You've done your research on red light therapy, and you know that it can be a life-changer. A quality red light panel is an investment in your health and well-being, so you want to be sure you choose the right one.
If you're wondering which red light therapy panel or array you should choose to experience the clinically proven benefits of red and near-infrared light, here's an explanation of the various devices, and how to choose which red light therapy device is best for you.
Note: Buy the most powerful red light therapy panels of any size in the Platinum Therapy Lights store.
Identify Your Needs: Targeted Treatments, or Large Area Treatments and Overall Wellness
Start with specific objectives you want to achieve with your red light panel, such as facial rejuvenation, alleviating arthritis-related 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 condition you’re treating, and the size of the treatment area.
While thinking about your objectives for red light therapy, you might like to read about the many acute or chronic conditions it is commonly used for. Our collection of informative articles is a great starting point for learning about the potential of red light therapy.
If you want to treat a localized area, such as your face, neck, scalp, a pulled muscle, or an aching knee, a small red light panel could be ideal. Larger panels are more effective at treating widespread conditions and for whole-body treatment.
One of the most important considerations is the treatment area. While you can use a small red light device to treat larger areas of the body, this could result in lengthy therapy sessions. To effectively reach all the areas you want to treat, you would need to reposition the device several times
Tip: 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, 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.
Red vs Near-Infrared Panels: Which Is Best?
Before we talk about individual panels, here’s a bit of necessary background information. The term “red light therapy” is used to refer to both red and near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths. Some panels will give you the choice of one or the other, while others let you bask in a combination of several different red/NIR wavelengths. All these different panels are fitted with light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, although larger panels have more bulbs.
Two Wavelengths … or Five?
All PlatinumLED panels feature the most widely studied and clinically proven wavelengths of red and near-infrared light. Wavelengths are measured in nanometers (nm), and the longer the wavelength, the deeper the penetration into the body.
The PlatinumLED BIO series features a choice of red or NIR 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 “skin-deep” conditions like fine lines and wrinkles, sun-damaged skin, or thinning hair.
Near-infrared light, because of its longer wavelengths, treats conditions deeper in the body, such as deep muscle injury, joint pain, or chronic inflammation that could be contributing to slow healing or persistent skin disorders like psoriasis.
In terms of choosing between red wavelengths and NIR wavelengths, the short answer is that you want a panel that delivers both. 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 PlatinumLED BIOMAX series features a groundbreaking approach that delivers not just one red and/or one NIR wavelength, but five of the most clinically proven therapeutic wavelengths – 630nm, 660nm, 810nm, 830nm, and 850nm – at the same time.
These wavelengths are delivered in a specially formulated ratio to stimulate cell metabolism and other beneficial processes in the many layers of the body including the skin, bone, connective tissue, organs and glands, and the brain.
For more in-depth information about the benefits of combining red and near-infrared light, read this PlatinumLED article.
Power and Size: Why Bigger Could Be Better
In the case of red light therapy panels, bigger is better when it comes to power, and a larger panel streamlines the therapy sessions by allowing you to treat larger areas at once. However, a large panel may be overkill if you need localized treatment.
Keep an eye on the milliwatts per square centimeter (mW/cm²) reading for each device as you scan through your options below. This is known as irradiance, or the amount of light energy delivered by the device that is absorbed by your body’s tissues.
Whether a treatment is effective or not comes down to Irradiance: the higher the irradiance, the more potent the treatment. If all else is equal, you’ll see better and faster results from a more powerful panel.
In general, the panel dimensions 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 of 31” x 21” 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 such as skin health and hair growth, but won’t be strong enough to penetrate deep tissue or joints.
For example, let’s say you want to treat a sore shoulder. Positioning the panel 6” from your shoulder can ensure maximum light energy goes straight to where it’s needed; but as a bonus, peripheral light will shine on your neck and face, where it has the potential to rejuvenate your skin.
Compact Powerhouses: 300 and 450 Panels
The BIO and BIOMAX 300 and 450 compact LED panels are ideal for travel and targeted spot treatments such as:
- Accelerating recovery from injury
- Facial rejuvenation and overall skin health
- Knee injuries
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Low back pain and joint pain
- Muscle recovery
- Chronic skin conditions such as acne or rosacea
- Balancing thyroid function
- Wound healing
- Boosting blood circulation in the skin
- Diabetic foot neuropathy
- Hair growth
The BIO 300 is a compact red LED light panel that is perfect for travel. It’s an economical way to get started with powerful red light therapy. Positioned 6” from your skin, the BIO 300 delivers 94 mW/cm² of irradiance 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.
For more in-depth information about the importance of irradiance, watch these two short videos (scroll down the “How It Works” page to see the videos).
A step up from the classic BIO series, the BIOMAX compact panels deliver industry-leading irradiance – up to 30 percent brighter than the BIO series – a built-in timer, and the Platinum LED five-wavelength spectral configuration, which features five of the most widely studied wavelengths that have proven benefits in clinical trials.
The BIOMAX 300 delivers 124 mW/cm²of irradiance 6" from the panel, which makes it the most powerful compact red LED light 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 irradiance at a 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 in a versatile panel for spot treatments.
With small red light 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-deep benefits while you're treating an injury or chronic localized pain.
If you start 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 coverage for larger areas of the body. These panels deliver inside-out benefits to treat major muscle groups and widespread conditions including:
- Chronic inflammation
- Chronic skin conditions and overall skin health
- Whole-body post-exercise muscle recovery
- Whole-body connective tissue health
- Weight loss
- Cardiovascular system health
- Pain relief
- Nervous system and brain health
- Immune system health
The BIO 600 delivers 94 mW/cm² of light energy at 6". It is an ideal size for treating skin conditions on the torso or limbs, as well as supporting post-exercise muscle recovery in the large muscle groups in the lower body.
The BIO 900 delivers 105 mW/cm² irradiance at 6". Use this size to treat about half to two-thirds of your body. Also note that the 900 panel is wider, which 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 with a compact panel and add the 600, you’ll end up with a coverage area that will accommodate an average adult, head-to-toe.
The largest and most powerful panel in the Platinum LED family – as well as on the market – is the BIOMAX 900.
This crème de la crème, elite red light therapy panel allows you to experience the health benefits of an extremely powerful 135 mW/cm² light output 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 BIOMAX 900 is a great choice for large-area coverage, up to two-thirds of your body depending on your height. If you need true full-body coverage, you'll get the best results by stacking a BIOMAX 900 and BIOMAX 450, two BIOMAX 600 panels, or even two BIOMAX 900 panels. When these are mounted on a horizontal rack stand you have the option of standing or sitting to make your treatment session more comfortable.
Curious to see how PlatinumLED Therapy Lights stack up against the competition? Here’s a comparison that “sheds light” on the topic.
The Right Red Light Panel for Your Pets
You can also use red light therapy panels to give your pets the soothing benefits of red and NIR light. And you’ll be comforted to know that red light therapy panels are considered low-risk devices. Many studies have been done on the effects of red light on pets; the same mechanisms that make red light therapy a potential treatment for a variety of human health conditions can make it a great complementary treatment for arthritic or injured dogs, cats, horses, and other furry friends.
The larger the animal, the larger the panel you’ll want to use. For example, performance horse trainers often use one or several BIOMAX 900 full body panels hung in a stall or grooming area to treat injuries and as a preventive measure for horses whose muscles and joints are routinely stressed in competition.
In General, Does Larger Mean Better?
Generally, yes – if you’re looking for full-body therapy and want the convenience of shorter sessions. However, you can achieve great results and enjoy full-body treatments by linking several smaller BIOMAX panels together in two- or four-panel groupings.
This approach gives you unprecedented flexibility: Use the panels linked together to create a full-body panel while enjoying the flexibility of smaller panels for spot treatments or travel.
Look here to see all the possible configuration options.
Suggested configurations and uses:
- Stack two 600 or 900 panels in front and stack of two 600 or 900 panels in back for a full-body experience that treats virtually every part of your body in one session;
- Take your physical performance to the next level by stacking four panels for full-body coverage while doing yoga, lifting weights, walking/running on a treadmill, or riding an exercise bike;
- Use the horizontal rack red light stand with two 900 panels to enjoy a full-body red light session while reclining comfortably on your bed or any flat surface on a yoga mat.
The NBA Cleveland Cavaliers use two BIOMAX 900 4-light combinations (one on the front and back of the players) as part of their training to help build muscle, reduce injuries, accelerate muscle recovery after exercise, improve their cardiovascular capacity, and provide faster return-to-play after injury.
Thanks to LED technology, you can enjoy a pro-athlete-level red light therapy session at home. If you want pro-level support for your body’s functioning, check out the BIOMAX series panels: the world's most powerful red light therapy devices.
Red Light Therapy in the Comfort of Home
We hope this article has helped you decide which panels and configurations are right for you.
To sum up, choose the 300/450 panel sizes for spot treatment and travel, and the 600/900 panel sizes for full-body treatment. If you choose the BIOMAX panels, you can link them together in groupings of two or four to create an exceptionally powerful red/NIR light therapy experience.
Check out this article for in-depth guidance on how to enjoy red light therapy in the comfort of your home.
Consistency, Time, and Irradiance: An Effective Approach
Whichever panel size you choose, there are a few ways to ensure you get the best benefits.
You’ll need to be consistent with your treatment; for many conditions, this means 10- to 20-minute sessions three to five times per week for a few weeks to several months. Red light is not a miracle treatment. It can play a powerful supporting role, but it’s important to give the body the time it needs to repair itself.
Whether you’re treating signs of aging or a strained hamstring, red light therapy works with the body on a cellular level where it can support the body’s natural healing mechanisms.
Many studies show significant and measurable results after just a few treatments – and this may be your experience too – but for most conditions, time and treatment consistency can yield even better results.
With any panel, be sure your body is absorbing the maximum amount of light possible.
- The optimal distance for an LED light therapy panel – the distance at which the light energy output is strongest – is 6” to 8". This holds true for all panel sizes.
- The closer you are, the more concentrated the light energy and the deeper the light photons will penetrate joints, bones, and soft tissues of the body.
- 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 18" – 24" away from the BIO or BIOMAX lights.
- Longer sessions could 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, and it also offers the flexibility of using a smaller, less powerful panel (increase your treatment time with a smaller panel to mirror the benefits of a shorter session with a larger panel).
Questions about the dozens of applications and the possibilities for using red light therapy to enhance your health? Check out the Platinum Therapy Lights Learn page.
Which Is the Best Size Panel for You? Our Recommendation
By now, you know what to look for in a red light therapy panel based on your unique needs. There is no one “perfect” size for everyone.Our recommendation – if you’re still not sure which panel is best for you – is that you start with the BIOMAX 600. It is a versatile size you can use for both targeted and widespread conditions and contains our proprietary blend of five of the most therapeutic red and NIR wavelengths. You can add to this modular system overtime to give yourself even more treatment options.