While they all share the term “light” is the most common word, however, not every lighting technology is exactly the same. If you’re thinking of purchasing a red light bulb to use at home it’s crucial to know the distinction between different types of bulbs. This kind of information can aid you in choosing the most efficient red light bulbs that will give you the results you desire.

Before we get too deep into the bulb types, let us go over some general details on the red light therapy process, how it operates, and the ways it can help you. This will shed insight into why certain kinds of bulbs are superior to others.

Take note: Exquisite Depot FOS Red light therapy products utilize the most powerful bulb for red therapy on the market. Check out Exquisite Depots FOS LED Light shop to find out more.

Red Fundamentals of Light Therapy

It is also known as red light therapy (RLT) and is also known by various names, including photobiomodulation (photobiomodulation), low-level light therapy, low-intensity light therapy, and infrared light therapy. It is based upon the centuries-old method of sun treatment, however without the dangers associated with long exposure to damaging ultraviolet (UV) radiations.

In contrast to sunlight, red light is completely safe and doesn’t cause any adverse side effects. According to Michael Hamblin, a red light therapy expert stated in the course of an interview: “You could use RLT for all day and not harm the skin. It’s nearly impossible to cause harm.”

The term “red laser therapy” is commonly used as a generic term that covers both red and near-infrared (NIR) spectrums of light. The only difference is the wavelength of their respective wavelengths. The longer their wavelengths, the more deeply it goes into the skin. The wavelengths are measured using nanometers (nm) and include the red light spectrum ranging from 630nm up to 660nm and NIR ranges from 810nm+. 

A lot of research was conducted on the specific characteristics of each wavelength of light. For instance, green light has a calming and gentle effect and has proven effective in treating migraines, while blue light has an energizing effect. Studies have shown that, generally light wavelengths with the highest benefits are those of red light and NIR which are part of the “therapeutic window” of light that is safe for people, but not harmful. The combination of blue and red lights can also be quite effective.

Here’s the process of red light therapy. If you experience the warmness of sunshine upon your skin you’re sensing ultraviolet wavelengths, which are not visible to the human eye and are considered to be heat. But the visible wavelengths of sunlight–specifically, red and NIR wavelengths–are perceived as light, rather than heat.

The devices that use red light provide NIR and red wavelengths to the skin. When light photons enter the skin and are absorbed, they enter the mitochondria (energy cells’ energy centers) and, in turn, increase the production of cell fuel. This in turn stimulates biological processes which result in positive ripple effects of benefits to the entire body.

Uncountable benefits

The treatment of red light has been proven to be effective in treating a wide range of ailments and diseases such as skin conditions as well as muscle tears and wounds as well as chronic hair loss, chronic pain as well and neurodegenerative brain diseases. Thousands of clinical studies conducted over the last decades have proven its efficacy.

One of the red light therapy’s best-known advantages is its capacity to reduce inflammation. It has been proven in numerous studies, many of which were conducted by Hamblin. The author of his Mai 2017 paper, Hamblin explains that ” low-level laser therapy refers to the application of near-infrared and red light to promote healing, ease pain and lessen inflammation.”

RLT gives more energy and nutrition to tissues and cells. the effects of red light stimulation create collagen as well as elastin and fibroblasts, which are connective tissue, which produce collagen as well as other fibers.

If you’re looking to learn more about the red light therapy’s health benefits go to the Exquisite Depot Phototherapy blog which has numerous articles on it.

Light Technology Greatly Differs

If people learn about the positive health effects of red laser therapy, they’re usually driven to try it immediately. This is great. However, it’s essential to realize that shining a lightbulb that emits red or NIR light to the skin isn’t enough.

If the source of light is insufficient or too diffused, it is unlikely that enough light photons can be absorbed through the skin. It is possible to reduce the low light output by extending your treatment time however you’ll not be able to achieve optimal results using light that is not strong enough. Why?

It’s back to the earlier discussion about wavelengths’ depth. Light wavelengths of red (630nm up to 660nm) absorb around 3 millimetres (0.11 inches) in the surface. The wavelengths of NIR (810nm to 810nm to) absorb around 10 millimeters (0.39 inches) through the skin, and soft tissue, as via connecting tissue as well as bone.

The light that penetrates the skin must have a straight path to the skin with enough energy to “push” this light to get as far to the surface as it is possible.

The diffused light has a less effective way of absorbing into the skin than direct light beams. so, what is the most effective power level to use for the red therapy light bulb? regardless of the bulb’s wattage. What you need is more light “pushed” by a greater amount of power.

How Red Light Therapy Bulbs Differ?

If you’ve heard that red light therapy is offered using any bulb, such as incandescent, fluorescent, halogen or LEDs, or light-emitting devices (LED) You’ve been wrongly informed. The truth is that every light technology is not all the same and some are not appropriate for any kind of light therapy.

Incandescent as well as Halogen

Incandescent light sources can heat a tungsten filament up at a high temperature, allowing it to produce visible light as well as (mostly) the infrared spectrum.

Halogen is a kind of incandescent lamp in which the tungsten filament is contained in a tube narrowly that is filled with a substance called halogen (iodine or bromine) in addition to the inert gas. This permits the filament to be heated to higher temperatures than conventional incandescent bulbs, and also prolong their life.

Halogen and incandescent technologies are not suitable for the treatment of red light and are also potentially hazardous.

  • In the case of incandescent bulbs, 90 percent of the energy created is wasted as heat, only 10% of it converts into light.
  • In the case of halogen bulbs, 90% of the energy created is lost in heat, only 20% of it converts into light.
  • The light emitted by incandescent or halogen lamps is diffused. It radiates in all around the filaments. This means that most of the energy from light isn’t directed towards the skin. Even if it’s reflecting or directed, the light is lost energy in the course of its travel and only a few photons can be effectively absorbed.
  • Halogen and incandescent light bulbs aren’t very durable (they break easily) and can last between 1,200 and the equivalent of 2,000 hours.
  • It is believed that the UV radiation produced by incandescent and Halogen light sources can cause damage to cells, rather than supporting them.

Incandescent and halogen light sources are able to emit specific red or NIR wavelengths.

Halogen and incandescent bulbs operate in what’s called a “continuous spectrum,” which spans 300nm all the way to 1400nm. It isn’t possible to see these wavelengths in the way they actually exist, as distinct hues. Instead, we perceive them as a group and see these wavelengths as warm white light.

There is no way to alter the “fine-tune” lighting sources like incandescent or halogen lighting to benefit from the red/NIR wavelengths. Although tinted red glass is occasionally used, this is used for effects and not intended to enhance therapeutic effects. Red bulbs are the only ones that allow the wavelengths of red to pass through, however, they are incandescent and provide only a weakly diffused light output. We’ll go over this in more detail shortly.


You might have noticed bulbs with fluorescent red lights and beds in beauty salons, gyms tanning salons and on the internet. The use of fluorescent bulbs is often due to their low cost. However, they are unsuitable for therapeutic use.

The fluorescent lights function by electrically charging mercury gas. The current of electricity in the gas causes mercury vapor to be expelled which emits ultraviolet light which, in turn, produces a layer of light that is on the outside of the light bulb to shine. The most obvious sign you’re gazing at the fluorescent bulb is that it’s the shape of the shape of a tube (whether straight or bent).

The fluorescent bulbs are affordable and do not produce the UV radiation or heat of halogen or incandescent lights however, there are a lot of negatives of fluorescent technology, especially in connection with the red light therapy.

  • Fluorescent bulbs contain mercury that is toxic therefore, when they stop working it is imperative to take them to a facility for safe disposal and not mixed in with normal trash.
  • The bulbs can last for between 15,000 and 15,000 hours. If a manufacturer is talking about replacing bulbs It’s likely to be an LED light as LEDs last forever.
  • The most annoying aspect of fluorescent lamps is the fact that they get older. The light becomes less bright over time, and it requires ever more energy to run. The less bright the light, the less energy it will produce.
  • The light diffuses all around the body This means that only a small portion of the energy gets transferred to the skin and the remainder is lost.
  • The fluorescent light source cannot be “fine-tuned” to the red or NIR wavelengths and are offered as cool white, warm white, or full-spectrum which is akin to the spectrum and colour temperatures of daylight. With any of these configurations you will not get the particular wavelengths of red and NIR which are the most effective.
  • Even when light from fluorescent bulbs is reflected/redirected so that it shines on the skin, and light bulbs have tints of with red however, the light remains scattered (omnidirectional). Therefore, the light that gets to the skin isn’t powerful enough to be absorbed by the skin.

A Brief Overview of LED Bulbs

The technology of light-emitting diodes is in use since the 1960s. In the late 1980s NASA’s research into the growth of vegetation in space proved so successful, they began the introduction of LEDs to boost the health of astronauts. This was the catalyst that sparked numerous studies into LED light therapy to improve general health and wellness of humans.

As a rule, LED light bulbs offer significant advantages over other kinds of bulbs, both for general usage and for red light therapy.

  • A narrow wavelength range: LEDs offer specific wavelengths in the range that is therapeutic, ranging from 630nm – the 660nm range (red lighting) and 810nm-850nm (NIR lighting).
  • Small bulb tiny size of LEDs implies that more bulbs can be put in a smaller area; the more bulbs are there in the area, the more light is absorbed by the area being treated.
  • Long-lasting: LEDs last for up to 100,000 hours, or 11.4 years, and that’s only when the lights are left running 24 hours a day all week long.
  • The LEDs produce very little heat. 10% to 20 percent of the energy produced by LEDs can be emitted in the form of heat. This ensures the safety of the technology and extends the life of the device and provides an enjoyable therapy experience.
  • Energy savings LED bulbs are extremely efficient in energy use. They provide the highest amount of lumens for each watt, which means that they require less energy for them to provide more light energy than other bulbs of different types.
  • Light that is directed (90 degree vs. 360 °) implies that there is less need to redirect or reflect the light. This means that more light energy is directed precisely at the point where it is needed.
  • The bulbs are safe: LEDs are shatterproof.
  • There is no replacement, and almost no maintenance. Just minimal maintenance of your surface.
  • Depending on the semiconductor material utilized, LEDs produce the whole range of visible light, or specific wavelengths, but without filters for color.
  • LED bulbs are free of mercury, toxic substances or harmful gasses.

The only drawback with LED light bulbs that emit red light is that the initial cost is quite high in comparison to other light technology. However, when you look at the long-term durability and advantages of light bulbs with red lights, their cost over the life of the bulb is low.

Only One Light Work in Light Therapy: Red Light Therapy: LEDs

After having reviewed the three top kinds of bulbs you’ll find in light bulbs as well as some lamps for therapy, we’ll look at which one is the most suitable for light therapy. It’s LEDs. And there’s no competition. The fluorescent and halogen light sources don’t work well in light therapy. Why? They don’t have the right wavelengths.

If you are using LEDs, you can alter each bulb to only emit a particular color of light. This is done by altering the structure of the bulb to the source of light source: the semiconductors that are built into. Each semiconductor emits light depending on a range of elements, including the type of materials used, the quantity of energy utilized as well as the built-in controls and other factors. This is significant since it lets you regulate the light to ensure it’s certain in color or wavelength when it’s first created.

The fluorescent and halogen bulbs however are unable to alter wavelengths in any way of accuracy. Instead, to alter colors you just apply a color film or paint on the outside part of the bulb. The light appears to change the color as it passes across the paper.

This method of altering colour of light using paints or films is cost effective however, it’s not suitable in light therapy. Light therapy requires the use of particular wavelengths to produce actual outcomes. However, using colored films only change color, not wavelength.

For instance, the the red light therapy bulb’s 660 Nm wavelength is incredibly beneficial. Exquisite Depot FOS LED panels are red light therapy devices create this wavelength by utilizing semiconductors with LED technology. You can find other LED options available on our website as well. A halogen lamp in red would create a range of light by a filament and then let them all go via red glasses.

As light travels across the glass all wavelengths which aren’t red will be blocked but the other wavelengths are able to pass through. Since the red glass isn’t able to control lighting at a wavelength scale, all types of red light can pass through. There’s a good chance you’ll see 700nm, 675nm, lightwaves and more. It’s hard to know what percentage of each you’re receiving.

Additionally the method of creating red light is highly inefficient since you’re blocking certain of the light the filament emits. Therefore, you’ll need to use the most powerful, and potentially hot, light source to create enough power to provide therapy.

Beware of low-cost Therapeutic Light Devices

However, since fluorescent and halogen lights are more affordable to produce numerous companies will make use of the lights to create red ones and sell these as therapeutic devices. This is just dishonest. Fortunately, it’s simple to identify the difference between a halogen or fluorescent bulb by using the descriptions provided earlier on in the article. If the light appears to be something other than an LED, then look other places for your light therapy requirements.

Variations between LED Devices

If you’re planning to buy an LED-based therapy panel, keep in mind that each of the LED devices aren’t created identical. There could be variations in the output of light and irradiance which directly impact what amount of light it gets into the body.

When looking at red light therapy devices seek out the most powerful achievable energy output of light per square meter (irradiance) that is measured in milliwatts per square centimeter or mW/cm2. Any reliable manufacturer will give this data. The irradiance can vary according to the light power generated by the device and its distance to your skin.

Larger light panels with red lights will provide greater light power to your skin. The more LEDs you have in a device, the more treated area will be and the greater the outcomes. Thus, a panel with more red LED lights will provide more illumination to the area being treated. Because the light beams overlap it will result in more absorption.

Even if you’re looking at the area that is small, such as your wrist for relief from carpal tunnel symptoms, you must keep in mind that your body isn’t a smooth plane. There are dips and bumps so light travels further to get to the bumps as well as longer distances to reach the dips.

The longer light is allowed traveled, the lesser power it can soak into your skin. So long as nothing blocks light while it travels it will not lose energy. The light is dispersed when it moves far away from LED bulbs. Furthermore, when it reaches the surface, it’s not as intense. This is why a strong light source is essential and why it’s vital to keep a close distance from the light source for specific applications.

Best Lights = Best Results

You’re looking for results and for the results you require the highest quality bulb, as well as the most powerful and efficient treatment device using red light.

After you have a better understanding of the ways that LED bulbs that emit red light can aid you, as well as the advantages of LEDs, take a look at the Exquisite Depot Phototherapy Options available HERE