When searching for a location for your tanning salon, you need to keep one thing in mind: the power panel. Each tanning bed requires a certain amount of voltage and amperage. Some entry level tanning beds require 20 amp or 30 amp breakers while some higher end tanning beds will require 50 amps or higher. Before signing a lease on your space, you need to find out how big of a power panel is available. Lets say you are going to have 10 entry level beds only and they take 30 amps each, you would need to have at least a 300 amp power panel. Most spaces will usually only have a 100 or 200 amp panel. If you realize that you are going to need a bigger power panel, you may want to try to negotiate an additional 100 amp, 200 amp, etc. power panel with the leasing agent.
Always have your equipment mix picked out and hire an electrician before signing your lease. Have the electrician make sure that the tanning bed equipment that you have chosen will work with the existing power panel or have him let you know what it will cost to upgrade the panel.
While the electrician is there, you may also want to have him check the incoming voltage. A lot of indoor tanning beds require anywhere from 220 to 240 volts of power. It is always good to know what your incoming voltage is. You may need to have buck boost transformers installed to either increase or decrease your incoming voltage to the recommended voltages needed by the equipment.
Tanning lamps come in different sizes and two different styles. Following are the most popular lamp sizes:
F59 – typically 80 watt lamps
F71 – typically 100 watt and 160 watt lamps
F72 – typically 100 watt lamps
F73 – typically 100 watt and 160 watt lamps
These lamp lengths are usually printed right on the lamp and looks something like this: “F71-T12-100W BP.”
Reflector type lamps will contain an “R” like the following:
The two different types of lamp ends are Bi-Pin (marked as “BP” as shown in the first example) and RDC.
The Bi-Pin lamps have two pins on either side and are installed by sliding these pins into the lamp holders and then twisting the lamp once or twice.
RDC lamps have a black cap at the end. These lamps are installed by pushing the lamp into one “spring loaded” lamp holder and setting the other side right in. There is no twisting the lamps with RDC’s.
When replacing your tanning lamps, it is very important to know the size (F59,F71,F72,F73, etc) and the style (RDC or Bi-pin) of your lamp. If this information is not available either on the lamp itself or on the tanning bed (lamp information can usually be found on a sticker on the canopy of the bed), then you will need to have the make, model and year of the tanning bed when calling your distributor.
Buck Boosters are transformers that increase or decrease your incoming voltage. Most tanning beds require voltage to be 220 and 240 volts. Some actually require 220 Volts only, some require between 220 and 230 volts, etc.
If your incoming voltage into the building is 208 Volts and your tanning bed requires 220 Volts, then you would need a Buck Booster to “Boost” that voltage to the required voltage needed for that tanning bed.
Buck Boosters can either “Buck” or “Boost” voltage from your incoming voltage by 12, 24, 16, or 32 volts.
You can find Buck Boosters that are already pre-wired with cords where all you have to do is just plug in one side of the Buck Booster into the outlet your electrician provided and plug the other into the cord going to the tanning bed. Other Buck Booster come where your electrician would have to do the wiring, hard wiring, of the buck booster going to the tanning bed and into the wall.
If the voltage going to your tanning bed isn’t what was recommended by the manufacturer, then you may end up having problems such as tanning lamps not tanning as well as they should, tanning bed getting too hot because internal cooling fans aren’t running correctly, etc.
Always make sure that your electrician understands your tanning beds power requirements.