Red Light Therapy Basics

All you need is love, and red light!

fringe red light therapy basics faq

Welcome to the broad (and bright) world of Red Light Therapy, we’re happy to see ya. You probably have some questions, and we’ve got answers – let’s talk it out.

Red Light Therapy (abbreviated to RLT) is the safe application of red and near infrared light absorbed by our skin and eyes to help with healing.  

RLT is also known as Photobiomodulation (PBM), a term specifically referring to  the science of the non-thermal interaction of light on the cells in our body. Red and near infrared light are part of the spectrum of light emitted by the sun and fire. Red Light Therapy supplements these healing wavelengths commonly through the use of laser or LED lights.


RLT works in a few ways:

  1. Increased Cellular Energy (ATP) Production

Red Light and Near Infrared Light therapy stimulates your body’s natural healing process at the cellular level through increased energy/ATP production in the mitochondria. This helps our cells function more efficiently. 

With an increase in energy output a series of metabolic events occur that improve blood oxygenation, improve blood flow, increase collagen production, reduce overall inflammation, and improve cellular regeneration and protection.

  1. Building Cellular Defense Systems

Light entering our skin creates a healthy low-dose metabolic stress that builds our cell’s anti-inflammatory and antioxidant defense systems. Kinda like lifting weights makes you stronger. This results in a reduced amount of cellular free radicals being produced and less oxidative stress for our cell, protecting our tissues from further inflammation.

  1. Balances our Circadian Rhythm (sleep/wake cycle)

Red light in our vision helps regulate our sleep and mood, especially when viewing the red light wavelengths in the early morning and in the evenings. Think sunsets, sunrises, or nighttime campfires – red light signals your body to adjust your circadian rhythm. 

Red Light wavelengths (630-680nm being the most common range)  are absorbed in highest proportions by our skin, making it very effective for improving skin health and collagen production. The visible nature of Red Light also has health benefits when observed by our eyes in an ambient light setting, including improved sleep and mood.

Near Infrared light wavelengths (common range of 800-880nm) are not visible to the human eye, but that does not mean they are not working. On the contrary, near infrared light can penetrate deeper into our tissues making it ideal for reducing pain, inflammation, and speeding recovery. Near infrared light cannot be seen, but can be felt as heat.

Red light and Near infrared light scatters once it enters our skin and they have overlapping benefits for our body. It’s for this reason they are commonly recommended to be used together, as they are in Fringe Red Light Therapy products.


Irradiance is the amount of light energy your skin receives over a period, often reported in mW/cm² (milliwatts per centimeter squared, or amount of power over a surface area). Clinical studies often report red light irradiance along with the time of use as “dosage.” Higher irradiance or power does not mean better results, if the dose is too great – the benefits are negated! 

Many companies claim to have and irradiance of 100mW/cm² (or more) at 0 inches.

Man, that would be HOT! The sun is about 24 mW/cm² on our skin, and we think the sun knows a thing or two about healing!  Think of your Fringe Red Light Therapy as a way to safely supplement the healing wavelengths from the sun that offer us the most benefits.

Laser red light therapy produces parallel, uniform rays of light at one wavelength. They can treat a small area, the rays travel deeper than LED lights and they can create more heat.

LED red light therapy (like with Fringe red light therapy products) produces non-parallel, non-uniform rays of light in a small range of wavelengths. They can treat a larger area, the rays don’t travel as deep and they create less heat.

Recent scientific studies have confirmed that you can get the same benefits from LED Red and Near Infrared light therapy as you can from lasers, at a fraction of the cost. Thankfully, this increases its accessibility to be used in clinics and at home, with the same healing benefits as red light laser therapy!

Here are just a few 🙂

Photobiomodulation (PBM)

Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT)

Low-level laser therapy (LLLT)

Cold lasers

Low intensity light therapy (LILT)



Biostimulation (BIOS)


The statements on this website have not been evaluated by the FDA (U.S. Food & Drug Administration). Our products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. 

FringeLights are considered low-risk, general wellness products that do not require FDA clearance, in accordance with the “General Wellness: Policy on Low Risk Devices” draft released July 29, 2016.

Light Heals

Here comes the sun

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