Red Light Therapy 101: The Science, The Perks & The Effects

Last updated on : October 28 2021

Red lights

Red Light Therapy 101: The Science, The Perks & The Effects  

Red light therapy is a revolutionary treatment plan for those keen on keeping their bodies at the optimum level and ready for activity. 

You can now choose to heal faster and perform better at being yourself, no matter what you do.

This relatively convenient treatment method has been subjected to many promising research outcomes.

It is widely used and recommended by athletes, fitness enthusiasts, celebrities, & people undergoing physiotherapy, all over the world from the comfort of their homes. 

All praises aside, the red light treatment, also known to the world as red light therapy, is probably familiar to anyone interested in skincare, faster recovery, and many health benefits. 

The popularization of the treatment due has also added to the easy availability of quite a few variants of portable LED devices. It's everywhere now.

So, using red light therapy at home is more convenient than ever before. Anyone in the world can order a LED gadget online and start to reap the benefits straight away. 

The information we've gathered here on red light treatment is set to make it helpful for you to decide if this particular method of light-based therapy is suitable for you, whether you already own a device or not.

In red light therapy, red LEDs generate low-level wavelengths of light that penetrate the skin without causing any harm on the surface level. 

There are many layers on the skin. How can we know how deep the lights go?

The Science Behind Red Light Therapy

Red light waves emitted from the device are utilized by the mitochondria, by definition, the powerhouse in the body's skin cells, to release energy. 

The released energy supports your homeostasis (cellular repair and overall wellness or everyday body functions).

Red light treatment works by boosting cellular energy generation and production in your body.

Natural light has a fascinating way of stimulating the mitochondria. So basically, how it does this allows the natural light to speed up ATP (adenosine triphosphate) synthesis in our body. 

In layman's terms, all humans produce ATP at different levels. It powers our cells to do everything that it does at a higher level. 

Which in turn boosts our day-to-day activities like catching fish, throwing a ball, or running in circles. 

The idea here is that the more energy our cells can produce, the more beautiful, healthy, and functional our bodies will seem, feel, and perform.

What Can Red Light Do For Your Skin?

Due to this fact, red light therapy has quickly become subject to a wide variety of uses in skincare and pain treatment. 

Most people who are interested in it are interested in it because of its anti-aging properties. 

Among many other applications, the technology promotes collagen production in your skin, another valuable bodily function that needs help as it grows with you.

Generally, when using a red light gadget, you may expect to observe both visible light and infrared wavelengths on the surface where the light touches. 

What's more, than we can observe with the naked eye is that Red light treatment also has a wide range of clinical and non-clinical applications in practice today.

Red Light Therapy In Space

Discussing about working

Additionally, red light treatment, also known as photobiomodulation or low-level light therapy, was tried by NASA on plants before being used on people aboard the NASA space station. 

Scientists saw the benefits of red light treatment and hoped it would be available to everyone one day. That day has come, and we are now in this position.

The application of red light therapy can aid in healing plants, animals, and humans alike in a world where this is now possible.

Since red light therapy has previously made news in the field of space research, we looked for a research article to see whether it was on the verge of becoming a permanent solution for more severe types of sickness.

After conducting our research, we discovered that the treatment choices are still restricted in terms of long-term damage management; nevertheless, the therapy can slow down or prevent the progression of the disease, which is encouraging. 

Is It A Permanent Cure? 

Learning from the extensive research on the disease and the technology, we can say that red light therapy cannot yet be treated as a permanent cure. 

Even so, with the treatments in place, red light therapy is guaranteed to provide your cells with the natural light they need to produce more energy. 

Like the water and nutrients from the food you consume, the cells in our body need natural light to operate correctly. 

Red light treatment enables you to augment the natural light with focused wavelengths of red and near-infrared light. 

This augmentation helps increase your blood flow, which means there's more oxygen running here and there, helping alleviate the pain from working out, fatigue, standing up too long, and more. 

What Can The Red Light Do For Your Eyes?

Other than a skin disease, and decreasing inflammation, Red Light Therapy can also be used for your eyes. 

In scholarly research about light therapy, researchers investigated the impact on cellular activity and improvement in the mitochondria due to red light therapy for people aged 28-72. 

It is rightfully assumed that as we age, our body's capability to supply an adequate amount of Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP) decreases. 

According to the article, in our eyes, "Photoreceptors have the highest mitochondrial density, particularly cones, which have high energy needs and facilitate color vision."

In other words, we need a substantial amount of energy to see in colors. This energy requirement also means that photoreceptors age quicker than the rest of our organs. 

The article emphasized that, 

"As a result, the retina ages quicker than other organs, with a 70% decrease in ATP over time and a substantial drop in photoreceptor function."

However, mitochondria in our body can take light energy and convert it into energy released in our bodies, making red light therapy, which promotes the release of ATP, a great choice to halting the effects of aging. 

The study concluded using a 670-nm light therapy, which increased the photoreceptors' functionality in the eyes.

Light Therapy For Your Mood Disorder

Four red lines

From an excerpt taken from Degree Wellness, Photobiomodulation or Red light therapy can help treat people with mood disorders like SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) by providing artificial light or red light during the persistent darkness caused by the seasonal fluctuations. 

Currently, the treatments in place are similar to treating someone with clinical depression. 

Prescription medicine alone cannot mimic the effect of light, which is necessary to release energy to tackle the seasonal problem. 

However, light therapy compiled with traditional medicine can significantly help people with mood disorders such as SAD overcome their likelihood of developing an untreatable condition.

How Efficient Is Red Light Therapy?

In today's world, many possibilities exist for people to benefit from a therapy of one form or another. Red light therapy could be an excellent addition to your repertoire if you're looking for simplicity in healing. 

Whether it be a personalized, handheld, easy-to-use device or a session with an expert, red light therapy is sure to provide your body with the necessary energy to heal. 

The application of red light therapy follows a range of waves that effectively engage your cells to become more active. 

In a study on the efficacy of red light and near-infrared light, it was found that 'Light in the spectral range from 600 to 1300 nm was effective for wound healing, tissue regeneration, and skin rejuvenation because of the combination of a high degree of penetration in skin and absorption by respiratory chain components.'

Not only can red light pass through the skin without damaging the layers, but it is also easily absorbed like a sponge soaking up water. Doing so supplies the body with the energy needed to carry out the complex bodily functions in our bodies constructively.

The Takeaway

Red light therapy has the capability and the capacity to overcome the natural tendency of the body to lose its energy regenerative properties. 

And even more than that, the diversity of Red light therapy and its applications today might indicate that there could also be a future that can reverse trivial things such as wounds, fatigue, weight, or even loss of eyesight.


1 Liu YL, Gong SY, Xia ST, Wang YL, Peng H, Shen Y, Liu CF. Light therapy: a new option for neurodegenerative diseases. Chin Med J 2021;134:634–645. doi: 10.1097/CM9.0000000000001301

2 Wunsch, Alexander, and Karsten Matuschka. "A controlled trial to determine the efficacy of red and near-infrared light treatment in patient satisfaction, reduction of fine lines, wrinkles, skin roughness, and intradermal collagen density increase." Photomedicine and laser surgery vol. 32,2 (2014): 93-100. doi:10.1089/pho.2013.3616  

3 Harpreet Shinhmar, MSc, Manjot Grewal, BSc, Sobha Sivaprasad, MBBS, Ph.D., Chris Hogg, Victor Chong, MBBS, Ph.D., Magella Neveu, Ph.D., Glen Jeffery, DPhil, Optically Improved Mitochondrial Function Redeems Aged Human Visual Decline, The Journals of Gerontology: Series A, Volume 75, Issue 9, September 2020, Pages e49–e52,

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