How Often Should I Use Red Light Therapy?

Red light therapy is used to effectively treat a variety of issues, ailments, and conditions. And because the range of benefits is so wide, it stands to reason that the frequency and duration of treatment should vary as well, right?

The answer is more than a simple yes or no. Most experts and device manufacturers will recommend 3-5 sessions a week at 10-20 minutes each. And the reason it’s pretty standard across the board is because of how red light therapy works. Rather than treating the issue on the surface or merely masking it, red light therapy actually gives your cells’ natural healing abilities a boost. (This article on red light therapy for treating pain explains the processes in which it does this quite well.) This is why you might use RLT to treat one thing and see benefits in a totally unrelated area at the same time. In other words, the healing doesn’t stop as soon as the machine is switched off.


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What Factors Can Affect Duration and Frequency of Red Light Therapy Treatment?


  • Your tolerance: some people find the light slightly irritating to the eyes and the skin. This is normal, temporary, and will not cause harm.
  • Your schedule: Many people find the red glow of their device soothing and may use the opportunity to meditate, do yoga, or listen to an audiobook or podcast. Many others, on the other hand, have jam-packed schedules, leaving little time for more than a few power sessions a week. Thankfully, several studies have shown red light therapy to be effective even when used for just a few minutes a day, sometimes as little as twice a week. So you don’t have to feel guilty about keeping your sessions short and sweet.
  • Your device: the effectiveness of red light therapy treatment is largely dependent on how powerful and efficient your device is. Rouge Red Light Therapy panels are almost three times as powerful as the other popular brands on the market. This has to do with, among other things, energy output, energy density, number of LEDs, and beam angle. In short, a more powerful device means quicker results. We break down how Rouge panels outshine the competition here. 
  • Your body: every body is different and responds to treatment in its own way and at its own speed. It’s a bit like working out: some people gain muscle and drop pounds easily (much to the frustration of their peers), while others are more slow to see progress. The important thing is to remain consistent and to track your progress.

Consistency and Patience Are Key


It may take time to start noticing results, so it’s important to stick with it. Results can be incremental, as well, so you may not notice improvements as they happen, only to be blown away when you compare yourself to when you started treatment - or, as some of our clients have reported, when friends and family start complimenting you left and right.  


Is There Such a Thing As Too Much Red Light Therapy?


As we’ve said, every body is different, so it may take some trial and error to figure out what treatment schedule works best for you. This may take time, as well. As long as you’re getting your baseline treatment each week, you can allow yourself to play around with the frequency and duration of your sessions.

The good news is that red light therapy is not harmful at any dose. You could live under a red light therapy machine and not have any adverse effects, besides perhaps a slight, temporary redness and tightness in the skin - and a general annoyance at everything being red all the time.

There may be some data to indicate that spending too much time under your red light therapy device may be counterproductive, so from that perspective, it is a good idea to consider adjusting your time under the light if you already spend a lot of time in the sun, especially if you are young and physically fit, as the systemic benefits of red light therapy can last up to 48 and in some cases even 72 hours this demographic.

At some point past what most studies found to be around the 20 minute mark, the body begins to stop absorbing the red light and begins to reverse the benefits, so while it may not be harmful, it can certainly fall short of the intentions of the user.


At-Home Red Light Therapy Treatment Allows You to Customize Your Treatment


More and more spas, clinics, and gyms are outfitting themselves with red light therapy machines. While this increased accessibility is great in theory, the reality is that, given the fact that frequent sessions are necessary to see results, it’s not a financially viable option for most. In fact, treatment in a professional setting can cost upwards of $100 per session!

With a Rouge Red Light Therapy panel, you can get unlimited treatment for the price of a few sessions at a spa or clinic.

A personal device also offers the luxury of being able to try out different treatment schedules to find what works best for you, something that is not generally offered at spas and clinics - at least not affordably. With a Rouge Red Light Therapy panel, effective therapeutic treatment is at your fingertips, day and night.


The Takeaway


While we stand by the recommendation of 10-20 minute sessions, 3-5 times a week, it’s really up to you and your body. Red light therapy is supposed to improve your life, not add stress to it, so you needn’t spend too much time thinking about it. Rather, try to listen to your body and do what feels good.

Our knowledgeable staff is always on hand to answer any questions you may have, from choosing the right device, to tailoring your treatment to your needs. Chat with us anytime!

Looking to get started? Shop Rouge’s family of high-quality, FDA-registered red light therapy panels, and take your health into your hands today.


  • I’m interested in red light therapy mainly as a means to assisting with inflammation and energy recovery as I have chronic fatigue from both adrenal and thyroid issues. When looking at session times and point at which it’s stated the body stops absorbing such wavelengths…does that only apply to the portion of the body being treated or overall. Such as if I’m only exposing the lower half of my body to light then does the upper half not need exposure as well for full coverage? And or front and back? Trying to understand the complexities of session practices here.
    Rouge Canada replied:
    Hi there, those are great questions and most definitely worth a deep dive. May we recommend Ari Whitten’s book The Ultimate Guide to Red Light Therapy which is available on Amazon in different formats. This will give you a lot more insight into the way red light therapy works. To touch on what you asked; the answer is nuanced. A partial body treatment will still delivery systemic benefits. There was a study in which red light was applied to one arm when the person had two equal wounds on each arm. Each arm healed faster than the controls which got no red light. Having said that, targeted treatment is also appropriate for certain benefits, so a whole body panel will deliver better results of course than a small device, as it can simultaneously give both. As for the inhibitory effect of red light in terms of over exposure, that can happen with smaller unit that is a half body unit as well, so the trick is to make a rough calculation of joules. That way you will know how many you are getting in what timeframe and make sure that you are not overdoing it. Or you can split your session up to not total more than 20 minutes altogether, which will make it easier not to get too much exposure but just spend a portion of the 20 minutes on each part of your body that you feel will need attention.


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  • Hello I’m looking to improve skin conditions such as scarring, psoriasis and injured skin. From my research it seems normal to use red light 4-5 days per week for 15 min sessions for about 4 months if that seems correct ? What would you recommend and what about after the four month period? Do I I take a few months off and then return to the schedule ?
    Rouge Canada replied:
    Hi Jason, It’s great to hear that you’re interested in using red light therapy to improve your skin conditions. Based on the research, using red light therapy for 4-5 days per week with 15-minute sessions is a commonly recommended approach. This duration and frequency can vary depending on individual needs. For a targeted treatment plan, I would suggest consulting with a certified light therapist or a dermatologist who can provide personalized recommendations based on your specific skin conditions. They can assess your needs and help determine the optimal duration and frequency of red light therapy sessions for your situation. Regarding the duration of use, it’s generally advisable to maintain consistency for the initial 4-month period to allow the therapy to have a cumulative effect. After that period, it’s common for individuals to continue using red light therapy as a maintenance routine. Once more, it’s always recommended to seek professional advice to tailor the treatment to your specific needs and periodically reassess your routine as necessary. Hope you find this helpful and we wish you the best of luck in your wellness journey!


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