Converting a tanning bed to use 633nm LED channels

This is a general guide to doing a conversion from tanning lamps to LED channels. This is legal in all states for residential use. If the tanning bed is being used for hire (commercial salon), then consult your state regulatory agency as to the legality, as the bed was originally certified for UV lamps, not light therapy. Our LED channels produce narrow band 633nm light only, they produce NO ultraviolet, so they will not tan nor burn you. The channels come in size F71, but you can adapt to F72 or F73 using adapters, available seperately.

When we are done, the fans will still work, the timer will still work, any accessory will still work. The 633nm LED channels are universal voltage, 100v-240v, so they will work in any tanning bed if you set it up properly. The driver for the LEDs is built into the channel.

First thing is to remove the bed from power, so disconnect from the wall or trip the breaker to the off position and test to insure it is off. Next remove the acrylics on your bed and set to the side. What you do next depends on the type of electronic system you have. This might take 2 minutes or 2 hours, so read below.

Tanning beds with S12 or K11 lamp starters

If you tanning bed uses lamps starters (shown), the conversion is going to only take 2 minutes. If you red doesn't, skip to the next section. Bed with lamp starters include MOST SunQuest, SunVision, SunStar, Alpha Sun, Puretan, Prosun, many SonnenBruane and others. This is the most common system for beds with 24+ lamps. The lamp starters are located in different places on diffeent beds. Sometimes just past the lamp, sometimes towards the end of the lamp, but under the lamp. You have to look carefully, or just call us with the brand and model number and we can tell you. Even if you bed uses 160w or 200w bulbs, it will work with our channels as long as it uses lamp starters.

Assuming your bed does have lamp starters: Remove the acrylic and tanning lamps from the bed (see your bed's manual), then remove ALL the lamp starters from the bed. Typically this means gently pushing down and turning a few degrees counter-clockwise, then lift out. You MUST remove the lamp starters before inserting the 633nm LED channels, or you risk damaging the channel.

Once the lamps are out of the way and the starters are removed, you just install the LED channels, pretty much like you would a tanning lamp. Make sure you have the aluminum extrusion side DOWN, so the LED face straight up. They should click into place, just like a tanning lamp. Once you have all the cnannels firmly installed, restore power to the system, and test it out by turning the system on. All channels should light up. If one doesn't, rock it back and forth a bit or reinstall it, to make sure you have the pins lined up properly in the lamp holder. Turn off power, and put the acrylics back on. You are done.

All other tanning beds

If your tanning bed doesn't use lamp starters, you are going to need to bypass the ballasts in your bed. This isn't rocket science, but it does require you are at least a little handy and not afraid to put a few wires into connectors. Lets start by unplugging your tanning bed, or tripping the breaker to off position and verifying the circuit is dead. Then we remove the acrylic, lamps, and reflector system. Every bed is different, so we really can't explain here all the possibilites. Instead, call us if you aren't sure, we will give you the basic info over the phone.

Once you are inside the bed, you will see the wiring. The retrofit is fairly similar for both types of electronic ballasts, although each may have a different number of wires that accomplish the same thing. Please note, that it is normal to have yellow and red wires, and sometimes blue wires, but if your ballasts have ORANGE wires in addtion to these other colors, call us before doing this modification.

Bypassing the ballasts in program or instant start ballasts

Again, make sure the bed is removed from power before doing anything. Next, locate all the ballasts. Note that some beds put them in the middle, some put them along the front rail or rear rail or both. Once you know where each is, you may need to use some snippers to remove a zip tie harness or two, to make working easier. YOU NEED TO DO THIS MODIFICATION ONE BALLAST AT A TIME. This just prevents errors. We are going to cut all the wires that go into ballast, and we are going to cut them around 4 inches away from the ballast, so the ballast will be left with nothing but 4 inch stubs of wire. Do this for the white, the black, the reds, the yellows and the blues. No need to do this for any green wire, but it is fine if you already did. The green will not be used. For the wires coming out of the ballast, just tuck them out of the way, there isn't a need to cap them since none are being used. Leave the ballasts in the tanning bed.

Next we will strip all the wires 1/2 inch, so they may be inserted into the provided connectors. You need a wire stripper for this, or a pocket knife if you are handy. Now we are ready to connect the system up.

Short version:

All the blues and reds from a ballast will be connected to the black wire that was connected previous to that ballast, all the yellows will be connected to white. So the red/blue side is HOT, and the yellow side is NEUTRAL. Use every wire. Do this one ballast at a time. You are done.

If you need more jumpers than we included (very, very rare), then you can use wire nuts from any hardware store to group wires and jump them together. If all else fails, call us for guideance before you get in too deep.


Once you have confidently wired the bed, you can test it. Once again, verify that there are NO bare wires, other than the 4" stubs sticking out of the ballast. There are a couple of ways to test, but we test BEFORE we replace the reflectors or acrylics, in case there is an issue. You can fill half the bed with channels and turn it on if you like. Or the easier way (and how we do it in the factory) is to restore power to the system, turn the bed on, then insert a channel is the first lamp slot and rotate, it should come on. Note, the cooling fans should also be running, whether the channel is installed or not Let it run for a few seconds, then twist and remove and move that channel to the 2nd slot, and repeat until you have covered every slot in the system. This is faster and easier. Once you have completed satisfactory testing for that half of the system, you may replace the reflectors, add the LED channels, TEST AGAIN, then install the acrylic. We test again always because removing the acrylic tends to be the most time consuming part. Now do the same for the other half of the bed.

Get the most out of your tanning lamps