Panel of Experts Series: Bobby Wagner of JK Light

Lamp performance is the key to your salon’s success and a vital factor in the tanning process. Learning the steps needed to maintain and maximize performance will help to ensure longer lasting sunlamps and provide a better customer experience for your clients.


Follow these tips to keep your sunlamps operating at their best.

  1. A dirty tanning booth and poorly operating fan can cause overheating in the unit, resulting in end-darkening of the sunlamp, and in extreme cases, burnout. It is important to thoroughly clean in and around the sunbed and vacuum the fans on a regular basis.
  2. Sunlamps should be removed and wiped down as part of your maintenance program to eliminate dust on the sunlamps and provide for cooler, more efficient operation. While you have the sunlamps out of the unit, thoroughly clean the reflectors and the inside of the unit.
  3. Keeping a consistent temperature in your salon aids in sunlamp life, the ideal operating temperature in your tanning salon is 66-74 degrees. Remind your clients that heat does not contribute to the tanning process.
  4. Excessive voltage can shorten the life of a sunlamp. Can also cause end-darkening and early burnouts. Voltage should be checked regularly to ensure your equipment is operating according to manufacturer’s electrical requirements.
  5. Not enough A/C can create excess heat and cause poor lamp performance. Be sure you have the proper size air conditioning unit to cool your total square footage including the A/C requirements for each tanning unit. Contact your equipment vendor for A/C requirements.
  6. Worn or loose sockets/lamp holders can cause premature end-darkening of the sunlamp and shorten tanning lamp life. May also cause early burnouts.
  7. Acrylic plays an important part in the life of your sunlamps. If you have a worn or yellowing acrylic, this can block UV light from coming through and can cause overheating. Replace acrylics according to manufacturer’s recommendation. Your equipment vendor will have useful information on acrylic care.
  8. If you have a tanning unit that requires starters, it is recommended to change the starter every lamp change and every other complete lamp change. Starters are inexpensive and are an easy way to help extend the life of your tanning lamps. A bad or old starter can shorten the life of a sunlamp.


Bobby Wager is currently the director of sales for JK Light, the lamp division for JK North America. With more than 17 years of hands-on experience in the tanning industry, Bobby has used his knowledge and expertise to help salon owners and managers increase sales and profits for their business. His background at JK North America consists of manufacturing, customer service, and sales. His familiarity with all aspects of tanning gives him a better understanding of how to educate and guide salon owners on the best solutions on all of their salon needs.


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