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A Comprehensive Guide on Tanning Bed Bulbs: 2021 Review

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We as a society have come a long way in terms of the defining parameters of beauty in what is considered appealing. Some decades ago, the only defining attributes of beauty were fair skin and a sleek body. 

However, now women have become more confident in their skin, and moving even further, they have started to incline darker shades. 

Until some years ago, the means of getting a tan was limited to a bronzer, but thanks to the evolving technology, we now have a faster and more durable option for getting the perfect tan- tanning bulbs.

This blog is a review in detail about everything you should know about tanning bed bulbs.

What are Tanning Bed Bulbs?

Tanning bed bulbs are fluorescent bulbs fixed in a tan bed to give you the perfect tan. They are different from regular light bulbs in that they emit ultraviolet rays that cause the tan. 

How Does a Tanning Bulb Function?

The science behind the tanning bulb is that the ultraviolet rays from the bulb make the body produce melanin at a faster rate than normal. This increased melanin production leads to a tan.

The range of tan is directly proportional to the power of the bulb used. Therefore, a higher-watt bulb will produce a darker tan in lesser time compared to the low-watt bulb. 

Different Types of Tanning Bulb

Tanning bulbs differ based on the power of the bulb, type, and style.

Based on power

Tanning Bulbs are classified as low power and high power. The most common is a 100-watt bulb. Some people use as high as 140-watt, which is deemed high power, and some may use a bulb with power less than 100-watt, which is the low-power bulb.

Based on style

Lamps are differentiated as Bi-pin and RDC. A bi-pin style bulb features two pins at each end of the bulb. It is more common than the RDC- Recessed Dual Connector style in which the end of the pin is covered with a cap to enable it to be fixed in special holders. 

Tanning Bulbs
Wolf System Bronzing Sun Tanning bulbs


Based on Type

Broadly, there are two types of Tanning Bulbs- Regular and Bronzing Bulbs. The difference between the two is in the proportion of UVA and UVB lights they use. While regular bulbs use a low percentage of UVA lights-95%, Bronzers use around 98%. 

The difference between UVA and UVB lights is that UVA light has a longer wavelength and will penetrate deeper into the skin compared to UVB light. Regular bulbs are usually used for base tans, and UVB rays further darken them. 

Based on the above differences, you should decide on the Best Tanning Bed Bulbs for your skin.

How Frequently Should You Change the Tanning Bulbs

To know when you should replace the Tanning bulbs, you must first understand the two broad types of tanning bulbs as the replacement requirement for the two differ. 

There are broadly two categories- low pressure and high pressure. The low-pressure bulbs are referred to as tanning bed ‘lamps,’ whereas the high-pressure bulbs are called ‘bulbs.’ 

Low-pressure bulbs or ‘lamps’ usually remain fully functional from 300 to 1600 hours. Fully functional implies that the lamps might still emit at least 70% to 80% of the UV light after 1600 hours but won’t be so strong. They can produce normal light for nearly 5000 hours.

As for the high-pressure tanning bulbs last for 300 to 10000 hours and need to be replaced after that. 

LifeYourWay Tips to make the bulbs last long

An important thing to keep in mind is you should always replace all the bulbs at the same time to avoid uneven tanning. To ensure that the bulbs last until their optimum capacity, they should be well taken care of. You should wipe the lamp after every 150-200 hours of use. 

Dust blocks UV radiations. Hence, you must always keep the lamp clean to maintain 100% efficiency. 


While tanning bulbs have been in trend for some time, it is important to understand their functioning properly to avoid any blunders. Therefore, we have laid out this review on everything you need to know about the tanning bed bulbs. Be sure to use indoor tanning lotions with your tanning bed.

Featured  Image by 43965 on Pixabay