660nm LED Face Mask




Introduction: 660nm LED Face Mask

My family have skin problems and after using a proprietary LED unit to treat cold sores, not only did it clear them up quickly than medicinal creams, I have not had another since. I decided after this sucess that I might be able to help by making a full face mask with a number of LEDs 

It uses what is called Red Light Therapy which is the application of a narrow spectral width in the red or near infra-red spectrum  to promote cell regeneration and reduce inflammation. It is believed that the displacement of NOMT (Mitochondrial Nitric Oxide) in cells leads to an improved healing performance
Use for 1 minute at least 3 times a day but not more that once in one hour (this could reduce effectiveness of the treatment). Do not use in conjunction with any creams including anti-viral applications for Herpes Simplex outbreaks (cold sores)

WARNING do not look directly at the light emitted from the leds, they are NOT lasers but are very bright

Step 1: Attaching and Wiring Up

Using a proprietary LED constant current driver designed for domestic led lighting was the actually the cheapest and simplest way to provide power. I obtained 5 x 1watt LEDs at 660nm which is the defined efficacious wavelength. These were in total with the the PSU USD20. I glued the leds into a face mask bought out of the childrens craft section at the local supermarket and connected the leds in series, + to - and so on. I connected the supply to the 2 outer leds making sure to keep correct polarity

Step 2: Firing Up

I connected the leds to the psu (I took the precaution to add a 1K linear potentiometer in the circuit at first). These are rated at 300mA, 1 watt

Step 3: Finishing Touches

Add a pair of wrap round sunglasses to the mask to avoid the unit shining directly in the eyes. Also take the precaution of only switching on once in place. Hope it works for you

Future development
Increase array of leds at a lower rating 
Find a better mask or stiffen this one with papier mache
Fit a timer circuit to automate the 60 sec treatment interval



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    11 Discussions

    I'm building the same thing for acne (and another one for hair loss). Many studies have shown an improvement in acne with blue light (415nm) and possibly better with a combination of blue and red (660nm). I'm using 1 watt LED's also but not sure of the distance. Did you ever determine what is a good strength and dosage to use?

    I found this discussion regarding light therapy and hair loss http://www.regrowth.com/hair-loss-forums/topic/does-led-light-emitting-diodes-stimulate-hair-growth/ and half way down the page a discussion of strength and energy, but it isn't clear to me whether they are talking about input energy to the light source, or spectral power (light output).

    Google LED light therapy, light therapy for acne and wrinkles, etc etc. LED light therapy is used in dermatologists offices to kill acne bacteria (blue) and improve collagen (red). There are also light therapy kits you can buy to place on sore muscles.

    I was looking to buy a set on Amazon for $350 but am hoping this instructable will save me the money.

    Interesting comment about the blue - do you have the wavelength? Maybe including both may be a further step? Note, a large supply will be required for the increase number of Leds

    Exactly - the devices sold by Tanda, and other brands on Amazon, incorporate red and blue commonly.

    Here's an article I've learned a lot from:


    My sister in law actually went to her dermatologist for the LED light therapy treatments and had beautiful results. As explained on the product pages, it takes several treatments at first. Maintenance is less frequent.

    I'm not sure which LED's or what power supply to use though. That's why we came to check out this instructable!

    Some reviewers on Amazon have noted some sensitivity to the light, so I was wondering if we could build in a way to dim the light. Also some said a built in timer was helpful in many models. The bigger devices sit on a surface and require you to lean into them... pretty uncomfortable for 15 minutes even. My husband and I have been brainstorming... we're thinking to get a welding face shield and drill holes in it to poke the LED's into. They also all recommend using tanning goggles to protect your eyes.

    I have a dull concern that the lights will also kill off beneficial bacteria. There doesn't seem to be research or any statement on that, though. Maybe it's not as important on your facial skin?

    Thanks for your reply!

    I found this abstract regarding the blue light. I think it speaks for it's self.


    The peak wavelength is 415nm and the red 660nm. The most efficient power supplies are the constant current units, the one I used was 300mA to match the LEDs. At the moment I am trying to found out what the recommended minimum energy i.e. joules/area to be most effective

    Your article is for treatment of acne, not herpes. One is a virus, and one is bacteria.

    Of course, I'm trying to come up with a mod for this instructable to use LED's to treat acne and wrinkles.

    I think you are right - it will not attack the virus, but it will promote healing of the skin during and after the breakout. Some work postulates that NOMT Mitochondrial Nitric Oxide is produced when the body becomes stressed physically or mentally. NOMT indirectly reduces the ability of cell to repair. One on these effect is the breakout of cold sores. It has been found that Red Light Therapy can displace the NOMT and hence help speed cell replacement and repair. I am not sure if there is any direct evidence but I would vouch for this in terms of my own subjective results. The mask was not for cold sores as such but a general full face treatment for people suffering acne or other skin inflammation. I know as a teenager I would have given anything to clear my skin. If in doubt please consult your Doctor

    infrared or ultraviolet frequencies i MIGHT believe. Visible light does not carry enough energy.