Do you want to make your nails look extra sexy? Then a gel or shellac manicure is the perfect recommendation. I am often asked what nail lamp is best for curing UV or Led nail polishes used in gel manicures. Below are my 5 best nail lamp recommendations. This features UV nail lamps, LED nail lamps from different manufacturers and suppliers such as CND, Gelish, Salon edge, Royal and others. I will jump directly to my recommended best 5 nail lamps (UV nail lamp, led nail lamp and UV led nail lamp), but I ask you to also read the basics which will help you make an informed buying decision.
2. Why do you need a nail lamp? Can You Use Gel Polish Without a UV or LED Lamp?
If you need a gel manicure done, a nail lamp is unavoidable. Gel polish will not cure/dry unless exposed to UV light or LED light at specific wavelength. This is because of the molecules used in the manufacture of gel polishes. Of interest are the photo-initiators. These (photo-initiators) need to be exposed to light in order to be activated, polymerize and complete the curing process which leads to drying of the polish. If you don’t cure your gel under a lamp it will be pointless because it will chip off very fast and you won’t get any of the large benefits of gel like going chip free for 2 weeks or more.
3. The Main Differences between UV and LED Nail Lamps.
- You can use LED polish with a UV lamp but you cannot use UV polish with a LED lamp.
Here is why:
- UV light occurs in a broad band of UV wavelength, between 100 and 400 nm while LED (light-emitting diodes) operates on a narrower band of 400-410 nm. Since UV lamps emit broad UV wavelengths, it takes longer to cure. However, this types of lamp works on all gel polishes. LED technology uses more narrow UV wavelengths (400-410 nm) that targets specific photo initiators in the gel polish. Therefore the gel cures faster. Here is a summary of the main differences:
- The majority of gel polish brands are formulated for LED, which means that they fall within the UV band as well; therefore, most gel polishes will be cured by a UV lamp; whereas LED lamps only cure LED specific gel polish brands. For example CND Shellac will not work with a LED lamp, thus you need a UV nail lamp such as the shellac cnd UV lamp. UPDATE: Now there is CND’s Shellac Brisa LED curing lamp to cure Shellac products or Brisa sculpting gels. Read the review below.
- LED lamps are faster. Curing the polish in 30 seconds vs 2 minutes that UV requires.
- LED lamps are more expensive than UV lamps.
- LED light bulbs last way longer compared to the UV light bulbs.
4. Should You Buy a LED or UV Nail Lamp?
As I have stated in section 3 above, you can use LED polish with a UV nail lamp but you cannot use UV polish with a LED lamp.
Therefore, the choice of the nail lamp type you chose will be dictated by the type of polish you want to use for your gel manicure. LED lamps are more expensive than UV nail lamps; however they have many advantages over UV models: they cure your nails faster (between 10-90 seconds to cure each coat of polish, compared to 1-3 minutes if you are using a UV lamp). LED lamps are more efficient- They use less power and last seemingly forever. In addition, they protect your hands from overheating because they stay cools and do not heat up like UV nail lamps do.
Best of all, LED nail lamps reduce the risk associated with exposure to UV light- The UV rays emitted from a LED nail lamp are negligible and they release no toxic chemicals when emitted to the environment. Hence, if you have the money, I could go for a LED lamp. Below is a list of gel nail polishes which will work with which type of nail lamp.
5. How About the SMART Mixed UV LED Nail Lamps (With Double light source bulbs)?
At the beginning, the UV nail lamp was the industry standard and could cure many gel manicures. In came the LED lamps, which were faster and safer, but more expensive, thus reserved to salons and the a few who could afford the price tag. Many brands caught on with the LED technology and so the price lowered a bit. For the nail art fanatics and salons, it was common to own two lamps (one with the LED curing technology and one with the UV curing technology). This was expensive.
Luckily, thanks to the spirit of innovation and competitiveness, many brands are now rolling out nail lamps with double light source bulbs. These are called smart or Mixed UV LED nail lamps. Double light source lamps combine the best of both a UV nail lamp and LED lamps. The bulbs cover a wide range on UV light band which enables the lamp to cure and dry all kinds of nail gels without You worrying about distinguishing your nail gels.
UV LED nail lamps are perfectly suited for home use. Now you do not need to own two nail lamps. With the Double light source bulbs UV led nail lamps, you can cure all you manicure.
On the following review, I review the best UV nail lamps, the best LED nail lamps and the best UV led nail lamps (double light source bulbs aka smart UV LED nail curing lamps).
✅ Best UV Nail lamp For Gel Nails
# 1: MelodySusie UV Nail lamp: Official 54 Watt MelodySusie Quick Drying UV Light Lamp
If you are looking for a top UV nail lamp of decent quality and reasonable price, the MelodySusie 54W UV Nail Lamp is what I recommend for you. This is the top UV model available currently at a decent price which can cure both hands/feet at the same time. It is easy to setup, assemble and operate. It comes with 4 Preset Timers: 2 min, 3 mins, 5 mins, or continual use and it has an Interior Fan to keep the lamp ventilated when curing. This fan can be used alone or in conjunction with the lights. The lamp comes with 6 bulbs of 9 Watts each, which are easy to install.
Besides its other great features, what converted me the most is its ability to cure both hands at the same time. It is a huge time saver. Compare this to when you buy a nail lamp that only fits one hand/ foot, you would have to double the time it takes to cure your mani/pedi. So this feature alone makes it number one.
The second great feature of the Official MelodySusie 54W UV nail Lamp is that that it cures all LED & UV nail polishes (including gel polish and builder gels), thus no worries about whether it works with your favorite nail polish or not.
This lamp sells quickly and its price keeps on fluctuating to match the best deals. Click here to buy it now on Amazon
✅ Best Mixed UV LED nail lamp For Gel Nails:
#1: MelodySusie 48W LED UV Nail Lamp:
Some of my friends tell me that I tend to over explain things in my reviews. That, I write too much. So, to keep this review short and sweet as possible, I will just tell you that this nail curing lamp is worth being excited about and purchasing if you can swing the price.
Here are some summarized features and the top reasons why you will like it and why I recommend the nail curing lamp:
LED: 18 pcs ‘smart’ UV/LED Light beads Wavelength 350nm-410nm
Preset time controls: 15s, 30s, 60s
Weight: 1.81KG / 4lb
Size: 10.4 x 5.5 x 8.7 inches
Color: 2 choices available (See them here)
- It is a smart lamp which combines both LED and UV light using ultraviolet bead globes to cure the nails. As already mentioned above, this technology enables you to cure any gel polish on the market. We say it is smart because it also uses sensor technology to automatically switch on when you insert your nail for curing and off when you take them out. The only downside to this technology (particularly on this lamp) is that it is touch based, meaning you must place your hands in the right location of the lamp for it to be activated.
- Easy to use, handle and clean: The elegant design of MelodySusie 48W LED Nail Lamp is sleek and made of molded ABS material which makes it very tough. It is bottomless; hence you can easily do pedicures and manicures and makes it super easy to clean. You can easily move it around thanks to the built-in handle at the top. The two stands under the front walls of the nail lamp can fold down and lift the front of the lamp up so that your clients with larger hands or feet can have enough room too.
- You can use on all Kinds of gel polishes: The MelodySusie Violeta 48W LED Nail Lamp is known to be compatible with all kinds of LED and UV gel polish perfectly. For example: CND Shellac, Gelish Harmony Soak Off Series, ORLY Gel FX, Red Carpet LED gel polish, Gelicious gel nail polish, OPI Gelcolor nail polish.
- Dries your nails quickly: Built in timer with 3 preset time controls (15s, 30s, 60s) and automatic sensor so that you effectively time the curing of your gelled nails quickly but not causing any overheat.
Things I dislike about MelodySusie 48W Smart UV LED Nail lamp:
- Even though this nail dryer is marketed as an automatic sensor technology, I find that the Auto sensor is touch and will not activated if the hand is not far enough inside the lamp. So, you or your client’s hands must touch the right part of the inside of the lamp.
- You must properly position the thumbs for them to cure correctly, otherwise, I noticed that if this is not done, the thumbs will Occasionally not cure correctly
- The timer setting buttons on top are over sensitive and can easily bumped to accidentally change the timer settings.
- Cures one hand or feet at a time.
MelodySusie is a leading beauty brand on Amazon and this nail dryer gets my highest rating and recommendation. Click here to securely buy it on Amazon
#2: MiroPure 36W UV LED Nail Lamp:
When you are purchasing a beauty product such a UV nail lamp, it is best to stick to a brand that is committed to providing you with the highest standard of customer service. Miropure is one brand in the beauty industry that gives that commitment. And when you purchase the MiroPure 36W UV LED Nail Lamp, you will not be disappointed.
I recommend it because of 5 main reasons: (1) It’s durability (lasts long), (2) ease of use (3) enough space for hands (4) safety and (5) the fact that it is both a LED and UV nail lamp, which gives you option to use it with all gel and shellac polishes.
The pros explained:
- Guaranteed to cure and dry all kinds of nails: Because MiroPure 36W UV LED Nail Lamp uses double light source bulbs, it covers a wide range on UV light band. This guarantees that it will cure and dry all kinds of nail gels such as nail UV gel, CND Shellac, OPI and LED nail gel, nail builder gel, nail sculpture gel, rhinestone gems glue, etc. You do not have to worry about distinguishing your nail gels.
- Ease of Use: It is fast and easy to use. This nail dryer has auto sensing technology which is powered by infra-red induction. The moment you slide in your hands, the nail lamp automatically goes on and it will go off when you pull out your hands. That is, it – Nothing complicated. The bottom plate slips off for cleaning and for easy pedicure use. It has only 4 timer settings of 10s, 30s, 60s and 99s which are indicated by four buttons on the top of the curing lamp. There is a large screen to show you how much time is left.99s is the default low heat mode which ensures that even if you put your hand into the machine and forget to press the time setting button. It will automatically come into the 99s low heat mode to reduce all pain problems caused by curing gels.
In addition, it has a wattage of 36W which gives you a fast cure, taking you only 30 secs to dry nail UV glue and 60 secs to dry rhinestone gem glue.
- Large Enough: The MiroPure 36W UV LED Nail Lamp is large enough so you can easily fit your hand inside. Plus, the angling of the bulbs means you won’t have to contort your thumb for even curing.
- Safe to use: Instead of traditional light bulbs which may be associated with some safety risks, the MiroPure UV LED nail lamp uses 24 LED light beads. The light of these LED light beads is closer to white light. This ensures that the color of your nail gel is constant and does no harm to your eyes and skin.
- Durability (Long Lasting): First and foremost, the design of the nail lamp is compact which ensures it can withstand minor falls and accidents. Secondly, the 24 LED light beads have got a guaranteed life span of 50000 hours of non-stop use. In simple terms, this means that if you were to run this curing lamp 24 hours a day, the bulbs would burn out five years from now. This alone is worth the price of this lamp. I know of many nail lamps which have less durable bulbs and it becomes expensive to replace them.
Are there any downsides of this nail dryer?
Yes, the only one I can think of is that you can only cure one hand or foot at a time.
If you want the best UV LED nail lamp that is durable and will not take forever to properly dry your nail gel, then I highly recommend you add MiroPure 36W UV LED Nail Lamp to your arsenal. The price is good and it is selling fast. Click here to securely buy it on Amazon:
#3: USpicy 48W LED UV Nail Dryer Nail Lamp for Gel Polishes
Another top Led UV nail lamp that I really like is the USpicy 48W LED UV Nail Dryer Nail Lamp for Gel Polishes.
The elegant design aside, this USpicy 48W brand comes packed with features that make it almost a portable home salon.
USpicy has been in the beauty scene for quite some time, and they know what the customer wants. With this beautiful lamp, I can say they nailed it.
You can use this lamp to dry all kinds of LED and UV gel based nails faster than most other nail dryers. This is because the lamp is compatible with all gel polishes.
Unlike other LED UV nail dryers I have previously written about , the USpicy 48W curing lamp does not use dual bulbs. Instead, it has separate LED bulbs and a CCFL coil to provide UV light. CCFL is an improved type of UV bulb that has a lifespan similar LED.
I can go on with all the great points about this lamp, but this page is getting long, and you can read most of the reviews from satisfied customers written HERE .
So let me just summarize a few pros that will make you fall in love with this 48W LED UV Nail lamp from USpicy.
10 things to like about USpicy 48W LED UV Nail Dryer Nail Lamp for Gel Polishes.
- Can be used both at home or in a salon.
- You can use it to cure all types of gell nail polishes (Both UV and LED gel polishes).
- Use it to cure both finger nails and toe nails.
- Will dry the nails faster than most lamps.
- Has automatic sensor and three timer modes. This feature makes for convenience when curing;
- Easy to clean because of the detachable tray which helps with cleaning or acts a space to cure toenails.
- Features an extra exterior illuminating lamp which you can use to provide better lighting when painting nails.
- Light shield for better eye protection.
- Professional looking and durable.
- Comes with a comfortable hand pillow on which you can rest your hands when applying gels.
Sure, these are what have been highlighted by most customers.
- A little tight fit with the thumb.
- Lightstrip doesn’t have its own button.
To add my voice to the already more than 460 customer reviews, I think USpicy is a great lamp to add to your beauty and cosmetics tools collection. It is beautiful, safe and durable. Did I say Affordable? Well, Click here to see its current price and securely buy it on Amazon INCLUDES FREE SHIPPING
✅ Best LED nail lamps
# 1: Gelish 18G LED Nail Lamp
Based on consumer consensus, Gelish is the leader in LED technology and Gelish 18G LED Light nail lamp is the number one LED nail lamp. Before I acquired this lamp, I had been researching about it for about 6 months. During that period, I came to learn that if you are to purchase the Gelish 18 G lamp online, make sure the seller has a buyer friendly refund policy. The manufacturer’s warranty is void when you purchase from a third party. Read on to see where to buy it securely and be protected with a buyer friendly refund policy.
Don’t be tempted by lower-cost, inferior products on the market. Despite its steep price point, when you get it, you will wonder how you have been surviving without it. You definitely cannot go wrong the Gelish 18G LED lamp. It is lightning fast when it comes to curing your hands. It is large enough to fit all 5 fingers at once and only takes 5 seconds to cure the foundation, 20 seconds for lighter colors, 30 seconds for darker colors and 20 seconds for the top coat. This means that instead of the 10 minutes (Total to cure each hand), as is for some other lamps, the Gelish 18G LED lamp will instead take only up to 2 minutes to cure each hand. What a great time saver. It has 3 buttons on the back where you can set it to cure for 5, 20 or 30 seconds.
This machine is pretty high tech, scientifically engineered, and precisely calibrated authentic LED. It is specially designed for rapid and efficient gel curing, particularly for the high-performance Gelish Soak-Off Gel Polishes.
Compared to other LED lamps which have no motion detectors, this beauty has a motion detector and detects when you slide your hand or foot into the opening and automatically turns on. It will beep when it turns on and off, thus you know what is happening.
The lamp also a protective mechanism for your eyes, where by it has a little shield that you slide down over your hand to keep the light inside the lamp and from blinding you.
It is easy to clean because of its magnetic bottom plate that easily pulls off to allow easy cleaning.
When you use this lamp to cure your Gelish polish, you can expect a high-gloss finish that lasts up to three weeks without any chipping or peeling off.
The only downside that I can find on this high tech lamp is that it doesn’t have an on/off switch, so you have to unplug it if you want to completely turn it off.
If your convenience, safety and well-being come first JUST BUY this lamp. Click here to BUY it on Amazon
# 2: CND’s Shellac Brisa LED Nail Lamp:
This is the top salon-quality nail dryer that you can buy. It will work with any type of gel nail polish and is made by one of the best nail polish manufacturers in the industry (CND). CND sells to salons and professionals but doesn’t sell directly to consumers. If you need to DIY shellac nails at home, it takes the guesswork out of a home manicure because it offers preset timers for your base coat, color coats, and top coat. The nail lamp is an upgrade to the UV nail lamp version which featured an interior fan for faster curing. Although you can use other LED lamps to dry and cure your nail polish, the CND unit is the only one guaranteed to cure Shellac products or Brisa sculpting gels in the recommended amount of time.
The official CND Shellac Brisa LED nail lamp is sturdy, reliable, and really easy to use and is very high quality. It comes with LED bulbs which you never need to replace. These bulbs are perfectly situated for targeted curing instead of repeatedly exposing your whole hand to the light.
Although CND’s Shellac Brisa LED curing Lamp is designed to cure one hand at a time, it can accommodate all five nails at once and will work for pedicures as well.
It is definitely more expensive than other LED or UV nail lamps, however, it is still a great money-saving option over repeated spa visits, and if you’re committed to using CND Shellac, you’re guaranteed a salon quality result when using this lamp.
This Lamp has gunned lots of positive reviews and a higher rating. Read them here and Buy It Securely on Amazon.
# 3: MelodySusie 12w LED Nail Lamp:
I highly recommend the MelodySusie LED nail lamp for anyone that is doing, or wants to do gel manicures at home. This small portable LED nail lamp is intended for home use, but is also light weight and portable, thus you can travel with it if you desire. In addition, it’s large enough to accommodate all five fingers at once. It can be used with any LED curable gel polish with no problem. What I love about this LED lamp is the fact that with most LED curable gel polishes, the lamp will not heat up thus protecting your hands. It possesses 4 easily accessible timer button which can be set at 30, 60, or 90 seconds, or for 30 minutes depending on how long you want to cure your polish (The curing time is specified on the bottle by the manufacturer).
There are only two small shortcomings that I found with this lamp. But sincerely, these were not a deal breaker for me because they are manageable and should not stop you from getting this adequately priced good quality MelodySusie 12w LED Light Gel Nail Dryer. It does not have an automatic sensor to detect your hands when you insert them, thus you have to insert the fingers and then press that timer button to start it. However, when the time runs out, it will stop automatically.
Secondly, it has a short cord, thus you may need an extension cord if your sockets are further from your nail work station.
At its current price point, I would say you are getting a great deal as this is a very reasonable price compared to many of the pro brands, and it works very well. Click Here and Buy it Securely on Amazon
✅ Best Affordable UV Curing Lamp
# 1: Salon Edge 36W UV Nail Lamp:
If you are looking for a budget friendly UV nail lamp of decent quality, then Salon Edge 36W UV Nail Lamp is the one for you. If you are patient enough to do one cure one hand at a time, salon edge UV nail lamp is the cheapest available.
- Decent price
- Contains a slide out tray
- Very lightweight and portable.
- Can only cure one hand at time
- Lacks a fan, hence a possibility to over heat
- Lightweight and looks cheaply constructed
- Has only one preset timer of 2 minutes
- Questionable reliability of the product.
|Polish Brands That Work With UV Lamps||Polish Brands That Work With LED Lamps|
|Sally Hansen Salon Gel||Sally Hansen Salon Gel|
|Daisy Gel||Daisy Gel|
|Bio Seaweed 3-STEP Colour Gel||Bio Seaweed 3-STEP Colour Gel|
|Bio Seaweed Gel Unity||Bio Seaweed Gel Unity|
|Artistic Colour Gloss||Artistic Colour Gloss|
|China Glaze Gelaze||China Glaze Gelaze|
|Cuccio Colour||Cuccio Colour|
|Essie Gel||Essie Gel|
|Gel II||Gel II|
|EZ Flow TruGel||EZ Flow TruGel|
|Entity One||Entity One|
|Gels in Action||Gels in Action|
|Glam & Glits INK||Glam & Glits INK|
|IBD Just Gel||IBD Just Gel|
|Indigo Nails Lab||Indigo Nails Lab|
|Light Elegance||Light Elegance|
|NSI Polish Pro||NSI Polish Pro|
|Jessica GELeration||Jessica GELeration|
|OPI GelColor||OPI GelColor|
|Perfect Match||Perfect Match|
|Red Carpet Manicure||Red Carpet Manicure|
|Orly GelFX||Orly GelFX|
|SuperNail ProGel||SuperNail ProGel|
|Bio Seaweed Gel Unity||Bio Seaweed Gel|
|Star Nail Eco Gels|