REVISED on 26 March 2021. After my interview with Scott Chaverri, the founder of Mito Red Light, I modified my original article to reflect new learnings I gained through our talk. The original article uses 126 J/cm2 of red light as an example., which I replaced with 60 J/cm2. While the main purpose of this article is to give you the formula to calculate the desired light therapy duration at whatever dosage you want, I want to make sure that, given a wide range of dosages that appear in studies, my examples fall under a medium range of well-researched dosage range.
For a long time, I was curious about light therapy (often referred as Low-Level Light Therapy LLLT in scientific literatures) but couldn’t get my hands on it, because I didn’t feel I knew what I should be looking for. When it comes to supplements, any biohacker knows that not all supplements are created equal and can apply criteria to decide which ones are “the best”. Many might trust certain brands more than others and/or check the ingredient lists etc. When it comes to LLLT devices, though, what are these criteria that help us to distinguish the best from less desirable?
Eventually after lots of research, I decided on MitoMAX by Mito Red Light and have been very happy about it; My skin got this beautiful, radiant glow and looks much healthier than before the light therapy. I only wish that I had figured it all out much earlier and hope that you find helpful the information here, to find out which LLLT device is the best for you.
· Step 1: Decide which conditions you want to address the most. As different wavelengths are effective for different conditions, this is the vital initial step in order to narrow down the range of LLLT devices to effectively serve your needs. Among the long list of LLLT’s benefits, skin rejuvenation was one of my top interests. Researches show that wavelengths of the visible red-light range (ca 600-700 nm) can greatly increase procollagen synthesis in the skin, increasing the skin firmness and reducing wrinkles. Some of the near infrared wavelengths (750-2,500 nm) are shown to enhance cellular metabolism and effective to reduce sagginess in the lower face and neck.
· Step 2: Decide how much time you have for LLLT therapy. Just like with supplements, knowing how much is as important as knowing which kind. The dosage of the light is expressed in Joule and tells how much irradiation the device can deliver per a specified surface area. To determine how long you need to spend in front of a LLLT device, you need the desired dosage and your device’s power density. In my case, I found a study that demonstrated a combination of 60 J/cm2 of the visible red-light and 66 J/cm2 of the near infrared light effective for skin rejuvenation. Then, on Mito Red Light’s product website I learnt that MitoMAX’s power density is 55 mW/cm2 for both the visible red-light and the near infrared light.
o Divide the device’s power density by 1,000, to convert it from milli Watt into Watt. With MitoMax, 55 mW/1,000 = 0,055 W
o Divide the dosage by the device’s power in Watt. To get the red-light dosage in the study, 60 J/0,055 W = ca 1,090 seconds
o Divide the above answer by 60, to convert the time from seconds into minutes. 1,090 seconds/60 = ca 18 minutes
And voila! Now I know that I’ll need to spend ca 18 minutes in front of my MitoMAX, to get a similar dosage of the visible red-light as in the study
Step 3: Decide which body parts you want to treat the most. By now, you’re likely to have narrowed down your list of potential LLLT devices quite a bit. As the final major step, the desired treatment areas may be equally important to consider, because in a long run, the ease and convenience of the light therapy will make a huge difference in the treatment compliance and thus efficacy. If you want to treat mostly face, neck and/or upper body, a panel that covers the entire upper body and stands on the floor can provide one of the most convenient setups, because you can be sitting on the floor relaxed and comfortably, during the entire therapy session. Of course, you might prefer standing for any reasons, but after finding out how standing still has a detrimental effect on my HRV, I’m very mindful to avoid a long still standing when possible. If your main treatment area is the lower body, and you prefer not to stand for a 15+ minutes treatment session, you may want to get a model that allows a horizontal fixation, so that you can be lying down on you side during the therapy.
Other things to consider: For many, EMF and flickering can be important concerns. Some manufacturers provide information about their products’ EMF and flickering levels on their webpages, while others don’t, so you might need to contact them to ask them about their devices’ EMF and flickering levels. In my interview with Scott the founder and CEO of Mito Red Light, he addresses with a depth both EMF and and flickering, including what EMFs are, whether you should be concerned about EMF from a light panel, and how Mito Red Light has addressed them.
As I live in Europe, and many manufacturers are US-based, a low-cost, hassle-free international shipping was a must, and I’m extremely happy with my experience with Mito Red Light; the shipping cost was very reasonable, and the panel arrived in just few days after the order. A domestic shipping could have taken longer!
I hope you find useful the table comparing some major light panels for the required time for 1) a red-light therapy at 60 J/cm2 dosage and 2) a near infrared therapy at 66 J/cm2. Please note that I’ve taken into account the power density in particular wavelengths; For instance, if the (total) power density is 110 mW/cm2 in the manufacturer’s spec, and the ratio of red light and near infra light is 50:50, the adjusted power density for each wavelength category is 55 mW/cm2.
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