If you enjoy having that beautiful tan throughout the year, it is practical to buy your tanning bed. Many first-time buyers do not realize that they will have to change the bulbs from time to time. However, don’t worry since it is an easy process and you don’t need to pay someone to do it for you. This guide will help you do it yourself simply without requiring any specialized tools.
What You Need to Do Before Replacing Your Tanning Bulbs
Tanning beds are quite different, so replacing the bulbs may differ from one model or brand to another. Here are a few things to pay attention to before you start.
- The type of bulb: there are two main types of bulbs for tanning beds; bi-pin and RDC. They differ at the connection point to the bed, so you must match the bed with the correct pin.
- Wattage: This is very important since if you get the wattage wrong, it may not work, or you may damage the bed. Check on the instructions that came with your bed or the existing bulbs.
- Bulb size: bulbs can be F or T size which you can easily find out from the existing bulbs. If you are not sure, you can always check the package or ask the seller.
How Do You Change Tanning Bed Bulbs?
Once you have everything to change your tanning bed bulbs, the next part is relatively easy. Most beds usually have instructions on how you can do it yourself, but this is what you should do in case it doesn’t.
Unplug the Bed
You can easily electrocute yourself if you change the bulbs while connected to the outlet. It could also damage your bed whenever you try fixing anything while it is connected.
Remove the Acrylic Shield
This is the plastic that separates you from the bulb. It usually has a clasp that will allow you to lift it so find that and open it easily. It’s indicated in the bed diagram in the manual, so you don’t spend too much time looking.
Remove the Bulbs
Note how the bulbs are laid out, especially if you have a dual-set bed. If you cannot remember, then take a picture to make sure you get it right. Twist the bulb to release it. It is the same movement you use when replacing a two-prong bub. Be careful not to apply too much pressure since they are pretty fragile.
Install the New Bulbs
Get the new bulbs and insert them using the same movement as removing them. Refer to the photo you took to ensure that you get it correctly. Also, make sure that the texts on the tubes are facing the top side.
Test That It Is Working
Before you replace the acrylic shield, plug it in the outlet to test that all the bulbs are correctly installed. They should be bright and not flickering or dark. If there is an issue, turn it off and unplug it before attempting to fix it.
Replace the Acrylic Shield
Ensure that you clasp it correctly and your tanning bed will be ready for use.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have never replaced tanning bed bulbs, you may have a few questions answered below.
Is it hard to change tanning bed bulbs?
No, it is not. This is something that everyone can do since tanning beds are not complicated at all. You can even do your maintenance with little guidance. All you need is a tanning bed rebuild kit which you can find online cheaply.
It will help you recondition the acrylic shield and clean the lamps so they don’t have any coating that may affect performance. Don’t use a glass cleaner for this. Ensure you get the appropriate acrylic cleaner so you don’t damage it, as it can be expensive to replace. You can also check that the cooling fan is not blocked since this could make your bed ineffective.
How often do tanning bed bulbs need to be changed?
It is best if you don’t wait until your bulbs malfunction to change them. Ideally, you should change the bulbs after approximately 500 to 800 hours. If they stop working before then, you should replace them as soon as possible.
Remember that even though only a few bulbs may seem to have a problem, you must change all of them. This is to ensure that you don’t have to keep going back to change one bulb. It may also make your tan inconsistent.
How do I know if my tanning bed tubes need replacing?
There are a few things you should note when you want to determine when to replace:
- If you have used them for more than 500 to 800 hours. While it is not easy to figure this out, you can approximate depending on how much you use the bed.
- If the bulbs or one of them turns black or starts flickering.
- If you notice a difference in the tan, you are getting compared to when they were new.
Can you put bronzing bulbs in a regular tanning bed?
You can interchange these two bulbs if you wish unless stated otherwise in the instructions. The most important thing to note is the wattage so you can match it to the existing bulbs.
The main difference between tanning and bronzing bulbs is in how fast they work and last. Tanning bulbs are most preferred since they give results fast, but they also fade quickly.
Bronzing, on the other hand, provides a subtle but longer-lasting outcome. This difference is seen in how much light they produce. Tanning bulbs give 95% UVA and 5% UVB, while bronzing is 98% UVA and 2% UVB.
Ensuring that your tanning bed is properly working doesn’t require any specialized help. The instruction manual will help you identify the different parts, and with that, you will know what you need to do.
Get yourself a maintenance and cleaning kit so while you are replacing the bulbs, you can also work on the other parts. However, if you notice something is not working well, you can then consult a professional.