A Guide To The Best Tanning Bulbs In The Market

tanning bulbs

If you own a tanning bed or have ever used one, you know that having the right tanning bulb is crucial to the quality of your tan.

The bulbs, also known as lamps or tubes, in a tanning bed emit ultraviolet light. This is what penetrates your skin and makes it darker.  

If the bulb wattage is too low, then you won’t get a very dark tan. If the wattage is too high, you risk injuring yourself.

You can’t just try several different wattages hoping you don’t burn yourself. So, how do you find the right wattage? 

Don’t worry, we're here to help!

We'll look at what you need to know to find the perfect bulb for your tanning bed lamp, who makes it, and where you can get it.

By the end of this article, you will learn exactly what type of bulb you need.


The first thing to know about tanning bed lamps is that it's the UV rays from the bulbs that tan you.

This means that different colors won’t affect the shade that you end up with.

It’s also important to know that when you replace bulbs, it’s recommended that you change all your bulbs. You should at least change the canopy or bench all at once, so you receive an even tan.

A quality bulb should last around 500 to 800 hours. The easiest way to tell is if you aren’t getting the same tanning effects from your tanning bed anymore.

When we think of better products, we think of higher prices. However, this isn’t always true.

Some cheap tanning bed bulbs are affordable due to the company they are from or where that company gets their supplies.

You should still, of course, do thorough research on whatever bulb you choose, but you shouldn’t discount cheap products immediately.

Wolff Dark Tan II Tanning Bed Bulbs

Wolff System Wolff Dark Tan II Tanning Bed Bulbs

When looking for the best tanning bulbs, we found the Wolff Dark Tan II Tanning Bed Bulbs by Wolff System to be the best available.

These are 100-watt bulbs with a higher than average UVB, which makes for shorter tanning sessions.

The end fittings on these bulbs are F71 bi-pin fittings and the bulbs are 69.4 inches by 1.5 inches by 1.5 inches.

This is important to know.

The last thing you want is to order a bulb for your tanning bed and then realize that it isn’t the size your bed needs.

These bulbs fit a variety of tanning beds, but to be sure, you should measure the length of one of your current bulbs from end to end and see if it matches.

It’s also important to double check that your tanning bed is equipped to hold a bi-pin bulb fitting.

Pros & Cons

These bulbs are extremely versatile and many customers found that they fit a variety of different tanning beds.

Most also found that the higher UVB concentration in these bulbs did indeed help them tan faster. Some report a noticeable difference in less than five days.

Wolff System offers more than quality bulbs, though, and offers a no hassle shipping insurance.

These sets of Wolff Dark Tan II Tanning Bed Bulbs also come in sets of 16. This helps you to change the bulbs in your tanning bed all at once for an even tan.

On the other hand, some customers did run into problems with these bulbs for their tanning beds.

For one, if you don’t have a bi-pin bulb socket then these bulbs won’t fit unless you buy a bi-pin adapter for your bulbs.

However, some customers did report that customer service helped with some of these cases. They even supplied a free adapter in some cases. 

Some customers also complained that these bulbs were weaker and resulted in a slower tan.

For both sides of the argument about how fast these bulbs work, it’s important to remember that everyone tans differently.


There are a lot of things to consider when you’re looking to replace the bulbs in your tanning bed.

We're often told of the dangers of tanning beds and all the precautions. These need to be taken very seriously. One of these is getting the correct tanning bulb.

However, after reading this article, you know which is the best tanning bulb. You also know what makes a tanning bulb safe and effective for your use.