Instructables

Light Therapy for Less than $60.00

Picture of Light Therapy for Less than $60.00
Near Infrared (IR) Light Emitting Array for Body Detox and Light Therapy

This NIFTY device is good for all kinds of stuff as well as looking COOL! (would go great on the wall above the couch in a hipster loft!)

I decided to post this for winter because we all need a little sun when the sky is gray.

It is well proven that humans and animals respond to certain frequencies of light. S.A.D. is a seasonal type of depression common near the holidays. But Light Therapy is a proven way to counteract this effect by simulating a warm, sunny day. (Makes you smile just thinking about it). And there is much positive research in NEAR INFRA RED.

Its what baby animals are put under when they are born. Its safe, and feels natural. It can't give you a "sun burn" either!

So with that in mind I posed these instructions so anyone can benefit from
Light Therapy which you can use to drive away the "winter blues". And you won't have to spend much money or time figuring out this very simple project.

As soon as you turn it on and bath in the red-orange light you will feel better.

But that's not all!

This project is equally as valid for another reason altogether and can be used all year long as a powerful way of Detoxifying the Body.

This array when placed in a small room like a bathroom or small closet functions as a real SAUNA!

Certain wavelengths of light have "special effects" Near infra red wont heat the air in the room like a traditional sauna, but it will PENETRATE your flesh and provide a calming warming effect.

The light waves go below the suffice of the skin, heating from the inside out.

There are many more benefits of this type of SAUNA over traditional steam saunas, as it is safer and is more effective for detoxing the body!

You may want to add a FIR space heater in the room too raise the air temperature and decrease pre-heating times. The recommended effective temperature range is in the mid 90s to just over 100 degrees F to induce sweating. If you are heating the room that much take care, and remember that SAUNA should not be taken for more then a half hour. And some one else should be at home, who will know to come get you if you are in for too long. You will want to keep a timer and rotate every 5 min. This both keeps the mind and body alert as well as keeps the heat evenly distributed on the body.

Now that you have an idea about how this NILE (Near Infrared Light Emitting) Array works...

Let's Build One!''

Luckily this project is very easy to do. I believe that if you follow the instructions closely and visit all the links in this Instructable, that even some one completely unfamiliar with electrical projects can accomplish this.

And best of all, not expensive either!
 
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rukidding1 year ago
@camscam 5/14/2011 actually, most "heat" lamps do not function in the Near IR spectrum. The N.I.R. wavelength is just below the visible light spectrum. NIR lamps provide more light than heat. Far IR lamps, F.I.R., operate just above the U.V. wavelength, Farther away from the visible light spectrum, but above the UV wavelength.
Near infrared lamps warm the surface area and the heat is transferred by conduction. Far infrared lamps are able to penetrate deeper into an object (our bodies) and transfer heat by a process known as conversion.
rukidding1 year ago
This is in response to an old post but Infrared is actually light that is perceived as heat. It is below the visible electromagnetic spectrum. All bulbs give off infrared (IR), IR lamps are designed to give off more heat than light. True IR does not give off any light (non-luminous) and are usually sold as ceramic heat emitters. This type can be seen warming reptiles. The 250W bulbs you use probably produce IR wavelengths in the mid to far IR range. Near IR, or NIR, does not give off as much heat but functions at a higher frequency with short wavelengths. Far IR, or FIR are thermal, they give off a lot of heat and function at lower frequencies and has a long wavelength.
grievance132 years ago
This is great. I just ordered the bulbs! I have been tossing around the idea of building a sauna for a while but the kits are ridiculously expensive. This is the perfect blend of low cost and portability.
camscam (author) 3 years ago
Heat lamps are an N.I.R. device.
cam94z283 years ago
How do I tell if the heat lamp is far-infrared or near-infrared?
frollard5 years ago
Thats really cool - I'd love some data on the benefits of infrared, but good links, good pictures, and good build!
camscam (author)  frollard5 years ago
HAHAHA!!! I like this comment. It's sad that with the entire world at our fingertips so many of us can not figure out how to use a simple google search to do our own research.
sindaear4 years ago
I realize this isn't a site for medical advice but if you are going to make claims that you can use this device for light therapy you should probably do a minimal amount of research on it.  I've never found anything on NIR being used in Seasonal Affective Disorder treatment.  Even the google search link you posted didn't have any links to sites claiming NIR was used for S.A.D.  If you had read your own wikipedia link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Light_therapy you would know that the light used for S.A.D. or the "winter blues" is usually either full spectrum white light or light in the blue area of the spectrum, not NIR.  I just don't want people to be misinformed and think that this might do something that it almost certainly will not do.
camscam (author)  sindaear4 years ago
Oh yes, God forbid some one spends a few bucks and a couple hours building a therapeutic heat device based my wildly speculative claims. Thank the heavens you came here to save people.

Have you ever sat in a sauna, hot-tub or taken a hot bath after moping around on a cold gray day?? Why don't you make one and tell me you don't feel better after laying in front of warm simulated sunlight relaxing, versus being in a cold dark room.
I don't have a problem with you saying it can possibly make you feel "better" but Seasonal Affective Disorder is an actual medical condition.  Claiming that your device helps people with S.A.D. is like saying you have a device that cures cancer.  You are making a medical claim that has no evidence backing it whatsoever.
To be fair here, you have to realize that S.A.D. is primarily a psychological disorder, and cancer is a purely biological disorder. Claiming to help alleviate S.A.D. symptoms is not a claim on the same level as a purported cure for cancer.

However, in defense of the OP: This is a direct cut and past of the abstract for a 1999 study on this very subject. The pub med ID is at the bottom, for those who are interested in checking it out themselves.

He has done a great service by making this information available here, in my opinion, though it would have been far more effective if this study had been linked to his instructable. In my opinion it is very important to attach research to any claims made in regards to any kind of "for sure" effect caused by any particular idea.

Now, on to the research! You will shortly see that there is, in fact, medical evidence supporting the claim that this instructable device can help with S.A.D. symptoms. It took me 15 minutes on PubMed to find this article. There is no research that I could find that refutes these results.

BACKGROUND: Thirty-eight patients with SAD participated in a light visor study addressing two questions. 1. Can the development of a depressive episode be prevented by daily exposure to bright light started before symptom onset in early fall and continued throughout the winter? 2. Does the light have to be visible in order to have beneficial effects?

METHODS: Three groups participated in the study: I (n = 14) received bright white light (2500 lux); II, (n = 15) received infrared light (0.18 lux); III (n = 9, control group) did not receive any light treatment at all.

RESULTS: Infrared light is just as effective as bright white light. Both are more effective than the control condition.

CONCLUSIONS: Light visors can be effectively used to prevent the development of SAD. The fact that exposure to infrared light was as effective as exposure to bright white light questions the specific role of visible light in the treatment of SAD.

PMID: 10418699 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

camscam (author)  sindaear4 years ago
I think your "moral outrage" would matter more  if I was asking for money or if the cost to value ratio was different.

This thing can literally be made with spare parts and light-bulbs and will give some one the same benefits as something that costs a lot (a home sauna or hot-tub).

I don't have to be a doctor to justify my statements on the effects because they are personally observed and this is a fun project website. Logic would dictate that a heat and light source would counter the affect of S.A.D. which has only recently been recognized as a disorder anyway.

No, I don't believe you run to a doctor to get pills for every little problem. What problem isn't "medical" these days??
gmehal4 years ago
What bulbs are you using specifically for NEAR infrared vs. FAR? I don'tsee any description of that in your instructions: have I just missed itsomewhere? Thanks!
camscam (author)  gmehal4 years ago
I'm using heat lamps that fit a standard light bulb socket. You can findthem at the hardware store or the pet store for about $10. Since Falljust kicked into gear, I'm about ready to start treatments now too!

FAR infra red is like heat from an electric space heater, fartheroutside the range of human vision. NEAR infra red is closer to ourvisible spectrum.
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Sandisk1duo5 years ago
cool! No need for this on CA sunny almost year round : )
Padlock5 years ago
"Near infra red wont heat the air in the room like a traditional sauna,"

"Heat Lamps @ $11.00: X4 = $44.00"

Is it just me or is anyone else seeing a problem?
camscam (author)  Padlock5 years ago
Wont heat the air but does heat a surface. That's one of the reasons this type of energy is special.
Padlock camscam5 years ago
Uhh... no. It won't heat it as much, but it will still heat it. Air still has density.
camscam (author)  Padlock5 years ago
You're not being constructive. However you are being too literal.