Thu. Apr 18th, 2024

The red light lamp – Healing heat

Many know and appreciate it, the red light lamp. To keep children warm or as heat therapy for adults, the red light lamp has become an indispensable part of many households.

But where does it actually come from and how does it work?? Answers to this here in this article.

Function of the red light lamp

From a purely scientific point of view, a red light lamp is very similar to a normal table lamp, with the important difference that it produces little to no visible light, but instead emits mainly infrared radiation.

Infrared radiation is a part of natural sunlight and has a warming effect thanks to its short waves.

The light of a red light lamp is very natural. So using a red light lamp is similar to lying down on the grass for extensive sunbathing.

However, without the in high doses harmful UV radiation. Thus, despite its technical side, it is a very original therapy method.

History of red light therapy

The healing power of sunlight was already known in ancient times and was used in so-called „helio-therapies“.

The forms of therapy varied from simple sunbaths to treatments in combination with herbs to spiritualistic sun consecrations.

Some of these therapies are still used today as part of a course of treatment.

Infrared radiation was originally discovered in 1801 by Friedrich Wilhelm Herschel when he refracted sunlight in a prism and measured the temperature of the individual wavelengths with a thermometer.

He noticed that the thermometer showed the greatest heat outside the visible light and thus proved that a non-visible light is responsible for the warmth of sunlight.

It took almost until the end of the century, until this newly discovered radiation was also used for therapy. In so-called „light boxes“ normal light bulbs and reflectors were used to project the heat radiation onto the skin.

Modern red light lamps, however, are equipped with filters that allow only the warming infrared light to pass through and thus produce only heat, but no visible light.

Ranges of the red light lamp

Infrared radiation is divided into three ranges, from IR-A to IR-C. These divisions represent the different wavelengths of infrared light.

However, only the IR-A width of the spectrum is really of interest for heat lamp treatments, as the other wavelengths cannot penetrate deep enough into the skin to provide warmth.

Nowadays, there are a variety of different forms of red light lamps, from simple devices for home use to special medical devices that can irradiate the whole body at the same time.

The devices are distinguished both in size and in power.

Fields of application

The effect of heat radiation on the body has several effects. Firstly, the heating dilates the vessels and thus improves blood circulation, which results in a variety of positive effects.

If tissue is better supplied with blood, it can also be better supplied with nutrients and oxygen. At the same time, waste products can be better removed and the cells become more active.

On the other hand, heat relaxes muscles and relieves tension. It can relieve pain in muscles and loosen tense limbs. At the same time the immune system is stimulated and becomes more active.

Because of these characteristics, you can use red light lamps for a variety of ailments. Whether for muscle pain, stiff joints, a lumbago or bruises.

Heat is a natural and simple way to help the body heal a bit and improve self-healing.

What to look for when using?

Although red light lamps are an inexpensive and simple therapy method, there are still a few things to keep in mind.

Do not use red light lamps for inflammation, as this is exacerbated by increased metabolism. Do not look directly into the lamp.

Wear thick, opaque goggles for facial applications. Although the heat radiation is not visible, it can still damage the eyes.

If you suffer from heart disease, thrombosis or diabetes mellitus, it is essential that you consult your doctor before using the product.

What to consider when buying?

When buying, make sure that you buy a tested and safe product.

Well-known manufacturers are, for example, Medisana or Beurer, both manufacturers have been known for their good products for years and some of them have experience in other medical fields as well.

Also Philips offers a variety of different products for heat treatment.

The products of manufacturers from other markets are not necessarily bad, but it can not be guaranteed that they also comply with European standards and regulations and should be used with caution.


In summary, the red light lamp is a natural and simple therapy for muscle pain and tension.

The healing effect of infrared light has been known and proven for centuries. Nevertheless, as with all medical products: If you are unsure, always contact a doctor first.