Finding the Optimal Balance: LED Wavelengths, Doses and Timing for Effective Light Therapy

Looking for the best LED light therapy doses and optimal LED wavelengths for your specific issue? While red and near-infrared wavelengths are often considered the most beneficial, there’s more to consider when looking at what different wavelengths can do. We break down the ideal doses and timing for red, near-infrared, blue and green light therapies. Read on to discover how to calculate your device’s power density and determine the perfect application time to achieve maximum benefits from each session.

Why the Right Wavelengths Matter in LED Light Therapy

Why are Red and Near-Infrared LED Wavelengths Considered the Most Beneficial?

Red and near-infrared wavelengths are considered the most beneficial for LED light therapy. These wavelengths fall within a “therapeutic window” that has been identified by researchers as having significant biological benefits without any known side effects. Visible red wavelengths ranging from 610 to 670 nm ( nanometers ) can absorb into the skin up to a depth of between 4 and 5 mm, while near-infrared (NIR) light at 810-850 nm can penetrate deeper tissue up to approximately two inches beneath the skin surface. Studies suggest that combining these specific wavelengths could have profound benefits in reducing inflammation, improving muscle performance, treating chronic skin disorders like psoriasis, promoting hair regrowth, and reducing fine lines and wrinkles.

The Therapeutic Window

The therapeutic window refers to the range of wavelengths that have significant biological benefits without any known side effects. It is important to stay within this window when using LED therapy for maximum effectiveness. To determine the optimal time and duration for therapy sessions, it’s essential to consider factors such as absorption depth, skincare products on the skin, light-blockers like clothing or hair, and power of the LED light therapy device. The most profound benefits appear in red wavelengths between 630-670 nm and near-infrared wavelengths ranging from 810-850 nm.

Absorption Depths

Different LED wavelengths penetrate the skin at different depths. The 633nm and 650nm red light wavelengths can only reach a depth of around 1mm, while the deeper-penetrating 670nm wavelength can absorb into the skin up to about 5mm deep. Near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths like 780nm, 810nm, and 830 nm have an even greater absorption depth of over two inches, making them especially beneficial for conditions involving muscles, blood vessels or organs beneath the surface. However, factors such as skin color or thickness can also affect how deeply these wavelengths are absorbed.

Benefits of Red Wavelengths

Red light therapy has become a popular treatment option due to its ability to penetrate the skin with wavelengths between 633nm and 670nm. The benefits of red wavelengths in LED light therapy include improving skin texture by promoting collagen production, its anti-inflammatory effects on acne and rosacea-prone skin, as well as reducing pain and inflammation in musculoskeletal injuries. Red wavelengths also have a deeper penetration than shorter 630 nm wavelength, making them more effective for certain treatments.

Some of the specific benefits of red light therapy include reduced fine lines and wrinkles, improvement in chronic skin disorders like psoriasis, hair regrowth stimulation, treatment for acne-prone skin reduction training fatigue and improved skeletal muscle performance.

  • Reduced fine lines and wrinkles: The combination of 630 nm red light wavelength with other beauty treatments such as micro-needling has shown a significant improvement in photodamage, fine lines, and sagging according to this study. This outcome has also been observed in several other clinical trials, including a study from Germany in 2014.
  • Improvement in chronic skin disorders like psoriasis: According to a study, combining hematoporphyrin derivative (HPD) with red light of wavelength 630 nm resulted in the alleviation of psoriasis symptoms in just 17 days.
  • Hair regrowth: In 2013, a study found that using red light therapy with a wavelength of 630 nm is a secure and efficient technique to encourage hair growth in both males and females.
  • Treatment of acne: According to a publication in Dermatology Times in 2017, the use of red light therapy may be a feasible solution for treating acne. A lot of acne treatments using LED lights often combine both red and blue lights.
  • Reduced training fatigue: In 2011, a research found that the combination of red light at 670 nm and 830 nm NIR light can postpone muscle fatigue and improve the performance of skeletal muscles. This study suggests that athletes should consider using multiple wavelengths together as it could have significant advantages.
  • Reduced inflammation: A research project that explored the impact of red light therapy on pleurisy in rats discovered that the 670 nm wavelength had a beneficial anti-inflammatory outcome.
  • Improved bone healing: According to a study conducted in 2015, the 670 nm red light had a more significant impact on increasing ATP production in vitro and accelerating the formation of callus during the initial stages of bone fracture healing compared to the 830 nm wavelength.
  • Reduced neuropathic pain: In 2014, a research study conducted on rats to study sciatic nerve pain discovered that the utilization of red light with a wavelength of 670 nm was extremely effective in decreasing pain.
  • Accelerated wound healing: During the year 2013, scholars carrying out an investigation discovered that the red light with a wavelength of 670 nm amplified the development of fresh blood vessels and augmented the placement of collagen, thereby facilitating the process of wound healing.

By themselves, the red light wavelengths of 630 nm and 670 nm are very effective. However, the most beneficial outcomes can be obtained by merging shorter and longer wavelengths within both the visible and invisible light spectrum.

Benefits of Near Infrared Wavelengths

Near-infrared wavelengths have a powerful ability to penetrate deep into tissue, promoting healing from within. This is due to their ability to stimulate ATP production, aiding in cellular repair processes. Recent studies have shown that near-infrared light may also have potential benefits for neurological conditions like Parkinson’s disease or traumatic brain injury.

The best wavelength for effective deep-tissue treatment using NIR is commonly regarded as being between 830 and 850 nm, which falls towards the higher end of the NIR spectrum. Below are a few examples of the outcomes reported from different research and clinical experiments conducted with wavelengths between 810 and 850 nm, which have been extensively studied.

Here are some of the other potential benefits of Near-Infrared Wavelengths:

  • Improved skin health: NIR can improve skin texture and tone
  • Pain relief: NIR therapy has been used successfully for pain management
  • Post Surgery: South Korean researchers discovered in a 2015 study that quick exposure to 830 nm wavelengths following cosmetic surgery speeds up recuperation, diminishes recovery time, and amplifies surgical outcomes by decreasing inflammation, infection, discoloration, and discomfort.
  • Increased circulation: Studies show that it can increase blood flow and even reduce inflammation.
  • Better muscle recovery: By stimulating ATP production, near-infrared wavelengths can speed up muscle recovery after exercise or injury. Hamblin, who was one of the authors of a study conducted in 2016, monitored the application of 850 nm wavelengths on athletes. The study discovered that the utilization of NIR light augmented muscle mass following workout sessions, and lowered inflammation and oxidative stress within muscle biopsies.
  • Returning to play after an injury: For both amateur and professional athletes, being able to resume playing after an injury or trauma as quickly as possible is very important. In 2016, a study was conducted which proved that 830 nm NIR light therapy was effective and safe in reducing the time that injured athletes had to wait before going back to playing. Within the span of 15 months, 395 injuries were treated with this type of light therapy, including sprains, strains, ligament damage, tendonitis, and contusions. The researchers discovered that the treatment helped to speed up the healing process in all types of injuries, and prevented secondary infections.

Overall, incorporating near-infrared wavelengths into your LED light therapy routine could help you achieve more profound therapeutic results.

Combining Wavelengths for Maximum Benefits

Combining multiple LED wavelengths in a single LED light therapy session has become an increasingly popular approach. For instance, some clinicians will use both red and near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths to enhance overall efficacy compared to using a single wavelength alone. The reason behind this is that different wavelengths can penetrate the skin at varying depths, thus targeting various tissues and providing more comprehensive benefits. One example of this would be combining 633nm red light with 830nm NIR light for improved muscle performance and reduced fatigue post-workout. By choosing the best combination for your specific goals, you could potentially receive maximum benefits from multi-wavelength treatments compared to those from a single-wavelength option.

Why the Right Doses Matter in LED Light Therapy

Red Light Therapy Doses

To achieve the best results with red light therapy, it’s important to use a device that emits strong enough LED wavelengths to penetrate through the entire skin layer. The optimal spectrum range is between 610-630nm and 660-690nm, but commonly available wavelengths such as 630 nm and 670 nm are still effective. Something also to consider is the number of LED lights, more is more.

The regimen is to start off with, the recommendation, is to aim for using red light therapy doses of around 5-15 minutes, on 3-4 days per week for a period of about 4-6 weeks. For general maintenance after this initial treatment period, once or twice weekly is sufficient. Try and stick to the guidelines to achieve the best results.

The optimal spectrum range for red light therapy is between 610-630nm and 660-690nm, but commonly available wavelengths such as 630 nm and 670 nm are still effective.

When calculating your dose of red light therapy or any other type of light therapy, keep in mind that the distance from which you apply the light can affect its power density hitting the skin. To calculate the Joules, use formulas like Time = Dose ÷ (Power density x 0.001) to calculate how long you need to apply your device for based on your desired dose and power density. It’s also worth noting that dosing measurements like J/cm² only measure energy applied to surface area rather than volume of cells affected by treatment; different strengths used over varying frequencies may have differing effects depending on specific issues being treated as well.

Ideal Strength Range

What strength range is considered safe and effective?

The ideal strength range for LED light therapy devices tends to be in the 10 – 200mW/cm² range, depending on the distance from which it needs to be applied. Using excessive or inadequate strength can cause unwanted consequences such as skin damage or no therapeutic benefits.

Factors that affect ideal strength range

Distance of the light source is crucially important in determining the power density hitting the skin. Additionally, session frequency should be taken into account when planning an optimal dosage plan.

The consequences of using excessive or inadequate strength

Using too much power can cause skin damage and other unwanted side effects while using too little may result in no therapeutic benefits at all. It’s essential to find a balance between safety and effectiveness when applying LED light therapy.

  • 10 – 200 mW/cm²
  • Factors affecting ideal strength: Distance & Session Frequency
  • Consequences of improper use: Skin Damage / No Therapeutic Benefits
Frequency of Use

Recommended frequency based on treatment type and condition:

  • Red light therapy: 3-4 times a week for 4-6 weeks, followed by once or twice a week for maintenance
  • Near-infrared light therapy: frequency varies depending on the wavelength used and specific condition being treated

Possible side effects from overuse or underuse:

Overusing LED light therapy can lead to potential side effects such as skin irritation, headaches or eye strain. Underusing may not produce desired benefits.

Ways to incorporate regular LED light therapy treatments into your routine:

Make it part of your daily routine by using it at the same time every day, use apps that remind you when to use it, and find ways to multitask while using the device. Consistency is key for continuous benefits.

Near Infrared Light Therapy Doses

When it comes to Near Infrared Light Therapy Doses, the most efficient wavelengths are between 610-630nm and 660-690nm. While any red or infrared light between 610 nm and 1000 nm can be helpful, the maximum penetration seems to be in the mid-700 range around 740-760nm. Optimal strength range tends to fall within the range of 10 – 200 mW/cm² with varying strength dependent on distance from light source. As for dose, studies have shown that an optimal dose falls within the range of .1J/cm² to 6J/cm² but some studies also have found positive results at much higher ranges such as up to a whopping 70 J/cm²!

Optimal Strength Range

Light therapy devices come in varying strengths for different purposes. The optimal strength range of a device depends on the intended use, and can be determined by calculating the distance from which it needs to be applied to give an appropriate power density. Generally, low-level intensity (LLLT) devices are used for pain relief, inflammation reduction, and tissue repair; medium-level intensity (MLLT) devices are recommended for treating sun-damaged or aged skin; while high-level intensity (HILT) devices are suitable for wound healing, muscle recovery, and joint pain.

  • LLLT: Used for pain relief, inflammation reduction and tissue repair
  • MLLT: Recommended for treating sun-damaged or aged skin
  • HILT: Suitable for wound healing ,muscle recovery, and joint pain
Effective Application Time

10-20 minutes per session is sufficient for most LED therapy treatments. However, longer sessions may be required to achieve optimal results in certain cases. The frequency of application should also be taken into account when determining the best treatment plan.

To determine the appropriate power density for your device, calculate the light therapy range and vary strength by varying distance. Then use this formula to calculate how long a session should last: Time = Dose ÷ (Power density x 0.001). Keep in mind that dosing can be complicated and measuring J/cm³ instead of just J/cm² may provide more accurate results. Additionally, different strengths of light can have different effects and ideal session frequencies may vary depending on the issue being treated.

Blue Light Therapy Doses

For acne treatment, blue light therapy is effective at a wavelength of 415nm. A study found that using an intensity of 40mW/cm² for 45 minutes resulted in significant improvement. However, too much exposure to high-intensity blue light can cause skin damage, so it’s important to follow recommended dosages and avoid prolonged exposure.

It’s also worth noting that timing is important when it comes to blue light therapy for sleep disorders. Exposure to bright blue-light wavelengths should be avoided before bedtime as they can suppress melatonin production and disrupt circadian rhythms.

Ideal Doses

Understanding the concept of doses in light therapy is crucial for optimal treatment. Factors to consider when determining ideal doses for LED light therapy include the wavelength, intensity, and timing of the treatment. To calculate the ideal dose based on your skin type and condition, measure your device’s power density and use a formula to determine how long you need to apply the light for optimal results. Remember that while dosing can get complicated scientifically, starting with these basic calculations will help ensure effective treatments at home.

Intensity and Timings

Intensity and Timings play a crucial role in maximizing the benefits of LED light therapy. The recommended intensities for optimal results vary depending on the wavelength, with ranges between 10 – 200mW/cm² being ideal. It’s also important to note that timing is key, with sessions lasting between 5-15 minutes to avoid diminishing returns.

When it comes to how often you should use LED light therapy, starting at three to four times per week for four to six weeks is recommended for maximum effectiveness. Afterwards, one or two sessions per week are acceptable for general maintenance and overall health. Calculating session time using a formula involving dose (measured in J/cm²) and power density (in mW/cm²) helps ensure that you’re getting the proper dosage needed for your specific issue. However, dosing can be more complicated than just measuring J/cm²; factors like different strengths of light and session frequency also come into play when determining what works best for each individual patient’s needs.

Green Light Therapy Doses

Green light therapy doses can vary depending on the issue being treated. For acne, a dose of 2 J/cm² at a wavelength of 520 nm has been found to be effective. For pain relief and wound healing, a range between 515-530 nm with an energy density of 4-6 J/cm² is recommended. It’s important to note that green light therapy should not be used for more than 30 minutes per day.

Intensity and timings also play an important role in green light therapy dosing. The intensity should typically range from 20-60 mW/cm², while the timing will depend on the desired dose and power density calculated using the formula provided earlier in this post. It’s always best to consult with a healthcare professional before starting any form of light therapy treatment to ensure safety and effectiveness for your specific needs.

Effective Doses

Understanding LED light therapy and the factors affecting effective doses is crucial to achieving optimal results. The right dosage depends on the wavelength, intensity, and timing of the light therapy. For red light therapy, LED wavelengths between 610-630nm & 660-690nm are considered optimal with a recommended usage of 3-4 times per week for 4-6 weeks. Near infrared light therapy has a narrow range of penetration into biological tissue known as the ‘near infrared window’, with an optimal strength range in the 10 – 200mW/cm² range. When determining your dosage, it’s important to calculate both power density and time using formulas like Time = Dose ÷ (Power density x 0.001). Overall, understanding effective doses can help you achieve maximum benefits from LED light therapy treatments tailored to your specific needs.

Intensity and Timings

Intensity is a crucial factor in LED light therapy, as too little intensity won’t provide the desired effect and too much could harm your skin. It’s recommended to start with an optimal time of 5-15 minutes per session, but this can be adjusted based on individual skin sensitivity. Additionally, it’s important to adjust the intensity of the light based on different conditions, as some require more power than others for effective treatment.

Finding the best LED light therapy doses involves calculating both wavelength and timing. The absolute optimal spectrum ranges are 610-630nm & 660-690nm with single wavelengths at 630nm and 670nm being ideal for red light therapy doses. For near-infrared therapies, you should aim for wavelengths between 610 nm -1000 nm with a maximum penetration around mid-700 range (740-760nm). Lastly, blue and green light therapies have their own specific dose requirements that need to be considered before starting any treatments.


What I discovered was not all LED wavelengths are effective.
The key for the therapy to work are down to the wavelength, the intensity and the timings.