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If it were an apples-to-apples comparison, indoor tanning and outdoor tanning can produce the same quality tan in a given individual assuming all things are equal. However, all things aren't often equal when it comes to outdoor tanning. There are a host of factors that affect the amount and intensity of ultraviolet rays that penetrate the Earth's atmosphere. Those factors include everything from cloud cover to your town's or city's geographic location and elevation, and the ozone forecast. Indoor tanning, on the other hand, provides a controlled environment in which salon operators are able to control the intensity of the UV light and the duration of your tanning session. Yes, tanning bed bulbs do wear down over time and generate less intense light. But other than that, an indoor tanning environment is much less vulnerable to the whims of nature and geography, resulting in a more consistent tanning experience for customers.