How to Select an LED Phototherapy Device – Universal Companies
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Introduction to LED Phototherapy Devices

LED Phototherapy has become a must-have service on your menu, from treatment series to modality layering. Professional estheticians have the training and experience to administer treatments, but the outcome of those treatments will only be as good as the equipment. It's important to thoughtfully research your options when choosing an LED phototherapy device, as the variety available can lead to differing results. Making a well-informed investment in a high-quality machine will ensure you provide effective and reliable skincare results. Keep in mind that several factors will play a role in both the selection process and the cost of the device.

Initial Determining Questions for Device Selection

  • What LED phototherapy treatments will be on your service menu?
  • What design style is most effective for the treatments and protocols?
  • What wavelengths or colors do you need to support the treatments?
  • What are the frequency ranges within each wavelength?
  • Is the device medical grade and FDA-cleared?

6 Key Features of an LED Phototherapy Device

1. Design Style

Look for a device that will achieve efficacy and efficiency; devices that can be adjusted so that the distance from the light source and the skin is consistent and can be close to the skin surface. Proximity to the skin is one of the most critical features to look for.


Pro: Provide broader area coverage due to shape-taking panels that can be contoured to treat the face, neck, décolleté, and other body parts.

Pro: Allows for hands-free application.

Con: The device is further away from the skin, so its effectiveness may be decreased due to reduced light reflection and leakage.

Face Masks

Pro: Allows the maximum amount of light to be absorbed into the skin to ensure optimal energy absorption since the design is close to the skin.

Pro: Allows for hands-free application and ease of use.

Con: Treats only the face; look for devices that include neck additions.

Handheld Devices

Neutral: Devices are considered entry-level.

Con: The device must be held for the treatment period; it may fatigue the hand.

Con: The device tends to be small and has small skin coverage.

2. Multi-fuctional Wavelengths

The most effective wavelengths for skin are blue, green, yellow, red, and near-infrared. Select a multi-functional machine capable of treating various dermatological concerns, including acne, hyperpigmentation, fine lines, and wrinkles. Multi-functionality will provide the ability to treat multiple conditions for a quicker return on investment.

Combination or wavelengths: Combining two or more colors is important for optimal results. Clinical studies have shown that color combining is beneficial to numerous skin concerns.

A nanometer measurement must be identified for each color to ensure each wavelength's effectiveness. Near-infrared with a 1070nm allows for boosting the effectiveness of other wavelengths, which are rare to find but well worth the investment.

3. Uniformity of LED Distribution within the Device

Diodes should be placed evenly to ensure the skin receives light evenly. Review the spread and location of the diodes as well as the density of the diodes. The greater number of diodes will provide greater effectiveness. Less expensive devices may have fewer LEDs and are spread out, decreasing skincare benefits. Be aware of the trade-off. 

4. FDA-Regulated and Medical Grade

Ensure the device is manufactured in a trustworthy, FDA-regulated facility. Regulated and approved technology is guaranteed to be safe and effective. In the approval process, the FDA validates a device's design and outputs and monitors the manufacturing process, ensuring production with good manufacturing practices (GMP). Medical-grade devices allow for optimal results in a short period of time.

5. Energy Output (irradiance)

The amount of light energy emitted by the LED Phototherapy device is measured in units like milliwatts per square centimeter (mW/cm^2). This is the strength of the power of the light being delivered to the skin. The higher energy output means the light is more intense, while the lower energy output is less severe. Too high energy output can cause discomfort or adverse effects, while too low may not provide the desired therapeutic benefits. 

6. Retail Options

It is essential to have high-quality professional and retail products for clients to integrate into their daily regimes for continued benefits and outcomes.

Pricing and packaging are key to success that many spas tend to overlook; ensure the retail price points are affordable for your client base. Ensure the packaging fits the spa aesthetic.

Clients increasingly consider effectiveness over price for home care.


Investing in a quality LED Phototherapy device will allow you to provide LED Phototherapy treatments that help promote anti-aging benefits, reduce inflammation, treat acne, and reduce pain.

Interested in learning more? The online course below can help you grow your skills while you earn CEUs!

360 Method LED Phototherapy Training & Certificate

Learn LED Phototherapy principles and treatments for skin rejuvenation, reduction of acne, and pain relief.

About Lori Vargas, MBA (she/her/hers)

Lori Vargas, founder of 360 Wellness Education, has over 20 years in the spa industry as a founder of multiple spas, a massage school, and as a spa consultant. She also has 14 years of experience guiding Fortune 500 Companies with corporate strategies and business development. Lori holds a CPA and MBA from the University of Chicago.

To complement her online 360 Wellness Education courses, Lori has created an educational community focused on connections and growth through 360 Wellness Education CORE Membership. This membership provides easy access to affordable on-demand advanced education, live webinars (sip & learn style), Facebook private group, newsletters, and live events. Follow on Instagram at @360WellnessEducation .

In addition to CORE Membership and her other online courses, Lori offers 360 Business Workshops. This live webinar series focuses on business start-up and development, sharing valuable insight, advice, and templates to jumpstart business growth and maximize success.

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Universal Companies is proud to have a team of experienced spa advisors on staff and welcomes you to consult with our professionals about spa products and supplies, including ingredients, equipment, and retail. Dedicated to the success of spa professionals everywhere, we're grateful to be recognized with the American Spa Magazine Professional's Choice Award, Favorite Distributor of the Year for many consecutive years. (Thank you!)

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