Which Size Red Light Panel Is Right for You?
You've done your research, and you know that red light therapy can be a life-changer. You've ruled out wands, masks, and other underpowered devices because you’ve learned that they aren’t worth buying. So which panel or array should you choose so you can experience the benefits of red and near-infrared (NIR) light?
A quality red light panel is an investment in your health and wellbeing so you want to be sure you get the right one. Here's an explanation of the various choices, and some tips on how to choose the best option for you.
Identify Your Needs
Start with your own specific objectives. Some examples might be facial rejuvenation, alleviating arthritis knee pain, treating neuropathy, treating eczema or other chronic skin conditions, or improving athletic performance. Identifying your objectives will help you narrow your choices based on the size of the areas that need to be treated.
While thinking about your objectives for red light therapy, you might like to read about the many acute or chronic conditions it can treat, while also enhancing your overall health. If so, here is an excellent collection of articles.
Targeted Treatments or Overall Wellness?
If you want to treat a localized area, such as your face, your neck, or a pulled muscle in your knee, a small panel will be ideal. Larger panels are more effective at treating widespread conditions and the whole body.
This is one of the most important considerations. Although you can use a small panel to treat larger parts of the body, it will turn into a lengthy therapy session because you’ll need to reposition the device several times to effectively reach all of the areas you want to treat.
The good news is, Platinum LED BIOMAX panels are modular, so you can build a customized system that suits your own needs. If you start with a small panel, for instance, you can link several panels together even if they're different sizes. By doing that, you'll have smaller panels when you need them, and a larger full-body array for overall wellness.
Two Wavelengths? Or Five?
All Platinum LED panels feature the most widely studied and clinically proven wavelengths of red and near-infrared light. Wavelengths are measured in nanometers (nm); the longer the wavelength, the deeper the penetration into the body.
The PlatinumLED BIO series features a choice of red or near-infrared light, as well as a combination of the two. You can choose the wavelengths appropriate for your needs, or use both together for more comprehensive benefits.
Red light treats surface conditions like fine lines and wrinkles or thinning hair. Near-infrared light is beneficial when you're treating conditions deeper in the body, such as deep muscle injury, joint pain, or brain health. Using a combination of red and NIR light is ideal because you get more comprehensive light penetration, which stimulates beneficial biological processes at different depths in the body.
The BIOMAX series features a groundbreaking approach that delivers not just one red and/or one NIR wavelength, but five wavelengths at the same time. These are delivered in a specially formulated ratio and include the most effective therapeutic wavelengths available: 630nm, 660nm, 810nm, 830nm, and 850nm. This combination allows for treatment of the many layers of the body including skin, bone, connective tissue, organs and glands, and the brain.
Consider Size and Power
In addition to wavelength, keep an eye on the milliwatts per square centimeter (mW/cm²) reading for each devices as you scan through your options below. This is known as irradiance, meaning the amount of light energy delivered by the device that is actually absorbed by your body tissue.
Irradiance is important because it regulates how fast and effective each treatment will be. The higher the irradiance, the more potent the treatment. If all else is equal, you’ll see better results more quickly from a more powerful panel.
The other part of the equation to consider is size. In general, the dimensions of the lights you’ll see below also define the surface area that will be exposed to the maximum power from the light. The BIOMAX 300, for example, can treat an area 31”x21” at a distance of 6” from the device, with maximum power.
It’s important to note that areas outside the range of the panel will still receive peripheral light. This will provide some benefits at the skin and surface level, but won’t be strong enough to penetrate into deep tissue or joints.
For example, let’s say you want to treat an achy shoulder. Positioning the panel 6” from your shoulder will ensure maximum light energy goes straight to where it’s needed; but as a bonus, peripheral light will shine on the side of your face, where it will rejuvenate your skin.
Compact Powerhouses: 300 and 450 Panels
The BIO and BIOMAX 300 (31" x 21") and 450 (31" x 23") compact LED panels are ideal for travel and targeted spot treatments such as:
- Accelerating recovery from injury
- Facial rejuvenation
- Knee injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Low back pain
- Muscle recovery
- Chronic skin conditions such as acne or rosacea
- Balancing thyroid function
- Diabetic foot neuropathy
- Hair restoration
The BIO 300 is a compact panel that is perfect for travel. It's an economical way to get started with powerful red light therapy panels. Positioned 6" from your skin, the BIO 300 delivers 94 mW/cm² of irradiance on the treatment area at a distance of 6" from the panel.
The BIO 450 has slightly higher irradiance (105 mW/cm² at 6"), which can shorten spot-treatment therapy sessions and enhance targeted deep-tissue treatment.
Get more in-depth information about the importance of irradiance by watching two short videos on the PlatinumLED blog. (Scroll down to see the videos.)
A step up from the classic BIO series, the BIOMAX compact panels deliver industry- leading irradiance (up to 30% brighter than the BIO series), a built-in timer, and the Platinum LED five-wavelength spectral configuration.
The BIOMAX 300 delivers 124 mW/cm²of irradiance 6" from the panel, which makes it the most powerful compact panel on the market. It is also the only compact panel that delivers the potent five-wavelength spectral configuration. It's the same size as the BIO 300, but brighter, and it also features a built-in timer.
The BIOMAX 450 is a slightly larger and more powerful panel that delivers 127 mW/cm² of irradiance at 6" distance from the panel. Superior irradiance means deeper light energy penetration. That, plus the BIOMAX five-wavelength red/near-infrared configuration, makes the 450 a top choice for a do-it-all panel for spot treatments.
With small panels, you'll get some peripheral light absorption outside of the recommended coverage area. This isn't enough light energy for focused treatments, but may offer some skin/surface benefits while you're treating an injury or chronic localized pain.
If you start off with small BIOMAX panels, you can add on as your needs change. Both the BIOMAX 300 and 450 panels can be linked to larger panels to achieve full-body coverage.
Full-Body Therapy, Overall Wellness: 600 and 900 Panels
The BIO and BIOMAX 600 and 900 panels offer full body coverage. Large panels deliver inside-out benefits to treat widespread conditions including:
- Chronic inflammation
- Chronic skin conditions and overall skin health
- Whole-body post-exercise muscle recovery
- Whole-body connective tissue health
- Cardiovascular system health
- Nervous system and brain health
- Immune system health
Because no two people who use red-light therapy are exactly the same, you may not get full-strength irradiation on every part of your body with the larger panels. You will, however, still enjoy widespread benefits.
For example, if you directed a 900 panel at your torso to help with liver regeneration and low back pain, you could also enjoy peripheral coverage for facial rejuvenation and below-the-knee blood circulation.
Like the compact 300 and 450 panels, the difference between the 600 and 900 panels is a slightly wider coverage (41" x 21" and 48" x 25" respectively) and slightly higher energy output from the larger panel.
The BIO 600 delivers 94 mW/cm² of light energy at 6". It's an ideal size for treating skin conditions on the torso or limbs, or supporting post-exercise muscle recovery in the large muscle groups.
The BIO 900 delivers 105 mW/cm² irradiance at 6". Use this size for full-body treatments if you're under 5' 9". The 900 size helps "wrap" light around the sides of your body, so the irradiation isn't just front/back but all around.
The BIOMAX 600 packs a powerful 129 mW/cm² irradiance at 6", utilizing the five-wavelength Platinum LED spectral configuration of red and NIR wavelengths. If you start out with a compact panel and add the 600, you’ll end up with a coverage area that's 72" x 21".
The largest and most powerful panel in the Platinum LED family is the BIOMAX 900.
This crème de la crème of red light therapy panels allows you to experience the benefits of 135 mW/cm² at 6" to treat a wide variety of chronic conditions, enhance athletic performance, and "tune up" your circulatory and nervous system, your skin, and even your digestive system on an ongoing basis. The 900 is a great choice for full-body treatments for people up to about 5'9" (175cm) tall. If you're taller, you'll get the best results by stacking two 600 panels or two 900 panels.
Maximum Power: Light Combinations
BIOMAX panels are designed to be linked together to increase the irradiance area, allowing you to go wider and/or higher, to achieve the best possible results with total body coverage that doesn't sacrifice light energy output. Check out all the possible configuration options here.
Suggested configurations and uses:
- Stack two 600 or 900 panels in front and two stacked 600 or 900 panels in back for a full-body session that treats virtually every part of your body in one session;
- Take your physical performance to the next level stacking four panels to give you full-body coverage while doing yoga, lifting weights, walking/running on a treadmill, or riding an exercise bike;
- Use the horizontal rack stand with two 900 panels to enjoy a full-body red light session while reclining comfortably on your bed or a yoga mat.
For example, The NBA Cleveland Cavaliers use two BIOMAX 900 4-light combinations of PlatinumLED red light therapy panels - one on either side of their athletes - as part of their training to help build muscle, reduce injury, speed up muscle recovery after exercise, and improve their cardiovascular capacity.
How to Use the Stands
The BIO series panels come with a door hanging kit for hands-free comfort. They can also be propped up against a wall or other study vertical surface.
If you need to treat a hard-to-reach area, the BIOMAX panels can be mounted to adjustable stands, which is not only convenient but very comfortable.
- The mobile rack stand is ideal if you prefer to stand or sit during your therapy, or if you want to link up to four panels together for full-body treatment (this lets you treat any part of your body from head to toe hands-free). For smaller areas such as the lower back, you could sit on a chair in front of the panels; or relax in a recliner to treat the top of your head.
- The horizontal rack stand is a mobile stand that positions the lights directly overhead. You could sit under the lights to treat hair loss; or, lie comfortably on your bed, a couch, or the floor for full-body treatment for neuropathy, muscle recovery, or back pain.
- Compact BIOMAX panels can be hung from a door. Or, the optional desktop stand makes it easy to position the panel exactly where you want it.
If you're using larger BIOMAX panels:
- Mount up to four 900 panels to a vertical stand and enjoy red light therapy while sitting or standing, depending on your preference. Since therapy sessions can last 20+ minutes, many people prefer to sit. A vertical stand is the ideal solution for home gyms so you can enjoy red light therapy before, during, and/or after a workout.
- The horizontal stand accommodates one to two panels of any size, which is perfect for therapy sessions while lying on a bed or the floor.
Your body (to state the obvious) is not a flat surface. So if your target treatment area is in one of the "dips" (such as the lower back, or back of the knees), you'll want to adjust the distance and the angles of the panels so the light effectively reaches your skin. You may need to get creative with body positioning to reach the top of your head or other hard-to-reach areas to ensure you're getting optimal light energy. For instance ...
- To restore hair growth: You could use a tabletop stand with a BIOMAX 300 or 450, position a recliner in front of the panel, facing away from the panel. Or, you could lean a panel against the wall, and lie on a yoga mat in front of it to reach the top of your head; and then sit or stand while treating the sides of your head.
- To treat a muscle pull in the inner thigh: You could sit on the floor or bed and place any panel on its side between your legs so it is supported by your other leg.
- To treat lower back pain or a pulled hamstring: You could lie on your stomach or on your side on a yoga mat and prop a panel against the wall; or, use BIOMAX panels mounted to a horizontal stand and lie on your stomach on your bed or on a yoga mat with the lights directly overhead.
Getting Maximum Dosage
The optimal distance for a compact LED panel, meaning the distance at which the light energy output is strongest, is 6” to 8". The deeper you want the light to penetrate, the closer you should be to the device.
- For maximum deep tissue absorption, keep the light 6" - 12"away if you're using BIO lights or 8" - 14" away when using the more powerful BIOMAX lights to concentrate the light energy.
- For a mix of skin and deep tissue therapy, place BIO or BIOMAX lights about 12" - 18" away from the body, which slightly diffuses the light energy over a wider area.
- To enhance skin health, you can be up to 22" away from the BIO or BIOMAX lights.
- Longer sessions will increase the amount of light energy absorbed into your body's tissues. This allows you to be farther from the device, if that's more comfortable.
Convenient Red Light Therapy
By now, you should have the information you need to decide which panels and configurations are right for you. Remember, choose the 300/450 models for spot treatment and travel, and the 600/900 panels for full-body treatment. And if you choose the BIOMAX panels, you can link them together with a stand to create an exceptionally powerful red light therapy experience.
The BIO series is an affordable solution that lets you choose whether you want to treat your body using red, near-infrared, or a combination of both wavelengths.
The BIOMAX series features the most powerful LED lights on the market, and bathes your body in a five-wavelength spectral configuration based on the most widely studied and clinically proven wavelengths of red and near-infrared light.