Photobiomodulation: The Clinical Applications of Low-Level Light Therapy

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I had an extremely adverse effect with an infrared lamp I bought on amazon - turns out because it was 100 mW which is extremely high. If anyone tries this, I highly recommend shooting for below 5 mw.

What was your adverse effect?

It affected my brain, caused my hair to fall out and regrow with an entirely different texture (had silky hair, turned into wool - not aesthetically pleasing - hope its not permanent), lasting skin wrinkles - but ultimately in the way that it affected my brain, I think it caused downstream effects on cortisol which then caused all sorts of other terrible effects.

This is all since September of last year, and I had been taking other new supplements since so it is hard to entirely attribute it to the infrared. Though I had studied photobiomodulation extensively beforehand - I should’ve verified the wattage before buying since I knew that was absolutely central to its function - but I got excited because of a study discussing the discovery of endogenously produced melatonin in mitochondria stimulated by infrared.

I still seek to revisit infrared in the future for that very reason, but the studies that I’ve read suggest 3-4 mW; over 30 mW is dangerous.

I’m more in shock that this and other products have been on the market for decades - obviously gone through rigorous safety tests - yet still produce these outcomes? Maybe I’m just a special case.

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Well, in the end, we are all N=1. So yes I think you are a special case.
It is difficult to tell how many people are using commercial or at-home red light therapy, but surely it is in the 10’s thousands if not millions. I cannot find any significant adverse effects in the literature or any warnings by the FDA. I have personally used at-home red light therapy for many months. The most noticeable effect that I was not expecting was an improvement in my brain function. I have been using sudoku and NYT crossword puzzles as sort of a personal marker of my brain functions. I did not notice any increase in my sudoku-solving ability, but I did notice a significant increase in my crossword-solving ability. Crossword solving involves in part, your ability to recall what you have read or learned in the past such as recalling facts and trivia.
Red light therapy has been shown to reduce inflammation and improve wound healing by stimulating the production of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Something not easy to check.
Increased mitochondrial cellular energy production. Again not something easy to check. Maybe you feel better and more energetic.
Fairly proven to improve skin texture, and increase collagen and elastin production, making it an effective treatment for skin rejuvenation. I already have good skin texture for my age so it is hard to tell if this is working for me as I am using other methods such as Retin-A and rapamycin on my skin.
Of course, these are just some of the claims for red light therapy. I am sorry you had such a negative result.

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I’ve used the beauty angel red light booth at my gym and also have a home red light panel. I must say I find my home unit a much more tolerable and positive experience but I really need to be more consistent with using it. I have no real scientific evidence of why this would be the case for me. This is the home panel I use. I have no affiliation with the company other than my friends own it.

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An infrared light source at 860nm or 660nm is infrared light source it does not matter if it comes from $50 device or $5,000 device

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Thanks, I got it at a reasonable price and find it beneficial in a vague way as compared to the unit at the gym which seems too strong.

The wave lengths are the same the wattage an entirely different thing. Price matters.

I’ve been interested in transcranial photobiomodulation therapy for treatment of various brain injuries. Two devices seem promising but still somewhat limited data:


Effect of Transcranial Near-Infrared Light 1068 nm Upon Memory Performance in Aging Healthy Individuals: A Pilot Study

Results: A significant improvement in motor function, memory performance, and processing speed was observed in healthy individuals with PBM-T compared to the placebo group. No adverse effects were reported.


Energy density of 50-100 mW/cm2. I guess whats important is the dose received in joules, For instance if a 500 cm2 area is exposed for 10 min to 20 mW/cm2 then a total dose of 6000 J is delivered etc.

[quote=“Lichen, post:10, topic:6315”]…“I guess whats important is the dose received in joules”…

Correct, total amount deliver {joules] is what matter.

And can be calculate, you can deliver the amount in the joules you are look to use with any IR light/energy source lower mW/cm2 just means long time.

Do not be bull shitted about “cost”
Expensive just means higher mW output to get shorter exposure time.

You can accomplish the same with longer time exposure.

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