Twice the Intensity as Joovv? Think Again. – The Solar Power Lie Part 3
In this blog we break down the measurements of how Solar Power Meters measure falsely high by a large factor margin, and certainly aren’t appropriate for comparison between different brands. Which has lead to the second most popular false claim in the industry, companies claiming to be "2x the intensity of Joovv"!
In our first blog in this series, we explained how exactly solar power meters measure falsely high, despite how ignorant companies could easily be confused by solar power meter specifications.
The second blog we showed how 5 different solar power meter brands all measure falsely high when you try to use it for measuring Red or NIR LEDs. So, we can make the conclusion that all solar power meters are not appropriate for measuring Red and NIR LEDs.
We thought that simply busting the lid off this intensity scam would start to get some companies to correct their advertising. That is hardly the case, if not the opposite. Instead, many companies instead have developed clever excuses for why they still use solar power meters and lie about intensity. They even retroactively state that they only ever used solar power meters in the first place solely for comparison purposes.
But lets play along with this logical fallacy in this blog and see if we can determine if Solar Power Meters can be used simply for comparison purposes, despite fully knowing they measure falsely high.
Twice the Intensity of Joovv?
The “get rich quick” scheme is quite clear in the Red Light Therapy industry. Get some red light panels that you rebrand from Alibaba (maybe with a few tweaks), then start claiming your product is twice the intensity as the market leader, Joovv.
That’s it! Who wouldn’t buy a panel that is cheaper than Joovv and also offers double the “value” of intensity? You would have to be crazy to not buy it!
Over the past years we have seen most of Joovv’s top competitors get to where they are by leveraging this superiority claim. But is this even a real claim? Did any of these brands ever deliver 2x the intensity of Joovv like they promised?
What Does an Independent Reviewer Say?
As always, you don’t need to take it from us. Just look at Alex Fergus’s reviews from 2019 and 2021. In it, he uses a HoppoColor brand spectroradiometer. This is actually a relatively "cheap" spectroradiometer considering its functionality, but it seems to be much more accurate than a Solar Power Meter.
You don't need a minor in Mathematics (which I have) to tell that NONE of the panels come even close to being double the intensity of the Joovv panel. When we do the math and compare Joovv to the panel with the highest irradiance in both reviews, this is what we find:
2019: 1.48 times the intensity of Joovv (71 ÷ 48) (at the Center point)
2021: 1.18 times the intensity of Joovv (88.2 ÷ 74.2) (Peak Power)
Obviously neither year showed these panels emitting anything close to 2x the intensity of Joovv (note that Alex did some unconventional test methods for 2021 for Peak Power and Average Power). Despite the fact that many of the brands Alex reviewed have made this claim.
Lets look a bit closer at some measurements:
In our extremely thorough YouTube review of the SGrow VIG1000 versus the Joovv Solo 2.0, we came to the realization that Joovv was being falsely represented by solar power meters and claims of 2x intensity. Something was up.
We managed to obtain a partially used Joovv Solo 2.0 and Platinum Biomax 600 (Gen 1.1?). Lets see how they compare at 12 inches away with a brand new Ophir 2A-BB-9 thermopile sensor.
We get 26.6 mW/cm^2 on the Joovv at 12 inches away, and 42.8 mW/cm^2 on the PlatinumLED at 12 inches away.
This is only 1.6 times the intensity of the Joovv. Close, but no cigar. We noticed some other interesting oddities about the PlatinumLED Biomax panel and recorded it on this video.
Do they believe their own claims?
Now let’s see what some of these companies are doing now that they seem to have realized that Solar Power Meters are inappropriate and inaccurate, even for comparison.
You might remember the RedRush panels (by RedTherapyCo) were one of Joovv’s earliest competitors who really banked on this claim. However, in their current comparison chart between Joovv and RedRush, they note the Total Light Output in units of Lumens! Lumens is not particularly relevant for red light therapy since it is a measure of brightness (and Near-Infrared is invisible). So apparently RedRush is telling us they are twice as bright as Joovv, but not necessarily twice the intensity anymore. Interesting.
MitoRed has similarly removed the photographs of using a solar power meter to compare their panels to their competitor’s panels. Now they retroactively state on own blog that they only ever used solar power meters for comparison purposes (did thier customers know this? did they even have 3rd party data when they first launched? doubtful.). Well… if they truly believed their own words, they wouldn’t have removed those solar power meter pictures for comparison. That is why we keep track of their actions, not their words. You can view the original pictures here on the internet archive.
PlatinumLED is still impressively and belligerently believing that solar power meters are appropriate for measuring Red Light Therapy Panels. They even featured it in a full-length video advertisement on Facebook. In the advertisement they not only use solar power meters to falsely compare to their top competitors, but can’t even muster the effort to pronounce the correct units of measurement. They state their panels emit 1230 mW/cm^2 at 12 inches away. Yes, one thousand two hundred thirty. Which means they not only use a wrong measurement tool, but they embarrass themselves by reading it wrong too. Impressive.
The truly sweet irony is that it seems Joovv is trapped and cannot publicly refute these false intensity claims. If they did, then they would also have to admit that their original intensity measurements were not accurate either.
Even in one of Joovv’s latest blogs where they try to refute the false power claims, they display the same misleading tactic themselves. They state the intensity of the Solo 3.0, Mini 3.0, and Go 2.0 are all “>100mW/cm^2”. An extremely small asterisk tells us “*Irradiance is measured by wavelength and calculated together as one sum”.
What does that even mean? Why can’t they just tell us the real intensity measured at 6 inches away (like they originally claimed)? Isn't that blog more misleading intensity claims from Joovv, despite them trying to point fingers at others?
We at GembaRed can do what most other companies can’t, speak the truth and lay out the facts about intensity. This information actually benefits Joovv, despite our disdain of them.
Red light panels not only don’t deliver the “>100mW/cm^2 at 6 inches away” like they originally claimed, but claims of superiority like saying they are twice the intensity of Joovv are also false when using a solar power meter. This false comparative statement can only be made with the help of solar power meters giving them falsely high readings.
Many of the top red light therapy companies that have come to their senses have slowly and silently removed their comparative advertising with solar power meters. Despite contradicting themselves along the way with blog posts that gaslight their own customers who are merely asking for honest advertising.
So, can solar power meters be used for comparison, even though we know we definitely can't use it for accurate dosing? No. Unless you are trying to answer a binary (yes/no) question. Does panel X have more intensity than panel Y? That is all a solar power power meter can possibly do right now.
It does not tell you the real intensity or magnitude of the difference, meaning it is inappropriate even for "comparison". That is what has gotten so many companies in trouble with this "2x" claim.
However, it might be ideal to abstain from using solar power meters due to the wreckage they have caused to this industry. Many companies think they are still coming up with clever excuses for why they use solar power meters, but their own customers will soon realize that they are not only liars, but scam artists too.