How much does red light therapy cost? It depends on what you’re treating, your location, and whether you seek treatment from a healthcare professional or treat yourself using a red light therapy device. In general, expect $25 to $200 per treatment; but at-home red light therapy treatments can be more cost-effective over time.
Most conditions that can be treated with red light require multiple sessions for at least one to four months or more, and many conditions such as chronic skin disorders benefit from ongoing maintenance treatments.
Red light isn’t a cosmetic fix. Rather, it supports healing from within by boosting cellular health, which results in a beneficial ripple effect.
Over time, in-clinic treatments get expensive, which can make red light therapy cost-prohibitive for many people.
But that does not mean you have to forego this incredible treatment method. By purchasing your own LED light therapy panel and self-treating at home, you could save money and probably even enjoy the treatment more.
Aside from the cost, this article explores the benefits of red light therapy, how it is used for common conditions, how you can save money, and how you can get and keep great results in the comfort of your own home.
Note: You can buy your very own red light therapy device for as low as $52/month. Click the link to learn more!
Cost of Red LED Light Therapy in a Clinic
When you go to a clinic to treat a chronic skin condition or chronic low back pain, all of which may require multiple treatments, you may be shocked at long-term red light therapy prices.
Depending on where you go (doctor, aesthetician, dermatologist, spa, physical therapist, etc.) the cost of a single 10- to 15-minute red light treatment could range from $25 to $200. In some instances (but not always), this includes complementary treatments such as microneedling, facials, or massage.
Red light laser treatments, such as laser skin resurfacing, can be significantly more expensive. According to 2020 statistics from the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the average cost is $2,509 for ablative treatments and $1,445 for non-ablative treatments.
Light therapy treatments could be scheduled three to five times per week for one to four months. For chronic conditions, adding maintenance sessions indefinitely is often recommended.
When you add up the time commitment, commuting expenses, and the cost of the light therapy itself, you’ll see that it isn’t a feasible long-term solution for most people.
Thankfully, a great option is available: treating yourself at home using a high-quality red LED light therapy device. Light-emitting diode (LED) technology is revolutionizing wellness – and you don't have to go to a healthcare practitioner’s office or clinic several times a week to benefit from LED light therapy.
Still, before you run out and grab an inexpensive handheld LED light therapy wand, or order one from Amazon, read on.
Cost of At-Home Red LED Light Therapy
You can achieve results comparable to what you’d expect from a healthcare professional. But in order to do that, you’ll want to invest in a quality LED light therapy device; one with high-light-energy output along with the most therapeutic wavelengths.
And your initial investment in a high-quality LED light therapy device could be smaller than you think.
- The affordable and compact BIO 300 LED light therapy panel allows you the choice of red (660 nm), near-infrared (850 nm), or a combination of the two wavelengths, and it costs just $369. If you were to get in-clinic treatments at $25/session, this device would pay for itself in just under 15 sessions – about a month’s worth of red light therapy.
- The BIOMAX 900 is a unique modular full-body device. This exceptionally powerful modular panel features a five-wavelength patented spectrum of red and near-infrared (NIR) light for the most synergistic approach to red light therapy.
At $1,149, the BIOMAX 900 pays for itself in just 46 sessions. If you’re treating a chronic condition or want to experience full-body benefits, this is a powerful investment in your well-being. The BIOMAX series panels are also modular, which means you can link two or four panels together for even greater coverage.
The bottom line: Over the long term, high-quality red LED light therapy devices will pay for themselves many times over, compared with clinical red light therapy visits that just keep adding up.
How Red Light Therapy Works — And Why It’s Worth The Investment
If you’re already familiar with red light therapy and how it works, or you don’t feel like deep-diving into the details right now, you can skip this section and move on to how you can use red light therapy to boost your health and well-being.
What Is Red Light Therapy?
Red light therapy, which is also known as red LED light therapy, photobiomodulation (PBM), or low-level light therapy (LLLT), works by stimulating the body’s natural healing processes. Red light therapy uses both red and near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths, depending on the desired treatment outcome.
Scientists now understand the distinct benefits of each wavelength of light. For example, blue light is energizing and green light is soothing. At the same time, research shows that while certain wavelengths can be beneficial in small doses, some, like UV light is damaging with excessive exposure. The same is true with blue light through excessive exposure to cell phone and computer screens. However, this has an altogether different impact than blue light therapy treatment, intended to be used in much smaller and temporary doses.
Research has shown that red light (630 nm to 660 nm) and NIR light (810 nm to 850 nm) have the most scientifically validated therapeutic benefits with no known side effects.
Unlike many medications, which do little more than ease symptoms, red light therapy works at the cellular level to address the root cause of the condition(s) being treated. That makes it a potent long-term wellness solution.
How It Works
Red light therapy devices are fitted with LED bulbs that deliver specific wavelengths of visible red and invisible NIR wavelengths onto bare skin.
As the light photons pass through the tissue in and beneath the skin, they stimulate energy production in the mitochondria, the energy-producing organelles within cells. This leads to a ripple effect throughout the body with many scientifically validated health benefits.
Although it should not be considered a cure for any condition, red light therapy has been shown to be a powerful complementary treatment. Best of all, you can expect results without any painful invasive procedures, discomfort, potential side effects, or ongoing costs.
Here is how red light therapy stimulates your body’s own self-healing mechanisms.
Red Light Therapy Boosts Cellular Energy and Reduces Inflammation
Two of the most profound scientific findings about red light are its effect on mitochondria, which boosts cellular energy; and its ability to reduce chronic inflammation.
Red Light Therapy Corrects Mitochondrial Dysfunction
Mitochondrial dysfunction refers to mitochondria that can’t produce enough energy.
Cells throughout the body become depleted to the point of directing their resources solely on survival. Thus, they can’t perform their specialized functions, protect themselves from pathogens, or repair themselves. The cells are slow to heal and vulnerable to infection, which adversely affects neighboring cells and the system as a whole.
Research has shown that mitochondrial dysfunction is a primary cause of Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and other neurodegenerative disorders. As the authors of a 2016 study explain: “Structurally and functionally damaged mitochondria are characteristics of AD.”
Mitochondrial dysfunction also hinders cell signaling, and this interferes with cells’ ability to detect and respond to what’s going on around them. Proper signaling helps cells to collectively carry out tasks they couldn’t do on their own.
Wound healing, for example, depends on information that tells newly formed cells where to position themselves to restore the correct structure of damaged skin, muscle, connective tissue, or bone.
A dysfunctional cell that doesn’t have the energy to communicate effectively with its neighboring cells and perform its tasks will weaken the body's ability to function.
Red light therapy has been shown to correct mitochondrial dysfunction, as shown in this 2020 study on the effects of NIR light on the neurodegenerative disorder known as Parkinson’s disease. Since brain cells (neurons) have very high energy demands, mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in the development of Parkinson’s.
How do cells reach the point of being unable to produce enough energy to thrive? Usually, the culprit is a combination of chronic inflammation and oxidative stress (the two go hand-in-hand).
Red light therapy can reverse mitochondrial dysfunction by boosting energy production in cells within the treatment area. A 2008 study states that mitochondria are highly photosensitive to red and NIR light. It also found that mitochondrial photostimulation increases the production of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), which is the primary fuel for all cells.
Red Light Reduces Chronic Inflammation
This 2021 scientific paper explains how chronic inflammation has been directly linked to the development of severe chronic inflammatory disorders such as diabetes, cardiovascular disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, and allergies.
A 2017 study by renowned red light therapy expert Michael R. Hamblin details the mechanisms by which red light therapy reduces inflammation in the brain, abdominal fat, wounds, lungs, and spinal cord. This suggests that red light therapy could be effective at treating inflammation as one of the underlying causes of various diseases.
Other Benefits of Red Light Therapy
Red light therapy also boosts circulation, which is an essential component of healing. Increased blood flow will bring oxygen and nutrients to cells, and the increased flow of lymphatic fluid (lymph) will remove waste and toxins that could cause inflammation and cell damage.
Red light also stimulates the production of collagen and elastin. While collagen is most commonly associated with skin, collagen proteins are also present in muscles and connective tissue, which means that red light could be used to assist with healing.
What You Can Treat with Red Light Therapy
In this section, we cover the most popular uses for red light therapy, and more importantly, how to treat these conditions at home and get great results while saving money.
Red light therapy is a clinically proven anti-aging treatment. It is known to restore skin cell health, boost collagen and elastin production (which naturally decrease with age), reduce inflammation, and increase circulation, all of which could lead to radiantly healthy skin.
Topical skincare products are only partially effective on signs of aging, including fine lines and wrinkles, age spots, sun damage, or crepey skin because they only work on the skin’s outer surface. Red light therapy has clinically proven anti-aging effects that are based on treating the root cause of rapid aging, which is mitochondrial dysfunction.
You may see firmer skin and fewer fine lines and wrinkles as quickly as three weeks of red light therapy, but the ongoing maintenance treatments are what can truly turn back the clock.
Chronic Skin Disorders
Psoriasis, eczema, acne, rosacea, and other chronic skin disorders are currently considered incurable. Treating chronic inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction leads to improved health of newly formed skin cells, which can push these disorders into remission, as demonstrated by numerous clinical trials.
Maintain ongoing regular red light sessions to prevent the conditions from coming back. Because the therapy is pleasurable and painless, it could become a regular part of your daily skin-care routine – without the cost and hassle of professional office visits.
Hair loss is a frustrating, often embarrassing condition that can affect both men and women.
While hair loss can occur for many reasons, invigorating the hair follicles (where hair forms) can stimulate new hair growth.
Red light penetrates the skin and increases blood flow to the hair follicles, which could bring them out of a dormant state. It also stimulates energy production in cells and collagen, which acts as an antioxidant that helps protect hair follicles from oxidative stress.
Ongoing red light therapy will gradually regrow hair and could help prevent further abnormal hair loss.
As dermatologist Mark S. Nestor writes in a January 2020 article published in Practical Dermatology: “Clinicians and patients are just beginning to understand that LLLT can help retain hair that would otherwise be lost as well as grow new hair.”
Wound Healing and Scar Reduction
Red light therapy has been found particularly effective at treating wounds that won’t heal, such as diabetic wounds. Read more in this article.
If you have unsightly scars, and/or scars that inhibit movement, you’ll be glad to know that red light can help soften the scars, including stretch marks and keloid scars (thick, raised scars), and gradually lessen their appearance.
Elite athletes and weekend warriors alike are embracing red light therapy as a way to promote faster recovery from exercise or injury, avoid delayed-onset muscle soreness, and enjoy better physical performance.
The synergistic combination of increased blood flow, reduced inflammation, and improved cellular functioning helps the muscles perform at their peak and bounce back quicker after intense exercise or injury.
For treating acute conditions like muscle pulls, apply the therapy until the pain and inflammation are relieved. As a preventive measure, regular LED light therapy before exercise can maintain optimal muscle functioning and prevent injury.
Nervous System Health
One of the most promising applications for red light therapy is treating disorders of the nervous system, such as peripheral neuropathy.
This debilitating condition responds well to red light therapy, which promotes nerve health and sets up the optimal conditions for damaged nerves to reconnect.
A particularly exciting area where red light could be a tremendous asset is in the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and healing from traumatic brain injury. As Hamblin said in an interview: “If you put the light on the head, it can help to remodel the brain pathways.”
Read more here about the neuroprotective effects of red light, along with mitochondrial stimulation and reduction of inflammation, which could hold great promise in supporting brain health.
Low Back Pain
Acute or chronic low back pain affects millions of adults. Red light therapy addresses two underlying causes of chronic pain: inflammation and mitochondrial dysfunction. It also helps the body heal from acute back pain due to awkward lifting or other injuries.
Short-term treatment may be sufficient to relieve the pain of an acute injury. If you have chronic low back pain, you may experience significant relief within a few weeks and your back could continue to feel better with consistent use.
Once you resume normal activities, using red light before exercise or strenuous activity can precondition your lower back muscles to reduce the chances of recurring injury.
Arthritis Pain, Knee Pain, and Other Chronic Pain
Red light reduces arthritis inflammation to help slow or potentially reverse the degeneration of the joints. It also increases collagen production to help joints stay supple, and increases blood flow for better waste disposal and nutrient delivery.
Several studies show that red light eases osteoarthritis pain and it is a safe therapy for long-term treatment.
Depending on the severity of your arthritis, you could consider ongoing maintenance red light therapy three or more times weekly after initial symptoms have eased.
It may seem far-fetched that red light can actually help “melt” fat, but it does. Red light causes fat cells to leak their contents (lipids, or fat), which are then flushed from the body.
One study that demonstrated red light therapy’s fat loss effects was published in 2002. A team of medical researchers from Colombia observed that: “After 4 minutes of laser exposure, 80 percent of the fat was released from the [fat] cells; at 6 minutes of laser exposure, 99 percent of the fat was released.”
While that study used low-level laser therapy, many medical researchers use LED devices. Red light therapy experts say that LED lights provide the same therapeutic benefits without any danger or burn risk, and the results could be replicated at home.
While fat loss can be fast and dramatic when using red light therapy, you’ll get the best results from a maintenance program that helps the body stay in a fat-burning mode.
This is a very short list of the many effects red light has on the body. For more ways this all-natural therapy can enhance your health, visit our Learn page.
What to Expect During a Treatment: Professional vs. Home
Treating the body with red light at home or a clinic is virtually the same – except in-home sessions are much more convenient and ultimately, more affordable.
If your skin is particularly sensitive, you may feel temporary redness and tightness due to increased blood flow. If this is bothersome, you could decrease your treatment sessions to two to five minutes to start and gradually work back up to longer sessions.
Note that LED lights do not cause burns, and numerous studies have shown that gradual results can be achieved without any unwanted side effects.
Prepping for in-clinic sessions involves removing all skincare products like lotions and makeup, commuting to the facility, going through the usual, “I’m here for my appointment” process, treatment time, and then more commuting.
Multiply that by three to five sessions per week, and the time commitment alone is significant.
At the clinic, your provider will ask you to undress for a full-body treatment or remove clothing from a small area if you are receiving spot treatment. You will be asked to wear protective goggles during the session.
Prepping for at-home sessions is the same, except … no commute, no waiting, no appointment process, no hassles.
Since you’re in the comfort of your own home, you can feel comfortable undressing for a full-body treatment, and you can listen to music you enjoy, or even do a short stress-busting meditation as you bask in the soft red glow of the LED light therapy device.
How to Get the Best Results with At-Home Red Light Therapy
Before starting red light therapy to treat any chronic condition or for eye health, be sure to consult with your doctor and follow your doctor’s treatment guidelines.
Choose the Right Size Panel
Which panel you should choose depends on the treatment area and the condition you are treating.
For full-body treatments, choose a large, powerful panel such as the BIOMAX 900. For travel and spot treatments, you could choose a smaller portable panel. Read more on how to choose the right size panel in this article.
Choose the Right Wavelengths
Use an LED light therapy device that features both red and NIR light. Red light treats skin-deep conditions like sun-related skin damage, while NIR light goes deeper to address inflammation and deep-tissue concerns like bone, joint, muscle, or brain health.
For best results, use red and NIR wavelengths simultaneously to target every layer of tissue; this approach also often delivers pleasantly unexpected benefits outside of the targeted treatment.
The BIOMAX series features a unique five-wavelength array of two red and three NIR wavelengths for the most comprehensive treatment.
We recommend avoiding handheld devices like wands; while they could offer some of the same benefits as a larger LED red light therapy device, they are underpowered and not ideal for treating anything other than a very small area.
Consistent Treatments Are Important: Give Your Body Time to Heal
For most conditions, you could jump-start the healing process with three to five LED light treatment sessions per week, each lasting 10 to 20 minutes, for one to four months.
Depending on the condition, you may start to see results within three to four weeks.
During this period, cells will be energized, inflammation will be reduced, healthy new cells will begin forming, newly formed capillaries will carry oxygen and nutrients to cells, and collagen and elastin production will increase.
Once you start to see improvement, you may want to continue the therapy for an additional two to three weeks to make sure acute conditions like muscle strains are fully healed.
For chronic conditions, ongoing sessions one to two times per week will help you maintain and enhance the results you achieved during your initial treatment.
This article goes into more detail about how often to use red light therapy to treat various conditions.
At-Home Red Light Therapy: Convenience + Affordability + Outstanding Results
When you add it all up, the red light therapy cost will be significantly lower if you purchase your own LED light therapy panel rather than undergoing regular treatments at a clinic.
While some conditions should be treated by a healthcare professional, you can administer certain treatments at home using a powerful red LED light therapy device that delivers clinical-level light energy output.
And if you want to turn back the clock on aging skin, red light is the perfect way to achieve the vitality of youth in the comfort of your own home.If you’re ready to boost your well-being with red light therapy, you can compare the PlatinumLED Light Therapy BIOMAX series with the competition here (scroll down for the comparison video).