Maintaining Lamp Performance
Lamp Replacement Checks
changing lamps, always clean the tanning unit thoroughly.
Dirty reflectors and acrylics can significantly reduce the useful
UV performance of the lamps.
the acrylic quality. Poor
quality, “cheap” acrylics, or badly degraded acrylics can block 70%
or more of the UVB radiation of the lamps from reaching your skin.
This can make a new lamp appear to perform like one that has
the lamp sockets. Be sure
that the lamps are snug in the lamp sockets.
Replace any which show worn springs or loose contacts.
Poor lamp contacts can cause difficulty in lamp starting, shorten
lamp life, cause premature end blackening, and possible electrical
arcing at the lamp ends.
the lamp starters regularly. Generally
most bed manufacturers recommend changing the starters at every other
lamp replacement. A
worn-out one dollar starter can quickly destroy a twelve dollar lamp!
check lamp cleanliness. Most
units have an air cooling system for the lamps which ends up being a
giant vacuum cleaner for room dirt.
A dirt buildup on the lamps can have a significant effect on lamp
that the cooling system for the lamps is operating properly.
Without proper airflow, a lamp can lose intensity.
A lamp running 20-30 degrees too hot (or too cold) can lose as
much as 35% of its maximum output intensity.
your lamp intensity. Purchase
a UV monitor and develop a history of UV readings. Check your lamps both with and without acrylics so you
can follow the degradation of the acrylics.
Also, periodically check the lamp intensity so you can monitor
the depreciation of the lamps during use.
Keep in mind that most meters cannot be used to compare lamps
with different spectral properties.
Generally lamps are replaced at about a 30% loss from their
initial intensity. This
will vary by lamp design and power loading.
are not “bread”. They
do not degrade while sitting in a box, so “fresh” lamps are not
necessary. The only way to
degrade a lamp is by running it.
are not hurt by storage in high or low temperatures.
However, lamps allowed to site in a cold or hit environment may
be difficult to light until they reach room temperature.
lamps have been stored in the open, always clean them before installing.
Lamps may be cleaned with glass cleaner, alcohol and most general
Always keep spare lamps available! It is poor economy to operate a salon without at least one
spare case of each type used on hand.
Lamp Troubleshooting Tips
may be leaking in air, due to tiny cracks in the ends of map glass
caused by shipping abuse. Replace
may be dirty or worn out. Check,
clean or replace if needed.
may not be properly seated in sockets.
Check that pins or lamp ends are properly seated in sockets.
may have reached end-of-life, or may be defective.
Change ballasts where needed.
In American beds, each ballast powers two lamps.
In European beds, the ratio is one-to-one.
or blinking-usually caused by defective starters.
the lamp ends are glowing-caused by defective starters.
ends-lamps not seated, or defective sockets. See “No-Lights”, 2, 3, above.
and brown streaks-air leaks due to end cracks in shipping.
Replace defective lamps.
by minute impurities within the lamp, which can be eliminated by cycling
the bed on and off a few times.
burnout-see “Appearance”, 1,2,3,4, above.
Also, check for proper match of lamp type to bed or booth.
Have an electrician verify that the line voltage is not too high
or too low.
phosphor, holes in phosphor-these are rare cosmetic defects; they have
no effect on a lamp’s ability to tan.
tanning-bulb wall (outside of lamp glass) temperature should be 105
degrees F. In under-cooled
lamps, the bulb wall temperature is often as high as 130 degrees.
This reduces the lamp’s output to only 65-70% of rated output.
Vacuum out bed and blowers to permit better air circulation.
tanning/not tanning-old acrylics may be filtering out a significant
amount of ultraviolet. Using
a U.V. meter, check the output through a new acrylic and again through
the old acrylic. If a
significant difference is noted, replace the old acrylic.
to be sure that the lamp is the correct one for the bed or booth in
life-see “Appearance”, item 6.