The Technology Behind Light Therapy


Light therapy technology was originally developed by NASA to grow plants in space. Then it went on to become one of the professionally administered wellness applications. Then it went on to the list of FDA-cleared devices.

Thanks to this technology’s availability, you can now treat wrinkles, pain, acne, and more in the comfort of your home. So, how did we really get here, and what is the technology behind this sophisticated method of treatment? Today, we are going to peek at the technology behind its science to better comprehend the benefits of LED light therapy.

A Little Bit of History

Throughout the Space Shuttle era, NASA planned to study how plants grow in space. Nevertheless, the light sources used to grow plants on Earth didn’t suit their needs. Therefore, they took too much power and created too much heat.

Back in the 90s, The Wisconsin Center for Space Automation & Robotics partnered up with Quantum Devices Inc. They developed a more practical light source. They implemented light-emitting diodes, also known as LEDs in their invention, and named it Astroculture3.

The Astroculture3 is a plant growth chamber, which uses the power of LEDs. NASA used this device on several Space Shuttle missions.

Soon, NASA thought out potential applications of LED light not only for plant health but also for the astronauts themselves. Because of living in low gravity, human cells can’t regenerate as quickly as you would want it to.

And so the astronauts experience bone and muscle loss. It made NASA turn to photobiomodulation therapy, also known as PBMT.

The Science Behind Light Therapy’s Effects On Human Biology

Photobiomodulation therapy involves exposure to high-intensity, wavelength-specific light rays to rejuvenate cellular function. It then acts on the mitochondria, the powerhouse of the cell, and other critical parts of a cell to substantially boost its metabolism.

This procedure makes cells grow and multiply at a much faster rate, increases blood flow, and intensifies wound healing. Photobiomodulation therapy has even been shown to elevate bone healing following any kind of dental implants.

Photobiomodulation therapy, or simply light therapy, like NASA’s plant growing chamber, uses light-emitting diodes. Studies show that light-emitting diodes or LEDs cause human cell cultures to grow at five times their regular rate when put under a microscope in a lab.

Today, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration continues to study the applications of LED light for long-term human health as astronauts spend more extended periods in space, and we figure out how to travel interplanetary distances.

The Theory Behind Light Therapy’s Effect On Health and Wellness

Light-emitting diodes are tiny lightbulbs that lack filaments. Instead, they rely on semiconductor material, so they build less heat and last many times longer than a traditional bulb.

They put out much more light. LEDs are used in everything from traffic lights to your television remote. They’re increasingly used in light therapy devices for health and wellness applications, from light wavelength spectrum diagram from ultraviolet to infrared.

Health and wellness light therapy devices use light-emitting diodes that transmit light in the blue, red, or infrared spectrum of the light range, depending on its purpose. For example, energy wavelengths are shorter toward the blue end of the spectrum and longer toward the infrared end of the spectrum.

The human eyes can see the light from about 380 nm at the blue edge to about 750 nm at the red corner. It’s important to note that infrared actually lies outside the visible wavelength spectrum.

As a result, you cannot see the light emitted by infrared light-emitting diodes. However, digital cameras can be used to view it. The infrared waves can thrust deeply to relieve muscle and joint pain. You can take blue light, for example, as it works closer to your skin’s surface.

Light Therapy Terms You Should Know

The science behind LED light technology is still pretty much under development. Studies are underway to better comprehend its effects on the human body. They could lead to further applications for health and wellness. As it is developing, different people and companies will start using different terminology.

  • Photo-biotherapy
  • Low-Level Light Therapy
  • Therapeutic laser
  • Low-power laser therapy (LPLT)
  • Biostimulation laser therapy
  • Low-energy laser therapy
  • Photobiomodulation
  • Infrared (or Near-Infrared) Light Therapy
  • Monochromatic infrared light energy
  • Soft laser therapy
  • Cold laser therapy
  • Low-intensity laser therapy

Do not let the vocabulary overwhelm you, as the most important things to know are what color (wavelength) and device to use, more importantly, whether it’s cleared by the FDA.

How The Process Works In Your Body

Light therapy specialists and brands like PremiumLED Therapy Lights have spent more than a decade working out the technology behind FDA-cleared medical devices.

We’ve identified the wavelengths of light that naturally generate the desired effects within the body’s cellular structure and replicate them with high-power LED lights. Now, new technology can remove all harmful and non-productive wavelengths and deliver concentrated doses of effective ones.

Light therapy technology, working from the inside-out to enhance the body’s cell repair mechanism, needed research and clinical studies to demonstrate the dramatic effects it has in pain relief, injury recovery, acne treatment, and anti-aging treatment.

So, LED light therapy brands engineered their lights to medical-grade specifications. Thus, they are safe for all skin types.

Understanding Red Light Therapy for Anti-Aging Treatment

Anti-aging light therapy devices use about 900nm infrared and 650nm red lights to give a soothing regeneration effect to aging skin. The combination of 630 and 605nm bring out the benefits of red light therapy that can treat more of the skin’s external aspects, providing cellular turnover and a natural healthy glow.

The same wavelengths penetrate to the deeper layers of the skin. In turn, they stimulate the production of elastin and collagen, resulting in the general reversal and reduction of fine lines and wrinkles with stronger skin texture.

For example, PremiumLED Therapy Lights device’s Anti-Aging treatment provides a soothing effect to the outermost layers of your skin. In turn, this enhances natural coloration while decreasing the signs of aging due to blemishes, sun, and age spots.

Understanding Blue and Red Light Therapy for Acne Treatment

Non-UV blue light has been shown to target and destroy bacteria that reside on or in the dermis. It has been long documented that UV light eliminates acne but also delivers adverse effects to human skin.

By using blue light at about 400nm, red light therapy achieves the same antibacterial effects of the UV light spectrum without damaging the skin structure. Specialists have incorporated deep penetrating light technology into these blue light products. It also allows the light to treat bacteria at a depth that regular acne treatment topicals can’t reach.

The blue light focuses on destroying the acne-causing bacteria. The 630nm red lights augment the anti-inflammatory device to reduce swelling and potential scarring. The enhanced circulation also helps with the general healing of the scarred location.

Understanding Infrared Light Therapy for Pain Relief & Recovery Treatment

In the 880nm range, infrared light has demonstrated the highest natural healing effect on the body’s cellular structure. When combined with about 650nm red light, infrared light therapy devices can reach deep into joints and tissues, progressing circulation, oxygenation, reproduction, and cellular repair.

All these results in removing toxins, unwanted cellular matter, and puts you in the temporary relief of associated effects like muscle aches, tendonitis pain or arthritis, and muscle spasms. Additional benefits can include an elevated rate of injury recovery and wound healing.