This article is in sync with our mission to contribute to developing a society with a high-health culture and a level of well-being that creates happiness, opportunities, and positive change. We provide informative and educational content about various forms of light’s pivotal role in enhancing life, health, recovery, and prosperity.
It is a well-known fact that we can see our world because of light. But have you ever thought a bit more about what light is, what are the types of light sources and how they can become beneficial for our health and well-being? We will decipher most of those questions in this article, so let’s dive right in.
The “light,” as we know it, is nothing more than a particular frequency of electromagnetic radiation, which is around 390 to 700 NM and is visible to the eyes of the human. Light is just a form of energy, and like all other energies – it is produced from a source. In our case, those sources are called… light sources (such a surprise, we know). A more curious fact is that often, what we see is actually a light bounced back from a certain object in the direction of our eyes. For example, if we look at a green notebook, we know it is green because light with a particular wavelength is bounced back to our eyes.
Let’s continue with the types of light sources known to us. First of all, we have natural sources of light. In the universe, we have many objects that are emitting light. Of course, the main one is the Sun. Our star is a massive ball of fire generating enormous amounts of energy. This energy comes from the sun in two primary forms – light and heat. The light from the Sun reaching our planet is a significant factor that enables the sustainability of life on Earth. Before we continue to the other sources, it is essential to note that for our health, it is truly beneficial to be daily exposed to direct sunlight (there are some exceptions) for far more time than the modern person is getting. Clever solutions for solving some of the deficits we get from lack of sufficient sunlight are the so-called “novel light sources”. We will explore them in detail until the end of the article. Now, let’s take a look at other natural sources of light. One of them is the stars, but they are so far from our planet that their light is insignificant. Another relatively strong source of natural light is the Moon. Here, the curious fact is that she doesn’t shine with its own light, instead, the light from the Moon is actually bounced light from the Sun. Other interesting sources of light that we can encounter are volcanoes and lightning. Finally, we have the phenomenon of bioluminescence. These are a few creatures that can produce light on their own. Such as jellyfish, fireflies, glow worms, etc.
Let’s continue with the artificial light sources
Luckily for us, light can also be produced artificially. There are a few main categories that are well-known to people, and most of them are used daily. A few examples are incandescent sources, luminescent sources, and gas discharge sources. But here is the perfect time to underline that we are mostly interested in the types of light with a specific wavelength that has certain properties beneficial for our health. They are potent replacements for daylight photodynamic therapy (dPDT), and this is a vast improvement. The issue with that therapy is that it is only available during a certain period of the day and is also dependent on the weather conditions. However, the novel light sources are solving this challenge effectively. Modern technologies are providing light sources that can be employed to provide artificial dPDT indoors, with low irradiances and comparable treatment times to dPDT. Now, let’s look at the different light types and their benefits for our health. Let’s continue with…
Red Light Therapy
Visible red light (RL) therapy is a treatment rapidly gaining popularity. It is used for different purposes but mainly as an option for treating dermatological conditions, including acne, psoriasis, and chronic wounds. At the moment, it is known that red light therapy is creating its results by acting on the “power plant” in your body’s cells called “mitochondria.” By boosting the energy in the cells, the red light enables them to do their jobs better and more efficiently. This is proven to speed up the repairing of the skin, boosting new cell growth, and overall enhancing skin rejuvenation. That is possible because some cells are capable of absorbing specific light wavelengths. Other potential benefits of this type of therapy are stimulating collagen production (collagen gives skin its structure, strength, and elasticity), increasing fibroblast production (better collagen production), increasing blood circulation to the tissues, and reducing inflammation in cells.
Near Infrared Light (NIR light)
Photobiomodulation therapy (PBMT) or near-infrared (NIR) light therapy has been steadily gaining popularity in recent years. This therapy is proving itself as a novel scientific approach with therapeutic applications in ophthalmology. This breakthrough is partially catalyzed by significant advances in the fields of photobiology and bioenergetics, such as the discovery of photo neuromodulation by cytochrome c oxidase and the elucidation of therapeutic biochemical processes. Put in simpler words, NIR has the potential to induce metabolic and antioxidant beneficial effects. Also, on top of that, NIR light can boost cerebral blood flow and cognitive functions in humans without adverse effects, which is enough reason to closely track the technology’s development (or become an early adopter).
Especially in the current situation worldwide and the harsh lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic, the identification of effective microbicide approaches is of paramount importance. If we want to be equipped to prevent further disasters of such caliber, we need to be capable of limiting the further viral spread. That is especially important for viruses that can be transmitted via aerosol and survive outside the body for hours. The described situation shows why non-contact disinfection technologies are highly desirable, and UV radiation, in particular, UV-C (200–280 nm), has been suggested to be able to inactivate different viruses, including SARS-CoV. Another interesting application (one of many) of UVC technology is its use for the inactivation of pathogenic Escherichia coli O157: H7 in bovine milk exposed to three monochromatic ultraviolet UVC lights. In a recent study, the scientists found that E.coli “treated” with UVC light shows potential as a novel non-thermal treatment method for milk.
Ultraviolet (UV) light
UV light has been established as a valuable method of disinfection for a long time. This wavelength of light has demonstrated efficacy to inactivate a vast range of microorganisms. The progress of ultraviolet light-emitting diodes gives us different advantages, making the disinfection process much easier. One of the best conveniences of this technology is that it can be delivered as a germicidal UV light using the same light unit, delivering standard white light for the illumination of a room. Researchers have proven that seconds of ultraviolet light-emitting diode (UV-LED) exposure can inactivate viruses and bacteria, highlighting that UV-LED could be a practical tool for the broad sanitization of public spaces.
It is quite fascinating that virtually maintenance-free lighting equipment can be used at the most progressive fitness facilities. With this equipment, gym members can have the opportunity to enjoy a variety of different lighting recovery amenities in one place, which further improves their health and wellness.
The Salon Industry
Another ideal fit for innovative light technologies is the beauty salons. Such examples are independent or chain accounts, nail salons, spas, wellness centers, tanning salons, and lash salons. All of the mentioned can be armed with equipment that would utilize about the same space as just one workstation or ‘chair’ in a salon. Applicable for this industry are both the vertical tanning equipment and the red light therapy equipment. They both do excellent jobs in this environment. Another option is to use UVC, which can be used to quickly sanitize small equipment as well as the air and surfaces within a salon environment.
The Hotel Industry
Hotels, motels, extended stays, resorts, air BnB, and conference centers can all benefit from non-contact disinfection technologies and UVC equipment. The equipment can be used to sanitize guest rooms, bathrooms, and dining rooms in a few minutes, unattended. In addition, red light therapy is an excellent addition to hotels and resorts because it can allow guests to have a recovery service with quick results.
Medical & Recovery Industries
Pain management clinics, chiropractors, post-surgical centers, physical therapy, long-term care, assisted living facilities, emergency rooms, hospitals, and community hospitals. All mentioned can use UVC equipment to sanitize individual patient areas in minutes after visits. Of course, near Infrared (NIR) photobiomodulation equipment can be used because it is very beneficial for patients/clients in this area – it can help speed up the recovery process used from wound care and joint issues to cellular and nerve injury.
The NIR and UVC equipment can be utilized for senior care – long-term care assisted living and rehabilitation. As we already know, the NIR can help with wound care, including diabetic foot ulcers and bedsores. It can also efficiently be utilized during physical rehabilitation for quicker recovery with less pain. On top of that, UVC can optimize the sanitizing process of resident rooms, showers, kitchens, and dining rooms, as well as high-traffic areas. The beauty of this technology is that it works quickly and unattended – this way, it will provide an extra ‘employee’, allowing your staff to perform other duties and better care for the elders.
First Responders & Government Facilities
The most obvious facilities that can leverage UVC equipment are the thousands of first responders using it to sanitize offices, 911 call centers, rigs, vehicles, and high-traffic areas in a few minutes. Ambulances can be sanitized, unattended, in just 2 minutes with a single, portable hanging UVC system per home base. In those places, UVC can be used to help keep patients, the public, and our first responders more protected against viruses, pathogens, bacteria, and mold 24/7.
Machinery used to provide light solutions
Finally, the article won’t be complete if we don’t look at a few tools used for the purposes we highlighted already. Let’s start with:
- UVC Sanitizing Equipment – ranging from UVC wands used to sanitize other equipment to tripod-mounted lights that have the potential to sanitize full rooms. These tools are ideal for protecting viruses and unwanted bacteria or pathogens. The best part is that even the air can be purified thanks to some of the more innovative equipment available.
- Near Infrared Light Therapy Products (NIR) – As we already discussed, this therapy accelerates recovery time, reduces inflammation and pain, and increases circulation. Thanks to all of the benefits, it doesn’t just treat symptoms but helps eliminate them at the cellular level. Another great benefit is that this light can be generated from smaller spot treatment tools but also from full-body booths.
- Tanning Booths and Beds – This great use of the power of light is not to be underestimated. Today, we have access to beautifully designed and highly functioning tanning booths at a state-of-the-art level of technology.
- Red Light Therapy Booth – One of the best ways to utilize the power of the red light is by having a well-built booth at your service. With such equipment, you can fast and easily relieve stress, balance energy, revitalize, and improve general well-being.
There are even more possibilities to harness the power of the light, but we will talk about them in separate articles, so stay tuned.
1) nature.com – UV-C irradiation is highly effective in inactivating SARS-CoV-2 replication
2) profils-profiles.science.gc.ca – Inactivation and potential reactivation of pathogenic Escherichia coli O157: H7 in bovine milk exposed to three monochromatic ultraviolet UVC lights
3) virologyj.biomedcentral.com – A UV-LED module that is highly effective at inactivating human coronaviruses anUV-C irradiation is highly effective in inactivating SARS-CoV-2 replicationd HIV-1