Are At-Home LED Devices Worth Your Money? Our Editor Tried This New $249 One to Find Out

Joanna using the Trophy Skin RejuvaliteMDJoanna using the Trophy Skin RejuvaliteMD

I should preface this article by letting you all know I am totally biased. I freaking love LED light therapy, and I'm hoping you will too after reading this article.

I know, I know. You've heard it all before and seen all the influencers raving about all the LED masks on your Instagram feed.

But don't worry: this isn’t some vague, wishy-washy, 'may or may not work' at-home LED light therapy review. I’m about to present you with the facts, my friends.

If you’ve been wondering whether an at-home device is worth the splurge, what LED actually does, and which concerns it can treat, keep on scrolling.

Oh, and I'm going to tell you about a brand new at-home LED device that just launched in Australia and costs less than $250. Yep.

What Is LED Light Therapy?

LED stands for light-emitting diode, which in a skincare setting involves exposing the skin to different wavelengths of non-UV light that trigger different processes in the skin.

The effect of the LED really depends on its wavelength and the depth of penetration, as well as the energy emitted by the device being used. Wavelengths are measured in units of nanometers (nm). In general, the longer the wavelength, the deeper the penetration into the tissue.

For more info, you can watch my YouTube video on at-home light therapy below!

There are different types of LED lights that can be used in the treatment of different skin concerns. They include:

  • Amber light therapy (yellow and orange light) = for redness concerns and general rejuvenation of the skin.

  • Red light and infrared = speed up healing, stimulate collagen production, and for general rejuvenation.

  • Blue light = reduces acne-causing bacteria on the skin.

Most devices use a combination of red, yellow, amber and infrared light wavelengths that can penetrate the skin at different levels. Blue lights are often used in combination with red and infrared wavelengths. 

LED Benefits - Is Light Therapy Effective?

Short version, yes. Here's why.

In an article by Dr Daniel Barolet on the use of LED in Dermatology, he notes LED therapy is largely known for its healing and anti-inflammatory properties.

Several studies support claims of accelerated wound healing attributed to LED light therapy, and Dr Barolet also cites LED as a suitable complementary treatment to different procedures as it helps to aid the skin’s healing process. This is why you'll often see LED light therapy included in skin treatments that involve skin needling or extractions.

Another widely studied key benefit of LED is its anti-inflammatory properties. LED has been shown to resolve redness concerns related to inflammation and reduce post-treatment discomfort, with some studies indicating it can also be beneficial in the management of rosacea and other inflammatory concerns.

There's also evidence that suggests some LED wavelengths promote collagen synthesis and may be effective in the treatment and prevention of concerns like photodamage, scarring and post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation.

So yeah, LED does a lot of things. But consistency is key. You will only see results from regular LED treatments or consistent use of an at-home LED device.

Still wondering if LED light therapy is just a gimmick? Listen to our expert interview in this episode of the Beauty IQ Uncensored podcast below!

At-Home LED vs Omnilux and In-Clinic Light Therapy.

So, are at-home devices as effective as in-clinic LED panels?

My short answer from personal experience is, at-home devices are absolutely effective, if you choose the right one. But it's important to be realistic with your expectations.

The main difference between an in-clinic panel and an at-home device is the joules of energy emitted from the device. Joules are a measurement of energy delivered over time, and not all at-home devices tell you how many joules they can emit.

In-clinic LED panels are going to be more powerful than at-home devices, but that doesn't mean an at-home device won't be effective - you'll likely require a longer treatment time to see results. Wattage is also a differentiating factor, but again, this information is tricky to pinpoint in an at-home device unless advertised by the brand.

My suggestion? Before making a purchase, look for a device that's FDA approved and/or a brand that has their own clinical trial results for their individual device. A reasonable amount to pay for an at-home device is between $250-$700.

What about... my eyes? Is LED light therapy safe for eyes? Yes, if you keep your eyes closed. In-salon and many at-home LED devices come with protective goggles. Definitely don't stare into your LED light, OK?

Best At-Home LED Device.

Now, for the fun part. Here are my thoughts on three at-home LED light therapy devices in Australia I've personally used.

1. Trophy Skin RejuvaliteMD.

Trophy Skin RejuvaliteMDTrophy Skin RejuvaliteMD

Isn't the Trophy Skin RejuvaliteMD a beauty? Trophy Skin is a US brand that just launched in Australia with Adore Beauty. And if you want to know how to do red light therapy at home, the Trophy Skin LED device is it.

Before starting my Trophy Skin RejuvaliteMD review, we had a training session with this brand. And boy, do I appreciate a brand that’s transparent with product information. They were happy to disclose the wavelengths, wattage and joules emitted by the RejuveliteMD, as well as clinical trial evidence to substantiate the efficacy of this product.

The 120 LED bulb panel is split evenly between the Red (660nm), Yellow (590nm), Amber (630nm) and infrared (880nm) bulbs which, as I mentioned earlier, penetrate the skin at different levels resulting in cellular level responses within the skin.

Lying down with your face under this light is also just really relaxing.

Trophy Skin RejuvaliteMDTrophy Skin RejuvaliteMD

A treatment with the Trophy Skin RejuvaliteMD anti-ageing lamp takes five minutes, making it super easy to tack onto any at-home facial, or use nightly for rejuvenation purposes. I like to repeat the treatment session a couple of times if it’s been a while between sessions.

The free-standing panel feels super profesh, and is easy to manoeuvre around. Does Trophy Skin work? I highly recommend this at-home device. And as I mentioned on the Beauty IQ Uncensored podcast, I was honestly expecting Trophy Skin to have a much higher price tag than $249.

2. Lightstim For Wrinkles/Lightstim For Acne.

My beloved Lightstim. If you want to hear the story of why I have such a love affair with this device, go back and watch the video above.

Designed for use on the entire face, the LightStim For Wrinkles: LED Light Therapy features 72 LED bulbs of Amber, Light Red, Dark Red, and Infrared. LightStim For Acne: LED Light Therapy uses Red and Blue light with a total of 36 LED bulbs. The treatment time is 30 minutes, and you’ll be reminded with a beep every three minutes to move the device to the next area of the face.

While this device is designed to be used on the whole face, my preference is to use the Lightstim to spot treat areas of inflammation. See below.

Joanna using LightstimJoanna using Lightstim

I have rosacea which usually presents across my cheeks in bursts of heat and redness, so this device is the perfect size for targeting that area - same goes for targeting breakouts around the jaw.

In comparison, I’d use the Trophy Skin RejuvaliteMD as an ongoing skin rejuvenation device, and will continue to use my Lighstim when I need to spot treat a particular area.

3. FOREO UFO.

I’m regularly asked whether I recommend the Foreo UFO 2 as an LED device over the Lightstim.

Don’t get me wrong, I love my UFO. It’s a great tool - it features technology like T-sonic pulsations, cryotherapy and thermotherapy, as well as LED light therapy. But it is unlikely to give you the same results as the Lightstim or Trophy Skin RejuveliteMD, which are dedicated LED devices.

That’s not to say that the LED component of the FOREO UFO is useless - it’s a nice accompaniment to the other technologies in the device, and may have a positive effect with ongoing use. But the surface area is limited, and the treatment time quite short, so you won’t get the same results you could expect from a dedicated LED device.

If you're looking for a high-tech tool to mimic a luxe facial experience with the features of various gadgets, that’s when I’d recommend purchasing the UFO.

There you go - that’s my rundown of LED at-home devices. Now, it’s up to you whether you decide to add this magic to your skincare routine!