In-Home Tanning Beds
If you are one of the thousands of people interested in swapping regular trips to a tanning salon for your own in-home tanning bed, you have plenty of options to choose from. For those who have purchased tanning beds before, those options aren’t as daunting as they can be for someone less interested in the technical jargon than the results. Fortunately, a little knowledge can go a long way when buying a home tanning bed.
There are two basic varieties to choose from when you go to buy a residential tanning bed. You can select a standup bed or the traditional bed that lets you lie down to tan. Which to choose? Standup tanning beds give a smoother all-over tan, as some people don’t tan well on the “pressure points” lying down. The pressure points are the places where the body comes in contact with the traditional tanning bed. Standup tanners often include a set of reflectors that help spread tanning rays more evenly, giving you the same tan intensity everywhere the light goes.
Some people dislike standup model home tanning beds because they find it uncomfortable trying to stand in one place for the entire tan session. If you think you might prefer to lie down for your sessions or if your feet begin to hurt after an extended time standing, the traditional tanning bed is the best choice for you. Lying down is much easier for those with foot or back pain, and if you need additional attention on the pressure point areas you can always apply a little suntan-in-a-bottle to an area that needs a bit of extra color.
Home tanning beds may require either a standard 120 volt outlet or a specially wired 220 volt outlet. You may also need to buy a device commonly called a “buck booster” which makes adjustments to compensate for variations in voltage to keep the electricity flowing to the machine at a single rate. Buck boosters are usually sold separately, but some types of residential tanning beds are available that don’t need the extra equipment. Always ask your vendor about a buck booster before making a tanning bed purchase.
Lamps should come pre-installed or as “included equipment” in your home tanning bed, but eventually you will have to replace them. Replacements are needed after anywhere from 700 to 1,000 hours of use, depending on the wattage of the bulbs and how often you use them. It’s very important to save and consult your owner’s manual for information on what kinds of replacement bulbs are right for your home tanning bed. Never replace the bulbs with anything other than what the manual recommends, and don’t exceed the rated wattage bulb listed in the manual. Running a bulb too strong for your bed can result in burned out lights and creates a fire hazard. If you want alternative bulbs such as bronzing bulbs or different colored lights, ask the vendor which brands are best for your tanning bed.
Some people have the misconception that the color of tanning lamps affects the temperature or the quality of your tan, but the tanning process is accomplished by UV light, which can’t be seen by humans. Colors are simply there for their visually pleasing properties. There are bulbs that produce darker tans called “bronzing bulbs.” One misconception with these bulbs is that they burn hotter than standard tanning bed bulbs, but the truth is exactly the opposite. A bronzing bulb tans darker, but work more slowly. Hotter bulbs tan faster, but with lighter shades. Some people are tempted to buy tanning bulbs with higher UV ratings, but some experts say this only results in burning which can hurt your tan. If you have the time and want a darker look, the bronzing bulbs are your best bet. If you prefer a lighter shade with less time invested, the standard bulbs are for you.
Once you have a residential tanning bed in your home or apartment, you find an optional face tanner is an excellent accessory to your tanning setup. A face tanner is a small, portable unit that fits easily on a vanity or countertop. You position your face about four inches away, put on protective goggles, and let the light do the work. Face tanners accessorize well with a residential tanning bed because they let you touch up your tan without committing to the full body tan. When you don’t have the time to spare to use the tanning bed, but you want your face to keep the glow of a new tan, the face tanner is the best solution.
There are two important safety considerations with any residential tanning bed always wear eye protection and never tan “dry” without tanning lotion. You should use caution in the early days of your tanning bed. Never go for the maximum tan time in the first few sessions in your new home tanning bed. You need to know how your skin will react to the new tanning bed, avoid burns, and keep your skin healthy. Remember that tanning results can take from six to 48 hours to show. If you overdo it in your first session, you will need time to see (and feel) the results and adjust your next session accordingly.
When using your home tanning bed, take the advice of the Food And Drug Administration: develop your tan slowly over a period of time. Don’t tan more than once per week, and avoid burns at all costs. When you are in the sun, be sure to wear sun block with an SPF rating of at least 15. These precautions will help you get the most out of your tanning bed while protecting your skin from unnecessary risks.
Residential tanning beds cost anywhere from $800 and up depending on the size, model, and manufacturer of the bed. You may be eligible for tanning bed financing programs and other incentives. If you want to buy a tanning bed and are first-time buyer, check with your vendor to discuss your options and be sure to ask about the power requirements needed from your home or apartment to properly run the tanning bed. You’ll be well on your way to enjoying the benefits of a tanning salon in the privacy of your own home.