5 Best Tanning Lamps: Complete Guide to What They Are and How They Work

Tanning lamps are an excellent addition to any home. In this article, you will find all of the information about it including the best devices, safety considerations, how they work, and more.

Get a tan in autumn or winter? You’ve probably heard about people who get a tan in autumn, even though the days are getting shorter, the sun is setting earlier and it’s getting colder outside. Is this possible? 

There are tanning lamps that emit UVB/UVA light. They are designed for people who want to get a tan all year round.

In this article, we’ll talk about tanning lamps, how they work, and the science behind them. We will also consider devices that are worthy of your attention.

Beurer IL50 Lamp
Beurer IL50 Lamp
Winner category: Best lamp for athletes

- Size XXL allows you to tan the whole body;
- Wide base;
- Overheat protection.
Beurer IL50 Lamp Show price Winner category: Best lamp for athletes
Sperti Fiji Tanning Lamp
Winner category: Durable tanning lamp

- Warranted life of 50,000 hours (about 5 years);
- Fully adjustable stand for different angles;
- FDA approved.
Nature Bright SunTouch Device
Nature Bright SunTouch Device
Winner category: Best 2-in-1 device (light & fresh air)

- Soothing lamp therapy;
- Comes with a built-in negative ionizer that emits ions that improve your overall well-being.
M260 UVB Lamp
M260 UVB Lamp
Winner category: Fast tanning time

- Excellent source of Vitamin D;
- Built-in timer for ease of use;
- Includes comfortable UVB filter goggles.
Body Red Light Device
Body Red Light Device
Winner category: Best multifunctional device

- Designed for full-body light therapy;
- Сan be used for a variety of conditions, including reducing inflammation and relaxing muscles.

What are tanning lamps?

Tanning lamps are high-intensity light sources that emit ultraviolet radiation (UV), which can be used to tan skin.

Ultraviolet (UV) radiation is electromagnetic radiation in the UVC, UVB, and UVA range. It has a wavelength shorter than visible light but longer than x-rays

It is divided into three bands according to the response it induces in the skin: UVA (315-400 nm), UVB (280-315 nm), and UVC (< 280 nm).

When compared to natural sunlight, these lamps offer either comparable or superior cosmetic tanning results. 

How do tanning lamps work?

Tanning lamps produce UVA and UVB radiation which supplies the skin with UV energy required to make melanin. When exposed to UV radiation, melanin reacts by darkening (tanning).

There are two types of tanning lamps: UVA and UVB. Both UVA and UVB tanning lamps produce the ultraviolet radiation that produces a tan in humans, however, each type emits a different range of ultraviolet radiation.

UVB and UVA
The depth of penetration of UVB and UVA rays into the skin

UVB has a higher energy level than UVA and it is UVB radiation that produces the actual tan on your skin. It also stimulates Vitamin D production in the body by converting cholecalciferol (D3) into pre-vitamin D3, which then turns into Vitamin D under influence of sunlight. UVB tanning lamps emit radiation between 290 and 320 nm.

For more information about the impact of UVB on the body — read our article.

UVA is less energetic than UVB and can penetrate deeper into the skin. It does not cause burning of the skin like UVB rays do, however, it may contribute to photoaging of the skin (wrinkles) and also acts as a trigger for melanoma formation. UVA tanning lamps emit radiation between 315 and 400 nm.

Best tanning lamps

Beurer IL50 Lamp 

Winner category: Best lamp for athletes

Beurer IL50 Lamp is a device for tanning that acts as an ultraviolet lamp, emitting the same rays that come from the sun.

Considering its large size, the Beurer IL50 lamp is designed for many different uses and users. One of these is the stimulation of blood circulation and muscle relaxation. This product would be suitable for people who want to tan and relax muscles, such as athletes.

Beurer IL50 Lamp would also be a good option if we consider its ease of use and controls. It uses a timer that allows setting the time we need the lamp. And due to its wide base, it will stand properly without falling or rocking.

Sperti Fiji Tanning Lamp

Winner category: Durable tanning lamp

Sperti Fiji Tanning Lamp is a device used to provide ultraviolet rays for indoor tanning.

The lamp emits UVA and UVB light, which increases the production of melanin, making darker skin within 2 weeks. This is also characterized by an improved skin tone, texture, and appearance.

There are a few precautions to consider when using this tanning lamp: first, should not be used by pregnant women or those under 18 years of age; the second should always wear protective eyewear while using it to protect the eyes from ultraviolet rays and damage; lastly, avoid looking at the direct light beam as it can cause permanent eye damage.

Nature Bright SunTouch Device

Winner category: Best 2-in-1 device (light & fresh air)

Nature Bright SunTouch is a multifunction device. Manufacturers claim that the lamp has miraculous properties that will help you get a tan and leave you happier and more energized. Infrared rays help to improve blood circulation and your metabolism under the tanning bed.

One of the greatest features of this lamp is the soothing lamp therapy. The 2-in-1 therapy combines light & fresh air to help you balance your body clock naturally. Fresh air in the lamp works as follows: it brings natural smells to your room. Each time you turn on the lamp, an ionization process starts. This process spreads a pleasant smell through your room to lift your spirits.

It helps you get a good night’s sleep and feel refreshed. Also, it can be used as a bright light therapy product, which is an effective treatment for all forms of depression. 

The device has a timer for 15, 30, 45, and 60 minutes so can choose the perfect session duration for you.

M260 UVB Lamp

Winner category: Fast tanning time

M260 UVB Lamp is a tanning device with short wave ultraviolet radiation. When in use, it produces a light spectrum that resembles daylight and causes skin tanning without exposure to the sun. It is also an excellent choice for people looking for a source of vitamin D.

The lamp emits intense light that can be harmful if overused. But due to the built-in timer, you don’t have to worry about it. We also recommend starting the procedure for a few seconds and adding 15 seconds every day. This will let you know how hard your skin can handle without getting burned.

Another great feature of this lamp is that it includes comfortable glasses with a UVB filter to protect your eyes.

Body Red Light Device

Winner category: Best multifunctional device

Body Red Light is a tanning device that uses red light technology, which has many advantages. It helps in tissue repair as well as reducing inflammation. This means that in addition to tanning, this lamp can help increase your overall well-being in the long term.

The device is lightweight and easy to move, unlike other panels. It also comes with a hanger, so you can just place it in a convenient place and enjoy the benefits.

The set includes a pair of goggles for eye protection, which is a big plus.

For more information on exposure to red light, scientific research, and the best devices — in our article.

The science behind tanning lamps

Tanning lamps have become increasingly popular in recent decades, despite evidence of an increased risk of melanoma and possibly non-melanoma skin cancer.

There is a lot of examples to prove that tanning lamps really work. Due to them, you can get a noticeable tan even after 15 minutes of the lamp. 

In addition, it is possible that after a week of using ultraviolet lamps, you will get the result as if you were on vacation for a month under the hot sun, and your tan will retain much better even during wintertime.

Tanning lamp
Tanning lamp results (before / after)

Besides tanning, these devices also provide additional benefits for your health. Using UVB tanning lamps promotes vitamin D production and improves mood. Likewise, lamps that use red light for tanning also have a positive effect on the skin, reducing inflammation and even fighting pain.

The research below confirms these claims.

The aim of a study [1] involving 19 patients with fibromyalgia (a disease characterized by widespread musculoskeletal pain accompanied by weakness, sleep, memory, and mood disorders) caused by vitamin D deficiency was to determine the effectiveness of UVB light. They were exposed to radiation for two weeks. As a result, measuring mood variables in patients with fibromyalgia syndrome showed that 6 ultraviolet light sessions had a positive effect on well-being, relaxation, and pain reduction.

The next study [2] looked at the symptoms of depression and vitamin D deficiency. 114 patients were screened for depressive symptoms and vitamin D deficiency. Those participants who had severe vitamin D deficiency and experienced clinically significant depressive symptoms were randomly assigned to either 12 weeks a light irradiation program or a placebo group. As a result, the group that was exposed to the radiation showed a significant increase in vitamin D levels and, on average, was no longer deficient in vitamin D, while the patients’ condition worsened in the placebo group.

For more information on how UVB increases vitamin D, see our article.

There have also been several studies [3] in which for several years, women (a total of 106,368 people) who had initial symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) were exposed to UVB radiation to reduce pain. As a result, the risk of developing the disease decreased by 21%. These results suggest that UV-B exposure is associated with increased vitamin D and a lower likelihood of developing RA.

These results suggest that UV-B exposure

The following study [4] shows the clinical effects of red light in patients with acute neck pain with radiculopathy. 60 patients underwent a course of 15 treatments over 3 weeks with an active or inactivated laser as a placebo treatment. As a result, patients reported significant changes in arm pain intensity and neck extension.The following study [5] confirms the effectiveness of light therapy in patients with chronic neck pain. 820 patients were randomly divided into two groups: the first — treatment with red light, the second — placebo for 22 weeks. As a result, the group that received light therapy reported a reduction in pain intensity while maintaining pain relief, in contrast to the second group. Side effects from red-light were mild and did not differ from placebo side effects.

From this, it can be concluded that tanning lamps that use UVB or red light, in addition to getting a tan, help to improve the general condition, help fight depression, increase vitamin D production, and also help cope with pain.

How to safely use a tanning lamp

  1. During tanning lamp use, you should never look directly at the lamps because they can cause damage to your eyes as well as increase the risk of developing cataracts. 
  2. After completing their session, they should wait for 7 to 10 minutes before exiting, so the ultraviolet radiation can dissipate.
  3. Users should not look at their skin while tanning unless they are wearing protective eyewear. 
  4. In addition, users should never wear contact lenses while tanning with UV equipment because of possible eye damage from direct exposure to UVA rays from lamps or indirect exposure to UVC and UVB rays from lamp reflection.
  5. Users should not use tanning lamps after recent eye surgery such as cataract or Lasik because they can damage the eyes without knowing it due to lowered pain sensation in the eye after surgery.
  6. Do not use your tanning lamp if the cord is damaged, frayed, or broken in any way — buy a new one immediately.
  7. Use common sense regarding your exposure time — don’t overdo it. You can always increase your time, but you can burn yourself if you stay under the lamp too long.
  8. Use your tanning lamp with at least 16-18 feet of space between it and flammable materials such as curtains or walls.
tanning lamp

Summary

In our busy schedule, it’s impossible to find time to go to the tanning salon whenever we want. And even if we had time, it could be very expensive.

Fortunately, thanks to technology, you can always get a tanning lamp and sunbathe from the comfort of your home.

Be sure to read the instructions for using the lamp and take the necessary precautions.

FAQ:

🤔 How do tanning lamps work?

When applied to the skin, ultraviolet light causes melanin production in the skin’s pigment cells (melanocytes), leading to a deep brown or black color. This is called “tanning.” The amount of exposure time required for tanning varies with each person, but generally, it takes between 10 to 15 minutes per session.

📌 How much ultraviolet light does a tanning lamp produce?

A typical home tanning lamp produces roughly the same amount of UVB as the mid-day sun during the summer (when skin can burn). However, most home tanning lamps also produce some UVA.

🧐 How often should you tan with a tanning lamp?

This is a common question with many answers, depending on your skin type, hair color, eye color, and how dark you wish to become. In beginning, try 5 to 10 minutes daily for three days, then increase the tanning sessions up to 15-30 minutes five days a week.

☀ Can you get vitamin D from a lamp?

Yes, UVB is required for the synthesis of Vitamin D in the skin and this can be achieved with a tanning lamp.

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