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Q: I’d like to know more details about the combination UV/red-light/blue-light lamps. How well do they perform for the “UV crowd” and what percentage of UV does the lamp offer if “sharing space” with other lightwave spectrums? Will the RL or BL provide enough results for customers to actually see or feel? What benefits can I truthfully tell them to expect? Would this be considered a UV customer upgrade, or the same service? That’s a lot of questions, I know; but I need to understand this better. Thanks, LjM
A: Great question! There is currently a buzz in the market regarding UVA/red/blue hybrid lamp products. I’ve heard some whispers about the UV lamps with blue light, but haven’t actually seen a UV/blue lamp or tanning unit in the market.
As for the UV/red-light lamps, or hybrid lamps as many call them, those seem to be growing in popularity. I know JK Products and KBL currently offer systems that utilize UV/red lamps. As a result, many of my customers have asked about the availability of these lamps to install in their salon customers’ existing equipment. At the moment, some manufacturers have produced a couple versions of UV/red lamps as private label brands.
The UV/red lamps are considered tanning lamps with extra red phosphor added, and all carry the necessary compatibility for the OEM lamps they are replacing. These are only manufactured as low-pressure lamps; no high-pressure products have been researched or produced at this time.
When you adjust a lamp’s phosphor content to produce more energy in a certain area of the light spectrum, in this case red light, you do tend to lose energy in other areas. So, with these lamps, there is some loss of the UVB and/or UVA energy. Depending on the amount of red phosphor added, the lamp could lose up to 45% of the UVB/UVA. There is give and take depending on how much of the red phosphor is added.
Red-light lamps have been in the market for a long time now, such as in the Ergoline Beauty Angel and of course, many salon owners are re-lamping older tanning units with red-light lamps. Customers’ opinions have varied and it is no different with the hybrid lamps. The salons we have tested have the same wide-ranging feedback as with red-light units; some love the lamps and feel they have a “fresher” tanning experience, and others just want the UVB and aren’t into the hybrid-style lamps. Salon guests can expect a different tanning experience with hybrid light, because they are a different lamp that does not “pack the punch” a standard UV lamp does.
Some salons will employ these lamp products in a UV unit and consider it a session upgrade, while others will offer it as a supplemental service in much the same way they do a traditional red-light session. The benefits of sessions in hybrid-light units are tough to explain, because the FDA does not allow our industry to make any claims regarding red-light lamps, and that includes hybrid types. Simply tell your guests that they are tanning lamps with extra red in them. How you explain it is up to you; but do not provide any opinions regarding the benefits of red light.
Industry veteran Leif Vasstrom founded Napa, CA-based Supra Brands Group in 2004, and has been at the forefront of sunlamp innovation since 1978. He opened the first tanning salon in NYC on Madison Avenue in 1978. In 1985, his company designed the Breeze Salon Software and business management program, acquired by SunLync in 2003. He launched the Silver Solarium equipment line in 1978, and Dr. Müller systems in 1993. In 1986, he helped start Applied Digital (T-Max). In 2011, Supra acquired industry forum tantoday.com as a means to further the message about the positive aspects of moderate UV exposure.
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