This page is for new salon owners in smaller salons, and it assumes you own a single tanning salon with 2 to 10 tanning beds, and you may have bought some or all of the beds used. We want to cover some basics that you need to know before you jump in and start buying lamps. It will save you some headaches and hassles if you take the time to read and understand this.  Experienced salon owners already are familiar with this information and shouldn't need to read.

Getting the right lamps

Most states are now what we call "regulated".  This means they have laws that you have to comply with or you get fined, or worse yet, they shut you down for a week until you are in compliance.  Not much fun.  Basically, it boils down to getting the right lamps for your tanning beds.  You don't have to use the same lamps that your tanning bed came with, but you do have to use lamps that have been certified to be compatible (about the same strength) and have a Letter of Compatibility on file.  We put all our letters of compatibility on the website, so this is easy.

It doesn't matter what lamp is in your tanning bed now, it matters what the label says are original lamps.  Who knows, you might have bought the bed used and the previous owner put in non-compatible lamps.  Look on the label that should be visible from the front of the tanning bed for a list of the lamps that are certified to use with that bed.   Every bed is different.  Also note how many you need of each.

With this list in hand, you can look at our lamps and find lamps that are the same, or that we have listed as "legally compatible".  We usually have many options for each lamp.  An example:  If you just bought a used (or new) SunQuest® tanning bed with Diamond Sun S® lamps as the original lamp (or one of several lamps listed on the label) then you can spend the $15-$18 for the same lamp from a different supplier (we don't carry them) or you can buy the Custom Bronzer or Brilliance 5.0 for about $10, or Midday Sun for about $12.  There are others that are compatible as well with that particular lamp.  If you have an older Montego Bay® that came with Bellarium S lamps, you can buy the Bellarium S lamps here, or replace with the same lamps we just listed for less.  You have choices, but they must be "compatible" choices.

Pay close attention to the sizes, F71, F59, F73, as well as if your lamps are RUVA (reflector built in), VHO (160W) or VHOR (160W with reflector).  Every week we see new owners buy the wrong lamps, and have to return product at their own expense.  In every instance, they just didn't catch the details.

Maintenance on tanning beds

It takes more than just sticking new lamps in the bed to keep them in good working order, of course.  The most commonly overlooked task is treating the acrylics.   This alone can make 20% to 40% difference in the output.  It isn't a sales expression, its easy to verify, and it is cheap to do.  You need to use Novus #2 on BOTH sides of BOTH acrylics in your tanning beds every 150-250 hours.  It has a slight grit, and will strip a microlayer of your acrylic.  Also, clean the inside of the tanning bed, wiping the lamps down, and generally preventative steps, such as testing to see that all the cooling fans are working.  You can use regular bed cleaner for this.

This comes out to about 4 times per year for most salons, or 4 times every lamp change.   It is better if you schedule this, and rotate the schedule so you are doing a few beds every month.  This is particularly important if you just bought used tanning beds, because you don't know if they have been maintained or not.  Novus also comes in #3, which is a deep scratch remover, and #1, which is a daily polish.  Using Novus regularly will make it easier to keep the acrylics clean, and insure you get the most of your lamps.

What if your acrylics look clean?  Doesn't matter.  Acrylics break down over time, and although you don't SEE this, they are actually blocking UV.  This is why you have to schedule the maintenance.  You can order Novus in 8oz or larger sizes from us at 1-800-274-1744, and it is available from most other tanning suppliers.  It is relatively inexpensive.

Buck/Boost Transformers

Before you can tell if you need one, and which one you need, you have to measure the ACTUAL voltage at your salon, and know if your tanning bed requires one.  These are required only on beds that use choke ballasts (2/3rds of what is sold for salons).    Rather than trying to explain it all, just call us with a list of models you have and your exact voltage and we can get you on track.  1-800-274-1744.  We guarantee the lowest prices on the transformers anyway.

More soon...

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Get the most out of your tanning lamps