Indoor tanning units come in the form of beds and booths. Tanning beds and booths are designed with low pressure fluorescent lamps or with high pressure quartz lamps, or with both.
The advantage of low pressure fluorescent units over high pressure units is cost and the UVB component for stimulation of melanin and hyperplasia, both important for effective tanning.
Quality tanning units are available from a variety of sources. There are advantages to each. The design and strategy of the salon, and your market, will determine which type of unit will be most desirable.
Tanning beds operate in the horizontal position. They are the lowest cost units, and have the added benefit of providing the tanner with a relaxing experience while tanning. After each tanning session, the operator must clean the tanning surface of the bed. Unlike booths, beds have an added advantage of easier transport and setup, an important consideration at the time of purchase and an important consideration should you anticipate the need to move the unit in the future.
Tanning booths operate in the vertical position, with the tanner standing inside the unit. Normally, salons place some type of disposable cloth on the floor for each tanner, hence making cleaning of the unit between sessions unnecessary. In addition, booths are sometimes equipped with an attached dressing room, so that the booths act as a tanning room as well.
The majority of units continue to be beds, but each operator should examine their market and determine which unit would fit best into their strategy.
Another decision for the salon operator is whether to buy units with 100 watt (HO) lamps or 160 watt (VHO) lamps. HO lamps are lower cost and longer lived. Given units with the same tanning time, the HO unit would be lower in cost to operate and maintain. To justify the cost of VHO’s, one would have to prefer the type of tan or the speed of tanning, if applicable.
In addition, some units are equipped with reflector lamps. The advantage of reflectors is higher output in the UVA range. Again, the operator must measure the cost of lamp replacement against the tanning results desired by the salon and their customers.