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The Future of Commercial Tanning Beds

The question we are asked the most is: "where can I buy the best commercial tanning bed for my money?"  The correct answer depends on your budget, interior design criteria and business model.  The commercial tanning bed industry has gone through a consolidation period after a boom and bust commercial tanning bedcycle over the past 10 years and many manufacturers have folded or merged with others.  The remaining customers of indoor tanning salons are very loyal and knowledgeable of the benefits of UV light to our physical and mental health. 

Keep in mind, it has been proven that human beings MUST be exposed to sun or UV light to remain alive.  Scientists have said as we go deeper into space we lose the benefit of the sun's energy and our skin begins to die which has lead to revelations about "red light therapy and tanning beds" Doctors today are prescribing indoor tanning beds to patients affected with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) as proven by the number of orders pouring in from the gas, gold, and oil boom-town cities of Canada and Alaska. 

We also get calls from patients of dermatologists who are prescribing tanning bed bulbs with a high UVB to combat skin related disorders further reinforcing the belief that indoor commercial tanning will always have a place in our society simply due to "human nature".  On the college-level demographic, good looks and vanity will never fall out of favor so most students will still tan, but some insist on "sunless tanning" now.  Therefore, we strongly recommend you offer sunless tanning like the Magic Tan VersaSpa or Mystic Tan HD in any salon which also offers UV tanning from commercial tanning beds.

Commercial tanning beds are first defined by the fact they operate on 220 volt power and not 110 volt power supplied in most homes in the USA for 24 lamp home tanning beds.  The next determining factor is the "level" each tanning bed is considered based on a salon's pricing structure, the number of bulbs in the bed, and the maximum session time.  Level one beds are typically 28-32 lamps with a 5.5% UVB and 20 minute max session time.  Level one beds are intended to be "starter beds" for people with creamy white skin which needs to be "conditioned" for the tanning process and every salon should own at least one. 
photo of a high pressure facial lamp
Keep in mind, the tanning process for human skin requires a certain dose of UVB (~5%) to penetrate through all 7 layers of your skin to stimulate your body's natural tanning chemical called melanin.  The problem with this part of the tanning equation is that if you are exposed too long to this UVB light, your skin burns and becomes red (think tourist at Daytona Beach, Florida in the summer).  Red indicates skin damage which is a bad thing and can be avoided by only laying in a bed or the sun for 10 to 15 minutes the first few sessions. 

Your body requires 24-48 hours after initial UVB exposure for the melanin to reach the top layer of your skin.  Melanin is the chemical which is activated by the UVA light which turns your top layer of skin bronze.  Level two beds usually have a boosted UVB in the 7 to 8% range, however the level 3 and 4 beds lower the UVB to less than 2% for the maintenance "bronzing" required every 5-7 days.  Once melanin is present in your top layer of skin, you do not need a high UVB lamp any longer and can avoid the damaging UVB rays.  Final point to be made: high pressure facial lamps  contain NO harmful UVB rays.  Behind the thick, blue-tinted glass are short high pressure bulbs which only emit UVA rays intended for bronzing your delicate facial skin and neck area.  Read more about how to buy tanning bed bulbs here.