How to Copy Any Red Light Therapy Dose with Your Device

Someone on your skin care forum cleared up her rosacea with her red light therapy (RLT) device. She is happy to give you her treatment regimen, but you do not know how to get this dose with your device. Can you even get the same dose of red light therapy on two difference devices?

You can copy any red light therapy dose using your red light therapy device. The catch is that your device must output a similar wavelength as used in the protocol you are copying. You can compensate for different device power levels by adjusting treatment time per session. The goal is to get the same quantity of energy in joules at the same wavelength as the dose you are copying.

If your friend does not know her dose, you can ask some simple questions. Use that information to figure out the dose she uses.

The information you need from your friend is the joules transferred at the wavelength specified. With this data, you can calculate how to use your device to copy her dose. I will show you how to do that here.

Disclaimer

I am not a doctor. This is not medical advice. I researched this information for my own use. I am now happily sharing it with you. I am not responsible for what you do with this information.

Free Treatment Time Calculator

If you know:

  • the power density of your device
  • the joules of energy you want per session

Then you can use the EMF Channel Free “Treatment Time Calculator” (opens on this site in a new window) to calculate your treatment time in seconds.

It will give you the time per session required to transfer your target quantity joules from your device.

Use a Similar Wavelength Lamp

You can copy your friend’s treatment protocol using a different lamp than she uses.

You do not need to have exactly the same wavelengths as she uses.

The closer it is, the better.

Just based on popular RLT specifications, she probably has a device that outputs a wavelength in the 600 nanometers, and one in the 800 nanometers.

If she uses 635 nm, you want to use a device that outputs 635 nm to 650 nm.

If she uses 850 nm, you want to use a device that outputs 830 nm to 870 nm.

The farther the wavelength is from your friend’s device output, the less accurate your copy will be.

However, there is still a very good chance that your wavelengths will work.

If the wavelengths in your device and hers are vastly different, then we cannot go farther with this task.

A dose is a certain number of joules of a particular wavelength.

You cannot fake a wavelength, but you can be in the right range to get similar results.

Make Sure You Get the Right Dose Info

Your friend who cleared her rosacea wants to give you her red light therapy (RLT) treatment protocol.

An RLT Dose looks like this:

  • the wavelength(s)
  • the light energy transferred to the body measured in joules

A useful answer from your friend might be:

“I dose with 15 joules of 660 nm and 850 nm wavelengths once per day”

Using this info, we can copy her protocol to your red light therapy device.

If she offers you an answer like the one below, then you will need to ask more questions to move forward.

  • “I use the device every day”
  • “Each session is 5 minutes”

Here, she gives you session information, but not joules and wavelengths.

You can ask her simple questions about her protocol to get the information you need.

Ask Simple Questions to Get Dose Variables

If you can get the answers to some simple questions, you can calculate her rosacea protocol.

Questions to Ask Your Friend

These are the questions to ask:

  • What wavelength(s) do you use?
  • How far is the device from your face (in inches)?
  • What is the device’s power density at that distance?
  • How long is each session in minutes or seconds?
  • How often do you treat?

If she cannot answer about distance, session time, or session frequency, it might be time to move on.

These are simple questions with simple answers.

Some people do not pay attention to details like this, though.

If your rosacea friend does not know wavelengths, time, or frequency, we should find another successful dose to copy.

Most likely, though, she can answer everything but the power density.

If she has everything but the power density, then ask her:

“May I please have a link to your device?”

So long as the vendor’s website carries the information we need, we can calculate her dose.

Red Light Dose Parameter Summary

The friend has answered the questions about:

  • wavelengths
  • treatment time
  • treatment frequency
  • distance from her device during treatment

For the sake of this example, here are her answers:

  • wavelengths: 660 nm and 880 nm simultaneously
  • distance in inches from her face: 6 inches
  • power density at 6 inches: she does not know, so she gives you a link to the vendor’s website page for her device
  • each session in seconds: 300 (5 minutes)
  • treatment frequency: 1 session/day/every day

In the next section, we will use a link to the vendor’s website to get the power density answer.

Get the Rosacea Device’s Power Density

We need the power density of her device. This value changes with the distance she is from her device. The power density tells us the rate at which the energy flows from her device to her face.

Go to the vendor’s web page for her device.

Search for the “output power,” “power density,” or “irradiance” list for this device on that website.

The information you are looking for will look more or less like the following.

[Your Friend’s Device Page]
Power Densities at Sample Distances

  • 100 mW/cm^2 at 0 inches
  • 80 mW/cm^2 at 6 inches
  • 73 mW/cm^2 at 12 inches

At what distance does your friend use her device?

  • wavelengths: 660 nm and 880 nm simultaneously
  • distance in inches from her face: 6 inches
  • power density at 6 inches: she does not know, so she gives you a link to the vendor’s website page for her device
  • each session in seconds: 300 (5 minutes)
  • treatment frequency: 1 session/day/every day

What is the power density at 6 inches for her device?

  • 100 mW/cm^2 at 0 inches
  • 80 mW/cm^2 at 6 inches
  • 73 mW/cm^2 at 12 inches

The power density in her protocol is 80 mW/cm^2 at 6 inches

Calculate the Treatment Joules in Your Friend’s Protocol

You now have the data you need about your friend’s rosacea treatment to calculate her dose.

You have:

  • wavelengths: 660 nm and 880 nm simultaneously
  • distance in inches from her face: 6 inches
  • power density at 6 inches: 80 mW/cm^2 at 6 inches
  • each session in seconds: 300 (5 minutes)
  • treatment frequency: 1 session/day/every day

We will now use this information to calculate the joules of energy transferred to her face each session.

Calculate Your Friend’s Joules per Session

The joule is a measure of how much photon energy the skin takes in from the light over time.

The joules formula is:

Joules = ( Power Density x Time in Seconds ) / 1000

Your Friend’s Device’s Power Density

Your friend uses the device at 6 inches distance.

The power density of that device is 80 mW/cm^2 at 6 inches.

Therefore, the power density is 80 (from the 80 mW/cm^2 @ 6 inches).

Your Friend’s Treatment Time in Seconds

Your friend uses the device for 5 minutes per session. We need the time in seconds, so we multiply by 60. The treatment time in seconds is 300.

Calculate joules from the power density and time:

( 80 x 300 ) / 1000 = 24 J

Where:

  • 80 is your friend’s device’s power density at 6 inches
  • 300 is your friend’s treatment time per session in seconds

( 80 power density x 300 seconds ) / 1000 = 24 J

Her dose is 24 joules at the wavelength(s) specified.

Next, we will configure your treatment protocol with your device to deliver 24 joules.

Configure Your Rosacea Protocol

The treatment dose we are copying is 24 J at the wavelength(s) specified.

  • We will get your device’s power density from the vendor website.
  • Then we will pick a distance you will be from your device, because distance affects the amount of energy you receive.
  • Then we will calculate how long to sit in front of that device each session to get 24 J of energy.

Pick a Distance Between You and Your Device

What is the distance that you want to use your device?

If it is closer, your treatment will be faster.

If the device is too close for convenience, then you can push it away, and take your time.

For this example, we will say that you want a 12-inch distance between your device and your face.

The distance between you and your RLT device is 12 inches.

Get Your Device’s Power Density

Go to your device vendor’s website.

Look for list of power outputs for your specific RLT device.

[Your Device Page]
Power Densities at Sample Distances

  • 50 mW/cm^2 at 0 inches
  • 30 mW/cm^2 at 6 inches
  • 13 mW/cm^2 at 12 inches

At what distance will your lamp be from you? 12 inches.

What is the 12-inch power density for your device? 13 mW/cm^2 at 12 inches

Your Treatment Power Density is 13 mW/cm^2 at 12 inches

Calculate Treatment Time from Power Density and Target Joules

The treatment time calculation is as follows:

Time in seconds = (joules / power density ) x 1000

Your goal is to get 24 joules per session. Enter “24” in the joules variable.

You chose a 12 inch distance. The power density at 12 inches is 13 mW/cm^2. Enter “13” into the power density variable.

Calculate your treatment time in seconds:

( 24 / 13 ) x 1000 = 1846

Where:

  • 24 is joules
  • 13 is power density
  • 1846 is the result in seconds
  • divide result by 60 to get minutes: 30.76 minutes

( 24 joules / 13 power density ) x 1000 = 1846 seconds

1846 seconds / 60 s per minute = 30.76 minutes

Your treatment time is 31 minutes.

Exercises

Use these exercises to solidify your understanding.

The Joules Calculation exercises give you the power density and time per treatment. You calculate the joules per session.

The Time Calculation exercises give you the power density and the joules per treatment. You calculate the time per treatment in seconds.

Example Joules Calculation 1

The treatment we want to copy includes these parameters:

  • Power Density: 100 mW/cm^2 at 6 inches
  • Treatment Time: 60 seconds

What is the dose in joules?

The joules formula is:

joules = ( power density x time in seconds ) / 1000

Using these parameters, the treatment time in seconds is:

( 100 x 60 ) / 1000 = 6 J

Where:

  • 100 is mW/cm^2 @ 6 inches
  • 60 is time in seconds

( 100 power density x 60 seconds ) / 1000 = 6 joules

The dose is 6 joules.

Example Joules Calculation 2

The treatment to copy includes these parameters:

  • Power Density: 80 mW/cm^2 at 12 inches
  • Treatment Time: 10 minutes

What is the dose in joules?

The joules formula is:

joules = ( power density x time in seconds ) / 1000

The time in seconds is:

time in seconds = ( time in minutes x 60 )

Using these parameters, the treatment time in seconds is:

( 80 x ( 10 x 60  ) ) / 1000 = 48 J

Where:

  • 80 is 80 mW/cm^2 @ 12 inches
  • 10 is 10 minutes
  • 60 is 60 seconds per minute

( 80 power density x ( 10 min. x 60 sec per min) ) / 1000 = 48 joules

The treatment dose is 48 joules.

Example Dose Time Calculation 1

You have the target joules from your friend’s treatment parameters.

Using your device at the distance given below, how long should each of your sessions be in seconds?

  • Dose Joules: 6
  • Power Density: 100 mW/cm^2 at 6 inches

What is the treatment time in seconds sitting 6 inches from the device?

The time per treatment in seconds formula is:

time in seconds = ( joules / power density ) x 1000

Using the given parameters, the treatment time in seconds is:

(  6 / 100 ) x 1000 = 60

Where:

  • 6 is the dosage energy target in joules
  • 100 is the lamp power density of 100 mW/cm^2 at 6 inches

( 6 joules / 100 power density) x 1000 = 60 seconds

The treatment time is 60 seconds.

Example Dose Time Calculation 2

You have the target joules from your friend’s treatment parameters.

Using your device at the distance given below, how long should each of your sessions be in seconds?

  • Joules: 48
  • Power Density: 80 mW/cm^2 at 12 inches

What is the treatment time in seconds sitting 12 inches from the device?

The time per treatment in seconds formula is:

time in seconds = ( joules / power density ) x 1000

Using the given parameters, the treatment time in seconds is:

( 48 / 80 ) x 1000 = 600

Where:

  • 48 is the energy target dose in joules
  • 80 is the lamp power density of 80 mW/cm^2 at 12 inches

( 48 joules / 80 power density ) x 1000 = 600 seconds

The calculated treatment time is 600 seconds

People Also Ask

What should I do if I think the vendor has overstated the RLT device power?

RLT is competitive.

Vendors know that people assume that “more I better.”

This leads to overstating how powerful RLT devices are.

I had a vendor tell me a device power output was 2 watts. When I questioned how it could be so high, I found out that this was the device’s input power from the electrical wall socket.

The input power value is irrelevant to your dose.

You care about the power coming from the LEDs to your body, not the power coming from the wall into the device.

Biohackers testing consumer devices have found that actual power densities are as little as 40% of the values stated in marketing literature.

Measuring light is a tricky business. It is not an easy task to calibrate a meter to measure light power.

Overcome the problem with a scientific approach to your dosing.

If the treatment area is on the skin, take a picture of it before treatment each day.

Use a journal to measure pain changes.

Be as objective as one can be about whether your current RLT dose is working.

If it is working, then stick with it.

If not, increase treatment time. Record your treatment time change, and keep recording your status.

For example, you might increase your treatment time by 2 minutes per session.

Mark the date in your journal when you do this.

Take photos of skin changes. Jounal your pain each day on a scale of 1 to 10.

Going slowly helps keep you in a therapeutic range.

An overdose is a complete waste of time, and can be harmful.

Image by Eli Grek from Pixabay