November 08, 2021
10 min read

Is Light Therapy Different From Infrared Therapy?

What are the differences between colour light therapy, red light therapy, infrared light therapy?

It will come as no surprise that the power of light is essential to our health and wellbeing; without it, organic life cannot be sustained.

What you might not know, however, are the health benefits that infrared sauna light therapy, full-spectrum infrared therapy and colour therapy like red light therapy can offer. But what do these terms even mean? That’s what we’ll be unpacking today. There are a number of different types of light therapies on the market that offer a range of health benefits, but some might be more useful to you than others.

In this piece, you’ll find out the differences between the different types of light therapy, what they do to your body, and how you can utilise the range of light therapies on the market for added health bonuses.

What Is Colour Light Therapy In An Infrared Sauna?

Colour light therapy refers to the exposure of the human body to different wavelengths of visible light. Infrared light therapy exposes our bodies to the warm, healing qualities of infrared light, which is slightly different to chromotherapy.

Chromotherapy utilises colour light therapy and infrared light to assist with this healing.

Chromotherapy was pioneered by NASA who found that exposure to certain light wavelengths that produce colours, combined with infrared light helped astronauts who had lost bone density and muscle mass in space.

When combined with infrared light, colour light therapy can activate the human body’s response to certain wavelengths, which results in improved skin quality, muscle repair and cellular regeneration, thanks to the added energy.

In alternative medicine, chromotherapy has been used to treat disorders such as depression, anxiety, SAD, and sleep deprivation. 

If you're interested in upgrading any of our Premier™ Sauna models to include our medical-grade Chromotherapy device, click here to discuss with our dedicated sauna experts.

What Is Infrared Sauna Light Therapy?

Quite simply, infrared sauna light therapy is the way your body soaks up invisible rays of light that our bodies convert to heat, and have been proven as beneficial to human health. The infrared light spectrum begins just after the visible spectrum of light ends, meaning we can’t see them with our eyes, but you can certainly feel the heat.

There are three types of infrared light energy:


Near infrared light therapy utilises light just past the visible spectrum that has a wavelength between 760-1500nm; it gets its name from being just 10nm away from the visible spectrum of light. It’s a form of infrared energy that has been proven to penetrate the skin and energise the mitochondria, otherwise known as the power generation of our cells. With added energy, the mitochondria are able to get to work at a higher rate, helping us metabolise fats, detoxify our cells, reduce inflamed tissues and help our skin.


Mid infrared light measures anywhere between 1500-3000nm, which get to work targeting the skin and muscle tissues that are closer to the surface, which are proven to reduce pain associated with conditions like osteoarthritis, inflammation from an injury, improving blood circulation and oxygen levels in our blood.


Far infrared light can be found anywhere between 3000-1,000,000nm, where the wavelengths are extremely large compared to near infrared waves. They are completely safe, though, and have been found to be beneficial for the body’s cardiovascular, immune and lymphatic systems, and provide the majority of the heat that you’ll feel inside an infrared sauna.

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What Is Full-Spectrum Infrared Light Therapy?

As we’ve just found out, there’s three types of infrared light, each with their own unique benefits and abilities. Full-spectrum infrared light therapy utilises all three forms of infrared light (near, mid and far), so you’re able to soak up the benefits of three different types of infrared light in a single session. Clearlight’s patented full-spectrum heathers with halogen bulbs are the only heaters on the market that combine carbon and ceramic components, and provide industry-leading near, mid and far infrared light.

What Are The Health Benefits Of Infrared Sauna Light Therapy?

As infrared light penetrates your skin, the energy acts to recharge cellular activity and even removes impurities, fat and toxins stored in our tissues. Infrared sauna light therapy offers a number of proven health benefits, including helping with weight loss by accelerating the body’s metabolism, increased blood circulation and oxygen saturation levels, providing muscle and joint pain relief, relieving arthritis pains, optimising the quality of your skin, boosting your immune system, detoxification, improving the appearance of cellulite and helping to reduce the impact of fatigue and stress on both your cells and immune system.

How Effective Is Infrared Therapy?

Infrared therapy has been proven extremely beneficial for a number of key health concerns, skin conditions and weight loss techniques. In terms of weight loss alone, a two-phase study conducted by the Binghamton University of New York found that the increased core temperature of an infrared sauna contributed to an overall drop of 4% body fat over a four-month period. Participants of this study did not change their diet or exercise patterns during the study.

To find out more about the effectiveness of infrared therapy in improving health conditions and assisting with added overall wellbeing, click here for a comprehensive list of clinical studies involving infrared saunas.

Is Infrared Sauna Therapy The Same As Red Light Therapy?

Infrared sauna therapy and red light therapy are two different, but very similar forms of therapy and treatment for certain conditions that stem from the same principle of infrared light. Inside a Clearlight Infrared® Sauna, there are near, mid and far infrared waves emitted, or a combination of all three in a full-spectrum infrared sauna. Red light therapy, on the other hand, utilises the near infrared light - which we cannot see - as well as red light, just on the edge of the visible spectrum. Together, they work wonders for our cells and their ability to grow, repair and regenerate at a faster rate.

What Is Red Light Therapy?

Photobiomodulation, otherwise known as red light therapy, is a treatment that involves exposure to red and near-infrared light that penetrates the skin and helps to energise muscle tissue and cells to both recover and reinvigorate. Targeted exposure to this special form of light can help to kick-start the reproduction of healthy cells in the body, which is why red light therapy is often found to be an effective form of treatment for skin problems.

You can think of red light therapy as giving your cells as an extra boost of energy so they can get back to business as usual, but at a higher rate of function. With more energy, your cells are able to repair and regulate their function to a higher degree, and with added blood-flow, red light therapy has proven beneficial for skin conditions, muscle pain, building collagen to reduce ageing and wrinkles, as well as for optimising sleep patterns.

To find out more about our class-leading Red Light Therapy Tower, click here for more information.

Clearlight would like to remind users that this should not be taken as direct medical advice, and users should always consult a medical professional if complications arise from prolonged use.

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