Full Spectrum Sauna: How To Choose A Sauna

using a sauna

Purchasing a sauna for your home may be one of the most important health decisions you make. We have been in the industry for over 10 years and know it can be difficult to sort through all the features of the different types of saunas.  This is why we have put together this series.  To help you learn what a near infrared sauna is and how it compares to traditional and far infrared saunas.

Part 1 Full Spectrum Sauna

First, let’s define what we mean by full spectrum infrared light.

Infrared light is divided into 3 types based on their wavelengths.

infrared bands

When you use a near infrared sauna you are getting visible red light, near infrared light, as well as mid and far infrared.  Hence, we can call it a full spectrum sauna.

So why does this matter?

Near infrared (and red light) is fundamentally different from mid and far infrared in that the light is absorbed by the mitochondria in your cells, not water.  This is called photobiomodulation.  The key point here is that there is essentially no heat felt.  Red and near infrared are heat-less as they are not absorbed by water.

How Can You Have A Sauna Without Heat?

You can’t.  This is why, if you are going to have a sauna with all these wavelengths, you need some of the mid and far infrared for heat.  The red and near infrared light, and their photobiomodulation benefits, are best thought of as a bonus.  A two for one deal.  Heat benefits as well as substantial photobiomodulation benefits.  Google photobiomodulation if you aren’t sure.

There is a little bit more to consider with full spectrum light though…….

If we go back to our chart, you will see that near infrared light ranges in wavelengths from 700nm to 1400nm.  If you only were to get one of those wavelengths, would you consider this to be FULL spectrum?  Or would you consider FULL spectrum to have all these wavelengths? 

I think most people would consider all the wavelengths to be full spectrum. This is what a near infrared sauna ONLY provides. 

full spectrum wavelengths in a near infrared sauna bulb

You can see in the diagram it has a wavelength distribution that includes a little bit of all the wavelengths.  This is more in line with how nature provides this light via sunlight.

How does this compare to far infrared saunas and traditional saunas?

Traditional Sauna

Traditional saunas don’t have any red or near infrared photobiomodulation effects so they can’t be considered full spectrum.

Far Infrared Sauna

Far infrared saunas will often put a LED panel in their units that typically have a red light at the single frequency of 680nm and a near infrared light at 850nm.  This is good.  But, would you consider this full spectrum?  It depends how you define it.  To me it’s not truly full spectrum and nature has all the wavelengths for a reason.

One final point.  To get a therapeutic dose of near infrared light you will need to spend time in your saunas.  Fortunately this is how saunas are used! 

Consider that in a traditional photobiomodulation session with an LED panel you are very close to it and the strength (irradiance) of the light is much greater. As a result, your time in front of the panel is much less.  The sauna will work…..it just takes longer so make sure you use your sauna regularly.

Near Infrared Sauna

portable near infrared sauna

A near infrared sauna provides the best of both worlds. Heat and photobiomodulation benefits. There are other factors to consider to determine the best sauna for you but if full spectrum benefits are important to you the NIR sauna might be best. Our portable near infrared sauna is designed so you can use it in any space or any place. For more information visit www.nirsauna.com.au