If you want to use red light therapy to improve your overall health and wellbeing, but are not sure which device is right for you, you’re not alone. As this incredible therapy method has continued to grow in popularity, the market has exploded with a plethora of competing products—some that are good quality, and others that are not.
In this article, we’ll focus on comparing five popular red light therapy devices that are available today: PlatinumLED, Joovv, Red Light Man, Red Rush, and REDjuvenation.
But first, let’s review the basics of red light therapy.
Note: To learn more about PlatinumLED’s industry-leading LED light therapy panels, visit our product page. We offer the highest irradiance (most power) and the widest spectrum of red light available.
Red Light Therapy 101
If you’re not familiar with the benefits of red light therapy, you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how it sparks biological processes in the body, leading to a wonderful ripple effect of overall improved health.
The term “red light therapy” encompasses red and near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths of light. Also called photobiomodulation and low-level laser therapy (LLLT), red light therapy uses light-emitting diode (LED) devices to expose the body to red or NIR light.
Red light’s primary benefit is that it stimulates increased cellular energy production. When the energy centers of cells (mitochondria) absorb light photons, they are stimulated to produce more of a compound known as adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary fuel for all cellular functions and metabolic processes. In short, energized cells are happy, healthy cells that do their job at full capacity.
Red light therapy is best known for its skin-rejuvenating properties. But years of peer-reviewed studies have shown that it has countless other health benefits as well, including:
- Improved skin health in both normal skin and skin with inflammatory disorders
- More collagen production for healthier skin, reduced appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and stronger connective tissue
- Restoration of hair after hair loss
- Extraordinary benefits to muscles, including increased muscle performance, faster recovery after injury, and reduced muscle fatigue
- Improved circulation, for optimal delivery of oxygen and nutrients
- Reduced pain from inflammatory joint disorders like arthritis
- Reduced inflammation for faster healing of chronic skin conditions, inflammatory joint disorders, traumatic injuries, and brain disorders
- Stimulated melatonin production for better sleep
- Weight loss and reduced cellulite
- Neuroprotection: NIR light has a protective and antioxidant effect on brain cells, which can mean faster healing from traumatic brain injury, stroke, or neurodegenerative disorders.
This is only a shortlist. For a more extensive look at how red light therapy can benefit you, check out the PlatinumLED blog.
Choosing Your Red Light Therapy Device
Now that you know how beneficial red light is, as well as its innumerable applications, we’ll discuss what to look for in a high-quality LED device. You’ll want to choose carefully so yours will provide many years of health-enhancing benefits. When comparing red light therapy devices, look for:
- Light energy output and irradiance, which influences the amount of light that is absorbed into the body (more on this later);
- A combination of red and NIR light, or a choice of either one;
- Panel size (depending on your needs); and
- Value: quality, transparency, experience, customer service, warranty.
These criteria are all important. But light energy output is at the top of the list because it is, by far, the most important feature of a red light device.
Light Energy Output and Irradiance
Ultimately, a red light therapy device is only as good as the amount of light that is absorbed into the body to stimulate a biological response.
It’s important to know that in terms of light therapy devices, power consumption does not necessarily correlate with the light output. The more LED bulbs and the more power a device emits, the higher the total light energy is available to be absorbed through the skin—and the larger the irradiated area, the more widespread the benefits. Conversely, a device that consumes a lot of electricity but delivers weak light output is not worth your money.
The amount of light energy your body receives is measured using two criteria: irradiance and joules.
- Irradiance measures the power output per irradiated area and is displayed as milliwatts per square centimeter, or mW/cm². The amount of irradiance depends not only on the light energy output of the device but also how far away from the device you are. For example, a claim of 100mW/cm² light energy must specify how close to the device you need to be to achieve that irradiance. If the distance is 6", then moving farther away to a foot or more will significantly decrease the light photons that absorb into your body's tissues. For a more detailed explanation, check out this video created by PlatinumLED.
- Joules measure the amount of energy your body receives over the illuminated area over a period of time.
Together, these numbers tell the real story: how much light is being absorbed into the skin, and how long you need to use light therapy to experience the results you want.
To put this into practical terms, if you see a great ad for a handheld device that promises all-over benefits, be aware that it’s a dubious claim. To achieve what the ad promises, you would have to:
- Spend huge amounts of time slowly moving a device with a 2" to 3" irradiation diameter over your entire body (did you miss a spot?).
- Significantly extend your therapy times to achieve the depth of absorption that only high-powered devices can deliver (do you really have time for this?). The recommendation for quality red light therapy products is 10 to 20 minutes of exposure—which you would have to double or triple if you use a handheld device.
There are simply no handheld devices that can match the efficiency and light energy output of red light panels. And when you consider the innumerable benefits, it’s an investment that can pay for itself in improved health and reduced healthcare costs.
Both red and NIR light wavelengths have been extensively studied. Scientists have determined that most clinically proven benefits are related to wavelengths in the 630nm to 660nm range (red light) and the 810nm to 850nm range (NIR light).
Even though some wavelengths are more powerful than others, each range has its specialties. If you want to turn back the clock on your skin, for instance, red light is the optimal choice. If you want to reduce inflammation, boost immunity, or heal a deep injury, then choose a light therapy device that offers NIR light.
Some light therapy devices offer the choice of red or NIR wavelengths, and others allow for both to be used simultaneously. The latter is your best choice. By choosing an LED device that delivers red and NIR wavelengths simultaneously, you’ll get a combination of skin-deep and deep-tissue benefits. This broad-spectrum harnesses the unique benefits of red and NIR light at the same time.
Large light therapy panels that deliver high-intensity light to a larger surface of the body will yield the best results. Treatment with these kinds of devices leverages the positive ripple effect of increased cellular energy, reduced inflammation and oxidative stress, improved circulation, and collagen production. The more cells you can energize using red light, the more overall systemic benefits you’ll see.
Whether you should go with a small or large panel depends on your individual needs. You can treat localized skin disorders, hand joint pain, wound treatment, or facial rejuvenation using a small panel placed conveniently on a table. If you intend to treat large muscle groups to improve athletic performance and speed recovery from a muscle injury, relieve low back pain, or treat widespread skin disorders, you’ll get better results with larger devices.
Seek a manufacturer with a proven track record of delivering high-quality products, live customer service, buyer protection with a solid warranty, and full transparency of data and claims backed by science.
Five Popular Brands, Reviewed
To fully experience the many benefits of red light therapy, be sure to invest in a high-quality device. Here is a side-by-side comparison of some popular options. We’ll give you the facts about how they compare in terms of power, wavelengths, panel sizes, and value that will meet your expectations and achieve optimal results.
Founded in 2010, PlatinumLED got its start by pioneering the development of ultra high-power LED panels primarily for horticultural use. The company soon became the market leader in the practice of delivering different wavelengths of light via LEDs, and this proved to have outstanding results. In 2015, PlatinumLED began expanding its product offering to include a large array of red light devices specially designed to benefit human health.
PlatinumLED offers two distinct series of compact and full-sized panels: the BIO series, and the BIOMAX series.
The PlatinumLED BIO Series
This series offers a choice of 660nm red light, 850nm near-infrared light, or a combination of both delivered in a 1:1 ratio. The estimated lifespan of the LED bulbs is 100,000 hours.
- The compact $369 BIO 300 uses 100 3w LED bulbs, to deliver 94 mW/cm2 of light energy at 6" and 14 mW/cm2 at 36". This 19" x 9" x 3" panel is intended for targeted treatments and/or travel.
- The $450 BIO 450 panel uses 150 3w LED bulbs to deliver 105 mW/cm2 of light energy at 6" and 18 mW/cm2 at 36". This 19" x 11" x 3" panel is intended for targeted treatments and/or travel.
- The $699 BIO 600 panel uses 200 3w LED bulbs to deliver 94 mW/cm2 of light energy at 6" and 21 mW/cm2 at 36". This 36" x 9 " x 3" panel is intended for full-body treatment.
- The $949 BIO 900 panel uses 300 3w LED bulbs to deliver 105 mW/cm2 of light energy at 6" and 24 mW/cm2 at 36". This 36" x 12" x 3" panel is intended for full-body treatment.
The PlatinumLED BIOMAX Series
The BIOMAX series is a revolutionary array of products that deliver a patented combination of five red and NIR wavelengths: 630nm, 660nm, 810nm, 830nm, and 850nm. It is the only light therapy device on the market that uses this combination of therapeutic wavelengths to create a synergy of effects for targeted and whole-body wellness.
- The most powerful small panel on the market, the $569 BIOMAX 300 uses 100 3w LED bulbs to deliver 124 mW/cm2 light energy at 6" and 57 mW/cm2 at 3”. This 19" x 9" x 3" panel is intended for targeted treatments and/or travel.
- The $649 BIOMAX 450 uses 150 3w LED bulbs to deliver 124 mW/cm2 at 6" and 64 mW/cm2 at 36". This 19" x 11" x 3" panel is intended for targeted treatments and/or travel.
- The $899 BIOMAX 600 uses 200 3w LED bulbs to deliver 124 mW/cm2 at 6" and 68 mW/cm2 at 36". This 36" x 9" x 3" panel is intended for full-body treatment.
- The $1149 BIOMAX 900 uses 300 3w LED bulbs to deliver 124 mW/cm2 at 6" and and 78 mW/cm2 at 36". This 36" x 12" x 3" panel is intended for full-body treatment.
BIOMAX panels can be hung on a door or mounted on our exclusive horizontal or vertical racks for comfort and effective targeted or full-body coverage.
Up to four BIOMAX panels of the same or varying sizes can be even be linked together to increase the light energy output over a greater area of the body.
Learn more about our BIOMAX line of panels and compare them to Joovv options in this short, informative video.
The Bottom Line
We’re a little biased here, but we think our BIO and BIOMAX series of panels should be at the top of your list when you’re shopping for a red light therapy panel. Here’s why:
Our panels provide the strongest irradiance (aka highest energy output) on the market;
We publish the exact wavelengths used in each light so you know precisely what you’re using on your body;
We offer an industry-leading three-year warranty on all products;
Every PlatinumLED panel comes with a sixty-day trial; and
Our support team is standing by on a toll-free line so you can get your questions answered by a real human.
To learn more about our panels, visit our BIO and BIOMAX product pages.
Have questions? Give us a call. Our support team is available from 9 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time, Monday through Friday every week.
Red Light Man
Red Light Man is an LED therapy device manufacturer and retailer based in the United Kingdom. The company offers a range of red, NIR, and combination devices ranging from showerhead-style to full body panels. Among many red light man reviews available on the web, this honest review will depict an accurate picture to help the consumers make right decision.
The Red Light Man light therapy limited to showerhead-style and a single-beam handheld device. Due to the practical limitations of these small devices, we won’t include them in our comparison with Joovv and PlatinumLED.
Red Light Man offers one NIR device, the Infrared Bodylight 830. This panel delivers 830nm near-infrared light via 200 LED bulbs. The panel can be hung from a door or ceiling, or set on the ground or a sturdy surface. At a distance of 6" the device delivers 100 mW/cm² of light energy, and 20 mW/cm² at 78".
Red Light Man also offers the $750 Combo Bodylight 2.0, which offers a combination of four wavelengths using 200 LED bulbs in a 1:1:1:1 ratio: 620nm, 670nm, 760nm, and 830nm. This 45" x 6.7" x 2.75" panel delivers 100 mW/cm² of light energy at 8", and 20 mW/cm² at 59".
The Bottom Line
Red Light Man offers two full-sized panels, which are solid products, as well as a broader range of showerhead- and handheld-style LED devices. Although these devices are relatively powerful, they are impractical for anything but small-scale targeted applications. Red Light Man offers a one-year warranty but does not offer phone support.
Another player in the world of red light therapy is Joovv, which has been in business since 2015. Joovv offers a lineup of various-sized panels that deliver red, near-infrared, and combinations of wavelengths.
Joovv LED panels include the Joovv Go, a handheld device; the Mini, a tablet-sized handheld device; and the Joovv Solo.
The product line is based on the $1,195 Joovv Solo device. It can be used alone or linked in arrays of up to six Joovv Solos in a modular design, which gives options ranging from targeted applications (one panel) to full-body use (up to six panels).
This 36" x 8.75" panel uses 150 LED bulbs to deliver >100 mW/cm2 of irradiance, although the measurement methodology is unclear and the company does not list irradiance at various distances from the panel.
The panels emit red and NIR light, but we couldn’t find any information on which specific wavelengths are used, or in which ratio.
The Bottom Line
Joovv stands by its products with a two-year warranty and a 60-day trial. There is a concern that the specific wavelengths of red and NIR light are not listed on the website, nor is the distance at which the user can expect the claimed 100 mW/cm2 of light energy.
This would be interesting to know since each wavelength has unique benefits. If someone has researched how to treat a specific condition, this is helpful information so the user can replicate the outcomes of specific studies.
The Red Therapy Company, founded in October 2018, offers two RedRush light therapy devices, which are solid contenders in this comparison lineup. Both of the panels feature a 660nm red and 850nm NIR combination.
The $480 RedRush 360 Body Light combines two effective wavelengths to target a multitude of conditions. The 660nm red light benefits the skin, and the 850nm NIR wavelength benefits the tissues and joints. This 10.6"x16.3" panel is good for targeted applications and claims to deliver up to 250 mW/cm2 via 120 LEDs (60 LEDs of each wavelength).
However, the site states that at 6" the device delivers 100.5 mW/cm2. This is the number to look at, since how the device achieves 250 mW/cm2 is not explained. At 36", the panel delivers 15 mW/cm2, although because it’s smaller than the 720 panel (which has twice the LEDs) it’s unclear how the company arrived at the same irradiation level for this smaller device. The RedRush 360 comes with a door hanging kit.
The Red Rush 360's larger cousin, the $780 RedRush 720, is designed for full-body therapy, again using 660nm red and 850nm NIR wavelengths (120 3W LEDs @660nm and 120 3W LEDs @850nm). This 10.6" x 35" panel also claims a >250 mW/cm2 max. Once again, the irradiance at 6" from the device is published at 100.5 mW/cm2 max, so it’s unclear how the company arrived at that number. At 36", the panel delivers 15 mW/cm2. The RedRush 720 comes with a door hanging kit.
The two are available as the “Ultimate Bundle” for $1,199, but they cannot be linked together.
The Bottom Line
The Red Therapy Company offers a 60-day trial and a 2-year warranty on its products, making them a solid choice. There is no customer service phone number listed on the website; support is offered via email. The features and services they deliver are similar to joovv. So, they can be considered as a good joovv alternative.
Invented by artist and Eastern medicine practitioner Leanne Venier, REDjuvenator products may be of good quality—but that cannot be verified based on what’s on the website. It’s filled with testimonials, but zero real information, and there is no way to know if the redjuvenator reviews are real.
The site offers four different "formulations": Timeless Youth at $630 (red light), Painfree Power (NIR) at $630, the Universal (red plus NIR) at $680, and Bacteria Buster (blue light plus red light) at $660.
The website claims that each product contains "Quantum Energy Healing Codes.” Venier claims that these “codes” are what set REDjuvenator apart from other devices, although she does not explain what they are. Even the “Science” tab on the website takes the reader directly to more testimonials and no links to any research, just a few lightweight YouTube videos.
Nor does the website provide any specific information about REDjuvenator products short of the price, the size (24" square, meaning the panels are suitable for targeted treatments only), and that they come with hanging hardware. There is no information about wavelengths because Venier will not disclose it. As Thaddeus Owen writes in the Primal Hacker blog: “Because we do not know what the wavelengths are, Leanne keeps them secret, we cannot make claims pointing back to the scientific literature.”
As far as the different “product formulations,” the website contains no explanation of what they are. Rather, the company insists that their “formulations" are proprietary, which isn’t unusual—except people do need to know what they’re buying.
Venier offers an explanation for her stance on keeping “product formulations” secret: "Proprietary means the property of the designer—just like Tesla technology. You don’t need to know how to design a Tesla to appreciate its power and superiority over other ‘cars’—you just have to take it for a test drive and experience REAL WORLD RESULTS. Just like with REDjuvenator Therapy—all you need to focus on is whether it is proven to work for your desired applications, not a bunch of data.”
The Bottom Line
It’s difficult to offer an impartial review of a company that is not at all transparent about its products and offers a scant 30-day trial and 1-year warranty. We know absolutely nothing about the products other than the price. We can only guess at the light wavelengths they supposedly deliver, and there is no information about power output. Based on these red flags, we strongly urge "caveat emptor": buyer beware.
The Best—But Not the Most Expensive
When you consider the most important parameters for choosing a high-quality red light therapy device for home use, you really can’t go wrong with the products we’ve featured in this article. We do urge caution about the REDjuvenator devices, not because of quality issues, but because of the lack of available product information.
Here at PlatinumLED, we’re hard at work trying to make our lights the best option for you, so we’ll leave you with this final list of reasons we think you should consider a BIOMAX panel:
- You get the most powerful light on the market in terms of light irradiance.
- You get the most advanced spectrum on the market that targets all the most beneficial wavelengths for practically any therapy application.
- You get U.S.-based customer support with a dedicated phone line that you can call, even before you purchase a panel.
- You get a longest-in-industry warranty, with a U.S.-based service team if anything does go wrong.
- You get the absolute latest red light technology from the most experienced red light therapy pioneers on the market.
Here’s the link to the product page to learn more:
Learn more about the PlatinumLED BIOMAX series
Meanwhile, the SaunaMAX Pro has all the features of the BIOMAX Series, but can be used for in-sauna treatment. It's the ideal panel for red light therapy users who also have a home sauna.
And as always, if you have questions, let us know. We’re just a phone call away.
Frequently Asked Question
Q. What factors to consider while choosing a red light therapy device?
Ans: Before choosing any red light therapy device, one must look at the customer's review first. After that, the frequency and coverage area. Also, quality is a mandatory area of prime consideration.