Does Red Light Therapy Work?

✓ Medically Reviewed by Jack Cincotta

red light therapy

Thousands peer reviewed studies and human clinical trials have proven red light therapy to be an effective treatment for a variety of health issues.

Red light therapy has been around for millions of years, in the form of sunlight. However, as we moved indoors more over the last 20 years and learn more about the dangers of overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light we now need an alternative way to get the benefits of red light therapy.

This is where red light therapy machines come in. Red light devices are a simple, safe, and effective way to get beneficial frequencies of red and near infrared light without the presence of harmful UV light.

What is Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy, sometimes referred to as Low Level Laser Therapy (LLLT), is a safe and non-invasive at home delivery of red and infrared light to our skin and cells. Red light therapy comprises of visible red light between 630nm and 660nm and invisible red light at 850nm. The light source is focussed around high quality light emitting diodes (LEDs)

Red Light Therapy Device

Red light is also a great countermeasure to dangerous blue light. Blue light has been shown in randomized control trials to damage our eyes and disrupt our sleep. Red light has shown to have the opposite effect on our health. Red light has been shown to be beneficial for sleep and have healing properties.

Using red light therapy for just 20 minutes per day can have a positive impact on mild wound healing, reduction of fine lines and wrinkles, help with skin conditions such as acne and aid with weight loss.

How Does Red Light Therapy Work?

Red light therapy works by delivering clinical grade red and infrared light to our body to promote healing at a cellular level.

High irradiance devices provide therapeutic benefits to our mitochondria and assist with recovery, fat loss and skin conditions. They way red light therapy promotes healing is the red light delivered to the body stimulates chemical reactions at a mitochondrial level which upgrades energy production and cellular regeneration.

By increasing adenosine triphosphate production (ATP), which is our body’s energy currency, red light therapy can minimise oxidative stress and further limit reactive oxygen species in our bodies. By enhancing cellular respiration, red light therapy can assist us healing faster.

Infrared light treatment also enhances protein synthesis and activation of essential enzymes. This creates a more optimal oxidative environment.

Red Light Therapy Pros and Cons

The benefits of red light therapy have been summarised in numerous peer reviewed studies. From healthier skin, reduced inflammation, improved sleep and mild pain relief, the benefits of red-light theory seem infinite. Light treatment in participants used in academic studies have been conducted across the world with incredible results.

The top 6 benefits of red light therapy are:

1.    Pain Relief – There is a substantial body of literature that is demonstrating red light therapy to be an effective treatment for medically diagnosed mild arthritis.

2.    Better Sleep Quality – Improved sleep is the cornerstone of optimal health. Red light therapy has been demonstrated to positively influence our circadian rhythms which means significantly better quality sleep.

3.    Skin Health – By advancing collagen production, red light therapy can help improve conditions such as acne, blemishes, fine lines, and wrinkles.

4.    Fat Loss – A nutritious diet and regular physical exercise are excellent ways to lose unwanted body fat. Red light therapy has been demonstrated to speed up the process of fat loss. This is an incredible way to get to your weight loss goals faster.

5.    Muscle Recovery – If you get delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS) after a strenuous workout you can recover rapidly using red light therapy. If you are sore after a long day at work, red light therapy will work for your uncomfortable muscles as well.

6.    Wound Healing – Studies have demonstrated the efficacy of red light therapy is speeding up wound healing

The negative consequences to red light therapy have been demonstrated in academic studies and almost every time they determine that red light therapy is exceptionally safe to use with little to no side effects.

There was one study that showed some participants had a skin reaction to the red light. BON CHARGE always recommends preforming a light sensitivity test prior to using red light therapy for the first time. If you have a reaction, you can return your device and also seek medical advice from your physician.

How Long Does Red Light Therapy Take to Work?

Red light therapy will take time to work to determine the efficacy. You cannot have one treatment and expect miracles, it takes time. It takes between 4 and 12 weeks to experience the most optimal benefits.

The more you practice red light therapy the faster the results can be. We recommend at least 3 months consistent use.

BON CHARGE lab grade red light panels should be used at least once a day for 20 minutes to get the most optimal results.

Photodynamic therapy is a safe and effective practice that can be used in a wellness centre, gym or at home.

To read more on how to use red light therapy check out this BON CHARGE article – “How to use Red Light Therapy at Home”

Does Red Light Therapy Work for Weight Loss?

Weight loss is achievable with a balanced diet and regular physical exercise. However, academic studies have demonstrated that red light therapy can be a catalyst to fat loss.

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Does Red Light Therapy Work for Hair Loss?

According to multiple studies, red light therapy can stimulate hair growth.

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Does Red Light Therapy Help with Stretch Marks?

Stretch marks can be problematic for many people, especially if you have achieved your incredible weight loss goals or just given birth. Academic studies have shown that scars and stretch marks can be reduced using red light therapy.

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Does Red Light Therapy Help with Cellulite?

Cellulite usually occurs due to a poor diet and carrying excess body fat. To help with cellulite build up we would recommend improving your diet and exercising more. However, if you want to speed up weight loss you can use red light therapy.

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Does Red Light Therapy Help with Acne?

Acne and other skin conditions can make you feel subconscious. The good news is red light therapy has been proven to help reduce the appearance of acne, fine lines, and wrinkles. Red light therapy session of just 20 minutes a day can really improve your skin complexion.

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You can also read more about the pros and cons of red light therapy here.

Final Thoughts

Does red light therapy work? Science has shown that it does. The efficacy of red light therapy comes down to a few key points:

1.     High irradiance – ensure your device emits over 100mw/cm2 to get the most efficient treatment possible. Remember, not all red light therapy devices are created equal. Check out our comparison chart below to choose the best red light therapy device for you.


Red light therapy comparison chart


2.     Ensure you use red light therapy for 20 minutes per day, at least once a day, for a minimum of 3 months. This will ensure your body gets a chance t harness the powerful health benefits of red light therapy

3.     The distance you stand from your device has a profound effect on efficacy. Stand between 3 inches and 1 foot away for the best results.

Check out our red light therapy devices and let us know if you have any questions, we are here to help you choose the best red light therapy device for your personal needs.

BON CHARGE red light therapy devices are registered with the ARTG as medical devices and available for purchase worldwide (ex. Australia). Our red light panels are also registered with the FDA in the USA.

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