The Complete Book of Ridiculous Red Light Answers

633 nm is red. 650 nm is orange. 850 nm is invisible to the human eye.
  • The video Why the ridiculous Red Light wellness trend just might work created an avalanche of red light therapy questions. As a devout red light therapy nerd, I decided to answer all of them. Questions like:
  • “Can I just use a red light bulb?”
  • ” Can I use light therapy to get rid of acne scars?”
  • ” I have traumatic brain injury, how do I use red light therapy to help reduce my symptoms?”

Light therapy heals with photons. A red incandescent bulb throws more heat than light, so it’s not likely to have a light therapy effect. Yes, you can use light therapy to reduce acne scars. Traumatic brain injury, Parkinson’s and dementia respond to red and infrared light therapy.

There are No Ridiculous Questions

The questions in the video comments are AMAZING. I love them. You guys prompted me to write a BOOK which you are now reading for free. The video called red light therapy “ridiculous” so I called it “ridiculous” back.

People also asked:

  • “Which light therapy device should I buy?”
  • “Does red light therapy really have anti-aging effects?”
  • “Which light do I use to treat acne/depression/arthritis/dermatitis/joint pain/hair loss/acne/….?”

Below I listed all the questions I found in the video’s comment section, and my answers. I sincerely hope this helps you use light therapy to make your life better.

Now, please read multiple legal disclaimers that I have to make sure you see, and then let’s get on to the fun.

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Ridiculous Red Light Therapy is Actually Amazing

Consumer light therapy skyrocketed when scientists realized that LEDs (light emitting diodes) work as well as lasers. Yes, LEDs are less powerful than lasers. The body is OK with that, so long as it gets its minimum necessary amount of photons to heal. When using LEDs, what we lose in power, we make up for with extra time using the device.

We now have thousands of randomized control trials showing that light can help the body to heal itself.  Red, infrared, blue, green and orange (or amber) therapy induce the mitochondria to create ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and nitric oxide. The energized cells can then promote healing processes.

These allow blood to bring oxygen to areas that need it. In fact, stimulating one area of the body with red light therapy can be beneficial to other areas of the body, because the toe, elbow or brain you treat is part of the interconnected gestalt.

This is just a short subset of the many problems for which light therapy is useful:

  • Acne
  • Acne Scars
  • Aging
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Brain Injury
  • Broken Bones
  • Cancer Chemo and Radio Treatment Side Effects
  • COVID Inflammation
  • Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness
  • Depression
  • Dementia
  • Dysmenorrhea
  • Hair Loss
  • Insomnia
  • Mucositis
  • Pain
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Repetitive Strain Injury
  • Tendinitis
  • Testosterone Production
  • Temporomandibular Joint Pain
  • Wound Healing

Section I: Does Red Light Therapy Help…?

Red light therapy actually includes blue, green and orange, it’s just easier to use one phrase everyone understands. Because red light therapy increases energy at the cellular level, it has global healing effects on scores of disease processes. It reduces inflammation, eases pain, calms the autistic, and even cleared the lungs of COVID patients.

Does Light Therapy Help Arthritis?

“Any application on arthritis?”

Yes, red light therapy helps ease arthritis inflammation and pain. Arthritis is one of the most studied applications for light therapy.

In a 2020 study, researchers treated oseoarthritic knees with both 780 nm and 830 nm (both infrared) light therapy. They treated established acupressure points in each knee with infrared light. The placebo group were treated with a bogus treatment device.

Patients receiving both the 780 nm and the 830 nm light therapy enjoyed increased mobility and less inflammation. Multiple studies focusing on red and infrared light waves achieved similar results.

In a 2015 study, researchers treated oseoarthritic knees with 904 nm infrared light over nine sessions. The treatment group enjoyed increased functionality and reduced pain.

In a similar 2018 study using the same parameters also using 904 nm infrared light, patients aged 50-75 receiving light therapy took significantly less aspirin than those in the control group even as long as 6 months after the last treatment.

You might try these devices for arthritis:

  • Bestqool Y-200 Full Body Red Light: 660 nm and 850 nm
  • dpl Joint Wrap: red and infrared

Arthritis being a disease of inflammation, it is particularly responsive to red light therapy. The lower inflammation helps relieve the pain as well as the disease’s course.

  • Search pubmed for ((osteoarthritis) AND (photobiomodulation) or (low level laser therapy) or (low level light therapy) or (cold laser) )
  • Effectiveness of low-level laser therapy in patients with knee osteoarthritis: a systematic review and meta-analysis
  • Methodological flaws in meta-analysis of low-level laser therapy in knee osteoarthritis: A letter to the editor
  • Efficacy of Acupoints Dual-Frequency Low-Level Laser Therapy on Knee Osteoarthritis
  • SHORT-TERM EFFICACY OF LOW-LEVEL LASER THERAPY IN PATIENTS WITH KNEE OSTEOARTHRITIS: A RANDOMIZED PLACEBO-CONTROLLED, DOUBLE-BLIND CLINICAL TRIAL
  • Long-term results of a randomized, controlled, double-blind study of low-level laser therapy before exercises in knee osteoarthritis: laser and exercises in knee osteoarthritis

Does Red Light Therapy Help with Parkinson’s Disease?

  • “My step dad, who has had parkinson’s for ten years, got a red light “bucket” for his head, and it’s worked! Within about a month he’d had remarkable improvement in the shakiness of his hands. You have to use consistently to see change but definitely worth investing in it. Not a cure but does help a lot :)”
  • How does the light get through the patient’s skull? Doesn’t seem right.”

Yes, red light therapy dramatically reduces Parkinson’s Disease symptoms. It puts a lump in my throat when I see how people who suffered are now feeling better.

That bucket lamp started a revolution of Parkinson’s patients wearing homemade buckets on their heads. A few vendors are selling similar devices, and you can also make one yourself using a lamp and LED strips.

Research tells us that 670 nm red and 810 nm infrared light are especially useful in helping Parkinson’s patients reduce tremors. Multiple studies and observations show that red light therapy can reduce tremors and spasms as well.

Many people asked if light can penetrate the skull. The light has to pass through the hair, skin, skull, tissue and brain. Dr. Hamblin said in a conference last year that about 4% of the treatment like makes it to the target. That’s enough to make a big difference for Parkinson’s patients.

Does Red Light Therapy Help with Traumatic Brain Injury?

  • Vision therapist have been using syntonics, or light therapy, for years. It is a game changer for Traumatic brain injury and kids with learning disabilities.”
  • “I have a severe tbi and have been suffering for over a year and have gone through multiple treatments costing thousands that have done barely anything. Can someone please link to an affordable effective red light device? A lot of people recommend things like putting one together yourself but it’s almost impossible with a brain injury. Thank you.”

Brain-Specific Lights

Yes, red light therapy can ease brain injury symptoms. Dr. Hamblin has created a series of devices specifically for reaching the brain called Vielight. They are commercially available. To buy at a reduced price from a neuropsychologist specializing in using light on the brain, contact Dr. Berman at Quiet Mind Foundation. You do not need to go with just this one option, but it is the best commercial clinically tested option. Other and less expensive devices will also help, I’ll list some below.

Syntonics Lights Brains Through the Eyes

Syntonics is the branch of vision science that uses light to assist healing eye issues. One of the most interesting aspects of this field is that light through the eyes invokes hormonal responses. Therefore a light therapy session for the eyes can easily affect melatonin, as an example. Syntonics is also used to treat eye muscle and nerve issues such as lazy eye and focusing problems.

CAUTION! Light therapy is generally safe, but it can damage eyes. Lasers can certainly damage eyes under the best of circumstances. LEDs are generally too weak to damage vision, but over time, infrared can cause cataracts and LED brightness can get very strong. There is absolutely NO POINT is risking your eyesight, which will only make a TBI suck more when you’re half blind, too.

Brains Like Red and Infrared

To treat brain injury, apply light on the scalp, in the ear, and up the nasal passage. It looks silly, but it works. Both 635-675 nm red light, and 810-850 nm infrared light help brain injury victims heal.

Dr. Michael Hamblin, the most published of all light therapy researchers, designs and tests Vielight commercial therapy devices for brain injury, dementia and Parkinson’s. These devices output 655 nm and 810 nm light. Dr. Hamblin has published both placebo controlled as well as observational studies showing the device brings oxygen and nitric oxide to blood vessels even in the brain.

In a 2016 study published in Dr. Hamblin’s Photobiomodulation, Photomedicine, and Laser Surgery, Dr. Hamblin treated closed-head injury patients with red and infrared light therapy. Patients received 633 nm through the scalp and nose, and 810 nm infrared through the nose. After treatment, patients slept better, which researchers speculated was due to a natural increase in melatonin.

In a 2012 study using 665 nm red and 810 nm infrared light, the combination was found to improve a number of brain injury symptoms.  The study revealed that 730 nm infrared and 980 nm infrared were not as useful for brain injury patients. As much as 2 months post treatment, patients showed improved executive function and verbal memory, and fewer PTSD symptoms.

Brain Light Device Types

Devices that are suited to getting light on the brain and/or up the nose include:

  • a helmet such as the iRestore hair growth laser emitting 640-660 nm red light
  • a head gear device shining light on the scalp such as the 810 nm Vielight 810
  • a head gear device shining light up the nasal passages and on the skull such as the Vielight Neuro Alpha 810 nm therapy combo
  • a red light therapy bulb in a wire socket or lamp such as the Wolezek 36W 660 nm and 850 nm bulb
  • a handheld light therapy device held to the head such as the winner of the EMF Channel Pain Relief and Anti-Aging Comparison, the Photizo Pain Relief handheld light therapy wand offering 635 nm and 850 nm light.
  • a handheld panel light therapy device, also held to the head, such as the GembaRed SAIDI no-EMF handheld panel with 630 nm, 660 nm and 850 nm wavelengths

Vielight Brain Lights

  • The Vielight 810 spreads infrared light to the ventral prefrontal cortex. This light pulses at an alpha brainwave rate which can entrain the user’s brainwaves into a state of sleepiness. This is a brain injury treatment devices which is also useful for supporting or recovery from low immunity, depression, migraines, seizures and cognition.
  • The Vielight Neuro Alpha shines 810 nm light both at the head and up the nasal passage. It has a 10 Hz pulse rate which corresponds to the gamma brainwave; brainwave entrainment to 10 Hz induces sleepiness. The Neuro Alpha is an Alzheimer’s device that is also useful for supporting or recovery from low energy, insomnia, anxiety, depression, stroke, ADHD and performance training.
  • The Vielight Neuro Gamma shines both 655 nm and 810 nm light on the head and in the nasal passage. It pulses at 40 Hz which entrains the gamma wavelength response. Ability to achieve gamma is associated with higher intelligence and cognition. The Neuro Gamma light is designed to support or alleviate attention problems, memory problems, depression, Alzheimer’s, ADHD and peak performance.
  • The Vielight Neuro Duo 10 & 40Hz is the equivalent of getting a Neuro Alpha and a Neuro Gamma in one device.
  • Check out some of the less expensive as well as the newest technology on Vielight’s technology page.

A Bionase device might work to get the right wavelength up the nose, this is worth investigating

Does Red Light Therapy Ease Depression and Anxiety?

  • So, what about the benefits of having red wallpapers on our devices? You mentioned light going through a curtain was used as a sort of red light therapy. I wonder if there’s mental/physical benefits to having your wallpaper a certain color”
  • patient: im depressed doctor: no worries i gotchu (proceeds to shine laser pointer at head)”

Yes, red and infrared photons increase healthy energy without stimulation.

The value of blue light therapy, green light therapy, red light therapy and infrared light therapy is in the photons, not in the visual cortex’s ability to perceive those colors. But color is color, and one of the delightful aspects of light therapy devices is their near monochromatic quality. They shoot exactly the colors and none others. So if a color is therapeutic, then a light therapy device offering that color is therapeutic too.

Can Red Light Therapy Help with Sleep?

“I’ve tried everything and yet my natural sleep hours are from somewhere around 3 am to 12 am (and yet sometimes I might wake up as late as 4pm). I read somewhere that there might be an evolutionary reason that a small percentage of people have a natural sleep circle to stay awake at night. I wonder though if it’s unhealthy and anyway how could that be if it’s the sun which regulates the circadian cycle?”

Dear reader, yes, and this section will be filled in asap. See 10 hz pulse vielight above.

Can Red Light Therapy Help with Broken Bones?

“I have a broken foot at the moment. You think if I get some red tinted LED bulbs for my lamps that shit will help?”

Yes, red light therapy can assist in healing a broken bone. Researchers have even fixed poorly fused bones using red light therapy. The science supports using 780 nm infrared and 810 nm infrared to assist in bone healing.

Red light therapy will help heal a broken bone, but a red tinted LED bulb is most likely not a good fit. I’m not saying it’s impossible for a cheap bulb to work, it’s just not likely. This is because you need the right wavelengths and power for low level light therapy (LLLT) to work.

An incandescent bulb outputs multiple wavelengths, many of which are not shown to have a healing effect. An LED bulb will be more specific in its color output, but it will require  luck to find one that has healing frequencies. It is possible, but you’d have to test it. If you are thinking of using a cheap painted bulb to save money, you would do better to get $35-$50 together to buy a Wolezek therapy bulb. It is an admittedly repurposed plant grow light, but it’s the right wavelengths (660 nm and 850 nm) and has a solid power output.

Try these devices first before using a painted household LED:

You have several choices of light therapy devices without resorting to an unproven painted LED bulb.

  • Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) in bone repair: A systematic review
  • Evaluation of bone repair after application of a norbixin membrane scaffold with and without laser photobiomodulation (λ 780 nm)

Can Red Light Therapy Help or Possibly Harm with Cancer?

  • Any evidence of red light amping up the mitochondria inside pre-tumor cells that might be located near whatever tissue is being targeted for healing?”
  • “OVERCLOCKING THE CELLS”

Read more

Best Panel Red Lights

Panels are tall units that you hang from the wall or ceilinig (if you do hang it from the ceiling, don’t sleep under it, just in case it isn’t properly fastened). Panels treat large areas of the body and so are good wellness devices. Panels usually run on household electricity, so they are not guarded from emitting non natural EMFs. Allow 6 or more inches between you and the therapy device that runs on household electricity. Panels are best for people who want to absorb light on the widest area in the shortest time.

This is the Best Zero Unwanted EMF Red Light Therapy Device

Spazer is a bright light

Some electromagnetic fields (EMFs) such as light are healthy. Some non-natural EMFs (nnEmfs) such as the fields generated by a light’s transformer and fan are generally considered to be unhealthy. There is disagreement about nnEMFs as there is disagreement about genetically modified foods. If you are worried about the bad health effects of GMOs, you don’t eat them. If you are worried about the bad health effects of nnEMFs, you avoid absorbing them. Many red light therapy devices output both health light photons and unhealthy nnEMFs If you have electromagnetic hypersensitivity (EHS), you know when you’re exposed to nnEMF. Even if you don’t have EHS, conscious consumers avoid nnEMFs if possible. So how do red light therapy device users get the good photon EMFs without the bad nnEMFs?

SAIDI: The Best Red Light for the Electromagnetic Hypersensitive

GembaRed SAIDI red light therapy device for EHS (electromagnetic hypersensitive) people

The SAIDI Light from GembaRed is one of the only red light therapy devices on the market with no flicker, and a tiny 1 V/m electric field and 0.23 milligauss magnetic field at a distance of 1 inch. The SAIDI achieves this remarkable nnEMF decrease by using a battery instead of a transformer, and by eliminating the fan, and thereby eliminating the fan motor. Yet the SAIDI is still a powerful therapeutic red light device, making it one of the very few suitable for people with EHS.