Earlier this year we did a pretty comprehensive and balanced review of the DPL Light Therapy System. The system was recommended by our testers, and we have received a lot of positive feedback from our customers since the review appeared. This time, we are taking a look at the new DPL Nüve, a handheld pain relief and skincare solution that recently joined the other light therapy products we have evaluated. The DPL Nuve is from the same company that brought us the full sized, stand-mounted version, and is intended to be used either as a stand-alone product or to supplement the larger DPL system when a portable solution is needed.
In this review, I will walk you through what the unit is, what it does, and what our testers’ impressions were. We had a few people in the office take one home for a couple of weeks. Most of our testers were already familiar with the full-size DPL.
Technical Stuff & Specifications
The Nuve has four Red LEDs (660nm) and 56 Infrared LEDs (880nm). The unit fits nicely in the hand, and weights less than half a pound. It must be plugged in and comes with a world-wide AC adapter, treatment head and carry bag. The treatment surface is three inches in diameter, and will treat a fairly large area for a small handheld unit (26 sq cm). Treatment can take less than a minute, but there is an automatic shut off after 25 minutes.
Quick Background on Light Therapy
Red and infrared LED light therapy has been proven to be effective for both pain relief and skin care. The advantage of this therapy is that it will not burn the skin and does not produce damaging UV light. NASA researched this type of light therapy and found it effective for pain relief and skin treatment. In 2008, the FDA cleared the DPL system for over the counter pain relief including muscle relaxation, temporary relief of minor joint & muscle aches, stiffness, and pain, as well as temporary relief of arthritis symptoms such as minor stiffness and pain; also local blood circulation increases.
Light therapy has been used for:
- Acne treatment
- Acne prevention
- Wrinkle and fine line minimization
- Reduction of crows feet
- Healing sun damaged skin
- Reduction of melanin (brown spot prevention)
- Regeneration of collagen
- Increased skin smoothness
- Irregular pigmentation treatment
- Eczema & Rosacea treatment
- Plantar Fascitis
- Nerve Injuries
- Tight Muscles
- Cartilage wear Carpal Tunnel
- Golfer’s and Tennis Elbow
- Tendon Issues
- Back & Neck Issues
Out of the Box Initial Impressions
Like it’s big brother, the full-sized DPL system, the Nuve has a “quality” feel to it in terms of workmanship and design. That said, the full sized system does appear to be a hospital-type piece of medical equipment while the Nuve is obviously intended for the consumer market.
I was impressed that the unit comes standard with a world-wide power adapter (110v to 240v), so there are no worries about international travel. The quick-start guide is well written as is the longer instruction booklet. The travel pouch is nice, and allows for easy storage when traveling. In a portable unit such as this, I was happy that these details were not overlooked.
Using the DPL Nuve and Tester Impressions
I tried the unit on my face and on one of my knees that give me trouble from time to time. The Nuve is easy to use and because it is light-weight, it is easy to maneuver. I would say that I prefer the full sized unit for pain relief because with the extended time it must be used for this type of therapy, it is easier to used the straps or stand on the big DPL rather than holding it for 15 – 20 minutes. However, if traveling, the Nuve is obviously a lot easier to pack. I probably would not take the full size unit on a trip, but the Nuve would provide a treatment option while on the road.
Impressions from our Guinea Pigs testers were positive. In our review of the full-size unit, we talked a great deal about results. However, since most of our testers were already users of the larger DPL Therapy system, I asked them to focus on usability, functionality, fit/finish, etc.
Positive Opinion/Comment Summary:
- No malfunctions (4 units tested)
- Easy to use
- Surprisingly powerful
- Nice to keep in purse for treatment during the day
- Good size & weight
Negative Opinion/Comment Summary:
- It would be nice if it were rechargeable or if there was a battery option.
- There is no good way to brace the unit or strap it on for a longer pain-relief session.
I suspect that the second negative is because of the reviewer’s familiarity with the full-sized unit.
The Nuve uses the same technology as the stand-mounted DPL therapy system, and we would expect similar results. Quality is excellent.
If you plan to use light therapy at home, get the full-sized version which provides more options in terms of positioning and convenience. If you plan to travel, or need a less expensive model, get the DPL Nuve. For people who already own the full-sized version, the DPL Nuve provides a good option for light therapy on the road or during the day at work.
Here are some links to Amazon for the products discussed in this review: