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What are Tanning Lamps?A tanning lamp could be a single lamp, like a lamp you use to cast light in a room that emits UV light. A tanning lamp is also considered to be a tanning lamp bulb, which is used in tanning beds, booths, etc. For reference, a tanning lamp is the lamp bulb used that emits UV light. The UV light is created inside the lamp and is used to evoke the melanin production in melanocyte cells. It takes only five minutes under a tanning lamp to create the same effect as two hours in the sun. This is why tanning lamps in tanning beds are so popular.
How Do Tanning Bed Lamps Work?Inside most tanning beds are tanning bed lamps. These are the long bulbs that often emit a bluish color inside the tanning bed. The tanning lamps emit ultraviolet rays so your body can tan. How does a tanning bed lamp turn electricity into ultraviolet light? Tanning bed lamps contain special ingredients: inert gasses, a bit of mercury and a phosphorus coating. By adding electricity to the lamps, the mercury looses its satiability. Once it looses satiability it releases this energy in the form of ultraviolet light. The ultraviolet light mimics the sunís ultraviolet light causing the body to tan and to produce vitamin D.
Home Tanning LampYour home tanning bed has lamps similar to commercial tanning beds. However, what you may not know is that tanning bed lamps need to be taken care of properly. The tanning salons with commercial tanning beds take care of the maintenance a tanning lamp needs. At home, you should go through the same maintenance to keep your home tanning lamps in prime condition. This could mean regular cleaning and replacement as outlined in the manual. If a light flickers or goes black or goes out altogether, the tanning lamp needs replacing.
Life of Tanning LampThe total amount of hours you may get out of a tanning lamp may be somewhere around 1,000 to 2,000 hours. In reality, the strongest time for the tanning lamps is when they are brand new to about 50 hours after usage. The tanning lamps will emit stronger UV rays causing the body to tan faster. After the first 50 hours, the efficiency will decrees to about 20%. After that, the efficiency should stabilize until about the 500-hour mark, where the efficiency may drop about 50%. Most people choose to change their tanning lamps at around the 500-hour mark. If you keep your bulbs longer, you may have to increase the amount of time you spend in your tanning bed. Want to know when to change your lamps? Use an UV reader, which will tell you exactly when you need to replace your bulbs.
When to Replace Tanning LampsWhen you replace your tanning lamps, it's best to replace them all at once. Tanning lamps are strongest when they are new. If you replace one that burns out, you will most likely end up with a stripe of sunburn on your body while the rest remains tan. If you have new tanning lamps, you need to tan less, and this can result in uneven tanning if you replaced just one bulb. Some bulbs are defective and go black or flicker. This may mean a poor choice when you picked out new tanning lamps. Try a different brand or a different sort of tanning lamp. Ask other home tanning bed owners about their lamp choices. Also, there is a device called a UV reader, which allows you to determine how much UV light is being outtputed from your tanning lamps. They will save you a lot on guessing when exactly to replace your bulbs.
Using Older Tanning LampsIf you own a tanning salon, some people with sensitive prefer the use of older tanning lamps that are less efficient on getting a tan. Some people with sensitive skin need a less harsh tanning lamp to get a light amount of color and to get other benefits of ultraviolet rays. So donít replace those old lamps yet. Rotate them when you actually change out tanning bed lamps, so you always have a bed with older lamps. If you own a home tanning bed and have bulbs older than 500 hours or so, you may want to change them out. Offer them to people who own tanning beds with sensitive skin or talk to tanning salon owners about the bulbs. They are beneficial to people who are sensitive to the ultraviolet rays.
New Sun Tanning LampsSome new tanning lamps emit stronger ultraviolet radiation than what you were used to prior with older lamps. New tanning lamps loss 20% of its efficiency after the first 50 or so hours. This means you have been used to a lesser efficiency for a long time. For the first 50 hours of life, use fewer minutes to maintain your tan. After the first 50 hours or so you should be able to go back to what your tanning time normally was. Just remember that the potency is stronger with new sun tanning lamps. Tanning salon owners should be aware of this factor too. People with darker skin respond better with newer sun tanning lamps. If a tanning salon owner is smart, he or she would replace the tanning bed lamps in rotation, so people with a darker tone in skin will always get a great tan in less time using newer bulbs.
Indoor Tanning Lamp EffectivenessIndoor tanning lamps vary in effectiveness. You would be surprised at the difference between one sort of indoor tanning lamp and another. Arenít they all the same? Not when you talk to some tanning salon owners. Most of them may have different opinions about which tanning lamps work best. Some have even had client complaints when they swap out tanning lamps for ones from another brand as some are less effective. In reality, clients get used to a certain type of tanning lamp after a while, and changing them all around may cause some angry clients. Instead of trying new indoor tanning lamps in all the beds, buy a small set for one bed and see what happens. Warn clients about the new tanning bulbs or try to offer a free session and ask about the results later. You may find a better tanning lamp or you may discover the new tanning lamps do not work as well in your tanning beds.
Wolff Tanning LampWolff is a brand name in tanning lamps. Most tanning salons have the Wolff tanning lamps and they come highly recommended. Some clients refuse to use anything other than Wolff tanning lamps. Why are they so popular? Because of Dr. Wolff, a German scientist who studied the use of UV light indoor, the development of specialized tanning lamps was established. Since they were one of the first companies to produce tanning lamps, they proved to have more reliable and efficient tanning lamps. Ask clients or tanning salons about Wolff tanning lamps and how they are efficient in giving a nice even tan, lasting a long time and easy to use and replace.
Replacement Lamp For Tanning BedEvery once in a while, you will need to replace your tanning lamps in your tanning beds. Replacement of lamps in your tanning bed means checking out the manual, getting the right size and voltage and picking out tanning lamps from the retail shop. Most replacement lamps for a tanning bed are easy to insert. Most tanning bed lamps just pop out and the new ones pop right in. Check your manual first however if you have not replaced your tanning bed lamps yet. The first time may be a little tricky. You donít want to break the bulbs trying to pull them out. You can recycle old tanning bed lamps, toss them or give them away. Some people even resell used tanning lamps on eBay. Be careful and check your hours and be honest about how long they have been in use.
You need to keep track of your bulbsA tanning bed is effectively only as good as its bulb.
If you notice the tanning bed you have at home, or even the one at your salon, doesn't seem to be working as well as it used to - or takes longer to get the same results it used to get in a shorter period of time - chances are that your tanning bulbs are beginning to fade out.
Tanning lamps and tanning bulbs have a realitively long life span - in fact your tanning bulb will seldom die out completely. However, as time goes on, it takes a little longer and then longer still to get their job done. Generally, just as it lives longer, it emits less UV lights..and becomes useless to you eventually. The UV lights, in combination with the wattage, should determine the strength of the lamp you want to use.
Buying the correct bulbsIf you have a tanning bed at home, you won't have the luxury of a utilizing a trained technician to buy and replace tanning bulbs for you. You'll have to take care of that yourself.
The most obvious - and important - aspect of this chore is to make sure you are installing the correct bulbs for your particular tanning bed model. If you use the wrong strength bulb, it will likely malfunction, and could cause dangerous injuries. Also, never install a used bulb, or a bulb from an unknown source.
The smartest move you can make is to use tanning bulbs from the same retailer you bought your bed from. They know the exact type you need, and can probably troubleshoot you when you get to replacing and installing the bulbs you purchase.
How to install tanning bed bulbs
When you come to a time when you have to replace your tanning bed bulbs, after ensuring you have the correct model, the most important move you can make initially is to unplug the tanning bed.
It may be even wiser to cut the power in the room altogether, but unplugging the tanning bed from the wall is a wise way to start.
The process itself is pretty easy - simply pop out the tanning lamp or tanning bulb and then pop the ends of the new bulbs into place. Before moving to the next bulb, you need to make sure the prior one is securely locked into place. You may notice that one bulb went out, and the others appear to still be ok - it's wise though to replace them all at the same time. Doing so will help you get an even tan, ultimately, and will also save time down the line.
Other uses of tanning bulbsPeople probably know the obvious use of tanning lamps and tanning bulbs - tanning! However, they also have been known to have great worth in quality skincare!
Tanning lamps (or other UV producing lamps) are commonly used for the treatment of eczema, psoriasis, and several other skin diseases. Heat is known to help clear up everything from skin rashes to skin conditions, and it's the reason people have been encouraged to spend time in the sun for years. It turns out, tanning beds serve that same purpose!
Where to buy replacement tanning bulbs
The wisest place to buy your replacement bulbs is where you got your bed. They know best about the bulbs that are right for your specific bed, and you can usually trust that you won't get used or depleted value bulbs.
There are also a number of retail tanning outlets that have tanning bulbs and tanning bed lamps and other tanning equipment for sale. This includes MasterTanning.com, which offers quality bulbs at affordable rates, as well as assistance in discovering the correct bulb for your bed model. Wherever you go, make sure you purchase from a store that is well-established with good consumer ratings. This way, you can ensure the bulbs you do end up purchasing are of high quality.
Out with the old..You may not want to wait until your bulb starts to die before replacing it. The rule of thumb, in general, with tanning bed bulbs, is that the better the tanning bulb, the better the tan. For this reason, you should also check in with the operators at your local tanning salon before using their beds, to see how often they change their tanning bulbs.
Your salon's lamp changing frequency has a direct connection to the strength of your tan, and the value you are getting for your time and money. Bed and bulbs vary, but generally, they operate at their peak strength for the first 150 to 200 hours of use. After that, the strength of the bulb drops in intensity.
Are all tanning bed bulbs created the same?
You may already know that all beds have certain types of bulbs that are meant for them. But why are some better for certain beds than others?
For instance, there are many different kinds of brands and intensities of tanning bulbs that are used in tanning beds or tanning booths. Many of these units come with manufacture's
directions that recommend which tanning bed bulbs best suit the operation of
the machine. Furthermore, some beds use UVA and UVB rays, some just UVA - you wouldn't want to confuse something like that!
How do tanning bulbs work?Tanning bed bulbs look like long fluorescent tubes and contain inert gases. This powerful instrument is then coated with phosphorus and mercury traces.
The way they work is that electricity will ignite the gasses in these tubes, and then the mercury will release UV lights. The amount of UV rays that a person is exposed is based on the thickness of the phosphorus coating, and that coating can be manipulated to release a variety of rays, UVA, UVB, or both.
Staying preparedIt's always a good idea to keep an entire fresh set of extra tanning bulbs on hand, even if you recently changed the bulbs in your tanning bed.
Just about all tanning bed bulbs are guaranteed to provide a certain number of hours of tanning, at least at a certain level, before starting to wane. However, occasionally, a bulb will burn out at the most inopportune time - like while you are naked in the bed. By having extra tanning bulbs on hand, you won't have to miss a tanning session while picking up or ordering new ones. Or, worse, end up with all of yourself except for the section of your body covered by the bulb, tan.
Doing so saves time, money, and your tan!
Bronzing bulbsWhile many people are familiar with tanning bulbs, they may be new to the world of bronzing bulbs.
Bronzing bulbs look similiar to other tanning lamps and bulbs, but have a lower level of UVB and they tan you darker in a slower process than normal bulbs. Bronzing lamps are lower rated UVB lamps that let you tan slower, but darker.
There are many people who confuse this term with "hot" lamps - hot lamps are actually the opposite, that tan fast, but dark.
The draw of hot lamps
"Hot" lamps, or "hotter" tanning lamps are those that have more UVB, but less UVA. These lamps are very popular, but are not always the best combination for tanners.
These hotter lamps stimulate the melanin in your skin, but are also more likely to leave that skin with a burn. It is important to remember that the hotter a bed is, the lower the UVA - meaning you will hit your tanning peak faster, but with skin safety consequences. This is not for the tanning newbie, and should be worked up to, if used at all.
Many people are choosing now to get a pink, a blue, or various color tanning lamps. This has nothing to do with lamp power, being it is the UV light that tans you, not what the lamp looks like. The color of the lamp has no effect on tanning, but is actually just about your preference. Do you love the color pink? Then, sure, get a pink lamp!
An interesting note is that humans cannot actually see UV light at all. Some birds and insects have this ability, but we don't. So, if you want a lamp you can differentiate, getting a funky-colored lamp is a fun way to start - but don't worry, it will not change your tan at all, good or bad.