'Evolve EHS' Low EMF | Low ELF Carbon Panel Heaters
Evolve EHS Carbon Panel Heaters
Our ‘Evolve EHS’ carbon panel heaters include an interior layer of microscopic carbon particles. Due to their very small mass, these ‘nano-carbon’ particles heat rapidly when conducting electricity and are very efficient at radiating Far Infrared heat. In physics this is described as having a high ‘Emissivity’ rating.There is very little energy lost in the conversion of electricity to radiant heat. The high energy efficiency of our carbon panel heaters can be understood through comparison with a traditional ‘hot rock ‘ style sauna. Hot rock saunas requires at least 2X the electrical power, for the same size sauna room, compared to our Evolve EHS Infrared saunas.
Sun Stream Infrared Saunas have been on the cutting edge of low EMF Infrared heater technology since 2010. In 2010, Sun Stream introduced our Ultra-Low EMF carbon panel heaters which reduce the EMF ‘magnetic fields’ to an average of less than 1.0mG. (Many sauna brands measure 100+ mG)
In Spring of 2019 development of our new ‘Evolve EHS’ heater and electrical system was completed and incorporated into the Evolve Mini sauna. Our new EHS system involves numerous innovations which reduce the ELF electric fields to an all new, near zero, industry low level.
The proprietary internal design of the Evolve EHS heaters eliminates the EF/ELF electric fields at the source of the heater. Very few other sauna companies have done anything to reduce electric fields and most of those few mitigate electric fields through blocking or shielding techniques using conductive cloths, meshes or metal grills. Our Evolve EHS heaters represent a significant technological development and do not rely on any additional blocking materials to mitigate electric fields.
Are you getting confused shopping for an Infrared Sauna?
Carbon Heaters ? Ceramic Heaters? Far Infrared? Near Infrared? Full Spectrum?
If you are interested to learn more about different heater technologies and the different wavelengths being used in the Infrared sauna marketplace, please continue reading on this page for a crash course on the physics of radiant heating.
If you prefer not to dive too deep into the science of Infrared, skip this page and rest assured that your new Evolve Mini EHS sauna delivers exceptionally high levels of soothing and healing radiant Infrared heat. Our strategic heater sizing and 360 degree positioning along with optimal room sizing all combine to an intense level of Infrared and a fast heavy sweat !
Carbon Panel Heaters
- Large surface area
- Moderate surface temperatures (Max 210 F)
- Much wider spread, even comfortable Infrared heat
Carbon Panel Heaters vs Ceramic Element Heaters
A Brief History of Infrared Saunas
Infrared saunas originated in Korea and Japan in the 1970s.
Radiant heating is very popular throughout Asian countries where home heating is required. There are a very small number of Infrared sauna manufacturers in North America but for 50 years most Infrared sauna products and innovations, such as the low EMF carbon panel heaters, have come from Asia.
A distinct divide in the Infrared sauna marketplace exists between the small handful of North American producers who use small, ceramic element style heaters and the Asian producers who use large, flat carbon panel heaters.
Shopping for an Infrared sauna you may hear of the debate between ‘Carbon vs Ceramic’ heaters. More accurately stated, this is a debate between ‘panel (carbon) heaters vs ‘element (ceramic) heaters.
Element style heaters come in variety of shapes and sizes and are made from ceramics. Common versions of element heaters include solid, concave shape ceramic elements, narrow ceramic tube heaters and ceramic coated steel rod heaters.
Panel heaters, on the other hand, have much larger surface areas than the ceramic elements and contain a layer of microscopic carbon particles. Panel heaters are thin. Most are approximately the thickness of your driver’s license.
Both carbon and ceramic are very efficient at radiating heat when they are heated by an electrical current and both carbon and ceramic heaters will radiate heat over a range of wavelengths in the lower end of the Far Infrared spectrum. The majority of energy output from all carbon and ceramic sauna heaters, in expensive sauna brands and discount brands alike, can be said to lie between 3-25 microns. This is the lower end of the Far Infrared range.
Many sauna companies insist that their heaters are focused on emitting this or that single wavelength and claim beneficial biological effects associated with a particular, single, wavelength. These claims do not hold up to scientific scrutiny as it is simply not possible that the carbon and ceramic materials be ‘tuned’ to emit a single wavelength.
Carbon and Ceramic Heaters are not capable of radiating at any one single frequency/wavelength. Contrary to many sauna advertising claims, carbon and ceramic heaters can NOT emit energy solely at any one wavelength but rather emit over a range of wavelengths in the lower end of Far Infrared of (3-25 microns.) Lasers and LEDs, on the other hand, are ‘monochromatic’ capable of radiating a single wavelength. Lasers and LEDs are used therapeutically to produce invisible Near Infrared and visible Red light, known as PBMT (Photobiomodulation Therapy) .
Ceramic Element Heaters
- Small surface areas
- Very hot surface temperatures (400F-700F)
- Uncomfortably hot if close
- Spotty , uneven heating effect in the sauna with
The original Infrared saunas from Korea from the 1970s used the narrow ceramic tube heaters. The small number of North American companies gravitated towards the solid concave ceramic elements which were readily borrowed from industry where they are used for paint drying, thermoforming and other manufacturing processes.
Ceramic elements have very high surface temperatures, can be uncomfortably hot if too close to the skin and deliver a very uneven projection of Infrared over your body. Ceramic element heaters tend to leave voids in the sauna room where there is cooler air and a lack of Infrared.
The large flat carbon panel heaters were introduced in Infrared saunas to overcome the shortcomings of the small ceramic elements. The large panels facilitate covering much more of the sauna user’s body with a comfortable level of soothing radiant Infrared heat.
Infrared saunas heat your body primarily with radiant Infrared heat along with some additional, required, hot air, convectional heat. Both forms of heat work simultaneously to warm your body in the sauna. Generally speaking, ceramic element heaters with their high surface temperatures will contribute more to the air temperature in the sauna than do the lower surface temperature carbon panel heaters. Ceramic element saunas may have higher room air temperatures but deliver a very spotty projection of radiant Infrared heat to your body. A well designed carbon panel sauna , such as our Evolve 360 saunas, with complete surround of the Evolve EHS panels, will deliver far more Infrared to your body with lower and more comfortable air temperatures.
Our objective at Sun Stream has always been to deliver a maximum amount of Infrared heat to your body and to do so with relatively lower air temperatures (120-150 F). This is one of the greatest appeals of Infrared saunas and the mark of a quality Infrared sauna, being able to sweat profusely at comfortable air temps far lower than the excessive levels of 180 F-220 F found in traditional hot rock saunas
Lets go back to high school physics class for a moment.
Infrared is part of the light spectrum that shines down from the sun and supports life on earth. Sunshine consists of Ultra-Violet (UV), Visible Light and Infrared light. All light when it hits an object is either reflected off the object, absorbed by the object or transmitted through the object. In the case of an Infrared sauna, the object is your body that is being hit by the Infrared light and in order to generate heat in your body the Infrared must be well absorbed. Absorption of the radiant energy is required to generate heat.
Infrared is divided into 3 segments, Near, Mid and Far Infrared, based on the length of the wavelengths. Some scientific literature uses the terms IR-A (Near Infrared), IR-B (Mid Infrared) and IR-C (Far Infrared). Of these, Far Infrared is the largest segment.
- Near Infrared: 780nm – 1400nm (.780 microns- 1.4 microns)
- Mid-Infrared 1400nm – 3000nm (1.4 microns- 3.0 microns)
- Far-Infrared 3,000nm – 1.0mm (3.0 microns – 1,000 microns)
Source: International Commission on Illumination
Far Infrared (FIR aka IR-C) As the graph below illustrates, Far Infrared (IR-C) has a much higher absorption rate by water than does IR-B (Mid Infrared ) and IR-C (Near Infrared). Our skin is 80% water and thus Far Infrared from the sun, or that in an Infrared sauna, is highly absorbed in the layers of our skin and generates heat. This heat is then drawn into deeper layers of muscle and joints through conduction.
Near Infrared (NIR aka IR-A) has a low absorption rate. Most Near Infrared is either reflected or transmitted when it hits our bodies. Near Infrared has many therapeutic effects as it passes through our tissue stimulating our cells’ mitochondria to produce ATP energy and accelerate healing. Since the 1960s Near Infrared has been administered by lasers and, more recently, by LEDs, for its ‘photochemical’ effects known as Photobiomodulation Therapy (PBMT). But Near Infrared generates very little heat as it is transmitted through our tissue. Its effects are biochemical, not thermal.
There have been 1000s of studies since the 1960s on the benefits of Near Infrared and visible Red light therapy including those done by NASA in 2011. Most of the studies have focused on accelerating our natural healing processes and pain relief. Likewise, there have been 1000s of studies using Far Infrared heat therapy including many specifically using Far Infrared saunas.
Mid Infrared (MIR aka IR-B), on the other hand, has not been the topic of much study. Mid Infrared is a very small portion of the light spectrum ranging from 1.4-3.0 microns. While some sauna companies tout that their heaters produce Mid Infrared in addition to Far Infrared, there does not seem to be any scientific literature explaining specific benefits of Mid Infrared. While Mid Infrared generates some heat in our body it is less effective at doing so compared to Far Infrared due to its lower rate of absorption.
Near Infrared does not effectively generate heat in our bodies due to its low rate of absorption. Near Infrared has a high transmission rate through our tissue BUT also a high rate of reflection. Our skin reflects much of the Near Infrared from the sun as a defense mechanism as excessive Near Infrared is known to have a ‘photoaging’ effect for our skin much like that of Ultra Violet.
The Spectral Distribution graph below is produced through Spectroscopy testing. Spectroscopy is a testing procedure where a light emitting item is placed inside of a large sphere and the light energy and corresponding wavelengths are measured. The results of the test can be graphed with the wavelengths on the horizontal X axis and the intensity of each wavelength on the Y axis.
The total light energy of the emitting item (ie. Infrared sauna heater) is represented by the total area under the Spectral Distribution graph’s curve.
The Spectroscopy test for our Evolve EHS carbon panel heaters below clearly shows that the majority of the our heaters’ energy lies between 3 and 25 microns (Far Infrared) and approximately 70% of the energy is between 5-15 microns. 5-15 microns are often referred to as the ‘Vital Rays’ and thought to be the ideal for Infrared heat therapy. This range of wavelengths is highly absorbed by water thus making our heaters very efficient at generating heat in your body, at raising your core temperature, boosting your immune system, enhancing one’s circulation and inducing a fast heavy sweat
Unlike the Far Infrared emitting carbon and ceramic heaters used in most Infrared saunas, some sauna companies use incandescent, halogen gas tube heaters and bulbs which emit Visible light, Near Infrared, Mid Infrared and Far Infrared.
The Problem with Near Infrared Saunas
Included in this group are the common ‘heat lamp’ bulbs, best known for food warming at fast food restaurants, for bathroom ceiling installations and which are commonly found in chicken coups to warm young chicks. These common and inexpensive bulbs have been used to create saunas and proponents of their use have inaccurately termed these ‘Near Infrared’ saunas.
While manufacturers of these bulbs, such as Sylvania and Philips, may label the bulbs ‘Near Infrared ‘ heat lamps, analysis of their spectral distribution curves shows that these bulbs emit the majority of their energy in the Mid Infrared range while emitting very little Near Infrared (perhaps 20%), very little Far Infrared and significant visible light. Additionally, the glass globes of these bulbs are dangerously hot (approx 4000F) and have a significant heating effect on the air. The heating effect of these so called ‘Near Infrared’ saunas is NOT due to their Near Infrared output. As discussed above, Near Infrared has a low absorption rate and a high reflective rate and does not generate much heat in our body. It would appear that users of the heat lamp saunas are warming their bodies with the less efficient Mid Infrared and by simply heating the air in the small canvas tents typically used for these saunas. Given that Near Infrared does not produce much heat in our bodies, we have always considered the term ‘Near Infrared’ sauna to be a contradiction of terms and the proponents of these saunas have added tremendous confusion to the Infrared sauna marketplace.
Full Spectrum Saunas | Hazards of Halogen Heaters
Also adding to the confusion in the marketplace are the so called ‘Full Spectrum’ saunas. A small handful of Infrared sauna companies have added quartz halogen tube heaters to their Far Infrared saunas and called these ‘Full Spectrum saunas’. The halogen tube heaters are used in many industrial drying applications and are common in outdoor patio heaters. They are much like the heat lamp bulbs in that they use a filament inside of a halogen gas filled enclosure. Like the heat lamp bulbs, these ‘Full Spectrum heaters’ emit across the full range of Infrared (Near, Mid and Far), are very hot on their surface and emit significant energy as visible light. Like the heat lamp bulbs, the halogen tubes are not focused on producing Far Infrared, the wavelengths which are understood by science to be most efficient for heating the human body.
Both the quartz halogen heaters and the common heat lamp bulbs have been introduced to the Infrared sauna market attempting to ride on the coat tails of the research on Near Infrared and Red light therapy. Since the 1960’s the therapeutic use of Near Infrared light and visible Red light have been extensively researched. Known as LLLT (Low Level Light Therapy) or Photobiomodulation Therapy (PBMT), researchers and practitioners have administered these frequencies of light with lasers and LED devices. There is even a department of ‘photomedicine’ associated with Harvard Medical School.
Proponents of the Full Spectrum and the Near Infrared heat lamp saunas will often cite the benefits achieved in the PBMT/LLLT studies and suggest that these same benefits can be achieved with their inexpensive tube and bulb heaters. However, the Near Infrared light energy delivered from the devices in these saunas has very little in common with those in the studies. PBMT administers the light at a specific, single wavelength, at a specific intensity and for a specific time, thus delivering a measured ‘dose’ of the light energy. The duration of PBMT is actually very short, usually only a few minutes whereas an Infrared sauna session is usually 30-45 minutes.
Mounting the heat lamp bulbs or halogen tube heaters on the wall of a sauna may be a very misguided product idea and present hazards to the skin. There is a significant body of research indicating that excessive Near Infrared (IR-A) exposure has a ‘photoaging’ effect on our skin much like that of UV. Some papers have suggested that sunscreens should protect against IR-A in addition to UV. Photoaging damage to the skin from Near Infrared is well known on the faces of career molten metal workers and on the arms of those working with large ovens (Baker’s Arm). While Near Infrared delivered at a single wavelength, for a short controlled duration has many therapeutic applications, the use of Near Infrared emitting tube heaters and bulbs in the Full Spectrum and Near Infrared saunas, perhaps for several days a week and for years on end appears to be a poorly contrived, hazardous option for a sauna.
The Preferred Wavelengths for Comfort Heating, Herschel Infrared Heaters
Ceramicx Ireland Technical Report, Dr. Gerard McGranaghan, Institute of Technology Sligo
Peter Schroeder, Judith Haendeler, Jean Krutmann, The role of near infrared radiation in photoaging of the skin, Experimental Gerontology, Volume 43, Issue 7, July 2008, Pages 629-632, ISSN 0531-5565,
Soyun Cho, Mi Hee Shin, Yeon Kyung Kim, Jo-Eun Seo, Young Mee Lee, Chi-Hyun Park and Jin Ho Chung, Effects of Infrared Radiation and Heat on Human Skin Aging in vivo, Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings (2009) 14, 15–19;
Schroeder P, Calles C, Krutmann J. Prevention of infrared-A radiation mediated detrimental effects in human skin. Skin Therapy Letters. 2009 Jun;14(5):4-5.
The Other End of the Rainbow: Infrared and Skin Aton M. Holzer, MD and Craig A. Elmets, MD
J Invest Dermatol. 2010 Jun; 130(6): 1496–1499.
While most Infrared sauna companies insist that their heaters are greatly superior to others, very few provide any evidence to back up these claims. To address this problem with Infrared sauna advertising Sun Stream Saunas owner, Kevin Halsey, developed a test procedure using heat sensitive thermochromic crystals to provide visual evidence of the projection patterns of different Infrared sauna heaters.
Test Procedure: Each Infrared emitter was suspended 18″ above the 4’x4 thermochromic crystal screen and turned on for 20 minutes. The radiant heat projection pattern and heat intensity is represented by the color changing crystals. A photograph of the thermochromic crystal screen for each heater’s projection pattern was taken after 20 minutes of heater operation.
Our Evolve EHS carbon panel heaters are 2X the thickness of carbon panels found in discount sauna brands.
Stronger, stiffer, more durable panels for greater longevity.
EMF Magnetic Field & EF/ELF Electric field Testing
Infrared Sauna Heater Overview
Best Wavelengths for IR Saunas?
" It is a spectacular sauna "
It is a spectacular sauna so much better than the one I had before. It heats up very well, easily getting up to 63 °C in 30 minutes. The attention to detail is impressive. The electrical and magnetic fields as advertised are minimal.
" Impressed with the build quality and ease of setup "
I'm really impressed with the build quality and ease of setup. Gave it an initial run and am impressed with the operation as well. Thanks for the great service
" Sauna works fantastic "
We are very happy. Sauna works fantastic and perfect for taking off the chilly edge this last month of rain Thanks…loving our sauna!