Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Painfully Bright Tanning Bed

Built in safety compliance
  [vote for,

Tanning beds, sun showers, auto irradiation booths or whatever you want to call them are big boxes full of UV lamps that people occasionally put themselves in for a variety of reasons. The current technology is just to line up a whole load of low pressure discharge lamps which are optimized for the near UV spectrum and have people be near them. These lamps aren't particularly efficient and in attempting to locally simulate the sun, they take up space and produce a lot of heat.

There's a big push in the LED world to develop high-power low-cost equivalents. The advantages would be enormous, greater efficiency, longer life and more compact designs that would likely be practical for home use.

The UV light emitted by these devices is more than capable of damaging your eyes. This is particularly true because unlike the sun, they're heavily biased toward the UV, so they're super bright in a way you can't see. For that reason, all your normal reactions to bright light don't work and you don't protect yourself.

That home tanning beds will be a thing, and that people are predictably slapdash about safety in the familiar environment of their homes, will likely lead to some cases of eye damage no matter how many warning labels you add.

To stop this, simply add a few hundred watts of LED light in the very-much-visible part of the spectrum. As long as these turn on a moment before the UV LEDs, anyone without those little goggles, or just open eyes will go "aaagh! that's bright" and promptly add goggles/close eyes, restoring the existing safety mechanism.

You can sell it how you like, "full spectrum phototherapy" "deep penetration - reaches the parts other beds miss" whatever.

bs0u0155, Jan 11 2018

different colors of lucifrases http://www.targetin.../drug-discovery.php
[beanangel, Jan 12 2018]

More on different colours of luciferase https://www.nature....rticles/ncomms13718
With graphs, and even some error bars! [Wrongfellow, Jan 12 2018]


       Tanning for what purpose?
xenzag, Jan 11 2018

       Scanning UV laser ?
8th of 7, Jan 11 2018

       //Scanning UV laser ?//   

       Modulate it, while you're at it, for a laser-printed tan.   

       In practice I suppose the resolution will be limited by how well you can stay still.   

       Hmm - I wonder if pulsed UV is more effective at inducing tanning than steady UV? I remember reading that plants respond more effectively to pulsed light, but that's probably very different chemically.
Wrongfellow, Jan 11 2018

       It's amazing how still you can stay if you're trapped in a box and someone's aiming a high-power UV laser at you ...   

       "Do you expect me to talk ?"   

       "No, Mr. Bond, I expect you to tan ..."
8th of 7, Jan 11 2018

       "Tanned to perfection in under 300 microseconds or your money back!"
Wrongfellow, Jan 11 2018

       //Scanning UV laser ?//   

       coherent light would be an unnecessary complication, and why go to the trouble to produce a super-intense collimated beam if you're then going to re-distribute it over time? Good if you wanted a custom image though.
bs0u0155, Jan 11 2018

       Certainly brings a whole new meaning to "branded product" ...   

       // Good if you wanted a custom image though. //   

       Actually, for a particular market segment, a "custom image" tan, like a temporary tattoo, could be highly desireable. It can already be achieved by simple patch masking, but a modulated laser could produce a very precise greyscale (brownscale ?) image.   

       // coherent light would be an unnecessary complication //   

       Maybe not. A laser is compact, reliable, efficient, and very accurate in terms of frequency and energy output.
8th of 7, Jan 11 2018

       It should be possible to develop a drive-through tanning parlour based on Bremsstrahlung.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 11 2018

       //simple patch masking//   

       WKTE at popular music festivals, where the attendees sometimes derive amusement from finger-painting sunscreen onto the guy who's just passed out in the sun.
Wrongfellow, Jan 11 2018

       // "deep penetration - reaches the parts other beds miss" // With the availability of low-voltage, battery-operable, low-heat LEDs, I can see a niche market along these very lines. It is a disturbing sight.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 11 2018

       //I can see a niche market along these very lines. It is a disturbing sight.//   

       If you go looking into niches, you've only got yourself to blame if you don't like what you see.
bs0u0155, Jan 11 2018

       Maybe the ongoing miniaturisation of electronics will lead to LEDs that are small enough to be injected into living cells in appreciable quantities?   

       They'd need some kind of chemical battery (maybe it could run from genetically-modified flying lobsters, or ATP, or something), but they would tan from within and not without, and that's got to be worth a few quid to the hippies.
Wrongfellow, Jan 11 2018

       You'd need to licence the flying lobster technology from MaxCo.
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 11 2018

       Can I pay with a quantum linked cheque from BeanieBank?
Wrongfellow, Jan 11 2018

       It might be simpler to incorporate heat lamps. I bet we already have LEDs capable of emitting infrared. When the tanning time is up, just add heat to the environment until it can no longer be tolerated.
Vernon, Jan 11 2018

       //They'd need some kind of chemical battery (maybe it could run from genetically-modified flying lobsters, or ATP, or something)//   

       Nature beat you to it by a few years, you're just describing luciferase.
bs0u0155, Jan 11 2018

       "Better the devil you know ..."
8th of 7, Jan 11 2018


       That reminds me. Are there luciferases that emit in a range of different colours? Presumably the shortest wavelength is limited by the energy available from one molecule of ATP, but how much of that energy actually ends up in the photon? Could one, in theory, engineer a luciferase that emitted at long UV?
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 12 2018

       [mb] There is a lucifrase called vargula that glows at 395 nm which is just barely in the human visible range. Perhaps it could be improved. more colors at [link]
beanangel, Jan 12 2018

       Why not tattoo with a melanin-based dye ? Wouldn't that be "tanning by any other name" ?
8th of 7, Jan 12 2018

       Why _would_ you tattoo with a melanin-based dye, when you can do it with lasers, biotech and flying lobsters?
Wrongfellow, Jan 12 2018

       Sheer perverse wrongness, obviously ...
8th of 7, Jan 12 2018

       //is a lucifrase called vargula that glows at 395 nm// Hmm. The paper shows it glowing at 465nm (with FRET-linked fluorescent proteins giving longer wavelengths). But it's a cool paper!
MaxwellBuchanan, Jan 12 2018


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