The inexpensive red light devices I use

As an enthusiast of red light / LLLT therapy, and also a cheapskate that would prefer to avoid spending $36k, I've cobbled together a collection of cheap red light devices for different purposes.

But before the main course, here's a delicious appetizer made of disclaimers:

Incandescent light bulb in a brooder enclosureIncandescents for general purpose, whole body, feel-good lighting

I use an approach mentioned by Ray Peat, with high-wattage incandescent lights as "personal lighting" in places where you'll be generally stationary, like desks or couches. Using 130V bulbs run on 120V North American household electricity shifts them more in the direction of the red part of the spectrum, and using brooder enclosures lets you safely run high-wattage lights angled directly towards your body.

Bulb selection

I now order my bulbs online because they've become difficult to find locally. I specifically use:

PLT light bulb PLT 200PS30 from You can get six (with shipping) for around $30.

If you plan to use it near your face or around children or pets: These bulbs get very hot, and I had one shatter violently when it was hit with a tiny spritz of juice from an orange. So for any use where hot shards of glass would be more than inconvenient, I'd suggest the shatter-resistent version (thanks to Adam Capriola for finding this!).

If you look to purchase bulbs elsewhere, I'd suggest making sure they're:

Fixture selection

The actual fixtures you put the bulbs in are not important, as long as they are rated for the wattage of the bulbs you are using. Most household fixtures will be a fire hazard when used with high wattage bulbs, both because of heat buildup and the amount of power drawn.

Brooder fixtures

I use chicken brooder fixtures because they're inexpensive, easy to "point," and let me pretend I'm a farm animal. These are often available at big box hardware stores like Lowe's or Home Depot, and are typically $10-$20. If you're an Amazon nut like me, I'd suggest this one:

Bayco brooder light fixture Bayco SL-302B3. It's rated for up to 300 watts, and is currently $11. Or $176 if you buy their home installation service, which suggests I need a career in brooder lamp installation.

Here's a few ideas on arranging them:

Brooder lamp hanging from ceiling by a chain
Top-down light with ceiling hooks and chain.
Brooder lamp hanging from ceiling by a chain, with wire to pull it into position
Horizontal light with ceiling hooks and chain, with wire for holding it at an angle.
Brooder lamp clamped to a shelf
Freely-angled light using a clamp (usually included with the fixture).
Brooder lamps surrounding a desk workspace
By combining these techniques, I'm able to surround myself with 600 watts of light while standing at my computer desk.

Photography light stands

These can be more expensive, but are very portable and flexible, and look less like something MacGyver would make. Here's an example that some people have been using (thanks Marco!):

Photographer's light stand Impact Floodlight Kit (currently $122 for two)

Large security light fixtureLarge LED fixture for treating specific injuries or inflammation


I order these off of Amazon:

Large Aweek security light fixture Aweek 96 LEDs IR Illuminator (currently $35)

Depending on where you buy the illuminator, it may not come with a power adapter. You can probably save some money here with less-expensive options, but I go with a higher-amp, regulated power adapter in an attempt to prolong the life of both the adapter and the device:

12V 2A power adapter OMNIHIL 12V 2A Power Adapter (currently $12)



Resonant FM tested a nearly-identical device at around 45mW/cm2 from the outside of the frame (typical of how you'd use it if it was resting on your body). That will drop off significantly at a distance.

Small security light fixtureSmall LED fixture for smaller targets like thyroid, teeth


I order these off of Amazon:

Small security light fixture 48 LEDs IR Illuminator (currently $12)

Depending on where you buy the illuminator, it may not come with a power adapter. I buy this one, it's both adequate amperage and regulated:

12V 1A power adapter VideoSecu 12V 1A Power Adapter (currently $7)



Resonant FM tested what is likely the same device at around 100-140mW/cm2 from the outside of the frame (typical of how you'd use it if it was resting on your body). That will drop off significantly at a distance.

Thyroid use

For some background on red light treatment for thyroid issues, see Vladimir's article and a forum thread of people trying different approaches.

Laser light fixtureLaser box for "skin-deep" issues (acne, wrinkles, thinning hair, scar tissue)

I'm reluctant to include this device because it's fairly expensive (around $110), and I suspect the above devices may work for the same purposes. However, it more-closely matches the devices used in many studies, and it's easier to work with in size and shape compared to the security lighting devices.

If you decide to try it, I'd suggest getting it off eBay, and not taking the infomercial-esque "baldness cure" marketing too seriously:

LaserGain laser fixture LaserGain on eBay.

Flags of various countriesProducts outside the US



Other countries

If you find good product options in your country, please let me know in the comments.

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