How to Make Your Own Near Infrared Sauna - Your RubyLux Red Room

Angelika Shows Off Her DIY RubyLux Near Infrared Sauna


How to Make Your Own Near Infrared Sauna

You can easily make your own sauna using the right near infrared bulbs, some lamps and a few other items for as little as $200.

I’m sure you guys get it by now- I love saunas and I love near infrared light therapy. For me, sauna use has been hugely helpful in combating Lyme disease and co-infections. It’s also great for your health overall, as is near infrared light therapy.

There are some great infrared saunas out there, but most of them use far infrared. They also tend to be fairly expensive, large and heavy, require special assembly and even a dedicated electricity line installed by an electrician. So even though infrared saunas are nice, there are plenty of reasons to build your own DIY near infrared sauna, such as:

  • Low cost
  • Easy to make
  • Gives you the benefits of near infrared light therapy and a sauna all in one
  • Compact
  • Light-weight
  • Modular, so you only have to buy the lamps and bulbs you need- and you can always add on more later if desired
  • Adjustable, so you can change the configuration of bulbs easily however you like
  • Requires no modifications to your home
  • Customizable- you can adjust and configure your lamps however you wish.


We’ve received several messages from customers asking how to make their own near infrared sauna using RubyLux NIR-A Near Infrared Bulbs and adjustable clamp lamps. So I decided to explain to everyone how you can build your own. Remember, there’s more than one way to make a suitable near infrared bulb sauna. Here I am just giving you one idea that’s fast, cheap and easy.


Gather Your Near Infrared Sauna-Building Supplies

Here are the bare-bones basic items you’ll need to build a DIY near infrared sauna.

  1. Good quality, non-toxic near infrared bulbs such as RubyLux NIR-A Near Infrared Bulbs.
  2. Clamp lamps. See below for what to look for in a clamp lamp.
  3. Something sturdy to clamp your lamps to. (Don’t worry, I’m going to talk more about this topic and make some recommendations.)
  4. A power strip with surge protector.

First I will go over the basic components of a DIY near infrared sauna and later, I will discuss some extras and add-ons you might want to add to your own sauna.


First, Get the Right Near Infrared Bulbs

The near infrared bulbs you use in your sauna are the most important part of your setup. Here are some tips for choosing good bulbs.

  1. Use 250W bulbs. Bulbs with only 100W or 150W won’t be hot enough to be an effective sauna.
  2. Use bulbs that are non-toxic. Avoid shatterproof coatings, which off-gas toxic fumes. Look for CE certification, which shows the product has been tested for a long list of known toxins.
  3. If the glass is colored, make sure it is not just painted on. Paint applied to such a hot surface is going to off-gas.
  4. Confirm the bulb’s label doesn’t state that the product is not for humans. This is one big reason you don’t want to use infrared heat bulbs from hardware stores- most of them specifically state on the product box that the bulb is not designed for human use. The boxes usually also have a California Prop. 65 warning on them, indicating they contain substances known to cause cancer or birth defects. You can’t detox with toxic bulbs!
  5. Most people like bulbs that are all red in color. This is not required, but it does give you a little bit of extra light in the light therapy department in the form of visible red light.

How Many Near Infrared Bulbs Do I Need?

The number of near infrared bulbs you’ll need to create your sauna depends on a few factors:

  • How tall and large you are. The smallest, most petite person will still need at least 2 bulbs (all recommendations here are based on using 250W bulbs as described above). The majority can use 3 to 4 bulbs. A particularly tall or large person would need 5-6. Note that many people use 5-6 even if their size does not require as many, so they can benefit from extra heat and light. 
  • The configuration you use for the bulbs in your sauna. The most common arrangements are all bulbs in a straight line; 3 bulbs in a triangular configuration which is pointed towards the torso; 4 bulbs in a diamond shape; or 4 or 6 bulbs in a square or rectangular arrangement. You should arrange and adjust your lamps however works best for you.  
  • Moving from the minimum required number that make you break a sweat to a larger number for added effects and luxury. It’s not uncommon to start out with just a few bulbs and lamps and then later decide to add more.
  • Backup bulbs. There’s nothing worse than making near infrared light therapy and sauna a part of your regular routine, loving the benefits and then one day finding out one of your bulbs burned out and you have no replacements on hand.


Here at RubyLux, we have found that most customers follow a pattern when buying our best-selling RubyLux NIR-A Near Infrared Bulbs: they purchase 1-2 and then 1 to 3 weeks later they return to purchase a larger quantity. The most common reasons, they’ve told us, is that they love them and want more, they gave their own away to a loved one who needed it more (usually due to pain issues), they decided to buy more to give as gifts and they wanted to make sure they wouldn’t run out.


Because of this pattern and because so many of our customers make their own near infrared saunas, we sell our #1 bulb in multi-packs where there’s an increasing discount for each additional bulb purchased.


What Kind of Lamps Should I Use for a DIY Near Infrared Sauna?

I recommend metal brooder clamp lamps rated for 250W or higher because you can easily find ones that have the features you’ll need for creating your own near infrared sauna.

Essentially, you’ll need lamps that have the following features:

  1. The lamp should be rated at 250W or higher. This rating is usually stated on the packaging or stamped on the socket of the lamp.
  2. The lamp, and especially the socket, have to be made of materials that withstand a great deal of heat. Most metal clamp lamps have a porcelain socket, which fits the bill. Some use heat-resistant plastic sockets and although these resist breakage better than porcelain, they’re also at a higher risk of off-gassing. If you have chemical sensitivity, a chronic illness or just prefer not to add unnecessary chemical exposure, I’d recommend the porcelain sockets.
  3. The lamp should have a clamp, stand or something you can use to fix it to a stable surface. As tempting as it is to want to make your lamps dangle from above, don’t do it. It’s not safe. I can’t speak for other brands of infrared bulbs, but RubyLux NIR-A Near Infrared Bulbs reach 450 degrees Fahrenheit (232 degrees Celsius) in only a few seconds. As with anything that gets so hot, proper care must be taken to avoid touching the hot surface. The last thing you want is an unstable object that is as hot as an oven. Always clamp your lamps to a very stable object and consider going a step further and attaching a chain or cord to catch the lamp if the clamp were ever to fail. The best type of clamp is the heavy-duty type that has a hinge in the clamp and non-slip material where the clamp makes contact with the surface it’s being clamped to. See the picture below for an example of the best type of clamp to use.


Do I Have to Use a Surge Protector?

I highly recommend using a surge protector to protect your bulbs from power fluctuations. If you have more than 2 lamps to plug in anyway, you’ll already need a power strip to plug them into. You may as well choose a power strip with built-in surge protection for safety and to protect your investment.

When choosing a power strip, make sure it has a long enough cord to easily reach your lamps. Many lamps only have up to 5-6 feet of cord length. It should offer surge protection, have an on/off switch (because most metal brooder clamp lamps don’t have one) and have plenty of outlets.


What Can I Clamp My Lamps To?

A heavy, stable piece of furniture or part of your home’s architecture are good choices for safely attaching your lamps to.

Some of the most useful pieces of furniture are racks with secure wire shelves. These offer plenty of placement options and weight can (and should be) added to them to stabilize your homemade near infrared sauna. I like this wire shoe rack I bought off Amazon, which I assembled and then weighed down with a few bricks. Another smart option would be to anchor the rack/shelf to a wall instead of weighing it down. If you do use such a rack and it has wheels, be sure the wheels have a locking mechanism or you’ll have a safety risk.

Because I use my RubyLux NIR-A Near Infrared Bulbs every day, even when traveling away from home, in a pinch I’ve used all kinds of surfaces to clamp my lamps to. Empty boxes weighted with heavy objects inside or the back of a chair work if I don’t have access to my home setup.