The written article is based on a summary of existing literature on the topic of infrared saunas. The article is for educational purposes and the information provided below cannot be taken as a promise to help with acute health problems or diseases. 15 references back the claims in the article. All references are numbered. You can access the text of the reference by clicking on the number.
In this blog post, I’ll discuss the fascinating cyan light LED therapy. I’ll first talk about how to understand cyan LED light from a light therapy perspective. Then I’ll consider what is cyan LED light used for - i.e., the benefits.
This blog post is part of a series on chromotherapy that explores all visible colours of light:
As stated before, the topic of this blog post is cyan light. Let’s first start with an introduction on that topic:
Introduction: Light Therapy Basics & Why To Use LED Light Therapy
In this section, I’ll talk about the light therapy basics. To understand light therapy, I must consider the “light spectrum”. The light spectrum simply means the differences in light from a physics perspective.
That light spectrum is made up of ultraviolet light (which can give you sunburns), visible light (the only light type you can see), and infrared light (most of which heats you up) (1; 2; 3). I’ll only talk about visible light in this blog post.
Visible light, in turn, can be subdivided into violet, blue, cyan, green, orange, and red, and anything in between those colours. Obviously, this blog post considers cyan light. For a few decades, LEDs have entered the market. Those “Light Emitting Diodes” or LEDs allow you to emit very specific types of light.
In physics, that light is measured by a wavelength. Blue light has a wavelength of 400 to 500 nanometres, for instance. Cyan light - as it’s very similar to light blue - has a wavelength at the top of that range, from about 470 to 500 nanometres.
All of the different types of visible light have their wavelength. And chromotherapy allows you to emit these wavelengths.
For instance, our chromotherapy can create many different colours of the light spectrum. For instance, red light is emitted at 660nm, blue at 405nm, and green at 540nm. By combining these three primary colours, you can create new colours, such as yellow, purple (or violet), and orange. It’s also possible to use a duller or brighter setting.
Why use LED light therapy?
Simple: light therapy has health benefits. Red light, for instance, can improve skin health, wound healing, exercise recovery, sleep quality, lower pain, and more. Blue light helps you deal with skin problems and can improve wakefulness. Next up, let’s explore what makes cyan light special:
What Is Cyan LED Light Used For? Blue Light Versus Cyan LED
In this section, I’ll consider what is cyan LED light used for. As it turns out, cyan LED is a specific form of blue light with special benefits. Cyan is often thought of as a subcategory of blue light.
Please remember that most animal studies exist on the cyan light effects here. For full confirmation, many of these studies must be carried out in humans. But, the fact that positive effects are found by cyan light on many aspects of biology is very promising though.
Below, I’ll explore the Cyan LED light benefits:
1. May Improve Bone Healing
In animal studies, cyan light and blue light, from 400 - 490 nanometres, can speed up bone healing (4). Infrared light is slightly superior here, but cyan and blue light still have an effect.
2. May Speed Up Healing After Traumatic Brain Injury
Another animal study shows that cyan light applied to the brain can speed up healing after a traumatic brain injury (5). Treatment occurred several times per week for one week. The light emitted was 473nm.
3. Improves Skin Health In Acne
Finally, a human study (6). Here, 470nm light was used. And it turns out that cyan light inhibits the inflammatory lesion process with acne. You only need to treat your skin once weekly, as twice-weekly treatments don’t confer any additional benefits. Red light had similar effects, so you might want to combine the two for the best results.
Another study confirms this outcome where 470nm light was used once more (7). Blue light improved both wound healing and the inflammatory process. Once more, blue was best to be combined with red light.
Other studies also show that cyan light at 470nm is protective of skin cells (10).
4. Makes You More Motivated
Cyan, red, and white (which contains all colours) can increase dopamine levels in chicks (8). Dopamine is a brain signalling compound (“neurotransmitter”) that makes you ambitious, motivated, and allows you to think outside the box.
Of course, such results need to be confirmed in humans. But these animal studies are promising. 470nm cyan light was used here.
5. May Speed Up Wound Healing
In yet another animal study, cyan light at 470nm sped up wound healing dramatically (14). The group receiving the 470nm light had much better blood flow, and the skin closed much better than animals not receiving any light therapy for their wounds.
Another animal study confirms this effect and shows that 470m cyan light significantly affects wound healing in a positive way (15).
Finally, there are two downsides to cyan light as well:
Side Effect 1: May Be Damaging To The Eyes In Larger Doses
Well, this outcome is not a benefit but a side effect (7). One more reason to combine cyan and red light is that the former, in isolation, may damage eye health, such as the retina. Red light protects against that effect. In nature, such as with sunlight, blue light (and thus cyan) is almost always paired with red light.
It’s mostly the excess and unbalanced exposure to cyan light that’s damaging. Using computer screens for many hours a day at maximum brightness is an example - in such a case, I’d recommend wearing blue-blocking glasses.
Other studies confirm this effect of the potential toxic effect of cyan light to the eyes (9).
Side Effect 2: May Negatively Affect Stem Cell Biology
Another isolated side effect is that cyan light may slow the proliferation of stem cells (11; 12). Stem cells are undifferentiated cells in the body that can specialise in almost any role. This side effect is no problem though if you’re not overexposed.
In general, though, cyan light is far less damaging in many situations than blue light (13).
Overall, I also skipped a few potential benefits here, such as on cancer and on sperm motility outside the body - these aren’t applicable for most people or require much more medical context.
Overall though, the cyan light LED therapy effects are positive.
And keep in mind that there’s not much research on this topic. I only found 15 different studies. Much more research will very likely emerge in the future as tons of interest has been generated in cyan light therapy in the last few years - which is only growing.
Let’s now compare the blue light therapy and that of cyan:
Blue Light Therapy: Cyan As A Special Form Of Blue Light
Well, there’s tons of overlap between cyan and blue light, as they’re technically two sides of the same coin.
Blue light has some additional benefits that cyan light doesn’t have, though, such as improving wakefulness when it enters your eyes. And blue light, because it has a lower wavelength level, is also higher energy than cyan light. For that reason, the risk of eye damage after prolonged and excessive exposure is higher with blue light than cyan light.
The safety profile of cyan light is thus better overall. Finally, let’s conclude:
Cyan LED Light Therapy Has An Interesting Future
Hopefully, we’ll see hundreds if not thousands of studies into cyan LED light therapy in the future. The same has happened with blue and red light therapy in the last few decades. And, with more research, many other benefits will be found.
Originally, in the 1960s, researchers thought red light only increased wound healing. But after a few decades of science, that list of benefits has become so long that the average person can’t remember it. The same might be true for cyan light. So upgrade your infrared sauna with cyan light and you might not only get what you want but also what you need…
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What Is Cyan Led Light Used For Frequently Asked Questions
Below, I’ll answer some frequently asked questions about what is cyan LED light and what it is used for:
What Is Cyan Light
Cyan light is a specific form of blue light. Cyan is found around the 470 - 500 nanometres light spectrum wavelengths.
Blue light, however, is traditionally defined as ranging from 400 to 500 nanometers. But, as you can imagine, many shades of blue light exist. Cyan and light blue are just one part of that blue light spectrum.
What Is The Wavelength Of Cyan?
There’s no hard science on where exactly colours start or end. There are only scientific assumptions about where colours begin or end. Technically, colours aren’t really part of hard science as they’re not measurable. For that reason, scientists talk about wavelengths.
Colours are in the eye of the beholder, partially, as many people may perceive colours differently. Measuring wavelengths of light allows scientists to avoid talking about colours too much.
The problem here is that if 470nm is cyan and 469nm is blue, it’s tough to tell where precisely cyan ends and blue starts. Some people might still perceive 475nm light as being “blue” instead of “cyan”, and that’s why talking about wavelengths is much more precise.
What Colour Is 490 nm Wavelength
The 490nm wavelength is cyan. 490nm is very close to the green colour zone, though - that green colour zone starts from around 500nm light.
What Is A Cyan Light For Face
As stated before, cyan light may have benefits for both skin problems such as acne and for wound healing. These issues are some of the main reasons why many people go to dermatologists nowadays or have skin treatments.
But, as it turns out, cyan light may counter that acne and improve wound healing if you have problems. So, hopefully, we’ll get more research on this topic in the future and see more cyan LED lights integrated into light therapy products.
Some trendy products, such as face masks or light therapy panels, emit cyan light today.
What Does Cyan Do
Limited evidence on animals shows cyan helps with recovering from a traumatic brain injury and may boost bone healing. Also, human studies show that cyan has skin health benefits, can improve wound healing, and may make you more motivated.
More high-quality studies are required to confirm these effects definitively, though.
What Is The Difference Between Cyan And Light Blue
Again, colours are partially in the eye of the beholder. For that reason, physics researchers talk about wavelengths of light and not necessarily colours. The problem with colours is that one person might perceive 480nm light as cyan while another thinks it is light blue.
Cyan is technically a “blue-green” mix, according to most sources. And for that reason, cyan lays the closest to the green light spectrum that starts at 500nm. So, the colours seem similar.
If you’d want to be technical about it, you could say that light blue is closer to the 470nm range, and cyan is closer to the 500nm range. In that scenario, light blue hardly has any green influences, and cyan has more. But, in reality, the light spectrum is a spectrum, with no hard cutoff points.
What Does The Colour Do To Your Mood
Apparently, cyan light can raise dopamine levels in your brain, in the same way blue and red light do. So, you become more motivated. Dopamine is one of the most characteristically human brain signalling compounds because it’s so intertwined with abstract thinking, planning, long-term motivation, and goal-oriented behavior. Dopamine is not necessarily equal to well-being, but in a way, related to future well-being.
What Colour Is 483 nm Wavelength?
483nm, although rarely found in medical research (if at all), is cyan of colour. This 483nm is located very close to the 500nm start of the green wavelength and therefore already contains green influences.
What Color Is 430 nm Wavelength?
430nm light is very clearly blue and not cyan - that’s because the 430nm is very far removed from the start of the cyan wavelength as 470nm.
What Colour Is A 486 Wavelength?
The answer here is the same as with the 483nm above - this is clearly cyan.
What Is The Wavelength Of 490 nm?
Same here - see the previous answer. At 490nm, we’re almost located at the green part of the spectrum at 500nm.
What Colour Is Close To Cyan Blue?
Cyan is close to blue light, between 400nm and 470nm, and green light, between 500 and 600nm. People often distinguish between green and yellow and locate yellow in the latter part of the green spectrum.
What Colours Increase Mood?
Tons of different colours can improve mood. Ultraviolet light improves mood because when it hits the skin, it helps release natural painkillers called “endorphins”. Ultraviolet light can also increase dopamine through exposure in the eye. Next up, blue light, cyan light, red light, and infrared light can all increase mood, but all through different mechanisms.