Instructions for a 275 Watt Sun Lamp

by Scott Knickelbine ; Updated September 28, 2017

Proper use of a sun lamp can help you achieve a rich tan indoors.

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Sun lamps powered by 275 Watt UV bulbs are pretty much a thing of the past, having been replaced with more modern fluorescent UV bulbs that use far less power and generate less heat. The older lamps were popular in the 1960s and 1970s, and were promoted for everything from home tanning to giving children more vitamin D. The old lamps aren't difficult to use, but always wear protective eyeware and limit your exposure to the UV light to avoid skin damage.

Set the sun lamp on a table and sit far enough away from the lamp that the light will fall evenly on all areas you want to tan. Note your distance from the lamp.

Set the timer for 6 minutes if you are 30 inches from the lamp and have average skin. At a distance of 36 inches, set the timer for 9 minutes, at 48 inches set it at 15 minutes and at 60 inches for 24 minutes. If you have sensitive skin, reduce these times by one-third.

Put on the protective goggles and turn on the lamp. When the timer goes off, turn the lamp off.

Wait at least 12 hours for the UV exposure to have it's full effect and before deciding if you want additional sun lamp sessions.


  • A greater distance from the lamp gives you a more even tan and more time to relax under the lamp. 275 watt UV bulbs can be plugged into any regular light bulb socket. However, if you're not using it in a sun lamp, be careful not to accidentally touch the hot bulb while you're wearing the protective goggles.

Photo Credits

  • George Doyle/Stockbyte/Getty Images

About the Author

Scott Knickelbine began writing professionally in 1977. He is the author of 34 books and his work has appeared in hundreds of publications, including "The New York Times," "The Milwaukee Sentinel," "Architecture" and "Video Times." He has written in the fields of education, health, electronics, architecture and construction. Knickelbine received a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in journalism from the University of Minnesota.