Bioactive wavelengths and what you should know about them

03 . 31 . 20

All light falls along a spectrum of wavelengths. Today we want to focus on red and near-infrared light, what the difference to other wavelengths of light is and why these two wavelengths are used in our Luminousred devices.
Red and near-infrared light fall within the wavelength range of 650-850 nm. This kind of light is shown by numerous research studies to be extremely beneficial to us humans.1 These wavelengths of light are bioactive, which means they affect the function of our cells. The remaining three kinds of bioactive light are blue light, UV light, and far-infrared light. 2

Table of Content

Types of bioactive light explained

Blue light sets the circadian rhythm – is a natural, internal process that regulates the sleep-wake cycle and repeats roughly every 24 hours – in our brain. A lot of biohackers hack their circadian rhythm as in today’s daily life; we have an overdose of blue light (especially in our working environment through screens, mobile phones, and fluorescent lights). 3, 4, 5
UV light allows us humans to synthesize Vitamin D from the sun. Vitamin D regulates the amount of calcium and phosphate in the body. It keeps bones, teeth, and muscles healthy. Also, they support our immune system, brain, and nervous system health. UV light is also responsible for our suntans and sunburns, as too much UV exposure is damaging to our tissue. 6 
Far-infrared light acts to heat up our cells which then help stimulate cell function as well as cellular changes. We often feel this as heat, and this technology is commonly used in so-called infrared saunas. We get asked a lot if infrared light is the same as near-infrared light. Infrared saunas, even though very beneficial as well, cannot replace red-light therapy devices, because the wavelength and so the effects are different. 7
Red light emits wavelengths of between 620-700 nm and acts on the mitochondria to stimulate increased cellular energy, called ATP (adenosine triphosphate). Visible red light within this range can penetrate the skin, offering rejuvenating and balancing outcomes for a variety of health conditions. 8
Near-infrared light (NIR) is invisible to the naked eye and has a wavelength of 700nm to 1400nm. 8

Why red and near-infrared light?

The significant difference between red and near-infrared light is their ability to penetrate the skin. Red light wavelengths are penetrating on the surface and therefore absorbed faster by our skin, which in turn produces collagen resulting in better wrinkle reduction, smoother skin, fading scars or stretch marks, and wound healing. Near-infrared light can reach deeper into our tissue, helping with inflammation, pain, and muscle recovery. 9 Depending on what your goal through red-light therapy is, you can choose which wavelength you want to use with our Luminousred devices. Fun fact: You can also use both wavelengths simultaneously!
Our devices harness the regenerative healing red light wavelengths without the more problematic UVA and UVB light rays that can cause skin burns, cancer, and premature aging. 10 Also, they are the most used wavelengths in research, as the majority of the studies show benefits from light in the wavelengths of 630–850nm.

We hope you now have a more in-depth knowledge of red and near-infrared light and are as big of a fan of it as we are. For more information on how to use these wavelengths for maximum effects, visit our research page or see our dosing guide.

Sources and References:

[1] Multi-watt near-infrared light therapy as a neuroregenerative treatment for traumatic brain injury. April 2016
[2] Testing the Healing Potential of Light. Sep. 2017
[3] Under the spotlight: mechanisms of photobiomodulation concentrating on blue and green light. Jun. 2019
[4] Blue light has a dark side. May 2012
[5] Research progress about the effect and prevention of blue light on eyes. Dec. 2018
[6] Ultravoilet (UV) Light Spectrum of flourescent lamps. Mar 2014
[7] Far infrared radiation (FIR): Its biological effects and medical applications. Nov. 2012
[8] Biological effects and medical applications of infrared radiation. Apr. 2013
[9] Effect of wavelength and beam width on penetration in light-tissue interaction using computational methods. Sep. 2012
[10] UV Radiation and the Skin. Jun. 2013

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