This past weekend, I saw an ad on TV (I don't usually watch TV but I was in a hotel and well… one's options are limited). The ad being shown was for Light Relief.
I found some instant red flags which will be discussed here.
First the commercial
http://lightrelief.ca/ Commercial is embedded on this site along with some info.
Here is a comparison with the USA website: http://www.lightrelief.com/?src=affiliate&aid=14627&subid=Main&gclid=CIKg_pzL05ICFQY_agodpX3RGQ You'll notice all the customer testimonials and the small disclaimers below them are unverifiable.
The first 8 seconds led me to believe that this was a questionable claim.
It said "Fast and Natural". Ok, if this is a machine, how is it "natural" in the widely accepted use of the term natural? Technically, it is natural since it exists in the natural world, but that is not the type of natural being suggested.
18 seconds in..."FDA cleared". This simply means any side effects do not outweigh the good that it does. Also consider the fact that it is just LED light so there will be little harm if any.
Next they show the LEDs working. They flicker on and off as well as for some reason, they put some blue in. They explain the reasoning for this is to show that it is working.
If this product uses infrared to heat, then you would feel it working. Items like coal give off heat without giving off much visible light. In fact, the term "infrared" literally means "below red" which is where infrared exists: Below the visible spectrum of red. So the visible red and blue would therefore have less infrared output than true infrared LEDs such as those used in TV remotes and communications.
It is interesting to note that "Bright sunlight provides an irradiance of just over 1 kilowatt per square meter at sea level. Of this energy, 527 watts is infrared radiation, 445 watts is visible light, and 32 watts is ultraviolet radiation." (Wikipedia). Most people are under the misconception that all radiant heat is due to infrared. The earth itself only gets 49% of its heat from the infrared it receives from the sun. The rest is from other radiation frequencies including ultra-violet. Just ask any sunbather!
After doing some quick research into infrared heating, I found out that most use incandescent bulbs, such as those you can see at restaurants with food under the heat lamps. LEDs are designed to give off very little heat in comparison. Also, any heat is dissipated at the base. Remember that LEDs are designed to be efficient. Most standard LEDs use much less than 1 watt of energy.
Heat does have an effect on blood flow. However, since this product does not state the amount of heat given off, it is impossible to accurately access this claim. However, due to standard LEDs giving off little heat, this is again, questionable.
So because of some of these factors, I am questioning the true effectiveness of this product. I assume that a lot of its "success" has to do with the placebo effect. I would venture that it's more efficient and effective (not to mention cheaper) to place a hot water bottle on your affected area for relief.