This article will provide an overview of the basic science of light therapy, including how visible light and the rest of the electromagnetic spectrum affect our biology.

Electromagnetic Spectrum

Visible light is a small band of frequencies within the extensive electromagnetic spectrum, ~400-800 THz (trillion cycles per second) OR ~380-700nm in wavelength.

light, electromagnetic spectrum

Schumann Resonance

Every living organism on our planet evolved within the natural electromagnetic field (EMF) of the Earth’s magnetosphere. The Schumann Resonance is an extremely low frequency electromagnetic field with a main component oscillating around 7.83 Hz (and including resonant multiples) but fluctuates.

In the absence of access to the Schumann Resonance of the Earth, animals quickly degrade into diseased states.

Schumann Resonance
Plot of the Earth’s electromagnetic field. The spike at 50hz is noise from the power grid around the world.

Faraday Cage Experiments

Experiments have been done in cages or rooms that block all surrounding EMFs, including the Earth’s natural EMFs/Schumann Resonance.

Experiments have been done on hamsters:

Human Studies:


Our exposure to sunlight is the basis for our circadian rhythm which helps control much of our body’s hormonal function and is crucial to our wellbeing.

Melanopsin, your non-visual photoreceptor (light-sensing protein in the retina) responds to blue light and can suppress the production of melatonin. This natural process is what can get interfered with by the use of blue-light heavy screens or lights at night, which can lead to disturbances in our circadian rhythm/sleep cycle and lead to insomnia or other issues.

Cortisol, our daytime hormone linked with alertness and energy levels, is also linked to light exposure and peaks in the morning – with levels running counter to melatonin throughout a 24-hour cycle.

sunlight and circadian rhythm
light science graph for retinal absorbtion
Dotted curve shows the absorption spectrum of melanopsin.

Other Effects from Sunlight

Infrared Light

Sunlight has higher concentrations of red and infrared at dawn and dusk because it travels through more of the Earth’s atmosphere. Red and Infrared light in the morning and at night trigger chemical processes for hormones regulating many functions.

Fluorescent lights do not contain the infrared portion of the EM spectrum and often contain harsh and damaging frequencies. Incandescent and halogen lights can be healthier options more similar to the frequencies from the sun.  

light spectrum of various light sources

Infrared and other frequencies of light improve cellular energy production & health and through action on an enzyme in mitochondria (photobiomodulation – Tiina Karu).

Water makes up 70% of our bodies by weight and 99% of the molecules in our body. Infrared light can literally charge this biological water.

A great example of this research is by Gerald Pollack (U of Washington).

Stay tuned for Part 2 of the science of light therapy.

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