6 Months With the Joovv Quad Red Light Therapy Device
I've now spent over six months with the latest mitochondrial-hacking device from Joovv – a light therapy device that emits two specific wavelengths of red light scientifically shown to increase energy levels, speed healing, and improve skin complexion.
Was it worth it? Several thousand dollars is a sizeable investment. If money is not a worry for you, go ahead and buy it because there are hundreds of studies and decades of research supporting red light therapy. Just keep in mind that any benefit you're going to get from the Joovv will be subtle.
That's why I recommend that most people make other, more impactful, purchases first. Such as a treadmill or other important gym equipment, or an infrared sauna, which has noticeably improved my wellbeing. See my infrared sauna buyer's guide for more information.
Why did I buy it?
Red light therapy is still relatively unknown. I first heard about it in mid-2018 when I went to a massage therapist who had some light therapy devices he wanted to try on me. I'll be honest, I remember thinking "I'm not seriously paying for someone to shine a light on me right? I better get some hands-on work with this".
However, I left the treatment intrigued. Later that night I started to research photobiology – the science of light's interaction with our body. It turns out that we've known for decades, even centuries, about light's beneficial effects on our health.
You can read more about the science of red light therapy in this comprehensive guide for beginners.
Light isn't just for plants
Light therapy may be one of the oldest therapeutic methods used by humans – historically as solar therapy by Egyptians, the Greeks (Heliopolis, the city of the sun, was famous for its healing temples), and other cultures.
Modern use of light therapy started in the 19th century and reached a climax when Niels Finsen received the Nobel Prize in 1903 for using ultraviolet (UV) light to treat lupus vulgaris, the disfiguring and painful skin lesions caused by tuberculosis.
The scientific interest in red light started in 1965, only a few years after the first working laser was invented. Dr. Endre Mester wanted to test if laser radiation could destroy malignant tumors, so he implanted tumor cells under the skin of lab rats and exposed them to a low-powered ruby laser. The tumor cells were not destroyed, and to his surprise, the skin incisions appeared to heal faster in the treated animals.
Nowadays, the question is not whether light has biological effects, but rather how energy from lasers and LEDs work at the cellular and organism levels, and what are the optimal parameters.
Setup & installation
Joovv has a slick website that is easy to navigate, with an integrated chat box that was convenient for asking questions. After I placed my order, the packages came about a week later. Each box contains a Joovv solo unit and is a hefty 20 pounds.
The devices are well packaged, however, they put stickers on the front of my devices on top of the LEDs and when I removed them it left an adhesive residue. I had to use Goo Gone to remove it. When I reached out to Joovv they said they were aware of the issue and I assume they've fixed it going forward.
If you order a larger device like the Quad or Elite then you'll get a bracket to hold the four or six units together. You can choose either a door mount or a wall bracket that can be screwed into the wall. A mobile stand with wheels can be purchased for an additional few hundred dollars.
After the devices were bracketed together, it was a little confusing to set up the wires that allow one unit to control them all. My understanding is that if you don't use wires, then the built-in Bluetooth will be activated. Otherwise, the wires will de-activate the Bluetooth. Based on my testing that seems to be the case.
I've only had one minor issue with one of my devices: the fan was making a loud noise as if it was rubbing against a wire. The return process went smoothly, I got a new device, and I haven't had any issues since.
I strongly recommend finding a red light therapy provider in your area before buying a device. That way you'll know what you can expect and not feel like you wasted your money.
Although Joovv has a return policy, I think it would be inconvenient to go through the return process on a larger unit because these devices are quite heavy. If you want to go with the buy-and-return strategy then perhaps start with just the Solo device to make your life easier.
Personally, I'm a strong responder to light therapy and I remember feeling my muscles relax and buzz with energy the first few times I used the device. Over time that response has diminished slightly so I've started using red light therapy less, now only doing 10 minutes every other day or so.
- Whole-body vasodilation.
- Increased heart rate.
- Spontaneous erections.
- Less joint and muscle pain.
- Better sleep, especially when combined with reducing blue light in the evenings.
- Better mood and attitude.
- Con – Irritation of sensitive skin, such as my face. Nowadays, I always cover my face with a towel or shirt when using the device so I get less exposure. I'm not sure why this occurs, but I have pale skin that burns easily in the sun, so I think I'm predisposed to being light sensitive.
Use over time
After using this device for several months I've concluded that more is not always better. In fact, science has shown that red light therapy has what's called a biphasic dose response, which simply means that too little exposure won't stimulate a cellular response while too much exposure produces a decrease in response.
Light therapy has been extensively studied for wound healing, where it results in faster speeding times and less scarring. In a mouse study, for example, a cut was made on the back of mice and they were treated 30 minutes later with red light.
Researchers noted that even brief exposure to red light soon afterward reduced or stopped the expansion of the wound. However, a higher dose of light actually worsened the wound healing – there was a greater expansion of the wound compared to the control group and the mouse would have been better off with no light therapy at all.
In other words, you have to be careful how long you use these devices and always keep in mind that this is a therapy that must be approached scientifically. This is another reason why I've reduced my use over time and now only use my Joovv a few times a week.
Final thoughts, is it worth the money?
My hair hasn't grown back. I'm not superman. But I do enjoy owning a device that can stimulate my mitochondria, improve my sleep, and increase my energy levels on command. I feel better when using the device before exercise as if my body has been primed for activity. I consider it an additional tool in my health toolkit.
If nothing else, it's an incredible feeling to stand in front of my Joovv, close my eyes, and feel the back of my legs heat up as if I'm lying on a warm beach. I can often feel my whole body release tension and relax.
As far as whole-body red light therapy devices go, Joovv is by far the most affordable device on the market despite a high price tag. Other products, such as the NovoTHOR pod or the LightStim bed come in at over $60k. So unless you build your own device Joovv is going to be your best option.