- Description and features
- Background science
- Using the P300 device
- How can the P300 device help a practitioner and their clients?
1. Description and features
The Derma Red P300 is a red and near-infrared light therapy lamp. It’s half body-sized, measuring 480 x 210 x 70mm and weighing 4.5kg.
One of the prominent features of this lamp is that it’s designed to either standalone or mount on your wall. If you hang the P300, you can adjust the height using an included pulley system.
The P300 comes with a power cord, door hanging kit, eye protection and user guide. The device runs on 110-240V so you can use it wherever you are in the world.
This model is a 500w version which has 100 x 5 watt flicker-free LEDs with a beam angle of 60 degrees. There are 50 x 5w 660nm red light wavelength LEDs and 50 x 5w 850nm near-infrared LEDs that deliver high-power doses of red light. You can configure the lamp to by switching on just 660nm, just 850nm or a combination of both.
For those who are concerned about electric magnetic fields (EMFs) or radiation, the manufacturers, Care Lamps, measured the EMF levels with a TriField TF2 Meter. These are the results:
- 9 V/m @ 1″
- 0 V/m @ 6″
- 5.2 mG @ 3″
- 1.1 mG @ 6″
Care lamps also measured the power density or irradiance of the P300. This is important as the further away from a light source you are, the less powerful it is, but the larger the treatment area.
Because of this, a device like the P300, with a high power density at 6 inches (97 mW/cm2) and high-power output at 12-18 inches, is the good choice for most people.
Larger, more powerful devices, such as the P600 or P900, offer higher power densities over a greater area, meaning shorter treatment times.
The manufacturers tell us that red light therapy has many benefits, but how does it work?
2. Background science
Scientists initially studied red light therapy (RLT) for its potential application in treating health issues during space travel caused by weightlessness. These include muscle atrophy, slow wound healing, and bone density issues.
RLT, which uses low-level wavelengths of red light, goes by other names, including photobiomodulation, low-level light therapy, and cold laser therapy. If it’s used in combination with photosensitising medications, it’s called photodynamic therapy.
Unlike intense pulsed light (IPL) therapies, RLT doesn’t damage the skin surface and only penetrates about 5 millimetres below the skin’s surface.
RLT is a promising treatment, but there’s more to learn about how it works. The theory is that it increases the function of mitochondria, which are the cells’ powerhouse. These organelles take in nutrients and create energy-rich molecules called ATP (adenosine triphosphate).
In the presence of RLT, cells make more ATP, and with more energy, cells can rejuvenate and repair any damage rapidly. It’s well documented to cause increased collagen synthesis and RLT increases melatonin production, which boosts sleep quality.
Not only that, but it treats skin issues, anxiety and depression, boosting immunity, fibromyalgia and more, so I was keen to try it out.
3. Using the P300 device
I discovered RLT as I suffer from a rare condition called brachial neuritis. For three years, I battled with chronic pain. As a result, my usually impeccable diet, sleep and exercise regimens were cast aside as I tried to overcome living with the pain, while running a business and working in the hospital.
Now when it comes to sleep, mine was a total mess for years. Sleep is essential for brain function and boosting memory by allowing the brain to process experiences. I needed to sleep more, but my chronic nerve pain tended to worsen in the evenings, exacerbating my sleep pattern.
Two things changed that for me. One was finding out my chronotype through “The Power of When Quiz” which was developed by a leading sleep expert. Completing the quiz, reveals your chronotype i.e. if you’re a morning person or a night owl and tells you how to work with your body, not against it. As a “dolphin” chronotype, needing just 6 hours of sleep, I needed to maximise my deep REM sleep.
The other eye-opener was a fantastic book called Headstrong by Dave Asprey, which looks at boosting mitochondrial efficiency and strength. The author explained that to perform well, brains need a considerable 20% of our total energy. This is more than any other organ. He then tells us how to activate untapped brain energy and advocates using RLT.
Armed with this knowledge, I realised that I needed to plan a new evening routine. I wanted to avoid as much artificial fluorescent and LED light as possible. Why? Because the new type LEDs are so prevalent in our home and city environment, and although appearing white, they emit at least five times more blue light than natural sources, likewise for fluorescent lights.
Both fluorescent and LED lights cause a reduction of the coenzyme NAD in the eye’s mitochondria. Recent research supports a connection between blue light and cellular damage.
Exposure to natural light is essential for proper brain function, but due to my work, I spend most of my time indoors staring at a screen. I knew I had to acknowledge this issue to fix my sleep pattern.
My new routine started by dimming the brightness on all my screens and implementing a strict no-screen rule after 9 PM. Not only did this free up time for meditation and mindfulness, it also guided my body and mind in understanding it was time to relax.
With regards to RLT, I committed to 20 mins in front of the P300 device (wearing the safety goggles!) after my evenings’ hot shower for 7 days to see how it affected my sleep and general wellbeing.
I set up the device in my bedroom and switched off other lighting during the session. I focused the red light device mainly on my face, knees (I have two torn menisci) and left shoulder, which is still recovering from brachial neuritis. Immediately, I felt a calming effect and warmth from the bulbs.
Over the course of the first few days, my Garmin Fenix sleep tracking feature showed that REM/deep sleep had improved by 15-20%.
Within the first week, my friends and colleagues highlighted that my complexion had also brightened and under-eye bags were less noticeable.
On top of improvements to my sleep quality and complexion, I found my new red light ritual was soothing and a fantastic way to instil mental calmness before sleep.
The P300 device is now a regular feature of my evening biohacking routine. It’s assisted me a great deal in managing the amplified feelings of stress and anxiety that affect us all during the pandemic.
In the current climate, self-care is more important than ever. It’s incredible the effect that something as simple as optimising exposure to “healthy” lighting (UVB, red light, infrared) and minimising exposure to “unhealthy” lighting (LED, fluorescent and blue light), can have on your overall mental health and sleep quality. The aesthetic benefits are a bonus too!
4. How can the P300 device help practitioners and clients?
The manufacturers, Care Lamp, boast a long list of health conditions that the P300 can help, including:
- Anxiety and depression
- Eye health
- Bone, tendon, and joint health
- Cognitive performance
- Wounds and burns
- Recovery from traumatic brain injuries
- Respiratory health
- Oral health
- Hashimoto’s hypothyroidism
Care Lamps don’t offer supporting evidence for the claims, although there’s a wealth of substantiating research available online.
They do, however, offer a no questions asked 30-day money-back guarantee because they’re confident in the benefits the P300 brings.
Therapists and clients alike can benefit from enhanced sleep patterns with RLT use. An RLT session is a calming way to round-off the evening. Besides, you can use your time in-front of the red light to meditate, read, or listen to music, which further enhances its relaxing effect.