Philips InfraRed Vitae sauna heaters review

A website visitor, Tom, recently asked my opinion on new type of infrared sauna heaters based on InfraRed Vitae lamps by Philips. These heaters were unknown to me before, so I asked Tom for a link, which he kindly provided. Here is what I found from investigating this subject on the Internet.

InfraRed Vitae overview

The core of the heater design is the InfraRed Vitae lamp. How the Vitae lamp differs from common infrared sauna heaters? Some facts from Philips website and brochures (links below):

It is a halogen lamp, which makes it stand out from traditional ceramic/carbon/incoloy family.

Most of its emission (80%) is in near and medium-wave infrared range. Brochures say that 20% is in long infrared, but the lower threshold for far infrared is taken rather small – 3 micrometers, while typical definition of far infrared on sauna websites is from 6-9 to 1000 micrometers.

Because of the halogen nature, Vitae lamps heat up almost immediately – no pre-heating required.

[1] InfraRed Vitae product family info.
[2] Infrared cabins leaflet (PDF).
[3] Infrared heating: brochure download

Heaters based on Vitae lamps

Philips Vitae-based heaters resemble incoloy/ceramic rod in the way they are built – there is a reflector behind the lamp, which directs infrared rays in the needed direction. Philips makes an accent in the papers on the good-developed heater testing system and the reflector modeling software, which allows to build optimal heat distribution.

Conclusion and intersting details

Most of infrared sauna brands make a lot of effort to promote their heaters as ‘far infrared heaters’, or ‘fir heaters’, making a claim that a far infrared sauna is more beneficial than a near infrared sauna, or just infrared sauna. I always wondered about how well these claims are supported, but found no hard scientific data on it.

Very often, the main argument is that far infrared penetrates the skin deeper than near infrared. Philips, in the brochure about application of its lamps for infrared saunas (PDF) provides the graph showing that near-infrared penetrates skin deeper than middle and far infrared. I tend to think that this graph is valid. This contradiction is the most interesting part about Vitae lamps and how Philips position them. It would be great if far infrared advocates post comments or write to me and give arguments to support their point of view to promote more discussion of this subject.

Philips is a worldwide company with a long history. In my eyes it makes Vitae lamps more reliable in terms of warranty support and buying replacement lamps. Typically, infrared sauna companies do not disclose heaters origin, and if a company disappears (which happens) you can find yourself in a uncomfortable situation if you need to get a malfunctioning heater replaced.

Fast heat-up of the lamp may look appealing, but air inside a sauna will not heat up immediately. There is not much sweating at room temperature.

Overall, InfraRed Vitae-based heaters are closer to high temperature ceramic rod/incloloy heaters. Seems like there is no significant drawbacks or advantages. However, I can’t tell how feels the infrared sauna equipped with such heaters. If you tried such sauna, please comment about it.

Infrared sauna brands equipped with Vitae lamps

There is a lot of european brands using Vitae lamps, for example:

Infrared lamp Kit VITAE 1700-E – SAUNAHAUS.COM

Also, Euro Sauna (address in Canada) offers a line of infrared saunas with such heaters:

Infrared Lumina Saunas – Euro Sauna

Call for comments: if you used saunas with InfraRed Vitae lamps, if you know other companies distributing such saunas, or if you sell or manufacture such saunas – please, feel free to write your comment on the subject filling the form on the bottom of this page (keep in mind that your comment will be visible to other visitors). Far infrared sauna supporters are welcome too, just as anyone that has something to say.

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One Response to “Philips InfraRed Vitae sauna heaters review”

  1. Terry Says:

    This just adds to the already counfounding claims in the debate concerning ceramic v. carbon.

    Surely someone out there could provide an unbiased, disinterested scientific study of which infrared rays are most efficient and effective at getting deeper into the fat……as well as a determination whether that penetration indeed somehow loosens lodged toxins for removal from the body.