One of the problems of writing a blog, I’m finding, is that people are keen to share good news, but they are not so keen to share not so good news, or even no news. I’m guessing that there are people out there who can relate to this.
Let’s say that you have Parkinson’s, you have made yourself a light hat, and you have been wearing it every day for 20-30 minutes. You have a lot of hope.
A month down the track and nothing seems to have changed. You are feeling a bit fed up with the red light caper, and sick of the jokes that others make about it.
Another month goes past and you are sure that you’ve had no response from the lights. Are the red lights a load of hooey? Continue reading “The light hat isn’t helping my PD…”
Be safe. Make only 12 volt light devices.
Just in case you have an urge to build an Eliza using 240 volts, then DON’T.
Light hats made with 12 Volt Direct Current work well. They are safe to make and use at home.
12 Volts is a safe way for us all to make and use light devices at home.
Remember the Goldilocks Effect. More power is not going to help, and if you start playing with 240 volts you are entering dangerous territory.
- Make 12 volt DC light devices
- Use it daily
- Email me through the blog and tell me how you are going
- Try using higher voltages
Here is a recently constructed Eliza, and a very fine job, too.
The standard design didn’t work for the head and neck of the new user. So the enterprising Eliza-maker did some creative tweaking to make it work.
If it is not comfortable, then don’t be afraid to tweak your Eliza.
A few people have asked how long a light hat should be worn.
A previous post about the Goldilocks Effect is really important to read, as it describes the research on the odd effect of too much red light.
More red light is not better – it can make things worse. Neurones are finicky fellows and we must respect this.
So how long should you wear an Eliza light hat, or any kind of red/near infrared light on the head? As everyone’s light hat is different, it is impossible to give absolutely firm advice. But based on what I’ve observed over the time of making many and varied light hats, I’d suggest the following considerations.
A few people have asked to be put into contact with others making Elizas and Daffodils at home. I’m told that a forum is just the thing to allow this to happen.
So the redlightsonthebrain forum has been set up. It is set up as a free site, so apologies in advance for any advertisements.
I’m the Admin, but I’m a novice forum-user, so anything could happen….oh well, we can only give it a try. If it is a disaster, it can be removed from existence.
Life is full of revelations. In my case, this revelation is a slow realisation of the blatantly obvious.
I’ve been fretting over the instructions for a two-wavelength Eliza. These instructions will involve soldering and flash stuff like that. It’s OK for those who solder for pleasure, and who are at one with the finer points of electrical connections, but most Eliza-makers are happy to avoid unnecessary complications.
So, applying the KISS (keep it simple, stupid), I offer this pronouncement:
Make two Elizas (or Daffodils), one with the ~670nm LED strip and the other with a longer wavelength. While 810nm is the fashionable one, it has been difficult to get, whereas 850nm is much easier to find.
Then use the two light hats in sequence, one immediately following the other. I tend to use the ~670nm first, then the longer wavelength second. I’m not sure that it makes much difference which goes first, as long as one quickly follows the other.
I’ve had a few queries about using high powered LEDs, the logic being that if low powered LED strips can improve the health of neurons, then lots of low powered LEDs or high powered LEDs will do a better job. If only it were that simple…
Prof John Mitrofanis and others have shown very clearly that there is a Goldilocks Effect. They use a more scientific term, but it is the same thing.
1. Too little red/near-infrared light doesn’t do very much at all.
2. Too much red/near-infrared light can cause problems for the neurons.
3. The just-right amount of red/near-infrared light is perfect.
Prof John and his team have been able to define the “just-right” dose at the neuronal level in mice. But we have no such knowledge for humans. So we have to be cautious. Very cautious.
So, please don’t use high powered LEDs. Start at a low level of red light exposure, as we have done.
Remember that we are at the very beginning of understanding of trans-cranial lights. There continues to be wonderful research work being done and as it appears, I’ll let you know if and how this changes the approach to DIY light hats.
What I do know at this stage is: Less Is More.