Categories
Light Product Reviews

REVIEWS: Red & Infrared Light Products

Let’s explore practical, topflight sources of red & infrared light — without spending hundreds or thousands of dollars.

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.

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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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