Red light therapy is full of potential! The key is now - how do we make it easy to access and affordable! Well often times to make things even more affordable is to find a way to make it yourself! As a teenager I built my own computer, it had 2x the power of standard computers on the market for 1/4th the cost! So, with electronics such as Red LEDs, it should be easy to come up with some affordable DIY solutions.
For this example we will use the GembaRed Rave! This little strip light had been a favorite travel companion of mine for a while, offering pure red light and low flicker operation no matter where in the world that I go.
A deeper look at it's potential, it is a 7.2 Watt light strip with 30 LEDs. Each LED emits about 5 mW/cm^2 of intensity out of it. Compared to the GembaRed Beam which is 12 Watts of actual power at $159, the GembaRed Rave is only $39 for 7.2 Watts of power! The Rave is also super thin, can be battery powered. So if we can modify it into a mini light panel, then that would be a great hack!
As always the safety precautions must be considered for any DIY project. We are dealing with an electronic product so we must treat it with respect, for risks of electrocution or burns are real. If you plan on pressing LED diodes against the skin, be careful if you have water or moisture on your skin or thin skin in general will lead to mild shocks or burns. Luckily the GembaRed Rave is only a 5 Volt DC device, so these risks are relatively low and mild.
The tools are just scissors, tape, and some LED strip connectors. The steps are just Cut, Connect, and Tape together the Rave light to reshape it into a mini panel! That's it!
1 GembaRed Rave USB light strip
4 2-pin 5050 LED strip extender, 10mm wide - For example this one
Lets get started!
1. Starting from the end of the Light Strip (the opposite end of the white USB cord), count out 6 LEDs per cut. The Light Strip is pre-marked with dotted lines to know when to cut.
2. Stop cutting before the last length of 6 LEDs, those last six LEDs will stay attached to the white USB cord. Now you will have 4 strips with 6 LEDs on each strip, and 6 LEDs still connected to the original USB cord.
3. Open both ends of all 4 of the 2-pin connectors. Starting with the LED strip connected to the USB cord, slide the LED strip into the connector. Match the black wire with the negative side, and the red wire with the positive side. (the + and - sides are marked on the strip)
3. Once the LED strip is fully inside the connector, then you can clamp down the connector over it and make sure it snaps tight.
4. Continue connecting all of the LED strips together with the connectors with way.
5. Test to make sure all of the light strips are working after connecting them all. If one is not working, check to make sure the sides are correct, and that the connections are being made properly on the copper of the strip light.
6. Then starting again with the strip connected to the white wire, bring the next LED strip together parallel with the first one. Use the electrical tape to tape both ends together.
7. Continue taping together all of the ends so the strips are all parallel with each other.
8. Use tape over all of the ends together to hold them in place.
9. Test it again to make sure it works!
And that is it! You now have a mini light panel that is super thin, affordable, and easy to use! Think of the possibilities!