Tips for home tanning bed lamp replacement.
These are basic tips to make changing your lamps easier. There is no way to cover every situation, but our goal is to help keep you from making mistakes when replacing the lamps in your home tanning bed.
Get a pen and paper before you shop - Write down your beds model name/number (ie: SunMaster 24KCT, SunQuest Pro 16SE, etc.) at the very least, and getting the names and numbers written on the lamps can also be handy, particularly for older beds. THEN call us at 1-800-274-1744 or shop online using one of our guides, the Lamp Wizard, or other online help we have created just for home tanning bed owners. This will insure we get you the right lamps the first time, and can show you the maximum options for your tanning bed.
SunQuest / SunVision acrylic removal - Do not take the ends off your tanning bed to remove these acrylics (common mistake). Instead, remove the colored plastic strips on the both long sides of each acrylic. A small flat blade screw driver is often handy. Handle with care, as they can become somewhat brittle with age. Once removed, lift the acrylic slightly and roll out the front. It is helpful to have two people when doing this.
Don't re-install your acrylics yet... - Once you have installed your new lamps, and BEFORE you re-install the acrylics, test the new lamps by turning the bed on. (Use eyewear when doing this) If you twisted the lamp to much, or there is a problem with the lamp, this will allow you to quickly deal with the problem at hand without having to do all the extra work of removing the acrylic again. Once you see the lamps all work perfectly fine, then replace the acrylic.
Recondition your acrylics - This is often overlooked because people think their acrylics don't need it. "They look perfectly clear to me" is often said, but the fact is that an acrylic will develop a film that you can't see, and while it won't block visible light, it does block UV. So even the clearest looking acrylics can be blocking 20%-40% of the UV that the lamp is producing. It wastes electricity and your time. You can buy Novus #2 for this purpose for less than $7, or buy the entire Tanning Bed Rebuild Kit with Novus #1, #2, #3, daily cleaner concentrate and eyewear for less than $30. The most difficult part of reconditioning your tanning bed is taking it apart, and since you already have to do that to replace the lamps, it just makes sense to go ahead and recondition the acrylics. The manufacturer recommends you do this every 1-2 years for home tanning beds.
Clean your reflectors, the new lamps, and the cooling fans - Since you are already taking your bed apart, clean everything inside for maximum performance. UV is incredibly easy to block, and cleaning dusty reflectors is a cheap, easy way to boost performance. Cleaning the new lamps also a good idea as they can get a thin powder coating on them from the manufacturing process. While you should never use glass cleaner on your acrylic, it is fine to use on the new lamps and the reflectors. Use some caution, as reflectors often have sharp edges.
Get help - Having a second person handy when you are replacing the lamps is a good idea. It can keep you from accidentally bending or breaking an expensive acrylic. None of the parts of the bed are very heavy, but large acrylics are difficult to handle sometimes, and while a second pair of hands isn't required for most tanning beds, it will likely come in handy.
Get bed cleaner - If you are not buying the rebuild kit, make sure you have enough bed cleaner or order a fresh bottle when you get your lamps. Do NOT ever clean your bed with Windex, glass cleaners, chlorine/Clorox, vinegar or other household cleaners. It isn't good for them, and can actually cause the acrylics to start blocking UV, which means longer sessions to get tan, and wasted electricity and lamp life. Besides, bed cleaner is cheaper than window cleaner. The concentrate makes 16 gallons, and it costs less than $15. That is less than $1 a gallon, and it works properly.
Reduce your session time - Remember, you are replacing your lamps because the old lamps are performing like new, so be sure to cut your session times in half once you replace your lamps, to prevent getting burned with your new, hot lamps. If you were going 20 minutes, try starting out at 10 minutes and work your way back up. Tan smart!