What are the differences between a LED and a UV lamp for gel nails?

Gel nails have been a popular choice for those who want longer lasting nails that can withstand chipping for up to two weeks. As these alternative nail coatings are made with essential nutrients and vitamins, not only will nails be covered with a hard layer as the pigmented gel polish is cured, the nails also get to grow healthier. Even with these benefits, however, others are still having second thoughts of having their nails done with a gel polish.

The reason for this is the equipment needed to have a perfect gel manicure — a UV or a LED lamp. A gel manicure is set or cured by ultraviolet (UV) wavelengths that hit the molecules called photoinitiators present in the gel and activates them.

Best UV and LED Nail Lamps

When gel manicures became a trend during the early 2000s, many expressed their concern about the possible danger of being exposed to harmful UV radiation. There were studies indicating that UV lamps, like tanning beds, can cause skin damage on the hands and can put clients at risk for most cancers. Recent developments in the industry have made possible the rise of another curing device — the LED light dryers.

LED (light-emitting diode) nail lamps are rapidly becoming the more favored option than the UV (ultraviolet) lamps for many reasons. As to which would best work for the gel nails that you would like to have, will depend on your personal choice. However, there are gel nail polish that works best with their manufacturer endorsed lamps. There are also gel nail coatings that actually do not require curing. If you find one that does not need to be subjected under the heat of a UV lamp to bond with the other layers of gel nail products on your nails, then you don’t really need to worry as your nails will still resemble the perfect gel nail finish that you want.

What are the differences of a LED lamp from a UV lamp?

In general UV nail lamps are used to cure all gel polish brands. LED lamps, on the other hand, can only cure LED specific gel polish brands. So, when it comes to usability, the UV lamp wins.

Another distinguishing feature is the drying time. Best LED nail lamps to offer a faster drying time compared to UV lights, making them a safer option. A faster curing time means less time you will be exposed to harmful radiation, hence this is a definite advantage for anyone deciding which dryer to go with. UV lights usually take 2 minutes to cure a gel polish, while LED lamps take about 30-45 seconds.

This is made possible since UV lamps emit broad UV wavelengths. That causes them to take more time to cure. A thing about the UV lamps, however, is that they on all gel coatings. LED technology, on the other hand, uses more narrow UV wavelengths that target specific photoinitiators present in the gel polish, making it a lot easier, hence faster, to cure the gel polish.

LED bulbs also last much longer than UV bulbs. UV bulbs will need to be replaced after about 10,000 hours of use. If not, they could affect the overall quality of the finished gel manicure. In addition to that, if best UV nail lamp get broken they could potentially emit harmful mercury vapors.

LED bulbs, on the other hand, last for up to about 50,000 hours. They also use less electricity. Those who do not know when it’s time to replace these bulbs will observe a different output in the gel nails that they create.

All these advantages do not come without a price, of course. So, if you think of buying LED lights instead, you should be ready to pay more. Even then, as LED lamps offer more advantages (as presented earlier), you’ll end up buying a more economical product in the long run.

Before you decide which lamp to buy, make sure that you consider not only the cost but also the purpose for which the lamp will be used. If you buy a specific brand or lamp, make sure that you will use the matching gel system created specifically for that dryer. This will make a huge difference in the quality of the gel manicure or pedicure that you will create, find one that will be the best match for all the gel polish and products that you intend to use.

You will also need to check the gel polish manufacturer’s website on its recommendations on how to properly cure various polishes under either a best UV LED nail lamp.

No matter which lamp you go with, you will need to consider one that will provide the most benefits for you or your clients.