New to Laser Therapy?

Thinking of Purchasing a Laser Therapy Unit?

Are you new to Laser therapy?  It may be a daunting task when people refer to Laser Class, Wavelength, Output Power etc.

Here is a summary of important things to consider when purchasing a Laser Therapy unit to help guide you through.

Laser Class

The majority of laser therapy units on the market are Class 3B, with an output power of <500mW.  The VetLaser 3000 has a maximum output power of 450mW with the 808nm Cluster Head.

These laser therapy units penetrate 5cm into muscle tissue providing rapid pain relief and healing.

Class 4 laser have >500mW and have the potential to burn if used incorrectly.  They are often at the incorrect wavelength eg 980nm, with no evidence to back up their claims of deeper penetration depths than a Class 3B Cold Laser.

Output Power

As discussed, output powers are <500mW for Class 3B Laser Therapy units.  So it’s best to stick with a proven protocol.

Many  people incorrectly assume that a higher powered laser therapy unit will perform better than one with lesser power eg Class 3B.  Lasers are classified according to their risk to the eye.  A Class 4  laser will not perform better than a Class 3B laser due to the greater output power.


Infrared wavelengths eg 785nm-904nm penetrate deeper than Visible red wavelengths eg 635nm or 650nm.  It is crucial when selecting a laser therapy unit that the correct wavelength is selected.

Visible red wavelengths are used for Acupuncture & Trigger points, scars and wounds that are close to the animal’s body.

Infrared wavelengths are used for deeper penetration into large muscle groups eg on legs, back etc.

Laser Diode Vs LED

Laser diodes (GaAlAs) have proven over time to be far superior in laser therapy applications than LEDs.  The properties of both forms of light are different with laser diodes producing a monochromatic light that travels in a column.

LEDs are suitable for illumination, not for therapy applications.  You will find clinical trials using laser therapy units, it is rare to find trials using an LED.


Laser therapy units can operate in Continuous Wave, Pulsed Nogier (73Hz-4672Hz) or Bahr frequencies. The VetLaser 3000 allows operations in all 3.

There is research indicating the benefits of using Pulsed Laser therapy units for deep penetration.

Some laser therapy units only operate in Continuous Wave, thereby limiting their use.


Some manufacturers include LEDs along with Laser Diodes in their therapy units.  This is a gimmick as many are combining the output power of the LEDs along with that for the laser diodes and then marketing the product as a Laser Therapy Unit!  This is very misleading to the consumer. 

Interested in Learning More?

Listen to the Laserex Podcast about Cold Laser Therapy.

Class 3B Cold Laser