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UV vs LED Nail Lamp: Which Is Better For Gel Nails?


Perhaps, many girls once had permanent manicure that requires the use of a special lamp. This interesting device has long stopped being associated only with beauty salons. Nowadays, the UV lamp is an inimitable “helper” of lovers of long-term nail art who just must have it at home. So, which device to choose? What is the difference between LED vs UV nail lamp, and on what fact to focus? We’ll try to answer all these questions in the article.

UV vs LED Light for Nails: Construction

Technically, the UV lamp is a simple device. the elementary construction of the device includes the body, inside of which there are special lamps and outside of which there is a dashboard. Some models may include timers, ventilators, mirror surfaces, slide-out panels and other useful components, but the working principle won’t be changed.

UV lamps can be of different size. It is an important factor that must be taken into account when focusing on your tasks and preferences. There are models that are used for drying both hands at the same time. They are bigger but allow to save more time. If you are not interested in the professional equipment and are searching for something for private use, smaller and cheaper versions will be suitable for you. Some girls want the manicure lamp to be of the particular color. The design of the body may be diverse: from white and metallic to red and saturated pink. So, if you’re choosing the UV lamp in accordance with your interior, you’ll be able to find a harmonious combination.

But the more important thing is not the body, but the functions that influence the power of the lamp. First, you should understand the principal feature of the construction. There are two types of the lamps inside the body luminescent and light emitting diode. The manicure lamp you choose depends on the types of the lamps: in the first instance, the UV lamp, in the second instance, the LED one. Now let’s consider the features of each type in detail, advantages and disadvantages of lamps and try to define what the model can be suitable for you.

Everything About UV Lamps

The most popular and available nail equipment used for long-term manicure is, of course, different UV lamps. The main feature, regardless the brand and producer, is power of the device. It is measured in W. The UV lamp can have power of 9W, 18W, 36W and 54W. Perhaps, you’ve noticed that all parameters mentioned above are divisible by 9. It can be simply explained: the power of the manicure lamp depends on the number of luminescent lamps inside the body. There is one 9W lamp, two 18W lamps, four 36W lamps and six 54W lamps in the UB one. The power of the device influence the quality of polymerization of the coating and time that you can spend on drying your nails.

It must be noted that models with 9W and 18W lamps can be put aside, as they dry the coating for a very long time. But these devices have their own advantages: they are light and small so it’s comfortable to transfer them, and that’s why they’re often bought for private use. The most modern and popular lamps are, of course 36W and 54W UV lamps. We’ll consider them in detail. Exactly this equipment guarantees you that drying won’t take you much time, and it will be high-quality and more effective.

What is the Best UV Nail Lamp for Gel Nails?

The leader is the 36W Uv lamp. The picture above shows one of the most popular models produced by the RuNail company. It can be said that 36W lamps are the best choice if taking the price/quality rate into account. Such UV lamps are regularly bought not only for private use at home. Many professional nail artists think that 36W lamp is a perfect “helper”. Time of polymerization of different types of coating is 2-3 minutes. Many models are equipped with a special timer, which makes the work more comfortable and effective. The 36W UV lamp can be successfully used for shellac manicure, gel manicure or nail extension.

We also just must mention 54W models which are often used in beauty salons by professionals. The high power of the UV lamp lets polymerize the coating much faster, which satisfies nail artists and clients who appreciate their time. It’s an excellent choice for shellac manicure and gel nail extension that should be done as perfect and fast as possible. Due to ventilators, the UV lamp doesn’t overheat. That means that the drying process will be maximally safe and comfortable. If the nail artist has the 54W lamp, you can be sure that the service is really amazing and high-quality.

Advantages and Disadvantages of UV Lamps

So, we’ve told you about the construction of UV lamps, their work and features. To sum it up, we’d like to define mail advantages and disadvantages of UV lamps. Advantages:

  • Reliably cheap price.
  • Wide choice of devices, brands, etc. You won’t have problems with purchasing the UV lamp in the city you live or online.
  • Universality. Uv lamps are used by both professional nail artist and lovers of doing manicure at home. You can choose the model having power you need.


  • Shelf life of luminescent lamps. After some time polymerizing elements lose their power. As a rule, they don’t burn out, they just become weaker. As a result, your nails won’t be dried effectively, which can make the quality of shellac or gel manicure worse. It is recommended to change UV lamps one semi-annually. And this is also small but additional costs.
  • You must be careful with the UV lamp. We’re talking about luminescent components. When you use or dispose of lamps, be careful, as they can evaporate mercury vapors.
  • There is a stereotype that UV lamp may damage health. But experimentally it was proven that it’s not true. Despite this, some girls feel unpleasant burning when they place their hands in the UV lamp. It is connected with individual features of skin and low sensitivity level. So, the UV lamp can be suitable not for everyone.

As a whole, it should be noted that the UV lamp is a great choice helping any girl creating gel or shellac nail designs.






Typical Curing Time

2 Minutes

30 Seconds


Uses lots of energy

Low electricity

Bulb Life

More Frequent Replacement

Really long

Types of Polish

Gel and Nail Polish

Only cures Nail Polish

Innovative LED Lamps as Alternative to UV Rays

It can be said that LED lamps is a high stage of development, regarding drying of the nails. So, what are the advantages of this innovative equipment? The manicure lamp works due to special light emitting diodes but not UV rays. It lets not only make the process as safe and comfortable as possible, but also safe your time. Let’s compare: a layer of gel polish or shellac is dried for 10-30 seconds in the LED lamp, but in the UV lamp it can take you 2-3 minutes.

Modern LED lamps have many advantages that should be noted.

  • High power and fast drying process.
  • LED rays don’t damage the skin and nail plates
  • In case of mechanical breakings of the lamp, don’t be afraid of them damaging your health, as LED lamps don’t contain any chemical components like mercury.
  • Luminous power doesn’t pulse. In many UV lamps it has a negative effect on eyesight.
  • Light emitting diodes don’t lose their power. If some of them break down, you don’t need to repair the lamp, as LED drying will stay high-quality and effective.

Perhaps, you’ve already guessed which disadvantages this modern and technological device has.

  • First of all, it is very expensive. LED lamps can’t be bought by many young girls. So LED lamps are purchased for prestigious beauty salons but not for making manicure at home.
  • Not all materials are suitable for LED lamps. It can become a great disadvantage, especially in those countries where the choice of high-quality gel polishes is limited. Be attentive: you should choose only those materials that have a note “LED”. For example, gel polishes by GELISH that are perfectly polymerized with light emitting diodes.

Which is Better: UV or LED Nail Lamp?

As you see, the choice is really wide now. You can find the lamp that meets all your requirements. When you choose between LED vs UV nail lamp, you should focus not only on your budget. But also on tasks that you want to solve using the lamp. As a conclusion, we offer you to watch a useful video showing the professional nail artist who tells about difference between led vs uv nail lamp after demonstrating particular models. Perhaps, you’ll love some of them and you’ll decide what to choose. Dear girls, pleasant viewing.

LED vs UV Nail Lamp: Video Ultimate Guide

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