For many people, the concept of “infrared light” is really hard to grasp. You might know a friend who is telling you that they’ve “just bought a red light therapy device” or a “infrared heat lamp”.
In this blog post, I explain the differences between many of these devices. I also explain why either a far infrared sauna upgraded with a red light therapy device, or a full-spectrum sauna with a red light therapy device, is your best bet by far.
At Clearlight Infrared Saunas, we’re offering just that. And we’ve developed these products specifically because they offer the greatest benefit to you. But first, I’ll explore the different types of infrared light. With that understanding, you can better grasp what the benefits and shortcomings are of different options.
What Is Infrared Light & Different Types Of Infrared
Infrared light is part of the “light spectrum”. That light spectrum contains the visible light you can see with your naked eye, ultraviolet light which can give you sunburns and creates vitamin D in your skin, and infrared light lastly (1; 2; 3).
Infrared is mostly responsible for the feeling of heat. From a physics perspective, moreover, infrared light and heat are closely intertwined. But to return to our normal everyday imagination, the best way to understand infrared light is that it’s responsible for the hot effect of the sun.
And whether you’re standing in the sun on a sunny day in the beach or in that same sun on a wintery day, it doesn’t really matter. In both instances, it will feel hotter when the sun is hitting your skin or clothes compared to when you’re standing in the shade.
Now, infrared light can be divided into different types: near infrared, middle infrared, and far infrared. That distinction is really important for the rest of this blog post.
Well, to get the maximum health benefits, you’ll want to be exposed to a combination of near, middle, and far infrared. Each of these infrared types has their own unique benefits. I’ve covered these benefits in lots of detail in my blogs on my guide on the far infrared sauna and light therapy at home.
I won’t go into full detail here because it’s not as important for my argument.
Suffice it to say that infrared light is very much part of your everyday human experience. Much of sunlight is made up of infrared light, in fact. Depending on the time of the day, more than 50% of sunlight hitting your skin is infrared light, especially in the morning and evening (4; 5; 6). Heat generated from your body and expelled from it is also infrared (7; 8; 9).
Historically, humans were exposed to far more infrared light as well during the day. Since humans spend most of their time indoors nowadays, that exposure has dramatically been lowered. For that reason, many infrared light therapy devices have hit the market.
You basically supplement the light that your ancestors were exposed to on a daily basis while hunting or while working in agriculture. And, while it’s become very clear in the last few decades that we need ultraviolet exposure to create vitamin D or to supplement with it, the same realisation has not yet emerged for many people in the area of infrared light.
Simply put, without sufficient infrared light exposure you’re missing out on many of the health benefits your ancestors naturally received. In the next section, I’ll consider some of these benefits you get from different types of infrared light and will also tell you which devices supply those types of infrared light to your body:
Different Infrared Light Therapy Devices
Below I’ll describe different infrared light therapy devices. By understanding the upsides and downsides of each device, you’ll better understand why I come to the best infrared light therapy device UK conclusion:
Far Infrared Sauna
First, there’s the far infrared sauna. As the name already suggests, this sauna exposed your body to far infrared.
I’ve summarised the scientifically validated benefits of far infrared saunas in great detail in a previous blog post. But, I’ll quickly go over some of these benefits here:
- Greater weight loss, not only because you burn more calories but also because you remove toxins from your system. Many toxins people are exposed to in daily life increases their risk of being overweight or obese, lower your ability to process carbohydrates, and so forth.
- Enhances sleep quality. More than 80% of people report better sleep quality after visiting a sauna. Far infrared light is also extremely gentle on the body, allowing you to relax deeply. As a result, you’ll also receive this benefit:
- Greater relaxation. You won’t just feel relaxed, you’ll also boost brain signalling compounds called “neurotransmitters” that aid your mood and lower your risk of depression. Sometimes, one sauna session with high levels of heat is all people need to reverse their clinical depression.
- Enhanced detoxification. Humanly-created toxins are all around us and run in the hundreds of thousands. These toxins increase your risk of getting cancer, heart and blood vessel diseases, diabetes, neurological illnesses, and much more. Some of these toxins are preferably expelled through your skin. And, fortunately, far infrared saunas make you sweat like crazy, removing these toxins from your body.
- Makes your immune system more efficient. People who spend time inside a sauna create more white blood cells, which help fight pathogens.
- Lowers overall disease risk. Whether it’s heart and blood vessels or respiratory diseases, scientific studies show that your risk goes down the more frequently you use an infrared sauna. Of course, make sure you recover well from your sessions.
And that’s just a shortlist of benefits. Overall, far infrared saunas have a great many benefits. At Clearlight Infrared Saunas, we offer different far infrared sauna models.
But, as the name already suggests, you’ll get even greater benefits by adding in other infrared types. I’m talking about the near infrared and middle infrared here, which I cover in the next section:
Full Spectrum Infrared Sauna
Full-spectrum infrared saunas use special heaters that “supplement” the far infrared you’re exposed to in regular saunas. For that reason, you’re receiving all three types of infrared during a visit to a full-spectrum infrared sauna.
We’ve developed arguably the best heater technology in the world right now, the True Wave™ heater technology, to accomplish this. The beauty of this patented design ensures that you’re exposed to a roughly balanced 33% of each of the infrared types. These heaters can also be added later to a far infrared sauna as an addon, if you ever wish to receive the full benefits.
If you’d like to learn more about full-spectrum infrared saunas, read my blog on light therapy at home. Lastly, there’s red light therapy, also called “near infrared light therapy”:
Red Light Therapy & Near Infrared Light Therapy
I’ve written extensively about red light therapy in the past. Red light therapy - or “near infrared light therapy” - emits both red and near infrared light. That light is emitted by LED bulbs and is non-heating.
The red and near infrared light penetrates your skin. Depending on the scientists you ask, the penetration depth ranges from several millimetres to several inches. And, that light is not merely a “neutral force” allowing you to see things in your environment but affects your body’s biology in the same way ultraviolet light does.
In plain English, red light therapy hsa the following benefits:
- Lowering excessive inflammation. Excessive inflammation is intertwined with many modern illnesses such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
- Quicker workout recovery and better gains. These benefits extend to both endurance sports and those requiring power output (such as sprinting or working out in the gym).
- Higher skin quality. Both collagen and elastin are stimulated in the skin, which makes you look more youthful.
- Pain relief. In many different pain conditions, like fibromyalgia and nervous system pain, scientific evidence shows benefits.
- Enhanced thyroid health and greater fat loss. The thyroid is one of the main organs that supports fat burning hormones. People generally burn more body fat using red light therapy.
- Better sleep quality and lower stress. Red light therapy is both relaxing and energising, leading to feelings of calm. Exposure to bright light during the day also helps you sleep better at night.
- Improves mental health and mood. Studies show red light therapy counters depression and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). SAD is often a problem in countries with dark winters.
And many more benefits. If you’d like to learn more, read my blog post on near infrared light therapy.
Right now, Clearlight Infrared Saunas is the only company offering a Clearlight® Light Therapy Tower that is specifically created to be used inside a sauna. Other red light therapy products on the market cannot be used inside saunas because the electronics inside will be exposed to excessive heat or moisture.
For that reason, the Clearlight® Light Therapy Tower allows you to expose your body to both near infrared and far infrared light at the same time. You can thus get twice the benefits in the same amount of time by combining these therapies.
And, now that I’ve explained the different infrared light therapy devices on the market, let’s explore what your best option is:
Best Infrared Light Therapy Devices UK
As you might recall, the best infrared light therapy devices combine near, middle, and far infrared. As the best infrared light therapy device UK option, I’m thus recommending a few options:
The same is true for the best near infrared light therapy devices - either use a far infrared sauna with a Clearlight® Light Therapy Tower or get a full-spectrum sauna. That way, you’re getting the maximum amount of benefits.
Lastly, let’s consider an example that affects many people: pain, specifically chronic pain, and show how these options can help you:
Best Infrared Therapy Devices For Pain
I want to demonstrate the principle I’ve talked about above with an example. I take the example of pain - specifically chronic pain - and show that all parts of the infrared light spectrum have an effect.
First, many different studies show that the red and near infrared light positively affect pain (10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15; 16). Examples of studies include osteoarthritis, pain in muscles, bone, tendons and ligaments, and neurological pain.
Secondly, saunas have similar benefits (17; 18; 19; 20). And, because of the gentleness of the infrared sauna, this should be a preferred route of treatment for most people with pain. Benefits have been found for fibromyalgia, tension headaches, neurological pain, rheumatoid arthritis and others.
Again, these benefits exist independently of each other. So the best infrared therapy devices for pain use both the near infrared and the far infrared spectrum. The same is true for best infrared red light therapy devices for pain - you’re better off combining a red light therapy device such as the Clearlight® Light Therapy Tower with an infrared sauna.
And with that being said, let’s conclude:
Conclusion: Opt For The All Round Approach
As you can see, the best infrared light therapy devices UK options are the full-spectrum approach. That means that you need both near, middle, and far infrared for the best results.
Sure, you can get life-changing benefits from just a red light therapy device. But it’s even better to combine that red light therapy device with a far infrared sauna or to use a full-spectrum infrared sauna. That conclusion also works the other way around:
You can get life-changing benefits from just a far infrared sauna. But, for even better results, I recommend adding red light therapy to the equation.