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How Often Should Tanning Bed Lamps Be Replaced?

Tanya Watkins

Tanning beds require a series of bulbs that surround the body to deliver an even tan. Bulbs are sold by a number of manufacturers and come in low-pressure and high-pressure varieties. You can determine when to replace bulbs in your tanning bed based on how many times the bed is used.

Background Information

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Tanning bulbs come in both high-pressure and low-pressure varieties. High-pressure bulbs are known as bulbs, while low-pressure bulbs are known as lamps.

Bulbs are widely used throughout a tanning bed due to their high intensity. They come in long rods that look similar to a fluorescent lights. Bulbs maintain the same intensity for a long time, which is why they are typically used more frequently than lamps.


When determining the life cycle of your bulbs and lamps, it is important to know the tanning bed manufacturer, model of the tanning bed, and the size and wattage of the bulbs powering the bed. Each tanning bed manufacturer should provide information on suggested bulbs for optimal bulb wattage.

Tanning bed bulbs and lamps should be replaced when they have been used to 80 percent of their expected life cycle, and typically hit this mark about one year after they have been installed. Low-pressure lamps have a life cycle of 300 to 1,700 hours, while high-pressure bulbs last 300 to 9,500 hours.


When purchasing new bulbs or lamps, consider buying in bulk to save on cost. Pricing discounts are offered for purchasing larger quantities of bulbs. Make sure that when you install your bulbs, you are following the correct installation procedure. It is best to replace all the bulbs in a tanning bed at the same time. If you do not, you run the risk of the user receiving an uneven tan with an increased chance of sunburn. If you have questions, contact your bed manufacturer or visit their Web site for helpful tips.

Also, cleaning the bed between the bulbs and the acrylic will lengthen the number of hours you can use your bulbs. Make sure you clean this area to clear dust that accumulates between the acrylic and the bulbs after every 200 hours of usage.

Additional Information

Tanning bulbs emit their strongest rays within the first 50 hours of usage. People who use the tanning bed during this time should be urged to cut back on their tanning time to avoid burning. Once you install your bulbs, if you find that you have trouble with a bulb not lighting, or flickering on and off, contact the seller of the bulb for replacement.