Read these 12 Tanning Bed Parts & Equipment Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Tanning Beds tips and hundreds of other topics.
While many will argue that electronic ballasts are the best, most reliable ballasts for tanning beds, they aren't used as commonly as choke ballasts. Oftentimes, tanning beds aren't engineered to use electronic ballasts making it difficult to install them.
Electronic ballasts actually include several types of ballasts that are electronic in nature. With beds engineered to use these ballasts, they are the simplest to install and are also fairly cost effective because they use the least amount of electricity.
One of the major downsides to electronic ballasts is that they will have very poor performance if they are improperly installed or the system is not just right for them.
Some tanning bed parts that often need replacing are lamp holders. You will know when you need to replace these tanning bed parts when one of your lamps isn't working and it doesn't seem to be a problem with your starter. Lamp holders are the sockets on each end of the tanning bed that your lamps plug into. You should replace these tanning bed parts if they appear to be black, loose, melted, or have a loose wire. You can also purchase lamp holders with a built-in lamp starter.
No matter how good the quality of your tanning beds, chances are you will need to purchase replacement parts for them at some point. However, the better quality your bed, the less often you will probably need to replace parts. So, sometimes it pays to spend a little extra on the bed, when you factor in the costs of replacement parts you may need later on.
It is usually best to purchase your replacement parts from the manufacturer from who you purchased your tanning beds. However, there also exist many helpful companies who supply tanning bed replacement parts. Many of these businesses have websites and offer phone numbers where you can speak with an expert and make sure you are purchasing the best replacement part for your tanning beds.
Running a tanning salon is big business these days and having a reputable supplier of tanning bed bulbs and parts for tanning beds can make or break your profit margin. Even if you own a tanning bed in your home, going without tanning bed bulbs and parts can cost you inconvenience and frustration. Here are some tips for dealing with tanning bed parts and equipment:
Magnetic ballasts are much easier to use with your tanning beds and use the least electricity, but also function the worst out of all types of ballasts. Magnetic ballasts are easily recognizable as the large, heavy brick-shaped boxes that connect to two lamps each. They are not used very often today, but back in their day, they were considered to be state of the art. Today, they are still used with some older beds. Magnetic ballasts are thought highly of due to the fact that they are nearly indestructible. Magnetics have large tolerances for incoming voltages so you don't have to worry as much about having too high of a voltage or too low of a voltage. Also, if you make a mistake in wiring it, you won't run into as many issues as you would with a different type of ballast.
A piece of tanning equipment that can be very useful to the quality of your salon is a UVA/UVB meter. These meters will measure the output of total radiant energy from your tanning beds' lamps quickly and easily. With this equipment, you won't have to guess when it's time to change your beds' lamps and better yet, you won't get any complaints from customers who claim they aren't getting the optimal tan in your beds.
Tanning beds usually use one of the three available types of ballasts to power their lamps: choke, magnetic, or electronic.
Choke style ballasts are the most common, found in 90% of 24+ lamp tanning beds, primarily because they are the least expensive. Choke ballasts only allow a certain amount of electronic current through; they allow capacitors for filtering and lamp starters for pre-heating the lamps. Choke style ballasts tend to have complex wiring and can be difficult to do repairs on.
Voltages must be from 220VAC to 230VAC due to the fact that they are all made in Europe. With a voltage lower than this the lamps will not ignite, and a higher voltage can cause damage to the lamps. Oftentimes, you will need to purchase a buck boost transformer to work with your choke ballasts.
If you own a salon, it may be a good idea for you to keep a stock of tanning supply replacement parts on hand. This way, you will always be able to handle the flow of your customers and won't have to slap an "out of order" sign on one of your beds, potentially losing you money because you don't have the proper tanning supply parts. Obviously, the most important tanning supply replacement parts to have on hand are lamps, as these need to be replaced the most often. Fans, timers, and cleaners are also important tanning supplies to always have stock of.
Internal cooling fans are very important to the maintenance of your bed. These fans usually come already installed in the newer models of commercial tanning beds. Internal cooling fans dissipate the heat that builds up inside the tanning bed due to the UV light. Less heat in the tanning bed makes the tanning experience more comfortable for the users and also makes a cleaner and healthier tanning bed.
If one of the internal cooling fans in your bed breaks, you should be sure to replace it immediately. Ask customers if they are comfortable in the beds. If they claim they feel too hot, chances are, one of the internal cooling fans is broken.
Tanning bed pillows are an important part of your tanning bed. If you own a tanning salon, you need to make sure your customers are comfortable while lying in your beds. And if you have your own tanning bed, you will want something to rest your head on while tanning.
There are many different types of tanning bed pillows but the solid foam pillows seem to be the most comfortable and last the longest. These pillows cradle users' heads and don't slip or slide on the bed's surface. Because of the contours of the pillow, even if the user falls asleep his or her head won't tilt to the side. This results in an even tan without users having to worry if they want to take a relaxing nap while in the bed. The solid foam pillows are also much easier to clean than fabric covered pillows are. A disinfecting solution can simply be sprayed on and wiped off.
You may need to purchase and use a buck booster transformer in order to operate some of your tanning beds. This device is basically for stepping up or down the voltage, at a fixed-ratio rate.
In order to determine what kind of buck booster transformer you will need, and if you need one at all, you need to measure the voltage at your salon or tanning bed location. When you are measuring, keep in mind that if you are running several tanning beds at the same time, you will experience a drop in voltage of about 2V to 6V . As a general rule, you should try to obtain a voltage of 235V with your transformer, so if more machines are running, it will at least be at 230V.
Many people think buck boosters adjust to the tanning bed's needs. They believe that the voltage from the buck booster will go up and down as the voltage changes. But this is not true. If a buck booster is designed to raise your voltage a certain amount, it will always raise it a certain amount.
A sign that you need a buck booster transformer are that the lamps on your beds don't light or light slower than they should. Buck booster transformers are important to purchase if needed because you can damage your tanning beds and void your warranties if you don't run them at the proper voltage.
Tanning bed timers are extremely important for tanning beds, in order to ensure that users are not staying in the bed for too long. However, a piece of equipment that will be even more beneficial to your salon is a multiple use control timer.
These timers, also known as front desk timers, can help you control many different aspects of your salon through one device and your salon's PC. Some of these timers can control session lengths in up to 64 beds at once. They will automatically stop each bed when the session is over. The timers also keep track of session counts, lamp hours, and bed hours.
In some cases it is also possible to purchase multiple timers so you can connect them together and place one in the tanning bed room. This way, customers can see how long their session is set for, see their delay time, and press start or stop to turn the bed on or off. However, they will not be able to change their session times as this will be controlled by the timer at the front desk.
Some of the most popular types of multiple use control timers are T-Max, CCs, TanTime, FST, and DataBase.