Frequently Asked Questions

Q. I am about to start using a light hat. What information should I be collecting to track my progress?

A. I strongly recommend that you track your progress, starting with baseline information and then writing in a diary every few days and doing specific tasks every month. It is all detailed here in a blog post.

Q. Can you make me an Eliza Or Cossack light hat?

A. I truly wish I could, but I can’t. I do not have the resources to do so. The instructions are there for anyone to make an Eliza red light hat. If you are unable to make one, ask someone crafty to make one for you.

Q. Can you suggest someone who could make an Eliza or Cossack light hat for me?

A. Unfortunately not. But ask around, as there will be someone willing and able to give the instructions a try.

Q.Will you answer any questions about making an Eliza or Cossack?

Of course. Contact me with questions. I know that the instructions can be improved, so your questions will help a lot.

Q. Why does the ABC Facebook story and an article in The Australian give a different account of the early days of light hats in Tasmania?

A. There are some disparities, which I assumed to be artistic license. The development of the red lights is as described in this blog.

Q. Do the buckets come from Bunnings?

A. No. The best buckets I’ve found to date come from a Tasmanian chain of discount shops called Shiploads. Max Burr has been photographed many times wearing a blue Shiploads bucket. The alternative colour is grey. Both are very fetching.

Q. Where do I get all the stuff to make an Eliza?

A. The 12 volt LED strip is only available online. See the Q&A below. For the connectors, try  shops for electronic enthusiasts- Jaycar in Australia, Radioshack in the USA. Jaycar has an online service and a frequent buyer program called Nerd Perks.

Don’t go to major electrical stores or hardware stores as this is not their area of expertise. They are likely to tell you that it is not possible. It is possible.

Q. What if I cannot find 670nm LED strip?

A. 670nm LED strip has been really hard to find of late. Any red LED strip is good. Look for the darkest red. Check this post for suggestions.

Q. Which is the best wavelength to use – 670nm or 810nm?

A. 670nm seems to be like chocolate – everyone loves it. The most recent Eliza I made for Max, the pin-up girl of light hats, has 670nm and 810nm LED strips, separately wired. There is a logic for that and once again, it comes from the research of Prof John Mitrofanis. It seems that one wavelength followed immediately by the other wavelength gave the best results for Parkinsonian mice.

However, I’ve found that not all neurodegenerative diseases do well with 810nn or 850nm or 940nm. More. If you are unsure, stick to 670nm – the lovely dark red.

Q. When are you going to issue the instructions for a two wavelength Eliza?

A. Check out this blog post. You don’t need instructions. You can just make a second Eliza with the other wavelength.

Q. Why should I only use 12 volts?

A. Safety. Stay away from anything more than 12 volts.

Q. Are LED lights as good as laser lights?

A. It used to be thought that red light in laser form had a magic property, but it doesn’t. The critical factor is the wavelength. Red LED lights are just as good as red laser lights, and LEDs are safer to use. Check out this post for more information. And this.

Q. Is it OK for red LED lights to shine into my eyes?

A. Yes. In fact, red lights have been found to help with diseases of the retina. So don’t worry about red LED lights going into your eyes. Enjoy it – the lights can produce a restful feeling. Don’t shine lasers onto your eyes, though!


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