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11/2/2022 4:30:06 PM
Posted: 4/9/2009 9:37:12 AM EST
Hi,

I'm having trouble finding a certain fluorescent light fixture and also have some questions if anyone knowledgeable can help.

I wanted to build my own tanning light array to get a tan and have my body create vitamin-D. Summer is coming up so I can do it naturally, but I don't always have a chance or privacy. And I'd rather have a home unit than go to a salon.

The kind I wanted to build would just be 8-12 bulbs in an array that can be hung on a door and then just stood in front of. Like the Elite 10; google if you want.

I'm not an electrician so building one would take some work on learning about ballasts, connectors, starters, etc. So then I thought, maybe I would just put tanning bulbs in fluorescent fixtures. Problem there is that the bulbs are F71 (71 inches long) and I can't find any non-tanning F71 bulbs or fixtures, which tells me that size might be specific to the tanning industry.

However, I have found 100W F72 fluorescent bulbs with Recessed Double Connect ends that are not for tanning. Which tells me there should be F72 fluorescent fixtures with RDC connectors. I've also found adapters that will turn an F71 bi-pin tanning bulb into an F72 RDC. I'm not certain if the RDC ends for tanning bulbs are the same as fluorescent RDC yet, but it's a start in my research.

So, if I can turn an F71 tanning bulb into a F72 RDC I'm hoping I can just buy the tanning bulbs and put them into a standard fluorescent fixture. Then put enough next to each other to make an array of 8-12 bulbs.

So my questions...

1. Does anyone know if this is possible? In that the RDC ends are the same (they look the same) and tanning bulbs will work in a fluorescent fixture. The bulbs are 100w, T12.

2. Does anyone know where I can find a fluorescent fixture that will hold 100W F72T12 bulbs with RDC ends? I can't find one anywhere, even though I can find the bulbs so the fixtures have to exist. It should be a channel strip variety so that I can put a number of them side by side until I have 8-12 bulbs. Ideally, I'd want equal spacing between the bulbs too, but I can't find a fixture period to determine if that's possible.

Thanks for any help.
brownells
Link Posted: 4/9/2009 9:50:10 AM EST
[#1]
Getting the bulbs and ballasts is easy (still probably expensive though).



My guess is that you will have to make the board with the bulb sockets on it because I would be surprised that anyone makes one to sell that will fit your needs.  Don't forget that you would also want to mount a reflector for each bulb or you will be losing half of their energy.  Also if you are mounting it on a door, the ballast would likely be mounted elsewhere given their size and weight.
Link Posted: 4/9/2009 10:06:20 AM EST
[#2]
Email Sent..

Link Posted: 4/9/2009 10:52:41 AM EST
[#3]
Lightmansa, thanks for the email and links. Responded with questions.

Quoted:
Getting the bulbs and ballasts is easy (still probably expensive though).

My guess is that you will have to make the board with the bulb sockets on it because I would be surprised that anyone makes one to sell that will fit your needs.  Don't forget that you would also want to mount a reflector for each bulb or you will be losing half of their energy.  Also if you are mounting it on a door, the ballast would likely be mounted elsewhere given their size and weight.


I did not know they'd weigh that much, considering that there are door-hanging tanning models sold. But perhaps I can just create one that sits on the floor to bare the weight but still against a wall for me to stand in front of.

As for the reflector, there are bulbs with built in reflectors so the light and energy is directed towards me. The only concern then would be to have enough bulbs with small spacing so as to prevent tan stripes. In bed use, 3 inches spacing or less is fine with such bulbs. Since mine is not a bed and will only get one side of me at a time the spacing won't be a problem with 8-12 tubes.

Link Posted: 4/9/2009 11:30:38 AM EST
[#4]
Also you may want to keep in mine the length of time that you will have to stand there.



They do make vertical tanning beds where you stand up (and they do have some advantages) but generally they have enough bulbs and power that you only have to stand 5 to 7 minutes a side.



With only 8 to 12 - 100W bulbs,  expect at least 20 to 30 minutes each side.  40 to 60 minutes minimum is a long time to be standing.



The distance from the skin to the bulb is also critical.  You have to be close to be effective ( 2"?) If the bed of bulbs will be at an angle because it is tilted on the floor and you are 2" at the bottom and 5" at the top... that will cause an uneven tan and at 5 inches will add to the time you have to be there.




Link Posted: 4/9/2009 12:06:11 PM EST
[#5]
I definitely won't have it leaning against the wall, so no matter how I do it I'll make it perfectly vertical. I looked closer at some door models and they have rolling casters at the bottom. So I might do that to keep the door idea and the wheels can support most of the weight.

As for the time standing, it will only be about 10 minutes total. Even though the bulbs are 100W they are very high output and are also of the reflector variety to direct more energy towards me.

ClearTech 120R bulbs are even stronger, but I don't think I'll be getting those.
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