Can Grow Lights Be Used for Light Therapy?

(Last Updated On: August 27, 2021)

Daniel Johnstone who studies the therapeutic uses of light at the University of Sydney says that “At specific wavelengths and intensities, light could be healing for a variety of health conditions, from skin injuries to muscle performance.”

The notion of Light therapy has started in NASA from 1995. Since then, along with plants, experimenting light therapy on humans has been a common phenomenon. However, the development in light therapy came this far, and now a heated argument on – Can Grow Lights Be Used for Light Therapy? is a topic of discussion.

What will you learn here?

  • What is light therapy, and how does it work?
  • Which lights are eligible to apply in light therapy?
  • Lastly, Can Grow Lights Be Used for Light Therapy?

What is Light Therapy?

Phototherapy or commonly known as light therapy refers to a certain period when a person is exposed to an artificial light source. Methodically, a box that is full of fluorescent lights and positioned above from the eye-level.

The emitted light affects the chemicals in the brain, mostly on “Serotonin” that is responsible for provoking your feelings into a positive or negative way.

During the therapy, the patients are free to do anything except sleeping. Because light therapy doesn’t work while eyes are closed, thus, the patients must keep their eyes open.

For instance, they can use the idle time in reading a book or watching an episode of a favourite drama or have a proper meal. There is no boundary as long as the person is not moving much and getting enough light as prescribed.

Light therapy is often mentioned while treating SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) patients where the victims fall into severe depression in a particular season, winter mainly. It happens because of the lack of sunlight.

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A few of us are still unaware of the fact that sunlight is linked with human’s major depressive disorder. The lack of sunlight causes a chemical imbalance in the human brain, and it triggers our mind to feel excessively sad or unmotivated over a silly thing.

Apart from SAD, in recovering from various types of depression light therapy in an essential weapon if wisely used. In sleep disorder, circadian rhythm disruptions, attention-deficit disorders, and skin diseases such as Psoriasis, Eczema, Vitiligo, light therapy has left a promising imprint.

Which Lights are Eligible to Apply to Light Therapy?

Basically, any light can be used in light therapy. But the expected result of applying light therapy depends on the following 2 things.

  • The light’s intensity
  • Duration

Let’s start by discussing the required intensity of light for light therapy. The specialized lightbox mimics the sunlight. The amount that doctors prescribe is in between 2,500-10,000 lux. Measuring the quantity of light that falls on an object from an exact distance is internationally known as LUX.

The duration of attending light therapy is precisely what the experts prescribe. Depending on diseases and present conditions, mostly the timing ranges from 10 minutes to 30 minutes each day.

Benefits from Light Therapy

Before jumping into the benefits, you must know the proper efficiency will only be ensured if you are using the appropriate light following the doctor’s prescription.

  • Treats insomnia
  • Reduces seasonal depression
  • Recovers from the effect of jetlag
  • Improves sleeping cycles
  • Increases energy level

Can Grow Lights be Used for Light Therapy?

As I have said, the expert didn’t entirely reject to apply a grow light for light therapy. Any light can be used as long as it fulfils the requirements.

Here is the thing, the quantity of light one has to apply always comes in the unit of Lux. But the Grow Lights are measured with wattage.

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The wattage describes the light’s intensity, and lux says the quantity of light falling on an object. That’s why these two are entirely different things even if you manage to convert the wattage into lux.

And so, you can hardly be sure of the calculation and apply according to it, knowing that the wrong measurements can harm your body.

Other than that, artificial Lights were made by thinking of the plant’s healthy growth, and a plant’s need for UV light is undeniable. Whereas a minimal amount of UV light can cause cancer and unrecoverable diseases, spending a few minutes every day around it, does not seem like a good idea.

But here is the good news, you can find color/wavelength specific Grow Lights in the market. Still, we recommend you to ask the manufacturer if it has any UV spectrums included or not.

However, avoid if the Grow Light’s wavelength is anything from 100-400 nm as this is the range of ultraviolet lights.

Again, a few kinds of Grow Lights generate heat and raise the temperature around. So, you should certainly check the temperature of that Grow Light.

 If the light is 5000K-7000K, then the light is supposed to be relaxed and tolerable by your skin.

Different Colors Grow Lights

According to Dr Muller, red (633 nm), green (532 nm) and blue (415 nm) reaches the deepest layer of skin and repairs it.

These different colors have different duties. Red light increases the brightness, repairs tissue and raises energy level while green lights make sure of smoother skin and blue lights help to get rid of acne, oily skin.

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Women spend enormous amounts of time in beauty salons under these specific lights to come out of their skin and ageing problems. Therefore, Grow Lights can be an easy solution, as these lights have a particular wavelength and color.

So, purchasing a Grow Light of lower intensity, preferred wavelength of color, and temperature might be fruitful for you.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use a grow light for red light therapy?

Yes, of course. Red Grow Light has a nearly similar wavelength of the daylight, and the infrared is entirely safe to use in light therapy. This is the reason why infrared Grow Lights are so popular these days for this purpose.

Are grow lights good for skin?

Not really. Grow Lights are often super bright because of higher intensity and include ultraviolet lights for plant’s healthy growth. It can burn your skin and harm your eyes as well.

Do Grow lights help with seasonal depression?

It depends on the patient’s response towards it. But in most cases, using Grow Lights for 30 minutes in a daily or weekly session has been proven to alleviate depression.

In Summary

To be honest, the specialized lightbox made for light therapy has no competition with the Grow Lights. The Grow Lights are constructed for plants, and turning them into a substitute for light therapy is only temporary.

Moreover, as the experts showed a green signal on applying any light by following the requirements, the spare Grow Lights in your home garden are indeed worth a shot. This experiment will clear out all the confusion or questions you may have.


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