Best Tanning Bed Bulbs 2020 – Review and Buying Guide

If you use tanning beds, you know the most important part is the tanning bulbs since it’s the rays emitted by these bulbs that give you the desired tan. If you’re tanning bed isn’t working as it should or you have an old tanning bed, you can just replace the bulbs with the best tanning bed bulbs to have a wonderful tanning experience.

Maintaining tanning bed bulb lights can be quite a challenge and the fact that these bulbs don’t come cheap, makes it all the more reason to make sure you do your research to find the most affordable replacement bulbs to boost the performance of your tanning bed.

List of the best tanning bed bulbs

Wolf dark tan II tanning bed bulbs

This is a perfect choice for your tanning bed bulb replacements that will give you a quick dark tan because of its higher levels of UVB rays. This means that you only get to spend a shorter time in your tanning bed to achieve the same color. A box of Wolff tanning bulbs contains 24 lamps that consume around 100 W and are very easy to replace. These tanning bulbs come with an F71 end fitting and 100w electricity capacity so it spends less amount of electricity to work and heat up. These are economical tanning bulbs that are convenient to use since its compatible with different types of tanning beds even with beds that use F71 reflector bulbs. These bulbs are supposed to give you at least 800 hours of effectiveness before it’s time to replace them.

Pros

  • Affordable tanning bulbs
  • Very easy to install
  • Available in large packs
  • Great tanning results

Cons

  • Tanning is not very strong
  • Some bulbs arrive broken

Brilliance bronzer F73 tanning lamp

Brilliance Bronzer F73 HO 100W-120W 5.0% RDC Tanning Lamp (20)
  • F73 T12 HO 100W-120W RDC Tanning Lamp
  • Rated Life of 1000 Hours
  • Compatible Replacement for many popular sun beds.

This is a versatile lamp that you can use as a replacement for a wide range of tanning beds and can both fit 100-120 W power requirements. These bulbs can fit both F71 and T12 so you need to check if your tanning bed is compatible with this kind of bulb. The maximum wattage on these bulbs is 120W which means it will require a little more power, but in return, it will provide a greater output for faster tanning. This is an amazingly performing bronzer tanning bulb and the best thing is that it’s relatively cheap and has a lifespan of about 1000 hours. Its longer lifespan means you will have less frequent replacements and this will reduce your cost of buying bulbs.

Pros

  • It’s relatively cheap
  • Has a rated lifespan of 1000 hours
  • Great replacement bulbs
  • Fast tanning

Cons

  • Takes longer tanning time
  • Reflector-style bulbs

Midday sun F71 T12 tanning lamps

Midday Sun F71T12 5.0 100W Tanning Lamps - Best Bronzing Bulbs! (6)
  • F71 T12 100W-120W Bi Pin Tanning Lamps
  • Rated Life of 1200 Hours
  • Compatible Replacement for many popular sun beds such as Sunquest & Sunvision.

These are great replacement bulbs for your tanning bed and their sockets are designed to be compatible with most of the popular tanning beds. Unlike other tanning bed bulbs, these have a lifespan of 1200 hours which means you can use them for more tanning sessions which will help you cut costs on replacement bulbs. It’s also powered by 100W and a single tanning session can take up to 15-20 minutes. Although you can control the length of each tanning session, it’s recommended that you shouldn’t tan for more than 20 minutes in a single session. The length of tanning is the key to achieving a beautiful body. When replacing the bulb replacement, you need to check the UVA and UVB content. If the bulb has a higher UVB percentage, you’ll get tanned faster.

Pros

  • Very effective bulbs
  • Good quality bulbs
  • They’re compatible with most tanning beds
  • Has a long lifespan

Cons

  • Comes with only 6 in a pack
  • More suited as replacement bulbs

Mega voltage F71 bi-pin tanning lamp

Mega Voltage F71 Bi-pin Tanning Lamp (12 Pack)
  • F71 T12 Bi Pin Tanning Lamp (71" Long)
  • 2 Toned Lamps - Pink For Facial Tan - Blue For Body Tan
  • Rated Life of 1000 Hours - Rated for 20 minute sessions

This is a great tanning lamp that comes in 12 tanning lamps per box which makes it very economical to buy a pack. This lamp has a very unique feature of two-toned lamps with the pink light for your facial tan and the blue light for your body tan. This bi-color design ensures that you get very effective results. Also, it also has a long lifespan of 1000 hours which means you don’t have to change your tanning bulbs frequently. It has the common size of the F71 and T12 bi-pin base that makes it suitable for many tanning beds.

Pros

  • Has two-toned lamps
  • Has a long lifespan of 1000 hours
  • Pink lamp to tone your face and blue to tone the rest of your body
  • Compatible with most tanning beds

Cons

  • Tanning is not strong
  • Poor quality bulbs

Wolff system golden bronze maximum F71 T12 bi-pin tanning bulbs

Mega Voltage F71 Bi-pin Tanning Lamp (12 Pack)
  • F71 T12 Bi Pin Tanning Lamp (71" Long)
  • 2 Toned Lamps - Pink For Facial Tan - Blue For Body Tan
  • Rated Life of 1000 Hours - Rated for 20 minute sessions

These are excellent tanning bulbs designed with a bi-pin style of tanning lamp that will give you quick tanning sessions of about 12 minutes. You can use these tanning bulbs as replacement bulbs for different tanning beds which makes them very versatile bulbs. These tanning bulbs may be of the same quality as the bronzer lamps so it can give you a nice golden bronze tan, but the effect will depend on your skin tone. These tanning bulbs also emit a considerable amount of UVA and UVB rays so it’s advisable to wear eye protection during your tanning sessions. With a lifespan of 1000 hours and a quick 10-12 minutes tanning session, you can have many short tanning sessions before you start to think about getting a bulb replacement. These are great tanning bulbs you can use at home to get a quick tan and they’re very easy to install.

Pros

  • Very easy to install
  • Compatible with many tanning beds
  • Designed with a bi-pin style
  • Very powerful replacement bulbs

Cons

  • Not suited for long tanning sessions
  • Can get hot while using

X power twister dual-face and body tanning lamp

X Power Twister Dual Face & Body Tanning Lamp Kit F71T12 100W - Bronzing Bulbs! (16)
  • Kit includes both X Power Twist & X Power Dual Twist Lamps
  • Rated Life of 1000+ Hours - Rated for 15- 20 minute sessions
  • Increased surface area which provides you more tanning power

This tanning lamp comes in form of a kit that contains 3X power twists and 3X power dual twist tanning lamps that are designed to give you more powerful tanning emissions for your tanning bed. These bulbs are designed as twisted bulbs to provide a more natural ray emission effect. They also provide a wider tanning coverage which will help to give your body a more even bronzer tone. The bulbs are designed with magnetic bottom sockets which makes them highly versatile to be used with different tanning beds and for easy adjustment. This adjustment feature is also useful in helping you to get an even tan from your face to the rest of your body. This type of bulb is also very ideal as a replacement bulb because it gives out a mild amount of UVB rays. With a lifespan of 1000 hours and about 10-15 minutes of tanning per session, you can achieve your desired tan in a very short time and you will also get to use them for longer so you don’t have to buy the bulbs frequently.  A box comes with 16 lamps.

Pros

  • Very durable tanning bulbs
  • Can use to tan both your face and body
  • Provides more tanning power
  • Have a long lifespan

Cons

  • Takes longer to tan
  • Poor tanning power

Wolff velocity extreme tanning bed bulbs

24 NIB Wolff Velocity Extreme Tanning Bed Bulbs F71
  • Velocity Extreme approximately 10% stronger then the Velocity Plus.
  • Significantly more UVB without compromising the robust UVA Velocity is known for.
  • Wolff's most powerful lamp with extra power that takes you a big step further.

These are excellent tanning bulbs that are designed with a bi-pin style and will give you richer, darker skin color. If you have yellow skin, even those with pale and lighter skin tones should use these tanning bulbs. These bulbs emit large amounts of UVB rays which are strong enough to darken your skin in only 15 minutes. These bulbs are commonly used and considered to be among the best tanning bulbs. They’re non-reflector bulbs that are designed with advanced phosphor technology for faster and even coloring. This means you can expect the same results in a shorter time and with an expected lifespan of 1000 hours, you can use these bulbs for longer which means less frequent replacements. They come with a free product guide which makes it easier to use and helps you to get better results. Their new design makes them stronger than the standard velocity model which makes the bulbs more durable for more effective performance. These bulbs also have an auto-shutoff feature that allows the bulbs to rest on their own when they need to prevent a short circuit, damage, or burnout.

Pros

  • Emits strong UVB rays
  • Has an auto-shutoff feature
  • Powerful enough to deliver an even skin tan
  • Has a long lifespan

Cons

  • Not compatible with most tanning beds
  • Very expensive

Sperti Fiji sun home tanning lamp

Sperti Fiji Sun Home Tanning Lamp - Face and Body Sunlamp
  • SALON QUALITY - No need to carve out time for an appointment. Fiji Sun lets you conveniently achieve...
  • FACE AND BODY - Easy to use tabletop light is fully angle adjustable, allowing it to be used for...
  • ALL YEAR BRONZE - Maintain a natural glow year-round, regardless of the weather or season. This...

This is one of the best tanning bulbs you’ll find in the market and is mostly used in tanning salons and spas. It has a very durable design and is very easy to install, and you only need to adjust it at an angle for full-body coverage. You can comfortably achieve a smooth and even glow from the comfort of your home. This tabletop light has a full angle adjustment that will allow you to use it for a facial tan and other sections of your body with nice results in just a few minutes. It also features an auto-off timer that turns off the lamps after the run time has exceeded 15 minutes. This feature is very useful because it prevents you from getting skin burns and the lamps from overheating. This safety feature makes this lamp safe to use even for cosmetic purposes without the risk of burning your face. It’s a very effective lamp that you can use all year round to get a nice natural glow and you can easily touch up your base tan as needed, but this will depend on your skin tone and the frequency of your tanning sessions. These tanning bulbs have a lifespan of 1000 hours.

Pros

  • Very powerful tanning lamps
  • Comes with an auto-off timer
  • Easy to install
  • You can angle adjust the lights

Cons

  • Takes longer to achieve a tan
  • Can give you light burns

Wolff bronzing sun plus F71 bi-pin tanning lamp

Wolff System GoldenBronze Maximum F71T12 100W Bipin Tanning Bulbs - Intense Bronze (16)
  • F71T12 BL Bi-Pin 100W Golden Bronze Maximum
  • Rated Life of 1000 Hours - Rated for 10 - 12 minute sessions
  • Considerable UVB and UVA

This is a great and efficient tanning lamp that comes in a box that contains 24 tanning lamps. It has a bi-pin design that makes it easier to install the lamp and increase its compatibility with other tanning beds. It has a lifespan of 1000 hours and is powered by 100 W so it contains just the right amount of UVB and UVA rays to give you a bronzed skin tone. This is a great lamp for pale-skinned people since it will give you that bronzed effect instead of leaving your skin pale pink or red. These bulbs are good replacement bulbs and also for first time usage. This is a very unique tanning bulb from other Wolff tanning bulbs because it works well on pale skin since it emits less harsh rays. It also works well with other types of skin and only takes 10-12 minutes to show results. It produces enough UVB and UVA rays to give you a long-lasting, dark tan, but you need to wear eye protection while tanning.

Pros

  • Very easy to install
  • Very effective in giving you a long-lasting, dark tan
  • Ideal for people with pale skin and even other skin types
  • Bi-pin style makes it easy to install

Cons

  • Requires more time to tan
  • Sometimes heats up

Factors to consider before buying a tanning bed bulb

Bed compatibility

Not all bed bulbs will be compatible with your tanning bed, so before you buy a tanning bulb you need to check its compatibility. Most tanning beds are compatible with standard length bi-pin tanning bulbs, but some use different bulbs. Some bulbs are specifically intended for a certain type of tanning bed and to maintain your skin’s level of tanning, you’ll need to get the correct tanning bulb replacements. If you can’t get the exact replacement, you can use a universally compatible bulb that suits your skin tone.

Wattage

You don’t want to get a bulb that’s too strong if you’re only after bronzing, but if you want a real tan, a stronger bulb is better. The recommended bulb and most commonly used is the bulb with a wattage of 100W, enough to give you color, but for a darker tan, you’ll need a bulb with around 120-140 W. the wattage is responsible for the UV light from the bulb. If the bulbs have a higher wattage, they will not suit the needs of everyone because of their increased intensity and a lower wattage may take longer to give you the results you want.

Bulb size

Different bulbs come in different sizes, but they can either be in the F or T size. The most commonly used F size bulbs include F71 and F72 and also F73. T size bulbs usually follow the standard fluorescent bulb size like T12. For you to know the exact size of your tanning bed bulbs, you should look at the label.

Shelf life

Shelf life is how many hours the bulb will last because you don’t want to spend a lot of money on something that will die soon. All tanning bulbs have different shelf lives after which they lose their effectiveness and functionality. When buying the best tanning bed bulb, make sure it can last at least 800 hours, but if you find one that lasts longer, the better. Normally the shelf life of these bulbs is around 600 hours but it can go up to 1000+ hours.

Session length

This is also an important factor that you should consider. The session length is the time it takes to give you a nice, fair tan, but this will depend on the shelf life of the bulb and the strength of the UV emissions. Different types of tanning bulbs will give you different effects on the level of tanning from a mild, dark, bronze tan, to a rich tone. Frequent tanning sessions can last between 20-30 minutes in a single laying but if you have pale skin, it might take you at least 35 minutes in a single laying, but if you’ve darker skin, you will need more time to tan.

Regular or bronzing bulbs

This is a very important factor you have to consider when finding the best replacement for your tanning bed bulb. If you have a tanning business, you’ll have to get both types of bulbs, but if it’s for your home tanning bed, you can choose the one that’s right for you. Bronzing bulbs produce a more lasting and deep brown tan because they emit more UVA rays however, regular replacement bulbs emit more UVB rays that will produce a more gradual tan.

Tanning effect

Skin tone and skin type will affect the type of tanning bulb you’ll get and you also have to think about the level of tanning you want. If you have skin allergies or irritations, this is the first factor you should consider because the level of your tanning bed will depend on this factor. You should look for tanning bulbs with a certain level of FR emissions because some bulbs can darken your skin tone in a few minutes while others will take some time. The tan you want to achieve will depend on your skin’s ability to cope and its current skin tone.

Ease of installation

Buying a tanning bed bulb that meets all your requirements but not easy to install will not work. To prevent this you need to make sure you get a tanning bulb that is compatible with your bed. If you’re going to buy the bulb online, make sure the site has a good exchange or return policy if you don’t get what you want.

Cost

This is the final decision that you should make. The price of the tanning bulb you buy will depend on their power and expected shelf life. The more powerful your bulbs and the longer their shelf life, the more they will cost. Do a quick calculation of how long and how often you’ll be using your tanning bed with the indicated power on the tanning bulb. A more powerful bulb means a shorter tanning session for the same tanning results.

When should you replace your tanning bed bulb?

Most tanning bed users are often confused about when you should change the tanning bulbs. Unlike your standard fluorescent bulbs, you can’t know the intensity of your tanning bulbs so you can replace them when they get dim. This is because UVA and UVB rays are impossible to see with your human eyes. According to research, when the intensity of the UVA and UVB rays falls below 70-80% of its original value, it’s time to replace the bulbs. The most effective way of knowing this is by using a UV light meter to measure this. And to improve the accuracy of the UV light meter, you can turn off all the tanning bulbs and measure the background UV intensity. By measuring the UV light intensity every once in a while will ensure that you get an effective tan every time.

Cleaning tanning bed bulbs after replacement

Dirt and dust can accumulate on the wall of your tanning bed light tube and it can block the emission of the UVA and UVB rays reducing the tanning performance of your tanning bed. Before you clean the tanning bed bulbs, make sure you’ve turned off the power supply to your tanning bed so you can safely remove the bulbs from their fixtures. Gently rub the surface of the light tube using a clean glass cloth. If the bulb has stain deposits on the inside, like in the reflector, you might be forced to get a replacement bulb if it will affect the tanning performance of your tanning bed.

How to change tanning bed bulbs

To be on the safe side and to avoid injuries, make sure to unplug your tanning bed and wear gloves if the bulbs are hot or if you’re concerned they might break while handling the bulbs. Remember, tanning bulbs contain mercury and other potentially harmful chemicals that can react with your skin. Removing the old bulb should b as easy as gently popping them out of their sockets, but don’t put too much pressure on the glass.

Here are a few steps you can follow:

For you to change the bulb, you should first remove it by removing the grill and all the other things attached with it, but first, you need to:

  • Locate the 4 screws along the top of the end cap’s ridge
  • Carefully unscrew these screws
  • Remove the metal grid and carefully slide it out of the bed

Next, you need to remove the bulb by sliding the bulb a quarter turn and pulling the bulb slowly out of its socket. Once you’ve removed the bulb, you can now replace it with a new bulb, but before you put it in, make sure you use the same bulb as a replacement, especially if you have a warranty because using a different type of bulb will void your warranty and both the old and new bulb should be the same type with the same wattage.

To replace the bulb:

  • Gently insert the pins of the bulbs in the bulb holder slots then turn it a quarter
  • Make sure the bulbs are properly fixed on both ends
  • Screw the end caps and replace the grill properly

Conclusion

Now that you know the huge role that tanning bulbs play in your tanning bed and how to pick the best tanning bed bulb, you can now select a good replacement bulb for your tanning bed with confidence. Tanning bulbs like Wolf dark tan II tanning bed bulbs will give you a nice dark tan in just a few minutes and they’re very affordable.