UV and LED nail lamp buying guide

Nail lamps are an essential in any professional salon, necessary for both traditional polish and gel setting. They are classified as either LED or UV, which is dependent on the type of bulb and light they emit. Traditionally, UV lamps have been used to cure nail polish, but with the rise of gel polish, LED lamps have become more popular.

Choosing between a LED or UV lamp is down to personal preference, however it can still be difficult to decide between the two. Here are the six factors you should consider to help you decide whether a UV or LED lamp is best suited to your professional offering and which will work hand-in-hand with your treatment menu.

Types of polish

Picking a nail lamp is dependent on the gel polishes you use. An LED lamp will only work for gel polishes that are specifically set under LED light, whereas UV lamps work for all types of gel polish. So, if you have a range of different gel polish brands, a UV lamp will cure them all whereas a LED lamp will only cure specific LED gel polish brands. Therefore, a UV lamp gives you more flexibility.

Timing

One of the biggest differences between UV and LED lamps is the average curing time of gel polish. The time varies from one lamp to another, but typically, LED lamps are quicker in comparison to UV lamps. LED lamps work in a narrow light spectrum so it allows you to cure nails in around 30-60 seconds, whereas UV lamps can take around 2-3 minutes to cure.

Weight and size

UV and LED lamps are usually light and easy to transport, however LED lamps are typically lighter than UV lamps. LED lamps are also smaller in size, compared to UV lamps which are slightly heavier and larger. If you are a mobile nail beautician and are looking for something lighter and easier to move around, a LED lamp might be a better option for you.

Power usage

Typically, the higher the wattage rating, the better the curing efficiency and faster the drying time. However, as the wattage of the lamp increases, so does the price. Anything below 10 wattages is not recommended for UV or LED lamps as they don’t work as well. Generally, a LED nail lamp uses less energy, so are more eco-friendly and cost effective whereas a UV lamp uses more energy to achieve the same results.

Bulb life

The bulb life of LED and UV lamps are significantly different. Whilst UV lamps have a bulb-life of 1000 hours and usually need replacing every six months, LED lamps last for around 50,000 hours so you never need to replace the bulb. So, although LED lamps are more expensive, you don’t need to replace them periodically like UV lamps.

Pricing

The price of nail lamps are obviously dependent on the brand you go for and your budget. LED lamps do tend to be more expensive than UV lamps. UV lamps are typically more affordable, but remember that the bulb life doesn’t last as long and they use more energy. It is also important to note that due to recent demand, LED lamps are becoming slightly cheaper to buy.

Summary

Hopefully, the six factors above have made it easier to consider which nail lamp is best fit for your business, your client and your team. If you stock a variety of gel polishes which aren’t solely for LED light or you want something slightly more affordable, then a UV lamp may be a better option for you. However, if you want a quicker process, you are a mobile nail technician or you want something more energy efficient and long lasting, then a LED lamp might be a better choice.

Visit our UV and LED nail lamps category to choose your ideal lamp.