Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What’s the difference between near-infrared and other types of saunas? Why is a near-infrared lamp sauna better?
There are three types of saunas. Traditional saunas found at health clubs are simply a room with a heat source. Traditional saunas have to run at much higher temperatures and are therefore typically more uncomfortable to stay in for any period of time. Additionally, the heat from a traditional sauna takes longer to penetrate deep into the body tissues.
Far-infrared saunas use metallic or ceramic heating elements in the walls to provide a narrow band of far-infrared heat. Far-infrared saunas typically use more electricity and therefore operate at a higher cost and also expose you to more EMF’s (Electro-Magnetic Fields).
Our units are near-infrared light saunas which use near-infrared heat lamps for heating the body specifically, not the entire room or sauna enclosure. Therefore these saunas run at lower temperatures than traditional saunas. Near-infrared lights penetrate more deeply (and more quickly) and have the most beneficial spectrum of infrared light. (These are not the UV rays that cause sunburns.) They also offer color therapy due to the red bulbs. Near-infrared saunas use much less electricity compared to far-infrared saunas so produce lower amounts of EMF’s (Electro-Magnetic Fields), and operating costs are lower. They are also clean and dry, and are quite comfortable to use for most people, as they operate at much lower temperatures than traditional saunas. An added benefit to near-infrared saunas is the portability of units such as ours, which makes moving and travelling with your sauna convenient.
All saunas have therapeutic value, and one may easily add one or more near-infrared lamps to a traditional or far-infrared sauna. Do not add lamps to a steam sauna or other environment with a lot of moisture.
Q: Do I have to have special wiring to run these sauna units?
No, these sauna units run on regular US voltage and can be plugged into any standard outlet or extension cord rated 13-amp or above. These units produce a lot of heat, but don’t actually use that much electricity.
Q: Do I have to have a special enclosure or something to do a sauna?
It is ideal to hang these sauna units in a small enclosed space. We are working on designing a practical and affordable portable sauna enclosure and hope to have one available soon. There are some available for purchase online, but many people simply convert a small bathroom, closet or even a shower into a makeshift sauna.
Q: I want to improvise my own sauna area in my home. How do I do that? What’s the ideal size?
Most people convert a small bathroom, closet or even a shower into a makeshift sauna. To do this, one can use adjustable tension shower curtain rods and blankets or cloth curtains to lower the height of the ceiling and reduce the size of the space to contain the heat. The interior of the sauna area should be just tall enough for you to get in and sit down (perhaps 50 to 60 inches tall) and just wide enough for you to move around easily (perhaps 36 inches wide). You want to leave about 18 to 24 inches between you and the sauna unit lights, so the enclosure should be about 50 inches long.
Q: What is the ideal temperature for a sauna?
Ideally, the temperature in your sauna area should be between 115 and 130 degrees. The lights alone are usually not sufficient to achieve this temperature, so we recommend using a small space heater. Usually it is best to pre-heat the area for 15 or more minutes before getting in to allow the ambient temperature to rise.
Q: How far away should I be from the sauna lights?
Generally, you should be sitting about 18 to 24 inches away from the lights. See what is comfortable for you. Women may need to cover their breasts if the area gets sensitive to the heat while facing the sauna light unit. We do recommend rotating periodically in the sauna to allow the heat to directly hit different sides of the body. This can help prevent one side from getting too hot, and has other benefits.
Q: Can I run it if one of the bulbs is out?
Yes, you can run the unit even if one or two of the bulbs is not functioning, though this will reduce the efficacy of the sauna unit. You can even run it with missing bulbs. Do not add or remove bulbs while the unit it plugged in.
Q: What is the life of the bulbs?
Each bulb should have a 2000-hour life, but use the contact form on our website if yours dies within the first 30 days and we will send you one replacement. Although we test each bulb before we ship, we do not guarantee bulbs after the first 30 days.
Q: Will the box get hot during use? What about the handle?
Neither the box nor the handle will get hot. The screen will get hot during use, so avoid touching the screen during or immediately after use. The hooks and chain may get warm, but not enough to burn a person or damage any furniture, etc.
Q: Why don’t you make a 4-light sauna unit?
The heat lamp bulbs emit a lot of heat. Three bulbs allows the lights to be clustered on the torso, which is the where the major benefits occur. The diamond-shaped 4-light units heat up the groin or the knees which can cause problems. Three lights produce plenty of heat so the fourth light is not necessary and some people actually find the fourth light overheats them.
Q: Are there any conditions where saunas are not recommended?
For some people with rosacea, the sauna can aggravate the condition. We usually recommend that people with rosacea test their response to saunas by using one at a friend’s house or gym, before investing in one for themselves. Anyone with active skin cancer should not use an infrared lamp sauna. If a person cannot sweat, then care must be taken to not over-heat. If you have any concerns, consult a health practitioner before using the sauna.
Q: How long should I stay in the sauna? And how often?
Everyone’s body is different and everyone has a different heat tolerance. The body does acclimate to the sauna over time, allowing one to increase the time in the sauna. Additionally, a person’s heat tolerance may shift at various times due to biochemical changes, so one may have to temporarily adjust their sauna time.
The most important factor is how comfortable one is in the sauna. If you get very uncomfortable, it is too long a sauna session for that day. It is best to start with one short sauna (up to 20 minutes maximum) to see how one tolerates it. Then one can work up from there. People usually don’t spend more than 40 minutes at a time in the sauna, but if comfortable and well-hydrated, one may be able to stay in longer. This is something one should discuss with one’s health practitioner. There is no daily or weekly requirement for saunas. Any amount you do will be beneficial. Generally, the more often you do them and the more time you spend in the sauna, the faster your results. Generally, the most we typically recommend is up to twice per day, for up to 40 minutes each sauna session. If dealing with an infection flare-up, shorter saunas are usually best (up to 15 minutes each) and may be done up to 6 times per day.
If you start feeling faint in the sauna, do not be afraid, but immediately get out of the sauna and lie down until it passes. Some people are very sensitive and can only spend 5 minutes at a time in the sauna. This is fine, and one is still receiving benefit with these short saunas (over time these people usually tolerate the sauna better and can increase their sauna sessions). Children and frail (or very ill) adults should be supervised while in the sauna.
Q: Is it okay to drink water while in the sauna?
Yes! In fact, it’s important to drink 8-16 ounces of distilled, spring or carbon-filtered water before or during a sauna so that you don’t become dehydrated while in the sauna.
Q: Do these lights emit UVA and UVB radiation that would cause a sunburn?
These bulbs emit infrared light which is not the same as UVA and UVB. These bulbs will not cause a sunburn or a tan.
Q: Do I need to wear goggles or anything when I’m in the sauna?
While it is best not to stare at the bulbs, goggles are not required. In fact, do not wear any light-reducing glasses that are not specifically designed to reduce infrared exposure. The reason is that the light from the bulbs causes your pupils to shrink which lessens the amount of infrared that penetrates the eye. Wearing glasses that reduce the light will cause the pupils to open more (dilate) which will then allow more infrared to enter the eye.