Categories
Big Picture Light Product Reviews Sleep Thyroid

Recreating Sunlight Indoors

In the long winter months — or even during summer days — our bodies need healthy, light.

Healthy lighting includes broad-spectrum frequencies of light, in smooth natural output curves.

Clearly, sunlight — as a “blackbody radiator” (it emits a continuous spectrum) — is the best source of natural spectrums of light.

Yet, we don’t want to mimic sunlight perfectly — that would include too much UV and be too intense. After all, sunlight provides roughly 1000 watts of light on our body, alone, often with enough UV to cause serious burns.

Instead, we need indoor lighting to be:

  • full-spectrum
  • safely balanced
  • in reasonable doses

…so that it can encourage:

  • alertness
  • hormonal balance
  • great digestion
  • thyroid function
  • circadian alignment
  • digestive well-being

Let’s quickly explore the components of healthy indoor lighting.

First, blue and red wavelengths need to be balanced, in at least a 1:1 ratio, — if not 2-3x more red than blue.

Incandescents typically have much more red than blue, while fluorescent and LED bulbs are typically the opposite — LEDs have 2-3x the blue of red.

Incandescent bulbs are, therefore, despite poor energy efficiency, a nearly-optimal foundation for healthy indoor lighting. Yes, halogens are a type of incandescent and are thus nearly always a good alternate option, as well.


Second, sunlight produces healing infrared frequencies that are restorative for the human body. Incandescent bulbs produce massive amounts of invisible infrared light.

While this is wasteful from a lighting and efficiency perspective, these frequencies encourage health in the body. LEDs and fluorescents produce very little infrared. Therefore, incandescents are preferable for healthy indoor lighting.


Third, sunlight does not flicker — it is a smooth, continuous source of healing light.

On the other hand, LEDs and fluorescent bulbs flicker several hundred times per second — in part, to save electricity. Half the time during use, these bulbs are entirely or nearly off. LEDs flicker is virtually completely on/off — saving literally half the power required to run the bulb.

This flickering light has been shown to have detrimental effects in humans and other species.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4038456/

By contrast, incandescent bulbs don’t flicker at all — they mimic sunlight in their smooth, continuous radiative energy. Again, this is more ‘wasteful’ from an energy efficiency perspective, but likely healthier for the humans living and working in a space.


Fourth, sunlight changes throughout the day, based on the amount of atmosphere it must traverse to reach the ground.

Warm reds begin each day, building with greens, and bright blues, and peaking with full UV power at midday.

Thus, using these four characteristics:

  • red/blue balance
  • infrared
  • non-flickering
  • change throughout the day

we can successfully recreate sunlight and enjoy the benefits of healthy indoor lighting.

Let’s discuss just how easy it can be.

1

The Foundation

Red + Infrared

The best source of red and infrared light is clearly the traditional incandescent light bulb.

Sadly — at least for human health reasons — incandescents have been phased out around the world, prohibited from being sold as normal light bulbs. However, they are still available in many online retailers, and can often be sold when marketed as “specialty” bulbs.

Clear incandescents are usually best, with no filter to alter their spectral output.

Nearly any wattage can be appropriate — from 15 watts for night-time use, to 40 watts for Zoom call lighting (on the face), to 60 watts for daytime room lighting, to 150-300 watts for strong daytime room lighting or therapeutic dosages.

Incandescent BulbBest for:
15 wattsNight-time use
40 wattsZoom call lighting
60 wattsGeneral purpose; Daytime room light
150+ wattsStrong daytime room light; Therapeutic light
Incandescent bulbs are easily screwed into clamp lamps for easy customization of light placement.

15 Watts

Clear Incandescent

(click to view)

40 Watts

Clear Incandescent

(click to view)

60 Watts

Clear Incandescent

(click to view)

150 Watts

Clear Incandescent

(click to view)
(click image to view)

Sometimes, especially in winter, heat lamps can be very appropriate for either room lighting or therapeutic light.

At 125 or 250 watts, they are simply incandescent bulbs on steroids — overloaded with infrared and red, and very limited in the shorter blue spectrum. However, they are missing so much blue that they need supplemental blue frequencies to successfully recreate sunlight.

Bright, clear incandescent bulbs are appropriate from sun-up to sundown.

Lower-powered incandescent bulbs (40w and lower) are safe to use even until an hour or two before bedtime.

The One LED Bulb that can Almost Replace a Clear Incandescent

Consider their SUPERWARM™ 1700K Flicker-Free A19 10W LED Bulb and its spectral output:

The SUPERWARM boasts an incredible amount of red light, with very little blue — creating its warm, 1700K color temperature. An excellent option before bed.

This bulb almost perfectly recreates clear incandescent light, with two differences:

  • Full-spectrum, red-rich frequencies
  • Zero flicker

The only downside is this bulb produces zero infrared. However, this may be acceptable in summer, when combined with another infrared-producing bulb, or at night.

In other words, the infrared produced by clear incandescents is extremely valuable to the human body, but the SUPERWARM bulb by Waveform is an incredible substitute.

This bulb’s light is attractive, appealing, and warm. Use wherever incandescents are appropriate. Especially appropriate for morning and evening use.

Just know that, theoretically, this bulb is missing infrared — which would be superior.

2

Add Some Blue

Non-Flickering LED

In reality, most incandescents alone struggle to produce enough blue to mimic sunlight — only the 150w bulbs produce any notable blue.

Even still, those stronger bulbs don’t produce nearly enough blue light to mimic sunlight.

  • Enter a new company I discovered earlier in 2021 called Waveform Lighting.

Waveform Lighting specializes in LED bulbs that are flicker-free and full-spectrum.

Just like the SUPERWARM (mentioned above), Waveform also offers bulbs at virtually every color temperature: 1700K, 3000K, 4000K, 5000K — and it makes sense to use one of these in addition to the incandescent. Why? To better mimic sunlight.

Blue light is essential for many biological functions:

  • informing the body when it’s daytime
  • suppressing daytime melatonin,
  • keeping us alert
  • activating dopamine
  • and much more

We are certainly exposed to too much isolated blue light in modern environments. But that doesn’t mean blue is unnecessary — we need it to function.

In fact, with a foundation of lots of red/infrared, the body can properly benefit from the right amount of blue.

Therefore, it’s wise to supplement a higher color temperature bulb — such as this non-flickering 4000K daytime LED — with our incandescent bulb.

Click to visit this Waveform Lighting product (no affiliation).

Three options are available from Waveform Lighting — with varying amounts of blue/red:

I recommend the 4000K bulb for most situations, but the 5000K and 6500K provide lots of blue — perfect for larger spaces or with higher wattages of incandescent light.

These blue-rich LED bulbs are appropriate to use beginning later in the morning (9 am or so) until about 6 pm.

So far, we’ve added two non-flickering, full spectrum light bulbs:

  • Incandescents — delivering heaps of red/infrared
  • Waveform Lighting LEDs — delivering full-spectrum light, including rich blues.

Sunlight also includes UV — should you consider adding this, too? Let’s find out.

3

UV?

Sperti Lamp -vs- ‘Reptile’ Bulbs

UV plays an important role in circadian, hormonal, digestive, immune, and cognitive health.

Many are beginning to champion the critical effects UV has on the body, via Vitamin D3 production and other avenues.

However, caution is advised when it comes to ultraviolet frequencies — less is more. There is no need to ever sunburn.

There are two methods to reap the benefits of indoor UV light:

  1. As a background frequency in work spaces — perhaps for several hours around midday (and mostly for circadian benefiets via the eyes) — by placing a small UV bulb 10+ feet away, and shining away from the body
  2. A therapeutic dose on the full body, at 2 feet away, in only a few minutes per day.

When UV light is present in a workspace, folks often notice better mood, more alertness, and more energy.

Whether aiming for background lighting or a full-body therapeutic dose, it’s best to combine the UV bulb with your red/infrared bulb. The longer frequencies (red/infrared) nourish and help protect skin from negative effects of UV — especially before UV exposure.

The tanning bed could be a very natural and simple solution for getting weekly UV exposure — and this works extremely well for many people during during winter months. But tanning salons have become hard to find, and using them safely is complicated. In general, shoot for:

  • “medium-pressure” beds,
  • once per week for only 5-6 minutes (for most people).

If using a tanning bed, be sure to get red/infrared therapy before or after the tanning session.

In-Home Therapeutic UV Options

There are two basic options for in-home UV:

  • the infamous medical device Sperti Lamp
  • bulbs designed for pet reptiles

Surprisingly, these two are — essentially — the exact same thing, except for one difference:

  • Reptile bulbs provides 13-26 watts
  • Sperti Lamp provides 300 watts

Let’s analyze the pros/cons of these two options.

(1) Sperti Fiji

Sperti Fiji bulb
THE SPERTI FIJI LAMPThe Fiji is superior to the standard Sperti due to its higher UVA content, which is still only 3:1. (Amazon)
(click to open)

(2) Reptile Bulbs

ZooMed ReptiSun 5.0 -- 13 watts
REPTISUN 5.0 (13 watts)A better UVA-UVB ratio of 6:1. (PetSmart)
(click to open)
ZooMed ReptiSun 5.0 -- 13 watts
REPTISUN 5.0 (26 watts)Also the better UVA-UVB ratio of 6:1. (Amazon)
(click to open)

Which is more appropriate for you?

Most people who buy the Sperti eventually realize two things:

  • How difficult it can be to expose the entire body to such a small lamp
  • How powerful it is — it only takes a few minutes to 1) burn, or 2) raise Vit D levels too high

These are real risks with the Sperti. It’s a quality device, for sure, but far too many people buy them, only to have to stop using them.

The biggest problem with the Sperti is its low UVA output. UVA output controls Vitamin D production in the body, too — and too little can cause Vit D levels to rise too high.

Therefore I only recommend a Sperti (even the Fiji device) if you fully understand these risks, how powerful its UVB output is, and are ready to supplement additional UVA.

I’m a bigger fan of the low-key, unassuming reptile bulbs.

They produce very similar light, though these particular ZooMed bulbs (above) produce a better UVA-UVB ratio (6:1). Compared to the Sperti, these bulbs are:

  • gentler
  • less likely to cause problems
  • able to raise Vitamin D levels much more slowly
  • less likely to burn you
  • smaller, less in the way

You can dip your toes with the 13 watt bulb, or get the stronger one with 26 watts — it’s stronger than you’d expect. Which demonstrates just how (too) powerful the 300 watt Sperti is.

Consider spending 3-5 minutes per day in front of a reptile bulb, mid-day, preferably after a shower or other exposure to heat and red light. Protect your eyes from UV: don’t look at the bulb while on, and wear eye protection. Alternating days is a great idea; observe how you feel on days on versus days off.

Btw, there are intriguing new LED products coming on the market that will replace mercury-filled fluorescent reptile bulbs.

I plan to try these soon, but in the meantime here is one product I’ve got my eyes on.

4

Additional UVA?

Black lights.

As we’ve mentioned, most bulbs marketed for UV light are primarily designed to deliver UVB — and don’t provide sufficient UVA to mimic sunlight.

This can lead to multiple problems in your body — including Vitamin D regulation — especially with the immensely powerful Sperti lamps (and low-pressure tanning beds).

Let’s first understand what the sun’s UV spectrum looks like. How much UVA does it contain — relative to UVB?

What is the sun’s natural ratio of UVA to UVB?

  • In space — (20:1 ratio)
    • Before sunlight travels through the atmosphere — solar radiation contains 20X more UVA (than UVB).
  • On earth — (500+:1 ratio)
    • UVB is filtered out by the atmosphere.
    • Typical sunlight, on earth, has 500-100,000X more UVA than UVB — for much of the year, and most of the day.
    • This UVA-rich light what humans are adapted to.
    • We need much more UVA than we do UVB.
    • An optimal UVA/UVB ratio keeps Vitamin D levels from rising too high.
  • Bulbs — (much lower ratios)
    • Sperti (classic) is 1:1
    • Sperti (Fiji) is 3:1
    • ZooMed bulbs I recommend (above) are 6:1.

So do we need more UVA than most “UV bulbs” provide? We probably do.

It is possible to get UVA during winter! However, this would require exposing lots of skin to sunlight — outside — during potentially cold weather. This can be an option, a very healthy option, for many.

For others, we’ll need a bulb that creates a decent stream of UVA light.

Here is the best option I’ve found so far:

The highest quality UVA light I’ve found. From Waveform Lighting. The 395 nm model is perfect, and better priced.
(click to open)

If you get the Waveform realUV black light, you’ll need to stand a minimum of 2 feet away during light therapy, if not a bit further. It’s a strong light. It’s also strong enough to be across the room and immerse the room in quality UVA light — which can be good for health.

5

Get Started

CREATING A PLAN at Home

You’ve got the components: infrared, red, blue, UV. Now let’s put them together in a way that helps you re-create sunlight.

Let’s begin with a simple light setup at your desk or workspace.

A 40 watt incandescent bulb (clear) with a 4000K Centric Daylight bulb from Waveform Lighting.

First thing in the morning, and when working after dinner, I’ll leave the Daylight bulb off — and use the 40 watt incandescent by itself.

On cold days, you might especially want more heat, infrared, and red light. Turn on a heat lamp, 3-5 feet behind you, to mimic summer sunshine while you work:

Add a heat lamp (125 watt or 250 watts) behind your — or off to the side — to enjoy more warming, restorative infrared/red frequencies.

With the heat lamp, the Daylight bulb (and 40 watt incandescent in front of you), the only frequencies lacking — to recreate sunlight — are in the UV range.

Add in a reptile bulb to introduce some UV into the room.

Being far behind you (and if you’re clothed), this UV will not provide therapeutic light, but instead signal “daytime” to your brain and help keep you alert.

Now add a reptile bulb for UV, off in the background, to fill the room with extremely gentle, UV light.

Finally, if you’d like a more therapeutic, intense dose of these frequencies, utilize two or more heat lamps (250 watts each), a reptile bulb, and a black light.

Keep in mind that real sunlight provides about 1000 watts on the typical human body. This setup provides just over half of that.

Red LED products can be easily added into this setup — taking the place of one heat lamp.
The Joovv Quad 3.0 Kit — $5,645

Where do red light LED products fit into this?

  • Generally red light LEDs are best used for therapeutic purposes: Intense, full-body light for 10-30 minutes at a time.
  • Red LEDs do not mimic sunlight, and are inferior to heat lamps.

My Experience

When I was living in sick buildings — and hadn’t realized their detrimental effect yet — I fell in love with light therapy. Recreating sunlight helped me feel wonderful when nothing else could.

Over the years, I worked up to ten 150 watt clear incandescent bulbs and used them for a long time. Impressive was the ability to warm, induce sweat, improve digestion, immunity, and sleep, and energize the mind — even in a sick building.

I’d do a 20 minute session before work, and then a longer session when I got home in the evening. On breaks, I’d go outside for fresh air and sunlight. I wore blue-light reducing glasses inside, under the fluorescent light.

Healthy, restorative light became a big part of my life — and my recovery.

Learn more about light — and receive guidance on your health journey.
Categories
Big Picture Light Nutrients Sleep Supplement Reviews

Basic Immune Checklist

The immune system needs all the support it can get during a crisis.

In this uncertain time, strategies to shore up biological weaknesses and nutritional imbalances are at the very top of the list for boosting immunity.

Everything mentioned in this article has been shown to be effective for boosting immunity against viruses and even past coronaviruses in published studies.

We can strengthen the immune system from the ground up — via two avenues foundational to general health: nutrients and lifestyle.

Adults

Immune function may be improved by restoring deficient micronutrients to recommended levels, thereby increasing resistance to infection and supporting faster recovery when infected. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30336639
1

A Great Multivitamin

A strong multivitamin has A) whole-food based, high-quality ingredients at B) biologically-appropriate, balanced doses — not megadoses, which can create imbalances.

Naturelo’s formulation is well-balanced, absorbable, w/adequate zinc content — the only one of its kind among a vast ocean of subpar multivitamins.

Naturelo MEN’S MULTIVITAMIN

(Amazon)

View on iHerb.com

NATURELO WOMEN’S MULTIVITAMIN

(Amazon)

View on iHerb.com

Women’s includes iron.
Women’s (50+) is iron-free.

Take a quality multivitamin daily, with or without meals, before 2 pm.

Read more:

Poor nutritional status predisoposes to certain infections.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30336639
2

Vitamins D & A

Vitamin D and Vitamin A are partner nutrients which are central to immune function.

Poorly represented in most diets (D is only available from sunlight and A is only available from liver), they are both critical for metabolism, sleep, and hormone production.

A deficiency in these can make you extra susceptible to illnesses.

D

Vitamin D is a hormone produced when the body receives UVB light.

Vitamin D is perhaps the most important immune nutrient.

Solaray, Soy-Free Vitamin D-3 + K-2, 120 VegCaps
Solaray 5000 IU (with K2)

This is a moderate-to-high dose of Vitamin D3 (the biologically-active form) with a small amount of cofactor Vitamin K2, needed to allow Vitamin D work in the body.

It’s an excellent idea to take absorbable magnesium to support Vitamin D. Magnesium is not readily found in modern food, so it’s a good idea to supplement it daily, anyway.

WHEN SICK, Take 5000IU Vitamin D daily — with a meal.

(Consider avoiding Vit D if supplemented heavily in the past — to avoid overdose).

NOTE — Sunlight is a superior form of Vitamin D, but is only available around midday, in the summer.

A

Vitamin A is the sister hormone to Vitamin D, enabling it to work optimally.

The two must be balanced with about a 1:1 ratio.

Carlson Labs, Vitamin A, 10,000 IU, 250 Soft Gels
Carlson Labs (10,000 IU)

This is the premier form of Vitamin A (preformed, fat-soluble). Does not require the liver to convert from carotenes.

When Sick, Take Vitamin A every Other day — with a meal, before 2pm.

(Consider avoiding Vit A if supplemented heavily in the past — to avoid overdose).

It is well-established that nutritional inadequacy greatly impairs the functioning of the immune system.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6340979/
3

Vitamin C

Along with Vitamin D, Vitamin C is a most critical immune nutrient, because it supports the system’s energy as a whole.

Solaray 1:1 Ratio Vit C
Solaray, Vitamin C Bioflavonoids, 1:1 Ratio, 250 VegCaps

View on iHerb.com

My favorite Vit C supplement anywhere.

Solaray Liposomal Vitamin C
Solaray, Liposomal Vitamin C, 400 mg, 100 VegCaps

View on iHerb.com

Fat-soluble Vitamin C, an incredible product.

Take 500-1000mg daily, at any time, with or without a meal.
Higher doses should be used with caution, up to 1000-2000mg/day.

Various micronutrients are essential for immunocompetence, particularly vitamins A, C, D, E, B2, B6, and B12, folic acid, iron, selenium, and zinc. 

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30336639
4

Zinc & Copper

5

Antimicrobials & Immune Boosters

These supplements can be powerful in improving your body’s ability to fend off infection.

  • Monolaurin (amazon)
    • Try 1-3 small pellets with meals
  • Glutathione (iherb)
    • The most gentle glutathione on the market
6

Heat

Heat is incredibly therapeutic for nearly every health condition — especially for supporting the immune system.

Why? In part, because pathogens are severely weakened in high heat. Look no further than what your own body does when sick: It raises the temperature in your tissues, a fever.

Venture Soft Far Infrared Heating Pad

UTK Ultra-Soft Far Infrared Heating Pad

Exposure to warmth is critical when fighting off illness and preventing it. The heat will also help you feel better in the process.

Apply heating pad for 20 minutes on chest, then 20 minutes on the back. Optional: Sit on pad for several hours.

Did you know? Heat is infrared light.

Read more about the stunning health effects of light.
7

Sunlight

If you’re sick, get outside.

UV light is naturally germicidal — especially against viruses. UV frequencies can penetrate into the skin, and can even inactivate viruses that have worked their way into skin tissues.

Blue light from sunshine, as well, is “highly antimicrobial.”

Infrared, the immune-boosting and germicidal to pathogens, is also metabolism boosting and makes up 50% of sunlight.

Sunlight is a premier tool to:

all important for recovery from illness.

UV radiation kills viruses by chemically modifying their genetic material, DNA and RNA.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17880524
Morning light is the healthiest light you can get — even without any UV.

Don’t wait until you’re sick to spend time outdoors. Ward off illness — before it arrives — with regular sunshine.

Get outdoors every day — for as long as possible.
8

The immune system activates at night — functioning best when we sleep deeply.

Research is finding that when you sleep is more important than how many hours you sleep. Thus, the circadian rhythm is more important than the total hours of shuteye.

Fix the circadian rhythm to fix sleep. Explore the Sleep section for more.

Read more:

Children

When it comes to children, it’s important to simplify.

Kids are smaller bodies that require smaller doses of nutrients. Children’s health needs are different than an adult’s — they are often more sensitive, and thereby susceptible to harm caused by excessive supplementation.

Multivitamin

Kids need low, balanced doses of high-quality nutrients, too.

Not all children’s multivitamins meet the standards of quality and balanced dosages.

(Alive! brand might taste a little better)

Vitamin D

Give this to children for one week to build immunity — or during illness — then reduce dosage to 2-3x/week.

Echinacea

Give to children for one week to build immunity or fight off infection. Then take one week off before starting again.

Conclusion

A strong immune-boosting regimen is built on a foundation of:

  • A quality multivitamin
  • Vitamins D & A supplements
  • Vitamin C
Optional steps:
  • Zinc and copper
  • Antimicrobials
REMEMBER to utilize these DAILY:
  • Heat
  • Full-spectrum sunlight
  • A strong circadian rhythm

…to optimize your immune health.

Each Pillar matters.

Categories
Light Product Reviews

REVIEWS: Red & Infrared Light Products

Can we enjoy top-shelf sources of red & infrared light, and do so without spending hundreds or even thousands of dollars?

Absolutely, we can.

Full-spectrum light is superior to narrow-wavelength red-only light. 

Red-only light products are only optimal in the evening to minimize the risk of interfering with sleep.  Even then, it’s always best to get supplemental light during the daytime. 

Incandescent light is preferable to LED products, because the full-spectrum light produces superior benefits for the circadian rhythm, hormonal balance, enzyme activity, and hypothyroidism. It’s also more affordable.

1

Clear Heat Lamp
(125-Watt)

Perfect for beginners

A 125-watt bulb is a great place to start — especially if starting slow is important to you.  These heat lamps are well made.

Ultimately, many folks respond best when they use multiple bulbs, totaling several hundred watts. Reaching 500 watts may be easier wil two 250-watt bulbs, rather than these 125-watt bulbs.

PROs:

  • Gentle, warm light
  • Simple & does the job
  • Affordable infrared light
  • Full-spectrum light
  • Less blue and no UV (compared to sunlight)

CONs:

  • Somewhat breakable (it’s a light bulb)
  • 125-watts is a fairly low amount for therapeutic purposes
  • Not suitable for use in areas with children or pets

RATING: 9/10

I prefer 250-watts for the greater power, but the light produced by a few 150-watt bulbs is very restorative, energizing, and pleasant.

2

Clear Heat Lamp
(250-Watt)

more watts, more light
I love this 250-watt lamp. It is quite powerful (and hot — be careful).

The 250-watt heat lamp is twice the intensity of the 125-watt, and it feels that way. 

Much, much more power is supplied.  It’s more simple to reach the 500-watt threshold, it only requires two of these bulbs.

Heat lamps are quite directional, so be sure to back up several feet to 1) expose more tissues to the restorative light, and 2) avoid overexposure of any single area.

PROs:

  • Powerful, strong, radiant infrared light
  • Simple & does the job
  • Affordable infrared light
  • Full-spectrum light (lots of visible wavelengths)
  • Less blue and no UV (compared to sunlight)

CONs:

  • Somewhat breakable (it’s a light bulb)
  • Gets incredibly hot
  • Not suitable for use in areas with children or pets

RATING: 9.5/10

I use several of these bulbs at a time, daily.

3

175-Watt Clear Halogen Reflector Bulb

Pretty good bulbs. More visible, bright light. Less fragile than typical heat lamps.

Halogen light is similar to incandescent light (heat lamps are a type of incandescent) except halogen bulbs have a halogen gas (usually iodine or bromine gas) that allows the bulb to burn hotter without failing. 

The result is a similar output to incandescent, but with more bright visible light (like green and blue) and a little less infrared per watt. Nevertheless, halogens still produce less blue and more infrared/red, as a percentage of total output, than sunlight.

This bulb is slightly less hot than a 250-watt heat lamp, but with about the same visible light brightness.  Visible light (red, green, blue) is very good for health, as well, and this is a good way to get it.

PROs:

  • Powerful, strong, radiant light
  • Affordable
  • VERY natural full-spectrum light
  • Less blue than sunlight — more blue than heat lamps, which is good during daytime use
  • Sturdy — less breakable than heat lamps

CONs:

  • Gets quite hot
  • Not suitable for use in areas with children or pets
  • I like heat lamps and regular incandescent bulbs better

RATING: 8/10

I’ve used these for extended periods in the past. They’re quite good, but I think I feel best with incandescent bulbs.

4

Red L.E.D.

ABi Plant “Grow Light”

Designed to make plants grow (and flower) by using the same wavelengths that are highly beneficial for human biology.

This is a powerful grow light, producing red light in *only* the 660nm wavelength.  For wattage, it has two options: 12 watts and 25 watts. 

Claims About Wattage

The company claims that its wattage claims are more accurate than other companies’ — essentially stating that they list wattage based upon wattage used “at the outlet” (whereas other companies don’t), and that their products carry the power of products listed at 2 or 3 times that wattage. 

My opinion:  They aren’t making that up.  These bulbs are really, really bright.

Five of these would recreate a full-body red LED that could rival some more expensive (though possibly more convenient) red LED products.  If any of those companies are exaggerating their LED output, you might achieve a similar result with just 3 of these grow lights.

This product does have the limitations that come with all LEDs:  short, narrow wavelengths and a subtle flicker that — though likely unnoticeable to the eye — could be suboptimal for some. 

Therapeutic red light — without the intense heat — is a perk of LEDs — but not a big enough perk to prefer red LEDs to heat lamps.  The warm infrared frequencies are incredibly beneficial.

PROs:

  • Powerful output
  • Choose either 660nm and 630nm
  • Choose either 12w and 25w
  • No heat 

CONs:

  • LED — flicker and narrow wavelength
  • 25-watt’s fan is quite noisy

RATING: 7.5

It’s a pretty solid bulb. Fun to play with — and the red light is gorgeous at night.

It’s a true top-shelf option among red light LEDs — and using several of these is possibly preferable to expensive red light products.

I have tried both the 12-watt and 25-watt.  The 25-watt bulb is massive, heavy, and could overwhelm many clamp lamps with its weight.  It also has a noisy fan that I found too annoying for frequent use.  I sent it back and got a second 12-watt, instead.

After purchasing three of these, I still gravitate to real incandescent light from clear heat lamps. Heat lamps are simply superior light.

Read more.

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5

Other Equipment

Clamp Lamp

After buying all of my clamp lamps at Home Depot for many years, I have found a superior version.  These clamp lamps from Amazon are more sturdy — and that’s a big deal. 

Just screw in a bulb, clamp to a shelf or table.

PROs:

  • Solid, sturdy construction
  • Affordable

CONs:

  • The reflector is made of aluminum

RATING: 9/10

I’m not sure the aluminum reflectors are a big problem. I do take them off, but I don’t really recommend it to others. I don’t think plastic reflectors are any better than aluminum for exposure to harmful compounds.

Power Strip

And you might need a power strip, so here are some.

Be cautious and wise with lamps that get hot.  I use these all the time, but I’m very careful and safe.  Please don’t hurt yourself or someone you care about.

Read more.

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Supporting members enjoy:

  • Access to all health information & resources
  • Ongoing support in our no-drama discussion group
  • The ability to ask me health questions directly
  • The satisfaction of knowing that you’re supporting a great cause

Travis

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