How to Select a Tanning Bed Bulb?

March 14th, 2020 by

How to Select a Tanning Bed Bulb?

Sun tanning is very popular everywhere as it comes with health benefits like increasing your body’s vitamin D level. But since not everyone is lucky enough to experience this outside naturally, there is always an alternative. Indoor tanning can also help increase your vitamin D, reduce the risk of skin cancer, and more.

These tanning beds consist of tanning bulbs that provide artificial sunlight for those who can’t enjoy the tropical weather. But since tanning bulbs come in different sizes, colors, and brands, it is normal for first-time buyers to be confused.If you want a ready made list handpicked by experts,you can check the shortlisted ones by Newswatchngr. Thus, there are factors to consider when purchasing a tanning bed bulb. Get the perfect tanned skin you’ve been dreaming for, here are some factors to consider when choosing a tanning bulb:

Skin Type

First things first, don’t forget to consider your skin tone and type of skin. It would also help if you can pinpoint whether you have allergies or skin irritations. Pondering about these things will help you determine the level of tanning that you want or need. Pick the right tanning bed bulbs with just enough level of FR emissions.

Some tanning bulbs can cause the skin to darken fast after just a few minutes. Meanwhile, other bulbs may take more time to show results on the skin. Regardless, it still depends on your skin’s current tone and ability to handle it.

 Basic Types of Tanning Bulbs

There are 2 basic types of tanning bulbs that you should understand. There are RDC and bi-pin tanning bulbs. The latter is the most common type that you will see in the market nowadays. Bi-pin bulbs are designed with 2 pins that stick out on its end. Meanwhile, RDC bulbs have a single notch only on its end. RDC which stands for Recessed Double Contact tanning bulb is also more common in older tanning bed models.

Technically, Bi-pin and RDC are the same. Their only difference is their adapters since one covers 2 pins while the other covers 1 notch. Some of the leading brands that offer these bulbs are SunQuest, ProSun, Alpha Sun, Sundash, SCA Wolff, and ESB.

 Tanning Bed Compatibility

If the bulb is suitable for your type of skin, it should be compatible with your tanning bed as well. Otherwise, it will defeat its purpose and become useless if you can’t install it in your tanning bed. Therefore, be sure to take note of the exact model of your tanning bed. There are specific tanning bed bulbs that are made for each type and model of tanning beds.

Most manufacturers of tanning beds also sell replacement parts so customers don’t have to look elsewhere. If you can’t find the exact replacement for your tanning bed, some brands offer universally compatible bulbs. Universally compatible tanning bed bulbs have sockets with a circular bottom in case the stores near you run out of stock. If you’re planning to buy online, look for honest customer reviews once you’ve gone through its features and installations.  

Regardless, installing the right bulb replacement will help you maintain your preferred level of tan. At the same time, it will help you ensure that your replacement bulbs and tanning bed last longer. 

Length of Tanning Sessions

For first-time buyers out there, the length of tanning sessions is another thing to consider when selecting a bulb. Depending on how long you want to soak your body under these artificial lights, tanning bed bulbs vary. Some are compatible with up to 20-minute sessions only while others can last up to 35 minutes per session.

Again, this depends on your type of skin, its level of FR emission, and lifespan that we will expand below. Different types of tanning bulbs produce different tanning levels that trigger the changes in skin color. Depending on the length of your sessions, your skin tone can change from mild, tan, bronze, to dark and rich. Always look for the bulbs with the right ray emission level to make sure that you achieve your preferred tan.


Just like any other piece of bulb, it is vital to know the quality of the tanning bed bulb. This will help you determine or at least estimate its lifespan and compare it with its price. Whether you intend to buy it in brick and mortar stores or online stores, its quality should be worth its price. For beginners, tanning bed bulbs that are rated with 1,000 to 1,200 hours life will already do. 

These are the kind of bulbs that produce a higher degree of tanning power and longer lifespan. This way, you don’t have to worry about replacing them anytime soon. You can also make the most of your investment before buying a new one.

Bulb Length, Size, and Power in Watts

In case you noticed the letter “F” in tanning bulbs, this stands for “fluorescent” which refers to its length. F71, F72, and F73 are the most common bulb sizes that are measured in inches. F71 is the most common bi-pin bulb since there are adapters that can convert it into RDC F72 or F73. 

Meanwhile, the T Number refers to the exact size of the tanning bulb. It is defined as eighths of one inch just as T12 is twelve-eighth of an inch. Moreover, it’s important to note that size affects the coverage area and intensity of the bulb’s UV radiation.

When it comes to power, each bulb has a standard power of 100W. Generally, the higher the wattage, the faster you can achieve your desired tan. Then again, it should not be too high for your skin unless you want to end up burning your skin. 


Now that you know how to select the right tanning bed bulb, are you ready to go shopping? Check for the best offers on JoinHoney, or RetailmeNot to get the best deals. .Maintaining tan skin all year round is easier nowadays even without lying under the sun for hours. All with the help of modern technology, you can simply relax and focus on the skin tone you want to achieve. Let the tanning bed bulbs work their magic in your skin. Just don’t overdo it to avoid skin problems.