Some lasers have LED mixed with Lasers. For surface issues, the LED is fine. If I just hurt my finger or broke my toe, LEDs can be good because I don't need anything to go 5 cm when my toe is less than 5 cm. Bone on bone problems under the muscles and skin usually need this level. If you are just using it for your finger, it would be over kill to buy a more powerful laser. I only use a deep penetrating laser if I need more depth. A class III laser is usually adequate for surface pain or the toes and hands. The closest the laser is to 500mw the better when it comes to class 3.
Light Emitting Diode (LED)
LED is a semiconductor device that emits incoherent low intensity light.
Deliver energy superficially over broader regions.
Delivers photonic energy deeply and specifically
The main difference is coherency. Laser light is coherent (coherent waveform), which means all the light waves move in phase together in both time and space. A laser has a very tight beam that is strong and concentrated.
An LED (incoherent waveform? ) releases light in many directions; with the result that the light is weak and diffuse
A word on LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes)
Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are not the same as laser diodes. Laser diodes produces a very specific frequency of light and most importantly the light is coherent. Coherent light has the unique property of all the light waves being in phase. As an analogy, think of the difference between a crowd of people walking in step with each other, as opposed to each at their own pace. Coherence causes the specking effect that is unique to laser light. This speckling is an interference pattern that results in well defined areas of high intensity and low intensity. The same interference occurs inside tissue, and the steep gradient between the areas of high and low brightness creates an electrical potential across the cells that is considered to be a probable mechanism by which laser therapy works to increase cellular activity and promote healing.
It is not yet fully understood why the body responds well to laser light. But that it does is undeniable, on the basis of clinical experience of tens of thousands of practitioners using this technology, and the amount of clinical trials. There is little evidence to support the notion that LED devices work the same. That is not to say that LED devices do not work. Many practitioners own and use LED-based light therapy devices and are pleased with the results. The general consensus is that while LED device may work, they do not work as well.
Many cold laser devices also include LEDs. Since the emitters which are most effective are laser diodes, be sure to understand how much of the specifications (regarding wavelength and power) comes from the laser diodes and how much from the LEDs. Only the laser contribution should be considered for product evaluation and comparison purposes.
Why are LED's included? For two reasons. Firstly, on pure infrared devices, red LEDs are included for safety and targeting. They light up at the same time as the infrared lasers to indicate where the infrared light is shining (since you cannot see it), and that they are emitting infrared light, helping to prevent accidental exposure and injury. Secondly, LED's are often included as filler to make a product appear more substantial. LED are inexpensive, and the circuitry require to drive them is simple. Laser diodes are comparatively much more expensive, require cooling, move complex support circuitry and calibration. Including a bunch of LEDs for good measure costs almost nothing.
LED trends: Many companies now are using LEDs because it can feel good on the surface. These make up for laser that are cheaper to make and not as strong with a few exceptions of some combo lasers. Usually the combo laser that have LEDs mixed with the laser are very cheap that don't have a quality laser. If the LEDs are the violet type, which are very expensive to make, those are usually the high quality ones. Just having a more powerful laser is not mean its better. It just takes more time to output the work
Is mixing LEDs with lasers good?
Some people say yes some say no. Companies that have NO LEDS usually have really high end diodes that make up for any LEDs that would normally act on the surface. Some companies use only a single diode and others use 3 diodes and others put 20 laser diodes. Each company has its own reasoning for doing what they do. It all comes down to if it works or not and if you are not buying more than what you really need.
Update: I will not sell lasers that are not FDA cleared. Too many doctors have gotten sued since I started this site. I will let everyone know which lasers are now approved
I will never trash talk lasers that did not get approved or those that were never cleared with the FDA. See my requirements for lasers that are not FDA cleared.
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