Red Light Therapy at Home - The Definitive Buyer’s Guide
We’ve put together a comprehensive overview of what questions consumers should be asking when deciding which is the best red light therapy device to purchase. We know for many this is a large purchase and they want to make sure they are investing wisely. Here is a quick summary of the primary features you should evaluate and questions you should have answered before making a buying decision.
Unfortunately, many companies in this industry take a simple topic (it’s just light after all) and do everything they can to make it overly complicated. They do this in an effort to confuse the consumer and ultimately justify a higher price tag. Our goal here is to cut through the noise and explain what really matters.
Key Questions to Ask When Choosing a Red Light Therapy Device
What is the power or irradiance of the device and will it deliver a sufficient amount of energy in a reasonable amount of time? Does the manufacturer publish independent 3rd party diagnostic data on their devices?
Are the wavelengths used the correct ones and are they most clinically studied to be beneficial?
Will the coverage area of the device help me achieve my goals in a reasonable amount of time?
Does the price of the device represent a good value?
Does the manufacturer have genuine seller and product reviews / testimonials?
Does the device come with a solid warranty? Does the manufacturer have a seamless returns process and a truly no-risk trial? Does the manufacturer provide good customer service both before and after a purchase is made?
Power / Irradiance
This is probably the most discussed topic and the one that can be the most confusing to consumers. There seem to be two distinct camps that manufacturers fall in when it comes to this topic.
There is one camp that argues that total energy delivered (joules) is ultimately what really matters and that independent diagnostic testing in a professional laboratory is the only way to measure this. We agree with this 100%.
The other camp argues that side-by-side comparison of devices with a solar meter is how the power / irradiance comparisons of the devices should be judged. These manufacturers make the misleading argument that the end consumer does not have the means to have professional testing done, so using solar irradiance meters is a reasonable proxy. The problem with this argument is that light manufacturers themselves DO have access to professional testing – so why do they not have it done and publish it? Solar meters (available for as little as $70) are notoriously inaccurate and highly variable when it comes to measuring irradiance of these types of devices. In our own in-house testing with different solar meters, we’ve noticed measurement variability as high as 80%! It is quite amazing to us that some “leading” companies in this space even go as far to say that solar irradiance meters are “extremely accurate”. We will do a future blog post demonstrating that this is just not true.
We will however concede that doing side-by-side comparisons of red light therapy devices with a solar irradiance meter is a “better than nothing” way for the end consumer to get a very rough gauge of the relative power of two different devices. We still see very underpowered devices being sold for several hundreds of dollars - a quick side by side comparisons of these devices against a device like a Mito Red Light, can be helpful. But to argue that solar irradiance meter tests should be THE STANDARD is just beyond the pale.
Update 2022: Recently an independent blogger and red light therapy expert did a side-by-side comparison of the top twelve red light therapy body panels on the market. The testing was not done with a cheap solar irradiance meter but with a high-end spectrometer. The MitoPRO 1500 claimed first place in the power testing and first place in the overall comparison series!
Lastly, we leave you with these very important questions. If a red light therapy manufacturer is NOT having independent diagnostic testing of their devices done – how exactly do they (or you) even know that the device is emitting the wavelengths stated? And even more concerning, how are they arriving at their treatment recommendations? We sincerely hope they are not basing their treatment recommendations solely on their in-house measurements taken with a $70 solar irradiance meter.
Key Takeaway: Don’t buy a device from a manufacturer with inflated irradiance claims and nothing substantial behind it.
The most scientifically proven red and infrared light therapy wavelengths are red (620-700nm) and near infrared (NIR) primarily in the 800-880nm range.
Enhanced Spectral Energy Output™ (ESPEO) - Mito Red Light devices are designed to deliver light energy across the ENTIRE therapeutic spectrum of Red and Near Infrared (NIR). This means with our Mito Red Original and MitoMOD Series you benefit from ALL wavelengths of red between 620nm-700nm (with peak power at 660nm) and ALL wavelengths of NIR between 800-880nm (with peak power at 850nm). Your body receives a FULL therapeutic spectrum of red and NIR just as nature intended!
As the spectral graph from our independent testing below shows, when you use a Mito Red Light you are getting a FULL SPECTRUM of both beneficial red (620-700nm) and beneficial NIR (800-880nm).
The unique MitoPRO Series takes things to the next level by better targeting the Peak Action Spectra, thanks to the addition of peak 630nm and peak 830nm LEDs. Unlike some competitors that 'sprinkle-in' these LEDs to keep costs down, with the MitoPRO you get a full 25% of each targeted spectrum (peak 630nm, peak 660nm, peak 830nm, peak 850nm). This allows energy delivery across a wide range of 590nm-700nm red and 780nm-900nm near infrared. This is much more aligned with what you would experience in nature (a wide band vs narrow band of energy). Read more about the advanced MitoPRO Series design here.
Key Takeaway: Mito Red Lights deliver a complementary blend of red and NIR with synergistic energy delivered across the entire targeted spectral ranges.
When it comes to red light therapy devices, size does matter. If you are looking for red light therapy for face or specific parts of the body, the MitoMIN 2.0 and MitoPRO 300 both with built in timer and tabletop stand, provide an unbeatable value.
When it comes to full body red light therapy, you’ll want to compare the specs of the different devices very carefully. Some competitors’ "full body" panels only come with 100 or 150 LEDs - whereas our MitoMAX 2.0 has 200 LEDs and the MitoMEGA 2.0 or MitoPRO 1500 have a whopping 300 LEDs. What is the point of offering a larger panel if it is simply diluting (ie spreading out) the energy delivered to the end user? At Mito Red Light we maximize the number of LEDs we put into each panel - so you can get maximum power delivered to the most surface area of your body possible.
Key Takeaway: Don’t just look at the size of the panel. Look at the number of LEDs contained therein, the power consumption of those LEDs and most importantly the total joules those LEDs deliver per treatment session.
Snazzy websites, celebrity or ‘influencer’ endorsements, purposefully confusing ad copy – all designed to get you to pay more than you have to for the effective red light therapy you are seeking. Our simple goal is to offer innovative products, delivering energy across the entire therapeutic RED / NIR spectrums and at power levels representing unmatched value. Based on multiple independent tests, we do just that.
Key Takeaway: You don’t have to overpay for the red light therapy you seek. Choose a company that delivers good value but has independent data to demonstrate that you are in fact ultimately getting what is claimed. Buying on price alone is likely to get you an underpowered device from a cut-rate company.
Fake reviews are a real problem these days on the interwebs. Many of the large tech companies are investing huge sums in an effort to curtail this unscrupulous business tactic. At Mito Red Light our seller reviews are authenticated by an independent third party review aggregator. The whole purpose of these Google approved review aggregators is to authenticate each review that is submitted. Furthermore, we specifically ask our customers when leaving a product review to upload a photo / video. This is meant to give potential customers increased level of comfort that these are REAL people sharing their REAL experience.
Potential red flags when it comes to reviews:
- All or almost all of the reviews are 5 stars and there are no 1 or 2 star reviews.
- A company claims to have been in business for several years, yet has very few reviews or all of it’s reviews are very recent.
- A company has reviews that are clustered in a small time frame. We have seen one company in this space that quite amazingly has managed to collect ALL of it’s customer reviews in August 2019. We are not quite sure how that could / would happen organically.
Key Takeaway: Unfortunately companies are incentivized to fabricate and/or manage reviews and many choose to do so. Curating reviews slowly and methodically by providing outstanding customer service and offering a great product at a great value is a much more challenging road to travel. Do business with companies that use a Google approved third party aggregator to authenticate their reviews.
Warranty, Returns, Trial Period
At Mito Red we have a full 2 year warranty on our Original 2.0 Series and an industry leading 3 year warranty on our MitoPRO and MitoADAPT Series. Our warranty and returns policies can be read here. We currently have facilities in the USA and Asia - on our road-map for 2023 is to add locations in Canada and the EU. We aim to expand our global footprint to better serve our customers.
60 Day NO RISK Trial Period - Mito Red Light® is the only major company in this space that does not charge a restocking fee for elective returns. We are so confident you will love your device and keep it, we would not even think of charging a 25% restocking fee on the occasional return. Unfortunately other companies will aggressively advertise a "trial period", while leaving in the fine print they plan on keeping 15-25% of your money if you are not satisfied with their product and decide to return it.
Buying a red light therapy device can be a big investment. You deserve to be able to talk to an actual live person both before and after investing your money. Imagine- if you cannot talk to a live person BEFORE you make a buying decision – how responsive do you expect the company to be if you have a problem with your item?
We hope you find this red light therapy buyer’s guide helpful!
Questions? Feel free to call us: +1 866-861-6486.