Woman receiving a facial treatment using a red light therapy device.

Infrared Heat Lamps vs LED Light Therapy Devices

Woman receiving a facial treatment using a red light therapy device.

Light therapy has recently emerged as an effective treatment for a variety of diseases thanks to its numerous therapeutic benefits. The treatment focuses on using a light source to expose your skin to lights of specific wavelengths that are valuable to the body's internal processes. These light sources can either be coherent, such as lasers or non-coherent, like light-emitting diodes (LEDs). 

Both infrared heat lamps and LED light therapy devices are reliable and popular light source options that have been used for promoting health, wellness, and beauty in recent times. But are they as similar as they seem?

Let's break down the differences between infrared heat lamps and LED light therapy devices to determine which option may be best suited to help you in your journey toward living a healthy, happy life.

Infrared vs Red Light Therapy - What Is the Difference?

The key difference between infrared and red light therapy lies in their operating mechanism. Red light therapy makes use of LEDS consisting of intricate semiconductors to emit photons between the wavelengths of 630 nm to 700 nm. It is a non-thermal therapy that is visible to the naked eye and works mainly on the surface of the skin. 

Exposure to red light positively affects the cellular skin process by promoting the growth of skin tissue, fibroblasts, and keratinocytes. This makes the therapy useful for skin rejuvenation and wound healing. 

Moreover, red light stimulates the lymphatic system, which strengthens the body's immune system and combats viral infections. In simple words, LED therapy offers a broad range of uses related to cosmetic and health applications.

In contrast, infrared therapy makes use of infrared radiation to generate local heat on the surface of the skin. It emits invisible lights between the wavelengths of 800 nm up to 1 millimeter that can penetrate about three inches in the body. Once the rays reach the body, they raise the core body temperature, stimulating sweat production and the release of cholesterol, fat, toxins, and other metabolic waste. 

Infrared therapies are particularly effective when treating wound-healing disorders or autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis. This is because these rays improve blood circulation to affected areas. Improved circulation aids in pain alleviation and results in faster healing.

Having talked about their mechanism and common applications, let's compare both these light therapies with respect to their effectiveness, power, and safety.

Better at Effectiveness - Red Light Therapy

While natural light holds countless benefits for the human body, extensive research shows that only a specific narrow band of wavelengths holds significant therapeutic effects for your cells and tissues. 

The ideal wavelength for light therapy ranges from 600 to 660 nm (red) and 810 to 880 nm (infrared). This band, described as the "therapeutic window" by photomedicine experts, is essential to improve cellular biology. 

While LED light therapy devices emit radiation that falls under this window, the same cannot be said for infrared heat lamps. Infrared lamps produce radiations of varying wavelengths, out of which only 1% falls under the 600-660 nm and 2% under the 810-880 nm range. The remaining 97% of energy is devoid of the prominent health benefits sought when using light therapy.

Better at Irradiance - Red Light Therapy

Irradiance refers to the total power output from a source device and is a major contributor to the time taken to finish the light therapy treatment. 

A greater irradiance, as shown by high-quality Hooga LED devices, leads to better health results in a shorter time. Infrared heat lamps are low-powered products with their irradiance reducing as you move further away. This means that you would need to spend several hours with an infrared heat lamp for a meaningful energy dosage and to stimulate therapeutic benefits.

Better at Safety - Red Light Therapy

The use of infrared heat lamps is often regarded as a double-edged sword; too far from the source and the irradiance decreases; too close to the source and you end up burning yourself. 

In addition, infrared uses thermal energy, which puts the user at a greater risk of burns and overheating. The overheating of skin tissues can also impede the skin's DNA repair capabilities, making the tissues more vulnerable to mutations. 

On the other hand, LED therapy is regarded as a non-invasive, pain-free, and safe alternative that protects the internal skin layers from thermal injuries and prevents redness or swelling of the skin during the treatment.

Infrared vs Red Light Therapy - Which Is Better?

Medical experts support the claim that, while both infrared and red light are natural and chemical-free therapies, red light therapy devices are generally a better alternative compared to infrared heat lamps. 

This is because, although infrared heat lamps can penetrate deeper into the skin and target specific medical conditions, doing so involves the risk of sustaining thermal burns and injuries. In comparison, LED light therapy offers better irradiance and safety, accounting for a shorter yet effective clinical treatment. 

However, the final decision of choosing between either type ultimately depends on the main purpose behind seeking light therapy. If you are looking to cure skin conditions that develop on the surface level, red light should be your go-to option. But, if the problem lies deeper into the skin, an infrared lamp might be the better choice. 

Regardless of which light therapy you choose, one thing is guaranteed: it will only bring physical and mental benefits to your body with little to no side effects involved. 

Make sure to check out Hooga’s affordable and effective red light therapy devices and step into the world of health and well-being from the comfort of your home.
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