The 2017 Cold Laser Buyer's Guide

This is an introductory guide to cold lasers and the underlying specifications behind them. This guide is based on the core group of cold lasers on the market today. We have not included information from the fringes, those groups that mainly sell to consumers using extraordinary concepts. We also avoid anything that looks or smells like a laser pointer. (If you are considering buying a $600 zero point energy laser from another website, call us and we will sell you an equivalent product for $1 plus shipping.) At ColdLasers.Com, we focus on and support the core science of cold laser therapy called photobiomodulation.

Cold lasers are FDA cleared for pain reduction, inflammation reduction and increased blood flow in humans. These are the only benefits that cold laser manufacturers and cold laser practitioners can legally claim. Although thousands of studies have been done showing addition benefits from cold laser therapy, they are all considered off-label by the FDA and cannot be used to advertise cold lasers or cold laser therapy. Cold lasers have been proven to be safe in over 3000 research papers but it is up to users to do their own research if they are looking for anything more than the 3 approved applications. Therapeutic cold lasers may be used on pets and horses without any restrictions. The FDA only restricts the sale of low level or cold lasers for treatment on humans.

There are 5 main factors that control the efficacy of cold lasers:

1. Wavelength. This is the wavelength of the light that is directed into the body to promote a change. Wavelength is the key to depth of penetration. That is why most popular lasers operate in the 800nm to 940nm wavelength range. This wavelength is in the center of the therapeutic window so it reacts less with the water (below 700nm) or blood (above 900nm) in your body and more with the tissue, bone and ligaments. If you are look for deep penetration, you want to buy something that operates in the 800 to 940nm range. Cold laser become less efficient above this range so some class 4 lasers with massive output (10 watts or greater) require a high level of power to produce the same effect as a smaller laser that operates within the therapeutic window.

2. Pulsing Frequency: Some systems turn on and off the laser at different pulsing frequencies to provide addition benefits. Although the majority of the benefit in cold laser therapy is from accumulating light energy (measured in Joules), there is also some addition benefit gained by turning on and off (pulsing) the laser beam. Some manufacturers use a sweeping pulse where the frequency is changing to hopefully hit the best pulsing frequency at least some of the time. There is no consensus on pulsing so some manufacturer system are pulse and sweep only and other systems are continuous only. Selecting a unit with pulsing, continuous wave or both is mostly a matter of preference.

3. Power: Power is the most important element when if comes to efficacy. There is an optimum power density for the best results and more powerful unit can reach that optimum faster than lower power units. Too little or too much power can still help but may produce inconsistent results. For a majority of the professional system, power is 60 to 70% of the solution. The goal of most high end systems is to get the optimum level of energy density (around 50 joules per square inch) to the damage area and put some energy into the surrounding area. Higher power levels do this faster. They do now push the energy any deeper but at any given depth, more power will reach the target density faster. Some older system and low end system are so low power that they never reach the optimum but the still can produce positive effects.

4. Treatment Area: Lasers can be used for broad coverage of damaged tissue but they can also be used for trigger point therapy by acupuncturist or trained practitioners. If you will be working with small treatment areas like a small pet, human ears or you will be doing laser-puncture (acupuncture without the needles), you will need to buy a unit with a focused beam or a laser that has an adapter to focus the beam. For the majority of the common pain application, the larger the diameter of the emitter, the better the results.

5. Protocols: Protocols tell users how to setup the laser to treat each condition. Laser can be used to treat human, pet s and horses. Some lasers are based on “cookbook” style protocol manuals and other are based on guidelines that are commonly used in professional practices.

Laser Classes and Limitations

Lasers are grouped into classes based on their ability to do damage to the eye.

  • Class 1 and 2 lasers are the safest and they can be purchased for home use on humans.
  • Class 3 lasers range from 50 to 500mW per beam (laser may have multiple beams) and can be purchased for home use on a human with a recommendation from a health care professional.
  • Class 4 lasers are the most dangerous to the eye and they some higher power class 4 laser do have a risk of skin damage (above about 15 watts). Class 4 systems are only sold to professional for use on human. Anyone can buy any class laser for use on pets and horses but many class 4 manufacturers limit the sale of their product to non-professionals.

Device Packaging

One final factor to consider is portability. AC powered units often have more flexibility and power but they are much more difficult to use if you don’t have just one treatment area.

As you browse lasers on this this site, you will see a summary of these 5 key variables on the right side of every laser.

When looking at groups of laser, click on the compare check block and then the “compare” link to see multiple laser specs side by side.

To begin your search, click on one of the buttons across the top of the site to pick your general application (home use, office use, veterinary, or equine)

The following is a summary of all the major cold lasers on the market and their specifications. They are grouped by laser class. We do not guarantee the accuracy of the specification in this table. All the information in this table is accurate to the best of our ability.

Product

Class

Protocols / Interface

Equipment Type

Power @ wavelength Waveform Options

Usage

Warranty

Price

TerraQuant TQ Solo

1

"Cookbook" with 3 modes

Console + Probes

(TPA)

15,000mW@905nm, 60mw @ 875nm

7.5 mW @ 660nm

Pulsed, Sweep

Humans

Pets

Equine

2 years

$2,495

TerraQuant Pro

2

"Cookbook" with 5 customizable Presets

Console + Probes

(TPA)

25,000mW@905nm, 60mw @ 875nm

7.5 mW @ 660nm

Pulsed, Sweep

Humans

Pets

Equine

2 years

$3,995

TerraQuant Elite

2

"Cookbook" with 5 customizable Presets

Console + Probes

(TPA)

50,000mW@905nm, 60mw @ 875nm

7.5 mW @ 660nm

Pulsed, Sweep

Humans

Pets

Equine

2 years

$5,995

Erchonia PL5000

2

Graphic

Console + Probes

20mW @ 635nm

CW, Pulsed

Humans

Pets

Equine

2 years

$12,000

Theralase

2

LCD

Console + Probes

(TPP)

50,000 mW @905 nm

Pulsed Only

Humans

Pets

Equine

2 years

$8,300









LZ30p

3b

Graphic

Cordless

(TPA)

900mW@808nm

80mW @ 637nm

CW, Pulsed, Sweep

Humans

Pets

Equine

3 years

$3,950

LZ30x

3b

Graphic

Cordless

(TPA)

900mW@808nm

190mW @ 637nm

CW, Pulsed, Sweep

Humans

Pets

Equine

3 years

$4,950

ML830 (Battery version)

3b

On/Off

Cordless

90mW @ 830nm

CW Only

Humans

Pets

Equine

1 year

$4,495

Q1000ng (with probes)*

3b

One-button operation

Console + Probes

Changes Wavelength not pulse 470-940nm 328mW to 64mW

Humans

Pets

Equine

5 years

$7,500

Thor-LX (with probes)

3b

Ultimate Precision Online Database

Console + 1 to 3 Probes

(TPP)

P1:: 200-2000mW@810nm

P2:69 LEDs

P3: 30mW@660nm

CW, Pulsed

Humans

Pets

Equine

1 year

$10,520

Medx Console

3b

Keypad and LCD

Console + 2 Probes

P1: 200mW@870nm

P2: 500mW@633nm

CW, Pulsed

Humans

Pets

Equine

2 years

$5,495

Omega Xp

3b

Keypad and LCD

Console + 8 Probes

(TPP)

P1: 200mW@820nm

P2: 50mW@660nm

P3: 100mW @915nm

Pulsed

Humans

Pets

Equine

2 years

$14,495

DJO Vectra Genesis (also does ultrasonic on some models)

3b

LCD

Console + Probes

(TPP)

100mW - 1440mW@ 850nm, 670nm - 950nm depending on probe

CW, Pulsed

Humans

Pets

Equine

3 year

$5,000

Quantum Wave (with probes)*

3b

LCD

Console + Probes

100mW

Humans

Pets

Equine

1 year

$4,800









Apollo DT + 5000 Probe

4

Countdown timer

Console + Probes

5,000mW@810nm CW

Humans

Pets

Equine

2 years

$8,541

Apollo Portable +4000

4

Countdown timer

Portable Console + Probes

4,000mW@810nm CW

Humans

Pets

Equine

2 years

$7,143

Apollo Handheld

4

Countdown timer

Cordless

2,000mW@810nm CW

Humans

Pets

Equine

2 years

$4,000

DioWave D10

4

9 " Touch screen Library

Console + Fiber Optic Probes

10,000mW@ 980nm

CW, Pulsed, Sweep

Humans

Pets

Equine

3 Years

$15,000

LiteCure LCT-1000

4

8 " Touch screen

Console + Fiber Optic Probes

10,000mW@ 980nm

CW, Pulsed, Sweep

Humans

Pets

Equine

2 years

$22,000

K-Laser

K-1200

4

8 " Touch screen

Console + Fiber Optic Probes

12,000mW @ 800nm and/or 970nm

CW, Pulsed, Sweep

Humans

Pets

Equine

2 years

$15,000

Pilot (also cuts tissue and cauterizes)

4

Output and Timer

Console + 3 Standard Fiber Optic Probes

9,000mW @ 810nm

CW & Pulsed

Humans

Pets

Equine

2 years

$6,500

Summary

When shopping for a cold laser, we always recommend staying away from the fringe products. Any product that is way off center of the core group in their claims or power levels is higher risk. Considering the cost of quality cold laser, you don’t want gamble your money on a long shot. First choose whether you will be doing pinpoint or broad treatments as this can quick narrow your options. Next, narrow your options down to about 3 units with the most power that you can afford. This is where most of the benefit comes from so this is where you want to invest most of your money. Then focus on getting a diversity of wavelengths and pulsing options. If you need advice, call us at 1-800-771-2176. For more detailed online recommendations based on your application, pick one of the buttons at the top of this page (home use, office use, veterinary, or equine) so learn more,

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