We have included this glossary to help define some of the more confusing terms.
These are just short definitions designed to help aid you in understanding some of the information you find, if you put it in context. If you still need more information, you are welcome to call and speak with one of our specialists. We understand how confusing it can be. Call us during normal business hours toll free at 1-800-274-1744.
Very high output. These are lamps that are either 160 watts (71 to 73") or 140 watt (59 to 60") and require special electronics to operate.
Trademark owned by Cosmedico Light, Ltd. Similar to a VHO except half the lamp is a reflector, which focuses more light on the tanner.
VHOR / VHO-R
Name used by other companies for lamps that are similar to VHR. Since VHR is a trademarked name, only Cosmedico can legally use that term to describe their 160w reflector lamps. This images shows the difference between VHO and VHOR.
Extra High Output. Higher output lamps in the 100w to 120w range that are up to 30% stronger than HO lamps. Term used by ClearTech® lamps to describe new technology.
High Output. Standard 100 watt (71 to 73") or 80 watt (59") tanning lamps found in most tanning beds.
(Reflector lamp, UVA) Standard name for a HO lamp with a build in reflector. Usually more intense than a standard lamp because all the light is focused to the tanner. Must have lamps spaced close together to use them in a tanning bed. Usually found on more expensive equipment only.
The most common type of lamp end connector. It is used in 71 and 59" lamps, and even on the standard 4 ft. lamps in most offices. It has two pins that slide into, then rotate into place to make electrical contact. This image shows the end of the bi pin lamp.
Recessed Dual Connector. A newer style of lamp end that is a cap that slides over the bi-pins on the lamp, and just springs in and out of the lamp holders in the tanning bed. It works similar to 8' office lamps, except the end piece is designed differently. The lamp connectors are considerably more expensive, so RDC lamps are only used on more expensive systems. Beds with RDC lamps are considerably easier to install and maintain lamp with, but are more expensive. This image shows the end of an RDC lamp
Generically, this is a different type or additional lamps in the facial area to enhanse tanning on the face. Most beds with facials use 1, 2 or 3 facial units with a 400 watt lamp. These lamps also use the distictive BLUE cover plate that filters out most UVB and all UVC (unlike UVA or UVB, UVC is dangerous at any level and used in hospitals to sterilize instruments). As a general rule, facial lamps should be changed TWICE as often as standard HO lamps in your tanning bed. A typical facial lamp looks like this:
This is a switching unit that ignites the lamps on tanning beds that use European (choke style) ballast systems. Starters are a small cylinder that snaps into the lamp holder of each lamp (or nearby). They require replaceing about every 1000 to 3000 hours. The cylinders are generally TAN, usually marked S-12, and are about 3/4" around and 1 1/2" long. This is a typical starter used on most tanning beds:
European style electronic system. Designed to run only with AC power from 220v to 230v. Since most current in the USA is either 240v (single phase) or 208v (three phase), beds with this electronic system require a BUCK BOOST TRANSFORMER in order to operate correctly. This generally adds another $150 to the price of installing a tanning bed that uses choke ballasts. Because choke ballasts are the cheapest to manufacture, they are the most commonly used electronic system. All beds that use choke ballasts MUST use lamp starters. Below is a 100W choke:
A newer style electronics system for tanning beds that runs on 120v AC. Magnetic ballasts are also used on everything from signs to overhead lighting. They are usually very heavy, metal boxes and add significant weight to a tanning bed. They are also considerably more expensive than choke, but do not require lamp starters or buck boost transformers, and are generally very tolorant of low or high voltage spikes. They are known as having average to below average performance when used in tanning beds, however. They are usually designed to connect TWO lamps to one ballast.
The newest style electronics system, offering a good balance of reliability and performance. There are many different types, but MOST power two lamps. Some are encased and some simply look like computer cards that connect to the tanning lamp. Electronic ballast generally perform like a choke ballast, but run on 120v. They fit inbetween magnetic and choke in reliability, only because they are slightly more sensitive to voltage spikes. They do not require buck boost transformers.
BUCK BOOST TRANSFORMER
This is a large box (1' x 1' or similar) that changes the incoming voltage to the tanning bed. They cost around $150 or more, and are generally only required in choke style electronics systems. They will step up (or drop) the incoming voltage to maintain an end voltage between 220V and 230V. Below are two examples of transformers:
F71, F73, F59
Lamp Size. The number part, 71 or 73, refers to the length (approximate) of the lamp.
A designation of the DIAMETER of the lamp, in 1/8th inch increments. A T8 lamp would be exactly one inch in diameter, for instance. Most tanning lamps are T12 lamps, that is 1 1/2 inches in diameter. Some smaller lamps used in commercial systems are F24T5 lamps, meaning they are 24" long, and 5/8" in diameter.
5.0 lamps, 6.5% UVB
This is one of the most confusing ratings systems of any industry. The UVB rating does NOT tell you total UVB of a lamp. What is does tell you is how much, of the total light output by the lamp, is UVB. For instance, a 5%UVB lamp puts out 95% UVA and 5% UVB. A 8.0% lamp puts out 92% UVA and 8% UVB. Its only a RATIO, not a total sum of the UV output. There is NO rating that shows total power of tanning lamps.
These are the clear shields that cover the lamps in your tanning bed. Some, mistakenly, call them plexiglass. Plexiglass BLOCKS UV and can not be used in tanning beds. The name "ACRYLIC" comes from the actual material used, acrylic. When clean, it allows almost all UV to penetrate and give you a tan.
An often misused term. F. Wolff invented the current style tanning lamp in the 70's and other companies began making beds using these lamps. They were called "Wolff Systems" because they used Wolff lamps. Wolff Systems itself does not make tanning beds, instead collecting a royalty for the use of its name and further developing lamps. The original Wolff Systems were made by Lohmann Werke in Germany, under the brand name SCA (now owned by another company).
The tanning ray. Longer wave just beyond our visible range (thus, ultra-violet, just beyond violet in the rainbow). It is what actually does the tanning.
The burning ray. Medium wave that is just smaller than UVA. It stimulates your skin to produce melanin, which aids in tanning. It is what actually gives you a sunburn if you get too much. Overused as a rating for tanning lamps.
Not used in tanning. It is unhealthy for humans and is filtered out of tanning lamps by design. Used for water purification and sterilization of hospital equipment.