Step-by-Step Guide: Safely Changing and Testing Tanning Bed Bulbs

Step-by-Step Guide: Safely Changing and Testing Tanning Bed Bulbs

Ever wondered how to change tanning bed bulbs? It’s not as daunting as you might think. With the right tools and a bit of know-how, you’ll have your tanning bed back in top shape in no time.

First, it’s crucial to understand that tanning bed bulbs, like any other bulbs, don’t last forever. They’ll eventually burn out or lose their effectiveness. That’s when you’ll need to step in and replace them.

You don’t need to be an expert to do this. With a few simple steps, you can change your tanning bed bulbs yourself. It’s a skill that’ll not only save you time but also money in the long run. So, let’s dive in and learn how to get the job done right.

Key Takeaways

  • Tanning bed bulbs are specialized bulbs that emit UVA and UVB rays for facilitating the tanning process. The lifespan of these bulbs is usually measured in hours, typically lasting around 800 to 1000 hours.
  • Tanning bed bulbs come in two types – very high-output (VHO) bulbs with a lifespan of 500-600 hours and high-output (HO) bulbs that can last 600-800 hours.
  • When changing tanning bed bulbs, essential tools needed include a T8 or T9 Torx Screwdriver, rubber gloves, lampholder or bulb insertion tool, electrical discharge tool or ESD mat, cleaning solutions, and microfiber cloths.
  • The process of changing tanning bed bulbs involves several steps: safety preparation, accessing the bulbs, removing old bulbs, cleaning the socket, and installing new bulbs.
  • Safety precautions must always be a priority during the bulb changing process, including powering off the equipment, using protective apparel, and utilizing adequate tools.
  • After installing new tanning bed bulbs, it’s essential to test them for optimal performance and safety assurances. This involves observing the bulb’s consistent light output, noting any dark or inconsistent areas, and verifying the bulb color temperature.

Changing tanning bed bulbs safely is crucial to maintain the effectiveness and safety of the equipment, with guidelines provided by WikiHow. Regular testing of tanning bed bulbs ensures optimal performance and skin safety, advice on which can be found at Tanning Beds 4 Less.

Understanding Tanning Bed Bulbs

Understanding Tanning Bed Bulbs

Before diving into the nitty-gritty of changing tanning bed bulbs, it’s crucial to understand what tanning bed bulbs are and how they work. Tanning bed bulbs generate ultraviolet (UV) light, closely resembling the sun’s rays. However, these bulbs are much stronger than natural sunlight, offering a tan in less time. That’s why it’s vital to ensure they are always working optimally.

Tanning bed bulbs are not your typical household bulbs. You can’t just saunter into a general store and pick them up. These bulbs are specialized, engineered for a particular purpose: to facilitate the tanning process. They emit radiation in specific waves – UVB and UVA.

  • UVB rays contribute to the melanin production in your skin, initiating the tanning process.
  • UVA rays oxidize the melanin, which results in your skin darkening and thereby, creates that sought-after tan.

The lifetime of these bulbs is often measured in hours. Typically, tanning bed bulbs last around 800 to 1000 hours. This longevity doesn’t indicate they keep working at optimal efficiency for the entire lifetime. With use, the output decreases, and hence, their efficiency drops long before they burn out. Hence, after a significant amount of use, or if you notice your tan is not as dark as it should be, it might be time for a change.

To get the best out of your tanning experience, it’s also essential to know your bulb’s strength and lifespan. Different bulbs come with different strengths, such as very high-output (VHO) bulbs and high-output (HO) bulbs.

VHO BulbsHO Bulbs
Lifespan500-600 hours600-800 hours
StrengthVery highHigh

By understanding tanning bed bulbs, their types, strengths, and lifespan, you’re better equipped for the task at hand: changing them when necessary. It not just about replacing a bulb when it burns out but also ensuring an effective, safe, and efficient tanning experience from start to finish.

Tools Required for Changing Bulbs

Tools Required for Changing Bulbs

When it’s time to change your tanning bed bulbs, a bit of preparation goes a long way. You’ll need a few essential tools to make the process smooth and safe.

For starters, you’ll require a T8 or T9 Torx screwdriver, this will help in removing the acrylic shield. Keep in mind that not all tanning beds use Torx screws, so ensure you verify what type your bed employs. Next, you’ll need rubber gloves. Your hands naturally carry oils that can leave residue on the new bulbs, negatively impacting their efficiency and lifespan.

If you’re dealing with difficult-to-reach bulbs or bulbs that are higher in the canopy, a lampholder or bulb insertion tool is a must-have. This tool is specifically designed to hold the bulb, easing insertion and removal. Remember, the bulbs are fragile, handle them with utmost care.

An electrical discharge tool or ESD mat can also be handy. Some tanning beds store residual electrical energy even when turned off and unplugged. This tool ensures you’re not zapped during the process.

Finally, stock up on cleaning solutions and microfiber cloths. While you have the lid of your bed open, it’s an excellent time to clean and clear any accumulated dust and dirt. Cleaning not only improves your tanning bed’s performance but also extends its lifespan.

To summarize, the essential tools you will need to change your tanning bed bulbs are:

  • T8 or T9 Torx Screwdriver
  • Rubber gloves
  • Lampholder or Bulb Insertion Tool
  • Electrical Discharge Tool or ESD Mat
  • Cleaning Solutions and Microfiber Cloths

Having these at hand will ensure you’ll be able to tackle this task with confidence and efficiency. Make sure to follow saftey procedures while conducting the bulb change. The subsequent sections will guide you step-by-step on how to properly install new tanning bed bulbs.

Steps to Change Tanning Bed Bulbs

Steps to Change Tanning Bed Bulbs

Your bulb-changing journey begins with safety preparation. Shut off the tanning bed and unplug it from its power source. This is crucial to protect yourself from electrical shocks. After that, put on your rubber gloves. Not only do they shield you against potential electricity buildup, but they also prevent oily residue from your hands getting onto the new bulbs.

Next, locate the access panel for the bulbs. Typically, it’s on the underside or back of the tanning bed. Use your T8 or T9 Torx screwdriver to unscrew and open the panel. Take it slow and cautious so you won’t lose any tiny screws or damage the panel.

With the access panel open, you can now remove the old bulbs. Grip the bulb with your bulb insertion tool or lampholder. Turn the old bulb counterclockwise until it releases from its socket. Take extra care during this step; bulbs are fragile and can break easily if mishandled. You don’t want to clean up a mess of broken glass!

Once the old bulb is out, use your electrical discharge tool or ESD mat to drain any residual electricity. Then, grab your cleaning solution and microfiber cloths to clean the bulb socket. Thoroughly wipe away any dust or grim that might have built up over time. Cleaning not only guarantees good contact with the new bulb, but it also extends the lifespan of your tanning bed.

Finally, it’s time to install the new bulb. Grab your new bulb with the lampholder or bulb insertion tool, align it with the socket, and turn it clockwise until it is tightly secure.

To sum it up, changing tanning bed bulbs involves some simple steps: safety preparation, accessing the bulbs, removing old bulbs, cleaning the socket, and installing new bulbs. Following this process will ensure a successful and safe bulb-changing experience.

Safety Precautions to Keep in Mind

In your quest to change tanning bed bulbs, safety should always be your top priority. Let’s dive into the significant aspects of safety measures you need to keep in mind before starting the process.

Power Off Equipment
Never overlook this critical step. Switch off the tanning bed and unplug it from the power source. You’d want to avoid any electrical accidents, wouldn’t you?

Use Protective Apparel
Always put on rubber gloves. Apart from protecting yourself from potential cuts, gloves will also give you a better grip while handling the bulbs.

Use Adequate Tools
Needless to say, no work can be properly done without the right tools. A T8 or T9 Torx screwdriver and a bulb insertion tool will make this task a breeze. Remember, using incorrect or makeshift tools for the job can pose unexpected risks.

For reference, we have summarized these three main safety precautions one should always keep in mind before undertaking the procedure of changing tanning bed bulbs.

Safety PrecautionImportance
Power off equipmentPrevents electrical accidents
Use protective apparelPrevents injuries and improves grip
Use adequate toolsLowers the risk of accidents and makes the task easier

Testing the Newly Installed Bulbs

Once you’ve successfully installed the new tanning bed bulbs, it’s crucial to perform some standard tests. Remember, safety always comes first. This testing phase ensures the bulbs are installed correctly and work as expected.

First off, you’ll need a pair of protective eyewear. Tanning bulbs emit intense UV light that can cause eye damage. So, before proceeding with the test, make sure you’ve got your eyewear ready.

Keep a safe distance when you’re powering on the tanning bed. Look for a steady, intense light. If it’s fluctuating or dim, there might be a problem with the installation.

Take note of the bulb’s glow. It should be consistent throughout. Any dark areas might indicate a defective bulb. In such cases, you need to unplug the equipment and follow the bulb replacement steps again.

Additionally, assess the bulb’s color. Wrong color temperatures may affect the tanning experience. Tanning bed bulbs should usually emit a light around the range of 5,000 to 6,500 Kelvin.

Here’s a quick breakdown of what to pay attention to while testing the new bulbs:

  • Protective eyewear is essential
  • Keep a safe distance while switching bulbs on
  • Check for steady, intense light output
  • Note any dark areas or inconsistencies in glow
  • Verify the bulb color temperature

Just as we walk you through these steps, it’s becoming second nature to you. Your confidence is growing and before you know it, you’ll be an expert in changing and testing the tanning bed bulbs. Don’t forget, if you run into any challenges, look back at these guidelines. Your safety and getting the job done right is our priority.


You’ve now got the know-how to change tanning bed bulbs like a pro. Remember, safety is paramount. Always use protective eyewear to shield your eyes from the intense UV light. The testing phase is crucial to ensure that your new bulbs are installed correctly and working efficiently. Keep an eye out for a steady light output, consistent glow, and the right color temperature. Armed with this knowledge, you’re all set to maintain your tanning bed in top-notch condition. Happy tanning!

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why is it important to test newly installed tanning bed bulbs?

Testing newly-installed tanning bed bulbs confirms they were correctly installed and are functioning as expected. This not only ensures your safety but also guarantees an optimum tanning experience.

2. What are the potential dangers of not wearing protective eyewear while using a tanning bed?

Not wearing protective eyewear while using a tanning bed can lead to severe UV light damage to your eyes. This can cause temporary discomfort or even long-term conditions like cataracts.

3. How can I confirm my new tanning bed bulbs are working properly?

To confirm their proper functioning, ensure the bulbs offer a steady light output, exhibit a consistent glow, and have the correct color temperature. If any of these factors seem off, the bulbs may need rechecking.

4. What does the “correct color temperature” refer to?

The “correct color temperature” refers to the apparent color of a light source. In tanning beds, a light source’s color temperature significantly affects the tanning intensity and experience.

5. Why is it necessary to follow safety and installation guidelines?

Safety and installation guidelines ensure the tanning process is as safe as possible while guaranteeing that the installed bulbs deliver the expected performance. Failing to follow these could lead to injury or sub-standard performance.