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Red Light Experiment (120V Vs. 130V)

Discussion in 'Red Light, Infrared, LLLT' started by haidut, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. haidut

    haidut Member

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    Hi all,

    This topics has been discussed many times, without any definite resolution. Hopefully, I will be able to add something to it (not the confusion:): though). So, the confusion stems from the fact that Ray Peat recommends a heat lamp designed for 130V network but run at 120V. In his opinion this would reduce the amount of near-infrared and shift the light towards the desirable red spectrum. However, forum embers have consulted with a person who seems to be an expert on lights and spectrums and he seems to think that "downgrading" a bulb like that would do the exact opposite - i.e. produce more infrared and less visible red light. Also, this person stated that if a bulb is downgraded like that it would produce almost no visible light. Finally, someone on the forum suggested an experiment where two bulbs of the exact same brand/model and wattage but with different voltages (120V and 130V) are tested side by side and differences are investigated. Well, I did such a test and here are my results.

    I bought the lightbulbs from the website listed in the Supplements thread. Instead of buying the clear lights I bought the red lights b/c I wanted to also use a spectrometer to measure what kind of light the bulbs will be emitting. I used both lights to heat up a surface for a preset time (15min) keeping the conditions as equal as possible. I have not done the spectrometer analysis yet since I have to buy one first but it seems that even without it some obvious things are emerging.

    1. The 120V/250W Red Bulb: When plugged into the normal socket on the wall (residential unit in USA) the 120V emits a light that is for a lack of a better word "orange" in color. The bulb has red colored glass but I think the light produced is intense enough to make it appear orange in color. Also, the 120V bulb emits a lot more heat. I will use the 120V as a base and say that it produced a unit of heat in 15min and I will use that to compare to the 130V bulb.
    2. The 130V/250W Red Bulb: When plugged into the outlet, the bulb produced a radiant saturated red color. If a have to compare it to something I would have to say something between cherry-red and burgundy-red. Also, the bulb produces about 40% less heat than the 120V bulb.

    I have ordered this relatively cheap open source spectrometry kit and plan on analyzing the light spectrum of all bulbs in the house.
    http://www.amazon.com/PublicLab-Desktop ... ectrometer

    I strongly encourage others with an interest in doing it to also do their own testing so that we know for sure if the Peat-recommended lights are really optimal, and also what is the spectrum of the common light bulbs of your home. My initial tests suggest that Scott (I think this was the name of the light expert) maybe incorrect in stating that downgraded light bulbs would be worse. In my experience that are much better in terms of producing rich, saturated, red color and producing less heat. Why that doesn't agree with theory and the charts that have been posted is beyond me, but I trust my eyes and how the light affects me.
    Finally, for those interested, it may be worth it to order a light meter (also known s Lux meter). Here are some products:
    http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss? ... ight+meter

    It's good to know how many Luxes/lumens of light are pouring on top of you. In my case, I have 6 500W incandescent bulbs in the living room but they all point to the walls b/c they are too bright otherwise. So, the Luxes/lumens I am getting are reflected from the wall and most certainly less than the Luxes/lumens listed on the bulb boxes. Even with that setup, everybody sitting in the living room is feeling super relaxed and even sleepy, which does not happen in the darker bedroom and other rooms. I think the optimal exposure that I have seen in studies is at least 5,000 lumens coming at you (not 5,000 produced by the bulb). So, the Lux/lumen meter would help measure that objectively and help you direct efforts (and money) where it matters.
     
  2. j.

    j. Guest

    I read that using less voltage than the design of the light decreases the color temperature, i.e., it makes it more red. This is called "dimming" I think. It's well known by restaurants and such that makes the color more like candle.

    My guess is that Scott is wrong.
     
  3. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    One more thing, there seems to be a smartphone version of the open source spectrometer I listed above. It is both cheaper and (obviously) more portable, which should allow you to run your analysis pretty much anywhere.
    http://www.amazon.com/Public-Lab-FOLDUP ... im_sbs_e_1
     
  4. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Yep, that's exactly what I saw with my bulbs. Dimming it made the color a deep, dark-ish red. The normal voltage bulb just seems to produce a lot of heat and "orange/yellow" light even though the filament is colored red.
     
  5. j.

    j. Guest

    Thankfully I didn't buy the red lights yet. Last time I was about to buy it I was going to buy just the regular voltage.

    haidut, we still have a few further questions, one is, is 130v incandescent or 130v red light better?
     
  6. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Actually, I have both. The 6 500W bulbs in my living room are all 130V and I had some "old" 500W bulbs at 120V, which I now keep as spares. The same thing is true for those - the 120V 500W incandescents produce a LOT of heat AND light. The 130V 500W produce about 30% less heat then the 120V and about the same brightness of light. The 130V 500W however are more expensive for some reason (on the order of 25%). So, for now I am using the 130V 500W in the living room, and will be eplacing them with the "old" 3 120V 500W bulbs I have. Once I run out of the "old" replacement bulbs I will be buying the 130V 500W exclusively. The 130V 500W are supposed to last for years, especially given they are being "dimmed" with the weaker current.
    The red 130V 250W "heat" lamps I use at work b/c the office uses blue lights and I can't stand those. Also I spend considerable amount of time there so I should have a way of protecting myself, and the only way to avid the blue lights is to show the company you can bring your own lighting. So, I use the 130V 250W (2 of them) in the office for a period of 8-10 hours.
    I find it that when I use the red bulbs at night, I did not feel very good (just like Peat said he tried to sleep with those bulbs on and he didn't like it). Not sure what's going on, but red light essentially stops the production of melatonin and when I was under those lights I could not fall asleep. So, maybe it was the lack of melatonin even though Ray says melatonin is dangerous and I agree with that after looking at some studies on its effect on metabolism. Funny enough, the red lights used at night gave me the exact same feeling as the drug naltrexone (4.5mg dosage) - i.e. insomnia and nervousness.
    Does that answer your question?
     
  7. charlie

    charlie The Law & Order Admin

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    I have a couple 120v 250W heat lamps but I put them in storage after I got the 130v 250W heat lamps. I am curious about the color of light output now so I might pull the other ones out of storage to compare.

    I would love to get a hold of some 130V 500W lights though!!!


    Oh, and this needs to be said,

    [glow=red]Ray Peat right again![/glow]​
     
  8. j.

    j. Guest

    So, the incandescent 130v is better then the red light 130v to use at night, otherwise you don't sleep.
     
  9. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Charliem here are the ones I bought:
    http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004DJ5TMS/ref ... 1_ST1_dp_1

    If you can find them cheaper, please share with the forum.
     
  10. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Yes j. - in my opinion red lights should be used during the day, especially during the winter. They just make me very hyper and warm, but during the day it can be a benefit. At night I go home and sit under the 130V 500W incandescents for several hours, which still gives me energy but does not seem to induce that hyper state in myself or the other people living with me. Red lights at night invariably lead to insomnia and nervousness for me, but that may be due to the fact that I was using them late at night rather than early evening.
    To each his own, but for now this setup works for me - red light during the day and bright white light at evening/night. I supposed I could bring some 500W bulbs to the office but that would definitely draw stares and even comments from company owners. Those lights would just drown out every other light source in the office and make my office look like a site of some sort of nuclear fusion experiment:):
    Incidentally, after recommending the same setup to a sickly coworker of mine she has not had the "flu" for a full year, even though she had it biweekly before that.
     
  11. jyb

    jyb Member

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    @haidut: I find it odd that you report the red light (heat lamp) would cause more sleep problems than incandescent, since it is the blue component of light that affect melatonin. I thought that a heat lamp would be more neutral.

    Also, why are you using a heat lamp (at work) at all, instead of an incandescent? I thought that the spectrum below infrared was the most useful, and you'd get more of that with an incandescent. And possibly a bit more so with halogen (but with more undesirable blue).
     
  12. superhuman

    superhuman Member

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    awesome.

    Is there any merit in using halogen lamps since its hard for me to get a hold on those old lights. I have a 400W halogen light shining on me
     
  13. Mittir

    Mittir Member

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    I do not clearly remember RP saying anything about halogen. Someone
    once asked him about halogen and incandescent , in his reply he did not say anything about halogen but recommended regular incandescent and 130 volt incandescent.
    Ratio of red and blue light is calculated into "color temperature".
    Regular incandescent bulb has 2700 kelvin and color temperature of halogen bulb
    varies a lot (2000 K -3300 K) depending on the type.
    If the kelvin of your halogen bulb is close to 2700
    then it should be as good as incandescent bulb.
    Major concern with halogen bulb is it's high ultra violet ray emission.
    But scientists discovered that silica glass covering blocks most of the
    UV rays. I hope someone can get a clarification on this from RP.
    I have read that they sell 130 volt incandescent bulbs in Europe
    as heating lamps. These kind of lamp is used by poultry farmers
    for incubating eggs.
     
  14. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    My office is freezing cold in the winter so having some extra heat form the infrared bulbs is definitely helpful. The reason I don't use incandescents at work is that in order for me to get the same amount of heat as I am getting from the infrared lights I would have to bring 1-2 of my 500W bulbs and like I said in my previous post this draws a lot of (unwanted) attention b/c my office "glows" too much compared to the other poor souls working in the dark and blue environment.
    Finally, I am just reporting that I did not feel well sleeping under the red lights, for whatever reason. One possible explanation is that red light dramatically reduces melatonin synthesis, much more so than incandescents. Just search PubMed for "red light melatonin" and you will see the studies. Ray also did not like sleeping under red light but did not explain why.
    The interesting thing for me is that the feeling I get at night under red lights is the same I get from low dose naltrexone - i.e. wired and nervous almost to the point of anxiety, but this could also be related to red light speeding up metabolism and depleting glycogen stores. I don't have an answer yet, I guess have to measure blood sugar and figure this out.
     
  15. bradley

    bradley Member

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    Haidut, I'm a litte confused by your terminology. The red light/infrareds are in fact incandescents. They just have a red coating over them.

     
  16. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Yes, they are both incandescents but infrared bulbs are wired to produce more heat and less light. A regular incandescent 250W produces a lot less heat than 250W "infrared" bulb. I have tested them both. So, that's why I used the "infrared" bulbs in the office - more heat and less light, and whatever light they produce if filtered through the red glass so it is red light. Since I am also using the 130V bulbs, this reduces their heat output a bit and makes the red color even more saturated.
    I would gladly bring 250W or 500W regular incandescents if I can find them colored in red. In fact, I have been looking everywhere for a red color 500W bulb but I can't seem to find it anywhere. The closest I was able to find was a 375W red heat lamp, which is also 130V, so it is kinda of doing what a regular 375W (non-heat) incandescent bulb would have done if I could find one.
    If you have sources for regular (non-heat) bulbs higher than 375W and colored in red than please share with the forum. I will certainly buy some. I am not interested in halogen, there is some research about them causing cancer.
     
  17. narouz

    narouz Member

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    Great experiment, haidut!

    I was at a dead end with the Peat-recommended, 130V "infrared" bulbs.
    As you noted, the lighting "expert," Scott, seemed certain that the wavelengths would be shifted further out into the unhelpful infrared zone by running at 130V, rather than toward the desirable red spectrum.
    And that was vigorously confirmed by (the apparently departed) Gabriel.

    So...I left it there.
    Plus I had a disposition to NOT want to sit under hundreds or even thousands of watts of HEAT lamps, especially on summer days while struggling to keep the temp down with AC.

    One helpful tidbit came to me recently in listening some more obscure Peat interviews--I think it was "Rain-Making Time" or "Hope for Health" or something like that.
    Peat said, just as reported from other sources, that he usually has a couple of 250W, 130V bulbs shining on him. The "heat lamp" type.
    But--for the first time anywhere that I'd heard!--he said that those bulbs running at 130V burned COOLER than regular incandescent!

    That really surprised (and pleased) me.
    I'm still going to have to see for myself, I think.
    I remember a poster, peatarian, who said she used those exact Peat-recommended bulbs, and SWEATED under them for hours in an effort to heal herself. However, I believe she was in Europe, so maybe she was running them at 130V.

    One more thing: as I understand it, you are using, at least in part, the red-GLASS bulbs...?
    Peat did say he didn't like those--said they gave him a headache, and, I think, that they filtered out a lot of good, therapeutic light.

    But thanks for doing this research. Always has been a tangled area of Peat for me.
     
  18. j.

    j. Guest

    I'm not sure what they said it's wrong, because assuming it were true, it's possible that the overall effect would've still been good due to a more significant reduction of the blue part. In other words, maybe it reduces both blue and red but the reduction of blue is more significant.
     
  19. OP
    haidut

    haidut Member

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    Yes, I am using the red glass bulbs and I am getting the headache effects just like Peat does - but I only used them at night so I attributed it to red light depressing melatonin somehow. I have the clear bulbs as well and will try these at the office and see which ones affect me better.
    At least we are moving in the right direction of solving this:):
     
  20. Mittir

    Mittir Member

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    RP"s "burned COOLER than regular" is kind of a confusing statement for most
    people. He often assume his audience know a lot of basic science.
    When a bulb filament runs cooler than regular this will emit more red and
    infra red light than a filament running hotter. End result is you will get more
    red light and infra red light from 130 volt running in 120 volt line and
    this will cause much more sensation of heat.
    RP has also mentioned LED red light. Those use single red frequency
    with good result and almost no heat.
    Another confusing term is color temperature
    low color temperature of incandescent say 2700 K feels hotter than
    6000 K compact fluorescent .
     
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