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I recently got a call from a salon owner who had taken over an existing salon business. She had been calling distributors trying to get pricing and asking which lamps to use in her tanning systems. Of course, everyone gave her a different answer! In frustration, she called Team Wolff.
First, I gave her an assignment: write down the name of the lamps listed on the label of each bed. Then, record the names of the lamps currently installed in the beds. Goodness, what a mess! She had non-reflector lamps employed in beds that required reflector lamps, and some lamps had the incorrect wattages for the system in which they were installed. It is amazing that the salon was in business for as long as it was before she acquired it – the tanners couldn’t have been very satisfied with their results.
Whether you are a veteran salon owner or a new one, it is helpful to keep the following info on file for each tanning system in your facility. This will cut down on your research time when you place an order in preparation for re-lamping.
This info will enable your distributor rep to serve you more efficiently on the first call. And speaking of distributors, you want to order from a company with whom you are familiar and who will advise you about all products they offer. Just because they may have attractive pricing does not mean that they will stand behind their service/product if you are dissatisfied. There is meaning in the old adage, “A company should be as easy to reach to take a complaint as it is to take an order.”
Some tanning beds employ a starter for each lamp. Glo-bottle starters have a rated life of approximately 6,000 starts. As a starter ages, the number of “flashes” required to start the lamp increases, and every flash reduces the critical cathode coating that initiates the start. The more flashes, the more the ends of the lamp will darken.
In a 20-minute bed running for three sessions per hour, you should expect to replace the starter every other lamp change, or at 2,000 hours of use. In a 10-minute booth or bed used for six sessions per hour, you should expect to change the starters after 1,000 hours of lamp use.
Trying to save money by deferring starter replacement is not a good idea, as replacing lamps that fail early due to a worn starter can increase your lamp cost far more than a new starter.
Of course, feel free to contact us if you have questions. Just remember, our first question will be, “What lamps are listed on the label of the bed?”
Michael Stepp joined Wolff System as President in 1998, bringing years of lighting industry experience with GTE Sylvania, Osram Sylvania and Philips. Married for 38 years, he has a daughter and granddaughter.
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