The response to our release of blue and red light therapy panels has been overwhelmingly positive.
Nonetheless, we’ve heard some questionable concerns about the side effects of blue light therapy.
In the following sections, we cover some of the concerns we’ve heard. If you share in these at all, we strongly encourage you to read on.
We wouldn’t want misconceptions about blue or red light therapy to get in the way of a treatment that could help a lot of people.
We maintain that the synergistic effects of blue and red light therapy combined make the BIOMAX Panels the most effective and powerful light therapy solution on the consumer market.
Meanwhile, the SaunaMAX Pro are the first red light therapy panels engineered to be used simultaneously with sauna treatment.
Short Wavelength Blue Light vs. Long Wave Blue Light
First, it's very import to talk about and make the distinction between different types of blue light. Blue light actually has a very wide range of wavelength size that ranges from 400nm to 500nm. This gives us two types of blue light: short wavelength blue (400nm - 450nm) and long wavelength blue (450nm - 500nm)
While both types of blue light have been shown to be very effective in skin/body therapy, specifically short wavelength blue has been shown to have potentially some adverse effects since it is closer to UV/purple light. Also, short wavelength blue is the type of blue light that TV screens, phone, tablets, computers, etc all emit. As we know, this type of short wavelength blue can possibly disrupt melatonin production when we are looking directly at it with our eyes for long extended periods of time.
Due to these reasons above, all PlatinumLED therapy lights specifically use long wavelength blue lights (480nm) which has been shown to be completely safe and effective for human therapy use!
This is an EXTREMELY important distinction to make - that PlatinumLED lights DO NOT USE the same type of blue that is found in computer/TV/phone screens and that this correlation can in no way be made.
Blue Light Therapy vs. Consumer Device Blue Light: Exposure to the Eyes
This section addresses one of the most common misconceptions we’ve heard about blue light therapy treatment.
Blue light therapy has been sometimes thought of as having the same impact on the eyes as spending excessive screen time on consumer electronic devices. But this is far from true. In 2017, researchers conducted an extensive literature review on ocular issues related to light therapy, ultimately finding that “light therapy is safe for the eyes.”
However, it's vitally important to remember that blue light therapy is a skin-focused treatment intended for short sessions. At most, sessions should be around 20 minutes per day.
This is completely different than blue light emitted by computer screens, smart phones, and other electronic devices that require sustained and intense retina exposure, often for hours at a time. Not only this, but remember that the type of long wavelength blue that we are using is completely different than the short wavelength blue that these types of devices use.
Consumer Devices Emit Different Wavelengths
Blue light therapy from consumer devices emits at in between 400nm and 450nm, whereas the PlatinumLED panels use one 480nm wavelength. The difference of 30nm is considerable when it comes to both the impact on the eyes and therapeutics.
Treatment and Usage Guidelines
The average American is reported to spend just over seven hours per day using consumer electronics. This results in digital eye strain and eye health concerns, potentially even macular degeneration.
For treatment to work, blue light therapy does not require direct contact with the retinas as smart phones do. Users also typically don’t turn their panels on and stare directly at the 480nm blue light bulbs for 20 minutes.
Users may catch the blue lights at an occasional glance, but in this circumstance, the exposure is so brief that it cannot even begin to compare to the sustained screen time required for computer or smartphone use that could affect one’s vision nor is the type of blue light even the same.
Blue and Red Light Treatment
Both the red and blue diodes in treatment panels are intended for as broad exposure to the skin as possible. During treatment, many users prefer to do a short meditation session or simply close their eyes and relax.
They may turn on the panels manually. Users can also engage their BIOMAX panel using an app from the other side of the room. Even at this, those who may still have some concerns can still use included goggles for eye protection.
But to reiterate a point; blue light therapy skin treatment panels are not harmful to the eyes. They do not have side effects on the eyes that are at all comparable to sustained artificial blue light screen exposure. Not only this, but the type of long wavelength blue light is not even the same type of blue light that is used in screen type devices.
For most users, the best way to avoid eye strain and the risk of macular degeneration is to reduce time with consumer electronics or to take regular breaks from them.
Now, let’s take a look at another concern we’ve heard a few times, that light therapy treatment may cause trouble sleeping.
Can Too Much Blue Light Cause Sleeping Problems?
Users are understandably concerned about minimizing their device screen time, especially as it gets closer to bedtime.
It’s well understood that checking your phone soon before bed can disrupt sleep and the circadian rhythm.
However, this is not a problem caused by the use of blue light therapy, for several reasons.
We already do not recommend night-time light therapy treatment, but it is the NIR treatment that may cause restlessness while attempting to sleep if used before bed, not necessarily the blue light therapy.
Treatment-related disruption of the circadian rhythm only takes place if RLT is conducted close to bedtime. And we do not recommend treatment in the night-time or shortly before bed. The panels do not have a ‘night mode’ per se, but we do recommend lowering the NIR array to 0% and using ONLY the red array if choosing to use the lights in the evening hours.
Red, NIR and blue light therapy are best utilized in the morning, serving as a stimulating and energizing treatment to start your day.
If you are concerned about sleep disturbance, it’s best to both avoid screens and bright light therapy close to bedtime. Also, ensure that your light therapy sessions take place earlier in the day.
With this in mind, ‘too much blue light’ from panels should not be an issue for the eyes.
Light therapy also makes for a great morning routine that is energizing, aside from the numerous other wellness benefits.
Finally, let’s take a look at one of the wilder claims we’ve seen, that the lower bands of blue light bring them dangerously similar to those of UV rays.
Blue Light Therapy vs. UV Light Exposure: Any Similarity?
This is another of the concerns that we’ve heard voiced related to the new blue lights. It has been expressed as follows:
‘The blue lights are 480nm, whereas ultraviolet light is as close as 360nm. Does this mean that blue light can have the same harmful effects as UV light?’
The definitive answer is absolutely not. Our 480nm lights do not have any of the negative effects of UV rays. To understand why this is, one has to see the vast difference in characteristics between lights that may seem close in wavelength.
For instance, the difference between green (532nm) and blue light (480nm) is a mere 52 nanometers. Just by shifting 52 nanometers, you get a completely different color in the visible light spectrum.
This is where science and medical research meet LED technology
On the red light spectrum, we include R+ lights that are at 630nm and 660nm. These are only 30nm apart but have completely different therapeutic benefits.
Meanwhile, our NIR+ array of LED light includes 810nm, 830nm, and 850nm, each of which also has its own individual treatment purpose, despite being separated by only 20nm.
With this in mind, the gap between blue lights (480nm) and UV (360nm) is bigger than it may seem. These wavelengths have completely different effects on the skin and the human body and come nowhere near the UV band of emission in the visible spectrum.
In another study, researchers state that “LEDs with an emission peak of around 470–480 nm should be preferred to LEDs that have an emission peak below 450 nm."
Each light-emitting diode has a specific purpose, aside from having the intensity necessary to optimize the body’s absorption of each specific wavelength.
‘Bronze Baby Syndrome’
Another concern we’ve heard voiced, though less often, is about the ‘bronze baby syndrome’ due to blue light exposure.
Before addressing this, we need to make it clear that red light therapy is not intended for treating babies. That said, if a baby happens to be exposed to red light therapy for a few seconds, this should not be cause for worry.
Definitely avoid treating babies with red or blue light therapy lights. But, if the panels are being purchased for adult use, we’re not sure why there would be any cause for concern.
That aside, let’s take a closer look at the BIOMAX Series panels, and why they provide optimal treatment. Perhaps, most importantly, the blue lights.
The Optimal Blue Light Therapy Panel
The red wavelengths included in the BIOMAX Panels are specifically designed to provide therapeutic benefits and stimulate the mitochondria in skin cells.
It is also not only the combination but the mixture of these wavelengths, when exposed to the body at a short distance, that gives them increased synergistic value for the treatment of certain conditions.
Blue light can be great for skin health, killing bacteria, and treating conditions like moderate acne and rosacea. In general, it can provide better overall health and more energy. Its clinical efficacy has been demonstrated in numerous studies.
The therapeutic effects of blue light therapy can become more powerful when combined with R+ and NIR+ wavelengths that penetrate the skin and stimulate the mitochondria for deep skin tissue treatment.
RLT panels also offer an affordable, reliable, and comfortable at-home treatment option that can become a welcome part of one’s daily routine. And they come in a variety of shapes and sizes, depending on your needs.
Check out the BIOMAX Series to decide which panel may be right for you, and please feel free to reach out to us if you have any other questions or concerns.
For those concerned about dry eyes, eye diseases, the disruption of their sleep cycle, or age-related macular degeneration, the best recommendation is to block blue light specifically from laptop computers or other digital devices using computer glasses or set aside time for more breaks during the work day!