Home / Tanning / How to Tell if Tanning Bed Bulbs are Bad? – Ultimate Guide with Replacement Tips

How to Tell if Tanning Bed Bulbs are Bad? – Ultimate Guide with Replacement Tips

by  Doris Harris -  Last Updated On 9th August 2021

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A tanning bed is a wonderful way to give you the look that you have always wanted. Through the use of tanning beds, you can achieve and maintain the skin tone you want while also staying healthy and natural-looking too. Tanning beds are also relaxing.

There are few better ways to relax and feel comfortable than lying in the quiet, warm tanning bed. Not only does it make you look good, it makes you feel good too. However, it is important to remember that tanning beds are major pieces of machinery and electricity.

Therefore, there will be times when they need to be refined, enhanced, or even replaced. This can be a costly and annoying thing to tackle on your own but it needs to be done otherwise your tanning bed will stop working well.

Are the bulbs important in a tanning bed?

One of the most common issues you will have to solve when you have a tanning bed is replacing the bulbs in the bed. Tanning beds contain multiple bulbs (or lights or lamps). Some have almost 50 lamps inside their bed, but when just one burns out the effectiveness of the entire bed is compromised.

That means you need to stay on top of keeping your bulbs bright and functional. When a bulb burns out, it needs to be replaced as soon as possible. These bulbs are not like the regular light bulbs you have in your home. They produce UV rays and come in various wattages.

As you can imagine, they are harder to come by and a bit more expensive too. When they burn out, the replacement process isn’t that complicated. But how do you know when it’s time to replace your tanning bed bulbs? Here are a few helpful hints to keep your bed working like it should.

Signs your tanning bed bulbs are bad

Perhaps one of the most telltale signs that a bulb is out or about to burn out is if it is flickering or going black. Bulbs should obviously be lit up, that is their primary function. If you notice one of your tanning bed bulbs is flickering or is sporadically dark, that means that it isn’t working like it should.

This is one of the most definitive signs that your bulb is giving up. Alternatively if you notice a reduction in the effectiveness of your tan after using the bed, this could be a sign the bulbs are bad.

It is very important that your bulbs are always performing like they are supposed to. Since tanning bed bulbs emit UV rays, anything less than 100% isn’t doing the job properly. If the power of the bulb starts to fade, the tanning quality will as well.

Soon, your tans won’t apply and you won’t look the way you wanted. In fact, there will be a time when the bulbs might be seemingly working but are giving off very little UV rays and are effectively doing nothing to give you a tan.

That is why you should always err on the side of replacing the bulbs if you ever think they are losing their functionality. You simply cannot have tanning bed light bulbs that aren’t working like they should.

When to change your bulbs?

Do you own your own tanning bed or use one at a salon? If you are using one at a salon, the chances are that the bulbs will be changed after about a year. That is the typical time it takes for the bulbs in a salon to burn out.

But since your at-home tanning bed won’t get used as often as a professional one at a spa or business, you will have to change it less regularly. Generally, the bulbs in an at-home tanning bed need to be swapped out every three to five years.

This is a general guideline. Sometimes the time frame is shorter, sometimes it is longer. But it should certainly be longer than a single year. If you don’t want to judge it that way, you can think of it in terms of hours. Usually, most tanning bulbs have lost most of their potency after about 500 to 800 hours.

If you are spending a couple of hours a week in the bed, you can assume that it will still take quite a while before the bulbs are needing to be replaced. However, if you stay on top of how many hours of use the bed has gotten, you will have a better estimate of when you can expect to purchase new bulbs for replacements.

If you are ever reconditioning your tanning bed, it is time for you to change out the bulbs. This is just a good general rule of thumb and a good way to always keep your bulbs at their highest quality.

How to change your tanning bed bulbs?

When it is time to replace your tanning bed bulbs, the process isn’t that much different from changing a regular light bulb. The first step will involve you unplugging and cleaning the bed. You want to make sure that no power is going through the bed and it is completely disconnected from the wall outlet.

You may also want to wear gloves if you are afraid of any of the bulbs breaking. It is important to remember that tanning bed light bulbs contain mercury and that can be harmful if it gets on you so you need to handle these specially-made bulbs with extra care.

To actually pop out the old light bulbs, you simply pull the bulb out without putting too much pressure on the glass material. Go slowly and be careful for this step of the process. After that is done, you will simply pop the new bulb into place. Make sure it is locked into its spot and firm and stable before you plug the bed back into the wall.

A good rule of thumb is to replace all of the bulbs at one time if you can. This is because bulbs all run together. Therefore, they are typically the same age and typically use the same amount of power for the same amount of time.

That means that if one bulb is going bad or dying out, others are surely soon to follow. Instead of just replacing one at a time over weeks and months, it makes more sense to just pull them all out in one large project. It will keep your bed running well and will keep your tan even and smooth.

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