Cosmedico 10K100®

Cosmedico 10K100®

The new Cosmedico 10K100® is a particularly special tanning lamp. It is the premium upgrade for your sunbed par excellence and brings the best out of your appliance. No other tanning lamp can deliver such convincing tanning results.  

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Frequently asked questions — We’ve got the answers!

The list of frequently asked questions offers you answers to all your questions on the topic of tanning lamps and UV product technology:

What is the role of the UV lamps in a sunbed?
The lamp is the “heart” of a sunbed as it plays a fundamental role in defining the emitted spectrum and the generated irradiance and as such is responsible for the delivered effects. In the end, the lamp is the key element in the whole business of a tanning salon.
What is the difference between high pressure and low pressure lamps?

Low pressure lamps already generate a defined spectrum, i.e., additional filtering is not required, which is why they offer a better energy balance.

High pressure lamps produce a spectrum which must be filtered as they emit short-wave UV-C and UV-B rays as well as visible and infrared light. Due to the additional filtering required, the energy balance is considerably poorer in comparison with low pressure lamps. Unlike low pressure lamps, high pressure lamps can generate high irradiances over small surfaces.

Why do we sometimes talk about tubes and sometimes about lamps?

In everyday life, people often don’t use the correct terms. The lamp is often referred to as a “bulb” because it is bulb-shaped. Fluorescent lamps are tubular and so are often incorrectly called “tubes”. Although admittedly, fluorescent lamps for general lighting also used to be called “neon tubes”.

What is the difference between short and long electrodes?

The two electrode designs are only differentiated between for the high output lamps (140, 160, 180 and 225W).

The short electrode is also known as a short mount and represents the standard technology. In comparison with general lighting lamps, tanning lamps of the same electrical capacity absorb more power and thereby generate a higher irradiance. At Cosmedico high output lamps can be recognised by their designation “HO” (high output). For high output lamps with a short electrode, compliance with the optimal operating temperature by means of correctly designed cooling is especially important as they otherwise generate a considerably lower irradiance.

The long electrode is also called a long mount. Lamps with this technology have a cooling zone at both ends and consequently the operating temperature has considerably less influence on the level of irradiance achieved. In contrast to high output lamps with short electrodes, they require less power at the same electrical capacity, but generally produce higher irradiance. At Cosmedico they are designated as “VHO” (very high output).

What should I take into account when choosing a tanning lamp?

The requirements on commercially used sunbeds — and hence the regulations for replacing the lamps — are specified by national laws and/or harmonized standards. In the member states of the European Union, the erythemal irradiance must not exceed 0.3 W/m². The same maximum value also applies in some additional European countries, whereas in other countries — including outside of Europe — an erythemal irradiance of up to 0.7 W/m² is permitted.

In case of doubt, please enquire at the responsible authority or contact the experts at Cosmedico. To our experts

In addition to compliance with legal regulations, the effect of the lamp also plays an important role in the selection process.

If you prefer a lamp which tans quickly (i.e. high efficiency for pigment darkening and immediate tanning), you should ensure that the effect of the lamp is primarily delivered by its UV-A share (e.g. perceivable from the Y value < 2 of the UV code).

If, on the other hand, you are looking for a lamp that stimulates pigment synthesis, leads to a permanent tan and is oriented towards healthcare, then you should predominantly use lamps with a higher UV-B share (e.g. perceivable from the Y value > 3 of the UV code).

The datasheets of the Cosmedico lamps generally supply all the important technical and radiometric information as well as the lamp specification. To the products

What is equivalence?

Taken literally, equivalence means being the same. In UV fluorescent lamps, equivalence regulates exchangeability when lamps are replaced.

A replacement lamp is equivalent to the original lamp if it has the same lamp output (in Watts), the same optical properties (without reflector or reflector type) and a comparable UV code. The permitted tolerance for the UV code is up to minus 25% for the X value and ± 15% for the Y value. That means that replacement lamps must never have a higher erythemal efficiency.

What do UVB percentages mean?

The ratio of the UV-B emission to the UV-A emission, i.e., the quotient from the irradiances in UV-B and that in UV-A.

Example 1:
A lamp generates 20 W/m² in UV-A and 180 mW/cm² in UV-B (= 0,18 W/m²) [Calculation: 0,18 : 20 = 0,009 x 100 = 0,9 %]

The UV-B percentage is a relative size and thus only says little about the efficacy of a lamp. The significance of the UV-B percentage is considerably overrated as criterion of the lamp quality.

Example 2:
A lamp generates 22 W/m2 in UV-A and 180 mW/cm2 in UV-B (=0.18 W/m2) [Calculation: 0,18 : 22 = 0,0082 x 100 = 0,82 %]

A second lamp generates 20 W/m2 in UV-A and 170 mW/cm2 in UV-B (=0.17 W/m2) [Calculation: 0,17 : 20 = 0,0085 x 100 = 0,85 %]

Although the UV-A and UV-B values are both lower, the second lamp still has the higher UV-B percentage.

How can I maximise the service life of a lamp?

By maintaining optimum thermal conditions during lamp operation. This also includes, for example, regularly changing the filter mats in the sunbed and servicing the exhaust fan.

How do you measure the UV irradiance of a tanning lamp?

For precise measurement of the UV irradiance a spectral radiometer with double monochromator is required. In this process, the generated irradiance is “broken down” and the irradiance determined per nanometre.

There are also so-called UV broadband radiometers, which boast a specific measuring sensitivity across the entire UV range. However, the measuring accuracy and uncertainty is much greater here and as such measurements of this type are usually only viewed as indicative.

What is the difference between open and closed glass?

Including special additives when melting the glass can shift the filter edge of the glass to higher wavelengths, i.e., the transmission for UV-B rays in particular becomes lower. Then we talk about “closed” glass. Whereas in “open” glass the filter edge is more in the short wavelength range and a higher percentage of UV-B rays are transmitted. Whichever is the case, the quantity of UV-B rays is always restricted.

What is RoHS?

The European Parliament DIRECTIVE 2011/65/EU of 8th June 2011 regulates the restriction of the use of certain hazardous substances in electrical and electronic appliances. It is also known as RoHS (Restriction of hazardous substances). Although UV fluorescent lamps include mercury and often also lead in the glass bulbs, they are exempted from the directive as there are not currently any alternative products available which do not include the named substances.

What needs to be taken into account when disposing of tanning lamps?

Due to the hazardous ingredients, primarily mercury, the lamps must be recycled professionally and not disposed of as domestic waste.

What needs to be taken into account if a lamp shatters?

Ventilate the room immediately and ideally wear respiratory protection when cleaning. Sweep up all the small parts carefully and use sellotape to pick up any remnants. Place all the shards and remnants in a sealable container for disposal. The use of a vacuum cleaner is not recommendable as this would then distribute the mercury throughout the room via its exhaust.

What is a 0.3 W/m2 lamp capable of?

If different sunbeds are fitted with the same type of lamp, the irradiances generated by the appliance can vary significantly, as the number and arrangement of the lamps, the properties of the acrylic glass panes and the reflectors as well as the operating conditions can be very different.

Consequently, it is not generally possible to say with absolute certainty that any conventional type of lamp complies with the maximum erythemal irradiance of 0.3 W/m2.

It is only possible to make a vague assessment using the specified UV code in the equivalence key according to which lamps with an X value of < 30 often remain below 0.3 W/m2 for the irradiance in the sunbed.

However, there is no guarantee, as lamps with X = 25 can often already exceed the permitted maximum value and some with X = 35 can still comply with it in isolated cases. For this reason, it is not possible to make finite statements and instead every lamp should be selected based on the advice of a specialist. The Cosmedico expert team will be happy to advise you. To the Cosmedico employee site

What if a lamp turns black?

With increasing operating time, discolouration (blackening) may occur around the electrodes. This is technically unavoidable. The electrode coil is coated with emitter paste, which facilitates ignition. At each ignition, some of the paste evaporates and with time this forms ring-shaped discolouration deposits inside the bulb. These blackenings are purely cosmetic and have no influence on the UV output.

By the way: So-called spaghetti lamps may discolour quicker at the lamp ends as, for reasons of space, it is not possible to mount the protective ring around the electrodes which is intended to catch the emitter paste.

In addition to the “normal”, ring-shaped blackenings, some irregularly formed, partially speckled, very dark patches may occur after a relatively short period of operation. This is usually a sign that the electrode is overloaded and there is a risk that the lamp will fail early.

Why might a lamp not ignite?

There can be several reasons why a lamp doesn’t ignite.

a. The lamp is defective. Even long after the production, lamps may no longer be airtight occassionally, i.e., air is entering the lamp through a leak, which collapses the vacuum.

b. The starter is defective and doesn’t heat the electrodes or does so only insufficiently, whereby the voltage impulse for igniting the lamp is not sufficient.

c. The available mains voltage is too close to the reclosing voltage of the starter, which often results in a so-called “disco effect” (the lamps flicker on and off) and inevitably worsens the discolouration (see point 15).

A tip: If the lamp does not ignite, try it again at another place in the device. Lamps and their operating material have manufacturing tolerances which may be so incompatible that the lamp does not ignite. It is unlikely that another place in the sunbed has a similar constellation.

What is the role of the starter?

The starter closes the circuit for a specific period of time in order to preheat the electrodes. Then it interrupts the preheating and triggers ignition. In principle, it is now possible to remove the starter without the lamp’s going out (extinguishing).

The starter ages too! As the number of switching cycles increases, so does the risk that the starter “sticks” and interrupts the preheating process. In these cases, overloading of the electrodes and early lamp failures are bound to happen (see point 14). For this reason, exchange not only the lamps, but also the starters regularly. For the “classic” starters, this should be the case no later than every other lamp replacement.

Why can you not operate a high pressure lamp without a filter screen?

High pressure lamps emit a very broad spectrum, stretching from short-wave UV-C right up to the long-wave infrared range. However, only the UV-A rays and a small percentage of the UV-B rays are required for tanning purposes, which is why the wavelengths which are generated but not required need to be filtered out. If high pressure lamps are used without a filter screen, the very short-wave rays can cause an acute inflammation reaction in the eyes (electro-ophthalmia) and on the skin. In addition, it is more than reasonable to filter out the visible rays (e.g., with a blue filter screen) in order to avoid dazzling or at least to reduce it.

Why is it important that the lamps are well cooled?

Due to the function of fluorescent lamps, they only generate their maximum possible irradiance capacity under optimal operating conditions. Both, too low operating temperatures (too much cooling) and especially too high temperatures (insufficient cooling) affect their output. In addition, professional operating conditions help achieving the longest possible useful service life.

What happens as lamps get older?

The aging process of fluorescent lamps mainly affects the luminescent material (also known as phosphor) and to a lesser extent the glass. The aging of the luminescent material is evident in reduced output, whereas the aging of the glass results in the absorption of more short-wave rays. Both effects result in an increasingly reduced efficiency the longer the period of use. The aging absolutely does not make the lamp more dangerous, just less effective.

Storing the lamps on the other hand does not have any negative effect on the lamp quality. Even in years of storage as long as this is done properly.

Jörg Reisch

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Jörg Reisch



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