LED lights versus Laser lights

I’ve had a few queries about the use of laser lights. I can understand the allure of a laser, as its coherent light with such total focus is pretty impressive.

LED lights used to be very expensive. In the last decade the costs of LEDs have really dropped, and we can now buy them easily and inexpensively. LED lights are not coherent like lasers – the light from the average LED lights scatters and shines over a bigger area.

Question: For lights on the head, are lasers better than LEDs?

Answer: Nope.

Both have their place, but the previous dominance of laser lights is being whittled away by practicality and safety of LED lights.

For trans-cranial use, you want the red lights to scatter – you want coverage of the lights over the head. You also want to use the lights daily, safely and at home.

Lasers are a pain to use, they come with safety issues and they are not suitable for home use.

LEDs are the best.

DIY – practicality beats perfection

I’ve had lots of emails from people making a DIY light hat from the blog instructions. The tricky part is finding the best red LED strip.

670nm is hard to come by, as is 660nm.

The tendency is to stop work on the light hat, on the basis that it can only be made with the best possible LED strip.

Wrong approach!

The best thing is to get any old red LED strip and make a light hat as soon as you can and get it on the suffering head every morning – as soon as you can.

Then, and only then, start hunting for the elusive 670nm LED strip. And when you find it, make another light hat with the new LEDs. And give away your first one – there is always someone who can put it to good use.

It is far more effective to have red lights on brain than it is to have no red lights. Every day counts.

And remember – the Cossack is a far better design than the bucket Eliza.

Meet Michael, the Cossack designer.

Here is Michael Richards, wearing his wonderful Cossack light hat.

Michael has been putting together an instruction for a LED-Leg. A few months ago he managed to upset one of his legs by straining his Achilles’ tendon.

He decided to put his red-light making skills into action to fast-track the recovery of his tendon.

And it worked.

Will red lights “fry my brain”?

I know that this term has been recently used in conjunction with red lights which is a pity. While it might make a thrilling moment on television, it gives a very inaccurate and misleading picture of how red lights work.

Even worse, it raises unnecessary fears.

The answer: red lights won’t fry your brains.

If you follow the guidance given in this blog, you’ll notice that there is occasional mention of heat, because some LED strips can get warm. And anything warm on your head can be uncomfortable.

This is easily avoided by making yourself a light hat that is open and not closed in – the Cossack is the best DIY design.

What wavelength is best for my condition?

If you have looked at the availability of rolls of red and near infrared LED lights, you will see that there is a bewildering array, between orangey-red (630nm) to out of the visible spectrum so that you can’t see it at all (940nm).

So what, you ask. Surely it doesn’t matter? Surely red light, near infrared light – it’s all the same? One wavelength is as good as another?

Wavelength matters – please be cautious!

Continue reading “What wavelength is best for my condition?”

DIY light hat

It’s wonderful to hear from people making their own light hats. Keep them coming, and please send me photos to post on the blog. I love the creativity people bring to it.

Some important things to remember:

1. 12 volts only. No more than 12 volts, ever.

2. When you search for LED strips, and all the bibs and bobs needed, always choose the 12 volt versions.

3. My experience is that the visible red spectrum (especially 650-670nm) seems to be loved by cells anywhere in the body.

4. But the almost-visible near infrared 810-850nm wavelengths don’t work for every neurodegenerative condition.

5. When in doubt, stick to the visible red, preferably a gorgeous dark red.