Red Light Beds: The cost of cutting costs
By Jason Tebeau
August 27, 2020
The old adage – you get what you pay for – is absolutely true when considering photobiomodulation technology, or what is commonly called Red Light Therapy. ”It glows red so it must be good” is a sales pitch that’s far from the truth, and a great price may only save some short-term cash. If you’re in business, the lack of beneficial results can have the cascading effect of clients never returning after only one session. Don’t be forced to put the bed up for sale to recoup your losses.
The best light beds on the market don’t even need the red lights on for many of their powerful benefits. Yes, you can turn them off unless the positive effects of red light on the skin are desired. Unfortunately, red light alone (i.e. 635nm wavelength) doesn’t go further than the hypodermis (just beneath the epidermis and dermis layers of skin) and is insufficient for treatments that require deeper penetration. Many people’s health problems are musculoskeletal, far beyond the skin in the deep tissues and muscles. You want full body, full cellular regeneration at the deepest levels for healing, energy production, pain relief, improved blood flow and much more. Red light alone is not enough, and a good bed designed for Red Light Therapy will have at least one near-infrared wavelength (invisible light) that reaches deeper into the body.
For light to affect the cells beyond the skin you must be exposed to near- infrared wavelengths, and the deepest penetrating is 810nm. Most light beds and LED panels do not use 810nm because they cost up to 10 times more than red! A light pod or panel with 635nm (red) and 810nm, and at least one or two other near-infrared wavelengths (such as 850nm or 940nm), will take you from an ineffective/inexpensive product into the clinical-grade world of highly-effective technology with positive health outcomes.
Many light beds on the market are extremely inexpensive yet appear to be quite powerful and have the desirable red glow. Clearly, they are missing the near-infrared wavelength LEDs. It’s rare to find a bed with three near- infrared AND red wavelength LEDs such as Theralight. Not to mention that
the Theralight 360 has 45,000 of them! If you want outcomes that create repeat business and build referrals, it will only happen if the bed you’re using has the correct diodes, power (irradiance) and reflection to optimize light absorption.
Don’t be fooled by the red glow. When buying a light bed, it’s important to understand that the technology was derived from Class 3b and Class 4 lasers adopted by health practitioners worldwide. Laser technology uses the 810nm diode in almost every handheld laser on the market. Unfortunately, very few light bed companies understand this and overlook these important engineering requirements. Theralight is part of a company that manufactures FDA-cleared Class 4 lasers that align with the science and produce unparalleled results.
You might be able to get a less expensive Red Light Therapy bed on the market, but your return on investment will never exceed your expectations because the outcomes won’t satisfy your client’s needs. This can cost you client retention and affect your reputation.
A. Make sure the Light Bed you’re buying has Red and 810nm wavelengths with at least one other near-infrared (e.g. 940nm). Ultimately, you want 635nm, 810nm, 850nm and 940nm.
B. The company should also manufacture hand-held pain management lasers. Not the hundred-dollar lasers on Amazon & QVC, but clinical- treatment lasers that start at $20,000.
C. Make sure the LEDs are warranted for life otherwise the manufacturer has cut corners and is using the lowest grade diodes possible.
D. Choose beds that allow adjustability of irradiance (mW/cm2) and frequency (Hz) which provide broader treatment options for various health conditions.