Maintaining lamp performance is critical and challenging. Many factors have to be considered and most importantly: Always keep spare lamps available! It is a poor practice to operate a salon without at least one spare case of each type used on hand.
- Periodically check lamp cleanliness. Most units have an air cooling system for the lamps, which ends up being a giant vacuum cleaner for room dirt. A dirt buildup on the lamps can have a significant effect on lamp intensity.
- Check that the cooling system for the lamps is operating properly. Without proper airflow, a lamp can lose intensity. A lamp running 20 - 30 degrees too hot (or too cold) can lose as much as 35% of its maximum output intensity.
- Monitor your lamp intensity, and log it, as discussed earlier.
- When changing lamps, always clean the tanning unit thoroughly. Dirty reflectors and acrylics can significantly reduce the useful UV performance of the lamps.
- Check the acrylic quality. Poor quality, “cheap” acrylics, or badly degraded acrylics can block 70% or more of the UVB radiation of the lamps from reaching your skin. This can make a new lamp appear to perform like one that has reached end-of-life.
- Check the lamp sockets. Be sure that the lamps are snug in the lamp sockets. Replace any which show worn springs or loose contacts. Poor lamp contacts can cause difficulty in lamp starting, shorten lamp life, premature end blackening, and possible electrical arcing at the lamp ends.
- Change the lamp starters regularly. Generally most bed manufacturers recommend changing the starters at every other lamp replacement. A worn-out starter can quickly destroy an expensive lamp!
- Lamps will not degrade in their carton; so “freshly dated” lamps are not necessary. The only way to degrade a lamp is by operating it.
- Lamps are not hurt by storage in high or low temperatures either. However, lamps allowed to sit in a cold or hot environment may be difficult to light until they reach room temperature.
- If lamps have been stored in the open, always clean them before installing. Acceptable cleaners include glass cleaner, alcohol and most general cleaners. Do not use these cleaning products on the bed acrylics as they may damage the acrylic.