I was reading the science of using my red light device for rosacea when I decided to copy that study to treat my own face. My device has different specifications than the light used in the study. Can I copy a successful study even though my light is different?
Yes, you can copy a successful light study using your light device. This site includes a calculator to help you translate the study’s protocol for use with your light. You need to bring a two pieces of information to the table, and the calculator will do the rest. You must know your light’s wavelengths, and you must know its power density.
To copy any scientific study with your light, you need to know your device’s wavelengths and power density. To show you how to copy a study using your light, we’ll use the GembaRed SAIDI as a stand-in example. I’ll show you how to find treatment times and how far to hold the lamp from your body using this lamp.
Our Example Uses a GembaRed SAIDI Therapy Lamp
The GembaRed SAIDI is one of my favorite red light therapy devices. It emits no non-natural EMFs such as you get from transformers and cell phones. You can run it on a cell phone battery for complete portability. It has red and infrared light to treat hundreds of conditions.
What Wavelengths Does My SAIDI Light Emit?
The SAIDI emits 630 nm, 660 nm and 850 nm wavelengths.
What wavelengths does your lamp emit?
You probably know your light’s wavelengths, these are usually prominently featured in therapy device literature. The majority of lights for sale today have approximately 630 nm and 850 nm wavelengths.
Whatever your device’s light wavelengths are, you must match those to the study you want to copy.
If you have a 630 nm light and want to copy a 940 nm study, you will not have the right wavelengths to proceed.
But if you have a 630 nm light and want to copy a 650 nm study, your light is in the right range to continue. As long as it’s close, the method should work for you.
What Power Density Does My SAIDI Light Have?
All lamps have multiple power densities. There’s a power density for every distance you can get from the lamp until you can’t see it anymore. For practical purposes, we usually measure power density on the body (at zero inches), and then at distances of three, six and twelve inches away.
The SAIDI power densities are as follows:
- 1 Inch (630nm): 55 mW/cm²
- 1 Inch (660nm): 46 mW/cm²
- 1 Inch (850nm): 42 mW/cm²
- 3 Inch: 26 mW/cm²
- 6 Inch: 14 mW/cm²
The first line, for example, reads: At 1 inch distance from my target, the 630 nm wavelength light will have 55 milliwatts of energy per square inch of my skin; at 3 inches away, that energy reduces to 26 mW/cm^2; and at 6 inches away, it reduces to 14 mW/cm^2.
You will usually not find multiple values at a given distance like this, it just happens that GembaRed is run by a mechanical engineer who loves precision. For our concern, we’ll take the average of the two reds at one inch and round up to 51 mW/cm^2.
For your lamp, you have to go to the vendor’s information to get this value. You cannot calculate it from any spec they might give you. It is NOT the light’s wattage, which is the measure of the power into the device.
The power density is the energy transferred from the device to your skin. The device’s internal design and materials affect this value, so there’s no way to derive it.
SAIDI Example Spec Summary
You should now have your lamp’s wavelengths and power density. You must get these from the vendor. It is impossible to calculate them without using a measuring device. They cannot be derived from any specification in the literature.
Our SAIDI lamp has these specs:
Wavelength: 630 nm and 660 nm (red) (it also has 850 nm which we are ignoring for the moment)
Power Density: at 1 inch the power density is 51 mW/cm^2
We will plug these into the calculator to figure out how long we should use the lamp per session.
How to Reduce Acne with Red Light
The scientific studies give us confidence in how to use the lights for specific purposes. Our job at EMF Channel is to gather up the science about EMFs for both good an bad. In this case, for good! Red light therapy is the use of electromagnetic fields to heal. Which fields? Let’s ask the science. Then let’s match the light you have with the science to see how to use your lamp to do what the scientists did in their study.
Look at the EMF Channel Light Therapy Dose Database (opens in new window) for issues you want to tackle with your therapy lamp. There are two good ways to find help. Use the “Narrow Search” and the “Wavelength Range” dropdowns.
“Narrow Search” gives you treatment goals to choose from. Let’s choose “Acne,” because this is a very popular reason people buy light therapy devices.
When you look at the studies that come up in the search, you will see several of them refer to blue light. If you do have a blue light, have at it! For the sake of this example, we only want red light devices. Use the Wavelength Range to narrow the study results down to only those using red light. The SAIDI offers red light, and we want to match that to find a viable study to copy.
Find an Acne Red Light Study
Let’s choose the “Wavelength Range” of Red (630 nm to 700 nm). This narrows the search results to only those acne studies using red light It doesn’t exclude blue light, but it does ensure that at least one wavelength in the study was red.
The first result uses blue light. We don’t have one of those, so we’ll move on. The second study — Acne Portable LED Red Light Dose — uses a portable device emtiting 635 and 660 nm, which is almost exactly what the SAIDI gives us!
The SAIDI is a portable light (when used with a cell phone portable battery) that emits 630 nm and 670 nm. So if we have a SAIDI light, this study is almost an exact math to the device we already have.
Find the Study’s Treatment Schedule and Joules
Our study’s goal is “Treatment of acne vulgaris with a portable 630 nm to 670 nm portable LED device resulted in reduced inflammatory and non-inflammatory acne lesion counts.”
- The thing we want to treat? Acne.
- The wavelengths our light emits? Red.
Now we need to know:
- How close do I hold the device to my face?
- How long do I use the light each time?
- How often do I treat?
According to our chosen acne study, subjects reduced lesions using the following specs:
- How close do I hold the device to my face? Chose a distance from the Power Density above. We will use the 1 inch distance
- How long do I use the light each time? We will calculate this.
- How often do I treat? The study treated two times a day for 8 weeks
Treat the affected area two times each day, for 8 weeks, or 16 treatments, using 0.185 J/cm^2.
That last part is read 0.185 joules per centimeter squared. You do not need to know it, you just need to remember it to use in the EMF Channel Dose Calculator.