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Understanding The Mysteries Of Red Light Therapy Flicker

The flicker in red light therapy is another essential issue that one should consider before buying red light therapy devices. The fluctuations in the intensity of light emitted by any light source are called as light flicker. This kind of perceptual experience includes flashes of perceived light which may seem to flash repeatedly faster than human eyes can detect in a sequence of moments.

Flickering controversy arises as the evolution of red LED phototherapy occurs. For some, it represents harmlessness while others might be affected with possible discomfort and side effects depending on individual sensitivities across the spectrum.

Understanding The Mysteries Of LED Light Flicker In Red Light Therapy

The Basics Of Light Flicker

  • Frequency: Light flicker is commonly expressed in Hertz (Hz), which is equivalent to the number of flashes that take place within one second. The frequency indicates in which light source cycles between dark and bright states and at what speed. Light flicker is often measured using 50 Hz or 60 Hz.
  • Causes: Several things can cause light flicker. In some instances, it is triggered by the features of the source of electricity e.g. the AC frequency. Also, some other kinds of light sources like pulse-width modulated (PWM) based fluorescent light sources and older light-emitting diodes (LED) can produce flickering because of their light output control methods.

 Effects on Perception

Light flicker can have an impact on visual perception even if it cannot be detected by the human eye as individual fluctuations. Some people may experience visual discomfort, eyestrain, tiredness, headaches, and even migraines as a result of this. Exposure to flickering light for extended periods can lower the efficiency of the eyes and, therefore, impair overall work efficiency.

Contrast, the size of the flickering area and the degree of adaptation of the retina are other factors that determine our perception of flicker. High-contrast flicker in the darkness, large area flickering, and flickering on the adapted retina will be more easily distinguished by comparison with the low-contrast, small area, or light-adapted flicker. A number of these factors are critical in flicker therapy, for particular parameters have to be strictly modulated to produce positive responses without provoking side effects.

How We Perceive Light Flicker?

Human flicker fusion threshold – the stimuli rate beyond which our eyes no longer detect changes – varies significantly based on wavelength, gaze direction, and individual sensitivity:

Because it has a long wavelength, red light flicker looks less discontinuous and faster excites retina cones compared to shorter colors. This soothing factor in our devices.

This is because of retinal cell densities and it allows perception through peripheral vision at 30% lesser frequency than with direct gaze. In most applications, relaxing lights probably do not get noticed.

In less light thresholds low down when pupils dilate to decrease fusion rate and up when more light, pupils contract fusing fast incoming stimuli. Context matters.

For children, older adults, or other migraine-prone populations, these lower fusion frequencies are seen as visual stimuli. Care guides customizing approaches.

Our technology is based on care, not on fear. For those who want to embrace empowered choice and be less sensitive, there are alternatives to foster well-being. Progress opens doors wherever needed.

How We Perceive Light Flicker?

What to Look For In Light Therapy Device?

Fortunately, a wide selection of red light therapy devices designed for home use are now available that deliver controllable flicker and target positive effects. When shopping, consider features like:

  • Wavelength: look for devices emitting predominantly red and infrared light in the desirable 630-1000nm range that stimulates cellular activity. Avoid devices with blue frequencies that may suppress melatonin.
  • Intensity and safety: LED panels should have a maximum intensity under recommended exposure guidelines to avoid over-stimulation.
  • Timer: sessions often last 10-30 minutes for benefits while avoiding long-term retinal adaptation. Timers help limit overuse.
  • Reviews: check seller/brand credibility through third-party reviews. Beware of unregulated knockoffs that may compromise light quality and safety. Reputable sellers stand by-products.

Following these buying guidelines helps you choose safe, effective home flicker therapy without risking adverse consequences from inappropriate devices or protocols. Proper product selection is the first step toward exploring light’s positive effects on our well-being

Check out our RDPRO series with a flicker percentage as close to zero as possible.

Regulations and Standards

Recognizing the potential impact of light flicker, regulatory bodies, and standards organizations have established guidelines to ensure acceptable levels of flicker in lighting products. For example, the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) has defined limits for flicker in various lighting applications to protect users from excessive flickering.

Additional Research

Neuropsychological and Neurophysiological Mechanisms Behind Flickering Light Stimulus Processing

40 Hz invisible spectral flicker and its potential use in Alzheimer’s light therapy treatment

Migraine and photic stimulation: report on a survey of migraineurs using flickering light therapy


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