Light Emitting Diode (LED)
LED is a semiconductor device that emits incoherent low intensity light.
Deliver energy superficially over broader regions.
Delivers photonic energy deeply and specifically
The main difference is coherency. Laser Light is coherent (“coherent waveform”), which means all the light waves move in phase together in both time and space. A laser has a very tight beam that is strong and concentrated. An LED (“incoherent waveform” ) releases light in many directions; with the result that the light is weak and diffuse.
There are many different configurations of phototherapy instruments in the market, some offering laser output only, some offering only LEDs, and – excluding LEDs that are provided for indication only – other devices combining both lasers and LEDs as active therapeutic components.The two latter types are sometimes deceptively called “laser” with no reference made to other emitter types; this is inaccurate, at best. Often the buyer is unaware of the distinction, thinking they have bought a true laser device.
Of the hundreds of referenced and reported clinical and scientific studies and papers available, they are almost exclusively done with Laser Light sources as the medically beneficial light source.
In fact, even on the web sites of the leading LED light devices, the sources and references they list are not for LED therapy, but rather for Laser Light therapy. Manufacturers of such devices as Bioflex, Anodyne and the Dynatron Solaris units, which are LED therapy devices, primarily use Laser Light studies as their medical efficacy support.
A number of studies have been completed that compared the effectiveness of Laser Light to LED light and the majority have found Laser Light to be far more effective, particularly in treating tissue of any significant depth.
While LED light therapy does have some beneficial effect, it is limited to superficial tissue treatment only.
The authors of the leading and most widely used laser therapy textbooks are unanimous in their opinion that there are significant differences between Laser Light and LED light and that their respective bio stimulative effects are far from being equal.
The preponderance of opinion is that Laser Light can achieve much greater and deeper stimulative and therapeutically beneficial effect. The following is taken from one of the most respected laser therapy textbooks in use today, “Laser Therapy”, by Turner and Hode.
Many producers of therapeutic instruments have claimed that treatment with LED’s is as effective as laser treatment. However, in light of the clear lack of peer-reviewed studies supporting these claims, LED producers make references to laser research in their marketing materials. A significant effect was observed with lasers, which was not achieved with the other, less narrow-band light sources (LED).
Conclusion: Either all the investigators who conducted the research cheated, or the effects are specific to Laser Light.
In the literature there is a good support for the hypothesis that at least some of the bio stimulative effects in-vivo are laser specific. In fact, we have not yet found one single study indicating that non-coherent light (LED) is as efficient as coherent light. This does not mean non-coherent light (LED) is not useful, only that it (LED) is less efficient and probably only efficient on superficial structures.
These international laser experts and researchers agree that in comparison, Laser Light therapy is far superior to LED therapy, as indicated by the studies of these researchers’ published work.
Monochromatic infrared energy therapy or monochromatic, near-infrared photo energy (MIRE™) (e.g., Anodyne® Therapy or Anodyne® Therapy System) remain unproven for all conditions, due to the lack of well-designed, controlled, randomized, double-blind trials. In addition, there is lack of evidence of long-term health outcomes supporting the efficacy of this treatment.
Source: CIGNA Medical Coverage Policy
Laser Therapy surpasses LED Therapy for clinical effectiveness and results.