If you are shopping around for a red light therapy body panel, you have no doubt come across the term 'irradiance', also known as the power output from the panel.
More power equals a shorter treatment time.
Various red light therapy companies claim that their panel is best for power output. And others simply give well rounded 'approximations' in regards to total power output.
As someone who has written about red light therapy a lot over the years, and has reviewed all the leading red light panels on the market, I decided it was time to figure out once and for all - who does have the highest powered red light panel.
I test 6 different panels for their power output.
These panels are:
Note: I'm affiliated with all of these companies. Discount code ALEX will save you anything from $25 to 10% when purchasing any of these red light panels.
I used a spectrometer by Hopoo Color Technology (model OHSP-350F testing wavelengths from 350nm to 1050nm).
I set the device to take measurements in 350micro seconds and I held the device 6 inches from the panel (using a ruler taped to the meter) as I moved the meter across the surface of the panel with all lights (red and near infrared) on.
I then recorded the peak power irradiance number (measured in mw/cm2) that the meter measured during this test.
Note - I also recorded this test on video, you can watch me do the test HERE.
The results are in. Below are the peak power figures at 6 inches ranked from the highest power to the lowest:
71 mw/cm2 - MitoRed - Mito Max
60 mw/cm2 - Red Therapy Co - Red Rush 720
58 mw/cm2 - Red Light Rising Full Stack
48 mw/cm2 - Joovv Solo
46 mw/cm2 - MitoHQ MitoPanel
You can watch the full video below:
There are some limitations to this test.
There are also other issues that I have explained below:
I found that all these panels had what are known as 'hot spots' at 6 inches. This is a concentration of light (power) that is much higher than another point in the same plane (i.e. 1 point at 6 inches could measure 50mw/cm2, and then a fraction to the side - but still at 6 inches - could measure 10mw/cm2).
This happened on all panels.
I took a photo where I held a envelope a few inches from various panels. You can clearly see these 'concentrations' of light:
These hotspots explain the wide variance in the numbers that my meter revealed as I moved across the panel (again, watch the video for more on this).
Now I should mention - hot spots are a concern. Ideally you don't want all this light focusing on one point, you want it spread out evenly. But it's clear that this capability is not yet present. Hopefully soon companies will figure out how to get a perfect balance and my meter will show the same power output at different locations.
Another issue with measuring power and comparing these panels was because of beam angle. All these panels used LEDS with different beam angles. Some panels concentrate their light in a narrow 'zone' other's spread it out over a large angle.
Personally, I don't buy into the wide angle 'larger treatment' marketing pitch. Most people stand a few inches away from the panel and want to do their treatment in as short of a time frame as possible - so why not focus the energy into a smaller zone, rather than losing it all to the side.
Anyway, because of all this it does mean some panels may concentrate the energy in a smaller treatment zone and have a higher value, others may spread it across a wider area and thus have a lower value.
Based on my tests, they have the highest peak power. But as I explain below, this does not necessarily translate to overall performance or the best bang for your buck.
In fact, in my 2019 Red Light Body Panel Showdown (where I look at price, power, EMF levels, wavelengths and other features) the MitoRed MitoMax came out 2nd place overall.
It was beaten by the PlatinumLED Therapy BioMax 600 (which I review here - PlatinumLED Therapy BioMax Review - The Best Red Light Panel On The Market?)
If you come to this page looking to find out what panel to buy, I highly recommend reading through my comparison series HERE.
This blog post was written by Alex Fergus. Alex is a ISSN Sports Nutrition Specialist, Fitness Professional and certified Superhuman Coach who continues to expand his knowledge base and help people across the world with their health and wellness. Alex is recognized as the National Record Holder in Powerlifting and Indoor Rowing and has earned the title of the Australian National Natural Bodybuilding Champion. Having worked as a health coach and personal trainer for over a decade, Alex now researches all things health and wellness and shares his findings on this blog. Learn more about Alex's Credentials HERE.
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