Tanning Lamp Buying Guide

Confused about what lamps you need?

Ok, you just bought that used tanning bed and you need new lamps, but you have no idea what kind of lamps you need. Read on, as we will explain what you need to know. The page looks long, but it will skip you to the right sections that apply to you. Relax, it's just one step at a time.

1.   Do you have face tanning?

There are a couple different types of face tanning lamps, so look below. If you don't have any type of face tanning (most tanning beds), skip to Step 2.  Otherwise, read about each below.


Turbo Facial

This system is fairly rare, but a few models have these turbo tanning lamps. These were popular with some models of Sunquest and Sunvision beds denoted with the letter "T" after the model type, as in [Sunvision Pro 28 LXT], or [Sunvision Pro 24 ST]. These are 10-15 watt skinny lights that augment facial area tanning. 

High Pressure Facial

This is very common type of face tanning lamp that uses a 400 watt bulb that is a few inches long that resides behind a  blue (or mirrored) filter glass. Never use them if the glass is missing or cracked, this would be dangerous. Some beds have more than one of these.  Most beds that use this facial have F71 sized tanning lamps for the long lamps, and the lamps in front of the face bulb may be F59 (shorter), or they may have staggered the lamps down and used F71 lamp all around. You have to look at the lamps, and count the number of short/long lamps to be sure. 

Dual Zone Facial


This is actually just a F71 lamp that has been specially treated to produce two different UV spectrums.  All the magic happens inside the lamp, not outside.  When the lamps are on, they look like the image above, although your bed might have fewer/more of the face bulbs. A good option is the TWIST F71 100W  X Power 2 Tone from Twister Face Tanning Lamp Kits.

No face tanning

Your bed doesn't have special face tanning, but you can likely add it.  You can go to Step 2, below.

2. What brand of tanning bed do you have?

Before you say "Wolff", please know that Wolff isn't a brand of tanning bed.   Dozens of bed brands have the name Wolff on them, and it only refers to the original lamp style.  There should be a name on the bed such as SunQuest, SunVision, ESB, Suntana or similar.  90% of the time, this will automatically tell us what size lamp you need, as many manufacturers only used one size lamp in all their tanning beds.   If you are not sure what brand of bed you have (label missing, worn off, etc.) then go to step 3 now.

SunQuest, SunVision, SunMaster, ESB, Solar Storm, Soleil, ACN, Alisun use F71 lamps.  Of course, if you have face tanning, you may also have short lamps, F59, or Dual Zone lamps (above).  If you don't have high pressure face tanning, then you definitely have F71 sized lamps (write this down), and *any* 100 watt F71 lamp will work in your bed.   At this point, you are pretty much done, but you can jump to step 4 if you want to learn some options and prices for your bed. (recommended)

If your tanning bed is a Puretan, Montego Bay, SonnenBraune, Suntana, Sundash, SCA or other brand, it gets a bit more complicated since they used a variety of sizes in different beds.  It isn't hard to figure out, but you need to go to the next step, just to be sure.

3.  What do your current lamps look like?

Ok, we will do this the hard way ;)  Actually, it is pretty easy to tell your lamp needs by looking at the lamp as long as you can see the numbers on it.  Old lamps often used an alpha-numeric code on them, but newer lamps use a somewhat more universal numbering method.  Look at your lamps (noting if they are all the same length or not) and write down the code on the lamp.  The code will almost always have the phrase "T12" in it.  That means "thickness = 12/8", which is a fancy way of saying the lamp has a diameter of 1 1/2 inches, like almost every tanning lamp.

Most lamps will have a code like this:  x71T12xxxx.  Obviously, the letter "x" isn't really used, and could be any letters, such as F71, DSS71, VEL71, etc.   The letters don't matter, only the number.  For example, a DSS73T12 is really an F73 lamp.  The DSS part just stands for "Diamond Sun S".  It is exactly the same size as a VEL73T12, which is the code for a Velocity F73 lamp.  The two numbers before T12 are what matters.  If you have short lamps in front of a high pressure facial, those will likely say "DSS59T12" or similar, which means they are F59 lamps.  Using "F" and the size is the proper, ISO way of sizing lamps, but some companies fancy it up with their own letters.  It means nothing, they are still F71s, F73s, or F59s.

The letter R.  If you see the letter R mixed in, such as FR71 instead of F71, this means you have a reflector lamp.  Examples include Reflex Bronzer, Sol Plus, Pro Reflector, etc.  Call us instead.  Reflector lamps are generally used on only larger tanning beds, but a few 24 lamp beds might have them.   Very likely, this doesn't apply to you.  If it does, we have lots of them in stock, so don't worry.

What if your lamp has different codes?  Older lamps like Crystal Sun S, Bellarium S, Bellarium Plus, etc. used a different coding system.  Those lamps aren't made any more, but they were still just F71, F72, F73 or F59 lamps with fancy codes.  Here is a guide you can use to convert your old codes to their actual size:

F72 codes: (has an RDC, black cap)
DA1-766-100W, F72T12, DSS72T12, or similar xx72T12
(This is a fairly rare size.  Some Suntana beds and a few Puretan/Tanfit beds used this.)

F73 codes:(has an RDC, black cap)
SA2-10-100W, SA1-10-100W, DA1-767-100W, DSS73-T12, VEL73-T12, ES3-73-100W or similar xx73T12

F59 codes: (bi pin lamp, shorter)
SA1-59-80W, DA1-59-80W, F59T12, DSS59T12, VEL59T12 or similar xx59T12

F71 codes: (bi pin lamp, 6 foot)
DA1-763-100W,  F71T12, DSS71T12, VEL71T12 or similar xx71T12
(This is the most common lamp size in the industry.  Most tanning beds use this size.)

Write down what size you need now so you can refer back to it later!

If you have size F72, you will want to consider the Genesis 105W F72 Plus lamps.  If you have F73 lamps, go Bermuda Gold F73 100W and choose according to the number of lamps in your tanning bed.  If you need both F71 and F59 lamps (ie: you have a high pressure facial) then you will be looking at the Elite SELECT.  You can choose a kit with the right number of both types of lamps, plus a face tanning bulb, from our Sunquest Lamp Wizard.  If you have F71, check out the next section.

4.  What are my options?

Your options depend on what size lamp you have, and most of you will have F71 lamps.   Virtually every tanning lamp we offer comes in this size.  This section will help you pick the right lamp for your tanning bed.  You can also just jump to the Sunquest Lamp Wizard, but you may find the below sections helpful.

Before you decide what lamp to use, first you should ask yourself if you want any special features to enhance the tanning experience.  Likely, you didn't even know you had these options!  Choose one of the questions below if they apply to you.


A. Do you have trouble tanning your face?

B. Are you hard to tan because you have very fair skin?

C. Are you hard to tan because you have average skin? 

D. Do you want the cheapest lamp that still performs well?

E. Do you just want something similar to what the bed came with originally?

F. Do you want something that is very hot?


A. Do you have trouble tanning your face?

You might consider getting the TWIST F71 100W X Power 2 Tone. These lamps are regular F71 lamps on the outside, but they are treated differently inside, to produce two lamps in one. See Dual Zone Facial STEP 1 above.

Back to questions.


B. Are you hard to tan because you have very fair skin?

If you are fair skinned, then you need to be particularly careful when tanning. The idea is to AVOID burning.  Regardless of what others might or might not tell you, you should AVOID lamps with more than 5% UVB rating.  Light skinned persons do not develop melanin as fast as regular skin, so a hotter lamp will NOT help you, only burn you.  6.5%, 8.5%, 9% lamps are not the answer.  The answer (like it or not) is time.  You should get a tanning bulb with 5% lower UVB and expect longer session times. This is the only way you will get a quality tan without burning. The best choice may be the Wolff Elite 20M. These lamps tan slower but deeper, which is what you need. Sunquest Bulb Wizard.

Back to questions.

C. Are you hard to tan but have average skin?

Generally speaking, average skinned persons that have difficulty tanning just need a modest boost in UVB to stimulate melanin.  For these persons,  the Wolff Elite PLUS is a good choice.  

Back to questions.

D. Do you want the cheapest lamp that still performs well?

Then look at our Wolff Elite PINK.  For only $279 for a 24 pack they represent tremendous value.


Back to questions.

E. Do you just want something similar to what the bed came with originally?

If your tanning bed has a 20 minute timer, then our Bronzer style lamps are likely the best replacements.  This includes the Wolff Elite SELECT (1000 hour life) and Wolff Elite PLUS (1000 hour life).  The Plus series lamps are slightly hotter versions of these lamps. If your bed has Diamond Sun S lamps (very common), please note that we carry them but do not post these so please call for price.  

Back to questions.

F. Do you want something that is very hot?

We don't recommend super hot lamps for fair skinned persons but if you want the hottest lamp you will want to consider the Wolff Elite ULTRA.  Note that the hotter the lamp is, the shorter your session time will be but the faster that your tan will fade, unless you use a lamp with a RUVA reflector to increase the UVA output, like the Wolff Elite PLUS R. This is not a property of our lamps, it is just the science of how tanning works.

Back to questions. 

5.  I am still confused!

That's ok, just call us and we will gladly help you.  Call 1-800-881-2427 during business hours, and be sure to have your tanning bed model # or lamp information handy.  


 Please note that many of the trademarks used herein, such as SunQuest®, SunVision®, Diamond Sun S® and Velocity®, are actually trademarked names that belong to ETS, LLC.  We use them under Fair Use exceptions to help our customers find legally compatible lamps.  Wolff Systems® and the Wolff System logo are registered trademarks of Wolff Systems, Inc.