customers in the dark on safety and specs.
Which Joovv Device is Right for You?
Joovv is the leading manufacturer of personal, in-home red light therapy devices, with 7 different sizes, customizable setups, and the most clinically-powerful light therapy on the market. To decide which Joovv makes sense for you and your health needs, ask these questions:
Full-Body Therapy or Targeted Light Therapy Treatments?
If you’re only looking to treat a specific area of your body, like a painful joint or for facial skin rejuvenation, you can start with a smaller, targeted model like the Joovv Mini. The Joovv Mini is designed to hang on a door or be used with a tabletop stand. It delivers medical-grade power just like Joovv’s larger devices, but covers a smaller area. You can see all the Joovv Mini’s technical specs here.
Joovv’s larger, full-body devices cover far more surface area, and offer more power and energy. This is optimal for red light therapy treatments and will generally produce more health benefits. Covering more of your body with therapeutic wavelengths leads to better results because more of your cells are able to soak in that light and make more energy for your body. Treatment times are also much shorter for the same amount of energy.
Check out this comparison graph of all the Joovv models to see how the sizes differ:
Start with a Full-Body System? Or Build One Over Time with Joovv’s Unique Modular Design?
Joovv’s unique modular design allows you to either start with a full-body system (with something like the Joovv Quad or Joovv Elite), or build one over time from a smaller device like a Joovv Solo or Joovv Duo.
Joovv’s modular devices come in different sizes, but they’re designed to combine and work together. Two Joovvs can be combined to make a larger, more powerful one. And everything is connected and at your fingertips for one-touch control. That gives Joovv users options, both for how they want to set-up their treatments, and how they want to improve their system over time.
You can read more about our modular design here.
How to Set Up and Use a Joovv?
Joovv’s modular design lets you customize your red light therapy experience to just about any space. Our 7 devices offer several options for setup: on your wall, on your desk or table, hanging from a door, or with our mobile stand for around-the-house use.
For more details and specs on Joovv’s devices, including which setup options are available for each device, check out this buyer’s guide.
Health Benefits of Red Light Therapy
With a high-quality red light therapy device, people can see some pretty incredible health benefits, as demonstrated in over 1,000 peer-reviewed clinical studies.
Check out all the natural health benefits of red light therapy here.
Pain and inflammation relief: Red light therapy has a natural anti-inflammatory effect, and Joovv is cleared by the FDA as a Class-II medical device for the treatment of pain and strain.
Fitness, Performance, and muscle recovery: Elite pro athletes are using red light therapy to train and recover. Check out this page to learn about the science and research behind the performance benefits.
Sleep and circadian rhythm: Natural light exposure is a key ingredient to a healthy circadian rhythm and restful sleep. This page breaks down the sleep science behind red light therapy.
Skin rejuvenation: Red light therapy is a popular skin rejuvenation and natural beauty treatment. Leading estheticians and Hollywood celebrities have taken notice. This page breaks down the skin rejuvenation benefits of red light therapy.
Side Effects and Risks of Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy has been tested and analyzed in thousands of peer-reviewed trials. The consensus among medical researchers and the clinical community is that natural light treatments are safe, well-tolerated, and produce little to no side effects. Research teams have concluded this in study after study.
Dermatology researchers from Harvard Medical School conducted a review of red light therapy in 2013 and praised its “noninvasive nature and almost complete absence of side effects.” 
Mental health and brain researchers analyzed red light therapy for depression treatment in a major 2018 controlled trial. Among their findings, they noted that red light therapy was well tolerated by patients, with no serious side effects or adverse reactions. 
Red light therapy is safe for eyes, and has actually been shown to have beneficial effects for vision. You can read about red light therapy and eye health here. People with specific photosensitivity concerns should check with their healthcare provider.
Check out Joovv’s FAQs for optimal red light therapy use to see details about other health concerns and potential risks.
Disclaimers and considerations: The information on this page is meant to educate readers about the science, research, and health benefits of red light therapy. Consult a trusted health professional for the diagnosis and treatment of specific medical conditions.
Joovv’s light therapy products are registered with FDA as class II medical devices for the treatment of pain, strain, and inflammation. Other health benefits mentioned in this article are for educational purposes only and not intended to support the safety or effectiveness of Joovv’s devices, and not meant to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent a disease. The information presented is based on peer-reviewed clinical research, including information about emerging studies and scientific inquiries.
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Sources and References:
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 Hamblin M. “Mechanisms and applications of the anti-inflammatory effects of photobiomodulation.” AIMS Biophys. 2017.
 Avci P, Gupta A, et al. Low-level laser (light) therapy (LLLT) in skin: stimulating, healing, restoring. Seminars in Cutaneous Medicine and Surgery. Mar 2013.
 Cassano P, Petrie SR, et al. Transcranial Photobiomodulation for the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder. The ELATED-2 Pilot Trial. Photomedicine and Laser Surgery. 2018 October.