What is LED Light therapy ?

Light therapy, also known as phototherapy, involves the use of specific wavelengths and colors of light, often produced by LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes), to treat various medical and psychological conditions. Different colors of LEDs, including green, red, and blue, have been used in light therapy for various purposes. There are some potential benefits and drawbacks of light therapy using these colors of LEDs.

The different light of colors are used for therapeutic use since decades. According to one study, light therapy requires 20 minutes for each treatment. Patients require about 8-10 such treatments based on desired results.

LED based light therapy can be applied to any parts of the body such as face, neck and chest. LED based light therapy has several advantages as follows.
• It does not cause long term damage to the skin as it is non-invasive method.
• It does not burn our skin.
• Moreover it does not cause any pain to humans.
• There are rare side effects of LED light therapy treatment. Some of the symptoms are redness, inflammation, pain, rash, tenderness etc. It is better to call the doctor if one observes any of these symptoms.

What are Green, Red, Blue and IR LED lights ?

Different light based LEDs and photodiodes are used in wearable devices to monitor various health parameters such as heart rate, beat rate, oxygen saturation etc. Different colors have their unique wavelengths. Absorption of light in blood varies based on amount of hemoglobin and wavelength of light. It also depends on spectral responsivity of photodiodes.

Light wavelength vs absorption in blood
Image Courtesy : OSRAM Opto Semiconductors

The light with shorter wavelengths from blue to yellow are absorbed strongly. The light with longer wavelengths from red to infrared are used for pulse oximeter applications. Red light wavelength range from 620 to 750 nm. Blue light wavelength range from 450 to 495 nm. Green light wavelength range from 495 to 570 nm. IR (Infrared) light wavelength range from 700 nm to 1 mm. Specific wavelength of these colors are used for light therapy treatment. The Green, red, infrared and blue light use 530 nm, 665 nm, 940 nm and 470 nm respectively. Blue light has shorter waves than red light. Blue light has higher frequency than red light and consecutively carry more energy. OSRAM Opto semiconductors manufactures LED emitters, photodiode detectors and integrated solutions with both. Refer article on Health monitoring system >> which describes use of LEDs and photodiodes in heart rate and SpO2 measurement.

Green led light therapy benefits

Following are the advantages or benefits of green led light therapy :
➨It increases production of enkephalins.
➨It reduces inflammation.
➨Due to above two characteristics, green LED light can be used to treat or decrease migraines and other chronic pain conditions.

Red LED Light therapy benefits

Following are the pros or benefits of Red LED light therapy :
➨Red light therapy with low wavelength is used for treatment of skin related issues viz. wrinkles, wounds, scars etc.
➨Red LED light reduces inflammation and improves circulation. This provides healthier glow to human being.
➨Light emitted from red leds help to promote growth of plants by photosynthesis of plant cells.
➨Red light helps to increase energy inside cells of human beings.
➨It can be used for treatment of muscle atrophy and bone density related issues observed by space travellers.
➨It can also be used to treat side effects caused by chemotherapy.

Blue led light therapy benefits

Following are the advantages or benefits of Blue LED light therapy :
➨Sebaceous glands lubricate our skin and hair. Our skin becomes oily and causes acne when these glands become overactive. Blue light makes these glands less active and hence helps in treatment of acne.
➨Blue light kills bacteria beneath our skin which causes acne and helps in treatment of severe pimples.
➨As per one study, blue LED helps in healing of third degree skin burned patients.
➨It is used with red light to treat acne, to promote anti-inflammatory effects and to decrease scarring.

Benefits or advantages of IR LED Light

Following are the benefits or advantages of IR LED:
➨It can penetrate deep inside the skin. Hence it is used to treat pain and inflammation of body parts.
➨Infrared (IR) light enhances cell regeneration unlike UV light which damages skin. Hence it is used at certain wavelength to repair cells.
➨Infrared light therapy is natural, safe, non-invasive and painless method.

Infrared rays raise temperature of eye which can lead to lens, cornea and retina damage including corneal ulcers, cataracts and retinal burns.

Like all the other treatment methods, light therapy can also cause certain side effects which vary patient to patient. Hence in case of such side effects it is recommended to consult the doctors post treatment. It is also recommended not to try treatment using such lights yourself at home.

Disadvantages of LED light therapy

Following are the cons or drawbacks or disadvantages of LED light therapy :
➨Prolonged exposure to bright LED lights, especially blue light can lead to eye strain and discomfort.
➨Some individuals may experience skin sensitivity or adverse reactions to light therapy.
➨Excessive exposure to blue light in the evening can disrupt natural sleep patterns and may contribute to insomnia.
➨High-quality LED light therapy devices can be expensive, and access to professional-grade treatments may be limited for some individuals.
➨Light therapy may not be appropriate for individuals with certain medical conditions or those taking medications that increase photosensitivity.
➨Without proper guidance and understanding of the appropriate parameters for light therapy, there is a risk of ineffective or harmful treatment.

Conclusion : It's important to note that the effectiveness of light therapy can vary depending on the condition being treated, the specific parameters of light exposure (such as intensity, duration and wavelength) and individual factors. Light therapy using green, red, and blue LED lights can provide several benefits for various health and wellness purposes. However, it's essential to use these therapies judiciously, under the guidance of a healthcare professional or therapist when necessary. This will minimize potential drawbacks and ensure safe and effective treatment by avoiding any potential side effects or risks associated with prolonged light exposure.

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