What is the best beam angle for red light therapy?
- 25° to 35° Beam Angle: The 25° to 35° beam angle is great for deep tissue penetration to effectively stimulate cells while covering a generous area of skin or tissue. This range caters to both specific skin concerns and deeper muscle or joint issues, making it ideal for red light therapy panels.
- 60° Beam Angle: Straddles the line, potentially sacrificing therapeutic depth for broader coverage.
- 90° Beam Angle: Too diffuse, risking a significant drop in effectiveness by spreading the light too thinly.
What is the ideal distance from a red light therapy panel?
- 30° beam angle LEDs, a moderate distance (around 8 to 12 inches) provides a balance between intensity and coverage. At this range, the light is focused enough to provide therapeutic depth, yet spread out enough to cover a reasonable area.
- With a 60° beam angle LED, you might want to be closer, perhaps around 4 to 8 inches, to maximize the intensity without excessively diffusing the light. At this closer range, you harness more of the panel's power while still achieving a decent coverage area.
- For a wide 90° beam angle LED, it's advisable to be as close as 4 inches. At this proximity, you ensure that the spread of the light doesn't dilute the intensity too much, which is essential to achieve the desired therapeutic effects.
Beam angle determines the level of intensity at which the beam of red light from each bulb in a panel connects with your skin. Our TotalSpectrum series of panels with 6+ wavelengths are designed with 30 degrees or lesser beam angles to maximise penetration of light into your skin, even at comfortable distances.
Table of Contents
Technical Terms and Definitions
Inverse Square Law
Minimum Usage Distance
Light Density (Intensity)
How Does Beam Angle Impact the Way Red Light Waves Connect With Your Body?
Red light therapy utilizes refractive lenses in its bulbs, providing maximum absorption of red light wavelengths into your body.
Red light density varies in irradiance level based upon the beam angle of your device.
Wider beam angles diversify (spread apart) red light waves more quickly due to the inverse square law. As beams of light diversify, they lose their intensity and intrinsic healing powers with increased distance between you and the device.
Narrower beams offer less bodily coverage since they are straighter and cover less surface area from a distance, but they do offer more concentrated intensity from longer distances, improving benefits.
It could be more beneficial for light to reach your body more directly in the form of perpendicular (more narrowly angled) beams of light.
Which is better? Greater bodily coverage with wider angled beams, or more targeted, straight light waves administered via lower angled beams? Light scatter and reflection decrease with a minimized distance, but light absorption is maximized at a greater distance. Therein lies the conundrum!
The verdict is not yet in. But, each option offers its own unique treatment solutions.
The Most Common Beam Angles for Red Light Therapy Device Bulbs and Their Attributes
A natural level for a general-purpose LED bulb angle is 120 degrees; however, via the use of lenses and reflectors, light beams can be focused to customized levels for red light therapy.
The most common red light therapy LED beam angles are 90, 60, 30, and 10 degrees. The most effective beam angle that allows for high irradiance at 6-20 inches is around 25-35 degrees. Imagine this, the ideal beam angle of ceiling lights is considered to be 60 degrees, which avoids creating a spotlight type area by the time the light reaches the ground. Which means if you're close up to a red light therapy panel, you would want a smaller angle so the light touches your body part with maximum power at a closer distance.
Our science backed, medical grade panels are designed with lights at precisely 30 degree angles.
When selecting a red light therapy device, pay close attention to the recommended minimal usage distance. The closer you will be to the device during therapy, the less important the beam angle is.
The differing attributes of red light therapy derived from devices with various refracting lens beam angles:
To date, there is little evidence to support the supremacy of one lens beam angle over another. Consider your unique health and fitness goals when selecting a red light therapy device, bringing beam angle into the equation as you see fit.
Additional Resource Material
Not much research or reading material is currently available on optimal lens beam angles for red light therapy. Unless scientific studies begin to address the topic, it will remain up to you to determine how beam angle impacts your unique treatment needs.
For now, here is some additional reference material to help you further understand the science behind LED lenses and light beam angles.
- sciencedots.com - Inverse Square Law (opens in a new tab)
- sciencedirect.com - Beam Angle (opens in a new tab)
- sciencelearn.org.nz - Reflection of Light (opens in a new tab)
- sciencedirect.com - Light Irradiance (opens in a new tab)
- gsu.edu - Refraction of Light (opens in a new tab)
- physicsforums.com - What Is the Density of Light? (opens in a new tab)
- Role of EMF in red light therapy
Until a better understanding of beam angle impact upon the success of red light therapy success is gained, it is best to focus on other parameters when selecting a device. Pay more attention to the light intensity at the recommended minimum usage distance.
Personal objectives as to beam angle should be considered when selecting a red light therapy device. Until more concrete scientific evidence is available, however, the science behind the total therapeutic energy provided is a more reliable metric than beam angle.