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. 18 references back the claims in the article. All references are numbered. You can access the text of the reference by clicking on the number.
Today I’ll talk about purple light LED therapy. That purple light is just another colour of the visible light spectrum, like red, green, and blue. But, it turns out that purple light’s effects are far more prominent than just psychology–purple light affects your body’s biology at the deepest level.
This blog post is part of a series on chromotherapy that explores all visible colours of light:
In this blog post, however, I’ll first tell you what purple light is. Then I’ll consider the purple light health effects you can expect from purple light LED therapy. Finally, I’ll tell you how to use the therapy.
Purple Light Meaning. How Purple Light Differs From Red And Blue Light
In physics, there’s a vast light spectrum. The light spectrum can be divided into ultraviolet, visible, and infrared. Ultraviolet light can give you sunburns and infrared light makes the sun feel hot on a beach day. Lastly, the visible light is made up of all colours of the rainbow, starting from purple to blue, cyan, green, yellow, orange, and red.
All these different types of light have their own biological effects. Red light is very healing, for instance, and can improve your energy levels, skin health, cognitive function, sports performance, and sleep quality. Blue light, on the contrary, is stimulating and can improve wakefulness.
Depending on your source, purple is sometimes also seen as part of blue light. Blue light normally makes up the 400 - 500 nanometre range. But that very beginning part of the blue spectrum is technically purple. So I’ll assume today that 400 - 420nm light makes up purple light - although visually, it may appear blue to many.
Psychologically speaking, the purple light meaning is that of royalty. In ancient Rome, only emperors were allowed to wear purple clothes, for instance. But it turns out that purple light meaning differs far from what is found in modern science, as that light has many biological effects when it hits your skin:
Purple Light Health Effects With Purple Light LED Therapy
So let’s say you use purple light LED therapy. And you’re getting purple light exposure in your eyes and on your skin. What purple light health effects can you expect in that case?
Let’s explore these benefits. I’ve not included all studies on purple light LED therapy but just the important ones, as there are many publications on the topic.
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1. May Boosts Bone Formation
In laboratory cell studies, blue light at 405nm can improve bone formation (1). An increase is found in so-called “osteoblasts” - stimulating these osteoblasts help calcification processes.
2. May Improve Wound Healing And Blood Flow
Similarly, purple light LED therapy may improve wound healing (2). In one more laboratory study, fibroblast activity was increased by using 420nm purple light.
At very high doses, though, the purple light at 420nm may be counterproductive and harmful (3). Our chromotherapy only offers a very low dose of this light.
Nevertheless, purple light at 410nm may also improve blood flow (4). Red light therapy has a more substantial effect on that blood flow. However, purple still works.
3. Combining Red And Purple Light Counters Acne
Purple light alone can counter acne vulgaris, a prevalent skin problem, especially among young people (5). But, when red and purple light at 415nm were used together, there was an even better benefit.
Purple light alone led to improvements of about 50%. But, the combination of purple and red led to a whopping 70% improvement.
Many other studies confirm these effects (6; 8; 9; 10; 11; 12; 13; 14; 15). All these studies were carried out in humans, not animals. So, contrary to much of the evidence, the effects of purple light on acne are scientifically tremendously solid and very promising. There are many more human studies on purple light and acne than I refer to above, and I estimate that there are around 15 of them, all with positive outcomes.
One proposed mechanism is that purple light inhibits fat production in the skin (7). That fat, in combination with bacteria, lays at the foundation of acne.
4. May Counter Other Skin Conditions And Improve Overall Skin Health
In animal studies, purple light counters other skin conditions, such as atopic dermatitis (16).
Human evidence also exists for psoriasis at 420nm (17). So, given the fact that purple light has overwhelming benefits for acne, as well as some benefits for other skin conditions, it’s very likely that the 400 to 420nm wavelength spectrum improves overall skin health.
5. Promote Hair Regrowth
Red light is famous for its ability to promote hair regrowth, even after years of hair loss. But, now, it seems that purple lights at 420nm have similar effects (18). Hair density improved in 90% of the study participants. Photographic improvement was seen in 80% of study participants. And, while this study did consider humans, it’s only a preliminary study. So more research is needed.
Other purple light benefits exist as well that I won’t go into. Obviously, I’ve made my case that purple light benefits health.
I do want to warn you against using purple light late at night, though - the light is very stimulating and once it enters your eyes, it can prevent melatonin levels in your brain from rising. So purple light is best during the morning and afternoon.
Lastly, let’s consider the following question:
Can You Use A Purple Porch Light For Purple Light LED Therapy?
No, you cannot use your purple porch light for purple light LED therapy. The problem here is that the light output needs to be higher.
You’ll need multiple LEDs or an LED setup for the best results. That’s where the chromotherapy comes in that we use in our infrared saunas. Each infrared sauna has a chromotherapy array.
That chromotherapy setup emits 405nm light. And, while that light is frequently called “blue”, it’s technically purple. Also, red light at 660nm and green light at 540nm are emitted. And you can combine the colours as well - by adding red to blue, the colour perception becomes even more purple. Yellow can be created, moreover, by combining red and green. And orange can be created by combining green and blue.
If you want to apply purple or blue light therapy, use the blue function in our chromotherapy. That 405 gives you the benefits described in this blog post.
Purple Light LED Therapy Has A Promising Future
As you can see, purple light LED therapy has many different benefits for skin health and wound healing. The science on purple light is also in its very early stages, meaning that in the coming years and decades, tons of studies will be published now that the first very positive studies are out.
For you, that means we’ll probably keep finding purple light positive effects that are currently undiscovered. Red light was similar during the last century, and now thousands of studies show a vast array of health benefits.