American audiences were introduced to Photon sometime around 1987, but the series' actual debut was in Japan in 1984. Hey, I'm only just finding out now, after some research, having only faint memories of this show, that it was imported to this country. It was also DIC's 1st foray into live-action programming, and least successful, at that.
In the mid-80's, Lazer Tag was a popular game, such that it was the basis not only for this series, but for a 1986 animated series, Lazer Tag Academy, which aired on NBC and was produced by Ruby-Spears. Riding the game's popularity, DIC acquired the rights to Photon the next year, but by then, a number of paperback novels had already been published. The series aired in syndication, and in my home district, while none of the local channels carried the series to my recollection, it was picked up by WPIX in New York.
Atomicbunnygirl uploaded this clip to YouTube.
Now that we know this was actually produced in Japan, it's no wonder the special effects looked like something from the 70's!