If you haven’t heard of Lux Therapy, well it is now time to look them up and visit their site at http://luxtherapy.com. The company/products are changing the way we take care of ourselves in the comfort of our homes across America with their red light therapy device.
Long story short, Lux Therapy is a home use medical grade red light therapy product in a sleek, affordable, and precise product; Pretty much can take that luxury spa treatment you get right into your own home. Using the latest red and near-infrared light therapy innovations, Lux Therapy delivers medical-grade health benefits… The product will help rejuvenate skin, improves joint health, stimulates post-workout recovery and utilizes multiple wavelengths of light to stimulate mitochondria, correcting a wide range of ailments. There is research that shows people that have used red light therapy have strong immune systems, better skin, better sleep and overall have a more wellness focused lifestyle.
Behind the product is its founder and CEO Tony Kovicak, who we spoke to more in-depth about his products and what it all means moving forward in the health and wellness space.
1. How did you come up with the idea to create Lux Therapy?
Lux Therapy was a concept that came to me over multiple years. In 2015, I decided to step away from Corporate America for a year to travel. I knew I wanted to cycle across the country for part of the year, then live in the mountains during the winter as a ski bum, chasing down powder storms in the Rocky Mountains, but beyond that, my plan was wide open for whatever presented itself. One of my big concerns was that I wouldn’t be able to finish the bike ride due to the normal aches and pains that come with nearing 40 years of age. I was in decent shape, but I knew the rigors of this type of trip would challenge me. In addition to normal biking activity, I would carry all of my gear which neared a 100-pound bicycle setup. Long story short, I made it from Florida to Oregon over four months. After finishing the ride, I returned to Michigan to regroup. During that time I started feeling a little depressed. While I was biking, despite my fears, my body felt great and I enjoyed being outside, but when I was back in Michigan, I started getting small injuries and my body felt tortured – which was strange as I just completed a crazy physical feat of peddling 4,000 miles with almost no physical issues. As I contemplated moving to the mountains, at the last minute, I decided to swap snow for sand. I flew to Costa Rica and spent the next six months close to nature, soaking up the sun, and learning how to surf.
Snap/Cut to moving to San Francisco to work in the tech industry. During that time I continued to value health and wellness, even though I was living in the fast-paced, high-stress lifestyle of silicon valley. My work required frequent travel and regular trips back and forth to China. I often listened to podcasts to pass the time on long flights. During one of these trips a podcast mentioned Red Light Therapy (RLT) and I was immediately enthralled. I bought a few light devices and started using them. Within weeks I noticed a significant difference in my skin, sleep, and workouts. I became consumed with research associated with the technology and it became clear to me that the reason I had no aches and pains during the bike ride was because of the amount of sun I had received every day. However, in Michigan’s northern climate, the lack of sunshine and extended time indoors left me feeling exhausted. Also, looking at it in my rearview mirror, I see that the last-minute decision to move to Costa Rica was due to the need for sunshine, but I didn’t realize that at the time.
As I dug into the research associated with red and near-infrared light therapy I became interested in the technology used in light devices. The more I learned the more I wanted to share this technology. I purchased devices for everyone in my family. Just as I had, they too incorporated the devices into their lives. When I saw how it dramatically affected my mom, I knew I wanted to bring this technology to the masses. I saw how I could help people, including my parents and family members and it planted a desire to design and develop my own product.
Lux Therapy is about more than a device, it’s about curating the necessary elements needed to maximize potential. It helps users develop or enhance their wellness practice. Lux Therapy is for all people – Athletes, beauty professionals, retirees, and working moms. The strong and healthy, the hurt and healing.
2. What are the real benefits of red-light therapy for those who may not be aware?
Red and near-infrared light therapy (RLT) has been used for centuries to cure a variety of skin ailments, and improve overall health and wellness. In recent years, science has continued to expand and continues to showcase positive benefits. At a high level, our species has moved indoors in recent decades, which has a cascading effect on our natural systems, leading to a variety of ailments, including Vitamin D deficiencies and Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).
Because of the non-invasive nature of the modality, light therapy can be utilized in a variety of ways. Until recently, it wasn’t known at a molecular level what was happening to our biology. However, with recent advancements in science, we now understand the mechanisms of what is happening. In recent years, the photoreceptor that accepts light was discovered in the mitochondria. This absorption of light then triggers an increase in oxygen utilization, resulting in increased Adenosine Triphosphate (ATP), which is cellular energy. It can be complicated, but to simplify things, RLT stimulates and maximizes processes in the cells, and helps increase cellular energy.
On the more technical side of things, there are dozens of mechanisms taking place due to RLT. For example, fibroblasts increase which speeds healing, which combined with improved protein synthesis resulting in higher collagen production (fewer wrinkles and improved skin elasticity) and faster recovery times. This improvement in healing is a major reason many athletes have been utilizing RLT to boost performance and speed recovery.
Biological changes like this cascade into a variety of cellular responses like inflammation reduction, cell proliferation (wound healing), and protein synthesis (collagen improvements), which then affect our muscles, brain, nerves, bones, etc, etc, etc. Like the domino effect, you start the process and consistently utilize RLT, and it flows into systemic improvements that you’ll notice throughout your body.
What I think is amazing is that we still don’t know everything that is possible with RLT. Many ongoing studies are looking into new treatments associated with RLT. Some of the most recent studies are researching the use of light therapy for traumatic brain injury, Alzheimer’s, anxiety, and depression. As positive results continue to be discovered, I’m confident we will see these types of devices used to solve even more ailments in the future.
We’ve provided a link to a repository of research to help consumers educate themselves. The research can be sorted by a specific ailment to assist users in their search. Visit Luxtherapy.com/blog for details.
3. How has it been running your business during the pandemic?
Interesting, to say the least. But seriously, it’s been a positive experience, and in a lot of ways, nothing has changed for me, because for the last five or six years I’ve worked on international product development teams. I’ve always had team members around the world, and working remotely is nothing new. Sometimes I’m up at all hours of the night due to timezone issues, and sometimes I’m up crazy early catching the end of the day in another country, on the other side of the planet.
Functionally, things have gotten better for remote work. In a lot of ways, the tools associated with running businesses remotely, have improved. Tools like Zoom and Microsoft Teams continue to evolve – and because of the demand – they have inadvertently gotten better. Within just a single year, these systems have improved substantially.
What has been more challenging though, is the supply chain related to materials and components associated with developing new products. Many companies that we’ve dealt with have had challenges, and we were not able to get materials to fulfill orders. This adversely affected the delivery of final goods; however, In the long run, these types of issues ultimately resulted in improved efficiencies. When you have issues in business, you have to problem-solve and determine critical points that failed. By digging into every aspect of your operation, you uncover weaknesses and make changes that result in improvements. This is where my background in Supply Chain management comes in handy. I like to think of these situations as opportunities to Improve, not necessarily catastrophic disasters.
4. What has the feedback been for your product and what type of people have been buying it?
We’ve had great feedback to date. People find the product has been thoughtfully designed. We’ve been very thorough and the construction and development associated with the product, and people are taking notice.
I worked in the smart home technology field for one of the largest technology companies in the world, and user experience has always been near and dear to my heart. Packaging, materials and finishes, manuals, and the performance of the device were all on my radar. I needed every element of this product to meet my standards of excellence.
From the demographics angle, we’ve had an array of customers from young to old. What I find exciting is that the older demographic has embraced our product. I find this personally rewarding because I believe the technology is especially helpful for the elderly population. Mitochondrial dysfunction has recently been theorized to be at the center of aging and the improvements that red and infrared light therapy can provide are amazing for the elderly. With RLT improving the mitochondrial function of every cell that it interacts with, we believe that science will continue to support the fact that “better functioning cells” (via improvements to the mitochondrial health) will result in a higher quality of life for those that use it.
I’ve watched my aging parents incorporate RLT into their lives, and I see their health and wellness improving as they age. It provides me a level of satisfaction that no other business venture has provided to date.
5. Will you eventually be making your products here in America, or what is your long term strategy?
I grew up near Flint, Michigan and my father worked at General Motors during the 80s & 90s, so I’m very sensitive to this question as my father was continually challenged with being laid off due to overseas manufacturing. I understand how these types of decisions impact the lives of people in the communities who would buy our product. If someone buys our product, that means they’re not spending their hard-earned dollars locally in their community, which impacts local companies and industries.
I would love for us to produce and manufacture in the US. However, the reality is that many of these components are made around the world. Things like the lens, circuit boards, and lighting manufacturing have typically been developed and perfected in countries like Taiwan, Singapore, and Korea. As we continue to grow, this is an area that we analyze and are always looking at to make sure we are on the right path. What would be the most logical and realistic approach would be to produce what is possible in the US, and assemble the components here. This is a similar strategy to many of the automotive companies that reside in Lux Therapy’s home state of Michigan.
Also, sometimes consumers are hesitant to buy a product that isn’t made in the US because they fear that the product is of inferior quality, or that the working conditions in overseas factories might be using unethical practices or utilizing child labor. I’m fortunate to have partners living and working in China who manage our facilities day to day. Our team has great relationships with our vendors and production teams, and we’re always making sure we’re creating a fair working environment that produces high quality products.
6. What has been one thing beyond work that you have been able to concentrate on more during this period of time?
2020 was a crazy year, I don’t think anybody would refute that. I’ve channeled a lot of my energy into mountain biking, getting projects done around the house like putting in a home sauna and remodeling my home gym, but my greatest pride and joy, besides Lux of course, was building out a sprinter van. It’s a home away from home, and allows me and my significant other a chance to get away for a quick retreat whenever we need it.
What I find interesting though, is that the importance of quality time with friends and family has never been more cherished. I see this in myself, and the people I interact with. My parents helped with my van, friends stopped by to help me finish floors in my home, and many hours were shared standing in driveways or setting up lawn chairs in parking lots to sip a post biking beer with friends.
I can see this shift in people’s understanding of what is important, and I have found this in myself as well. I think we all understand how fragile life is, and how delicate our ecosystem is. Simple things like connecting with your family and friends, seeing them face-to-face, and creating memories that last a lifetime have never been more important and apparent.
This is one of the major reasons I’ve appreciated the journey with Lux Therapy over the past year, as the company’s ethos is all about improving the lives of the people we interact with. The healthier we are, the more time we’ll have available to spend with the people we care about.
7. Why are you proud to be American?
Growing up in a small Midwest Community, and traveling around the globe to many different places, I’ve come to appreciate the importance of what it means to live in this country. I’ve witnessed some of the most technologically advanced societies, and also some of the most impoverished. The United States is unlike any other country on the planet. Our freedoms are sometimes forgotten, but the continued desire to evolve and advance is at the heart of those freedoms, and it results in something unique that the planet hasn’t seen before.
Even in this crazy dynamic time that we find ourselves in, I’m optimistic that we’re positioned well to continue to lead the world in whatever we set our minds to.