Which are the best LED and UV nail lamps?
The answer depends on three factors.
First, what kind of polish you need to cure? Can you use an LED instead of a UV lamp?
Second, what size nail dryer would you like? There are pocket-size single-finger lamps, one hand dryers, and two-hand models.
Third, is the nail lamp for professional or home use? Professional models have a higher wattage and the quickest dry times.
Once you know the answers to those questions, it’s easier to sort through the options.
Table of Contents
- Which is better: a UV or LED nail lamp?
- The downside to LED nail lamps
- What UV light do nail salons use?
- Best LED & UV Nail Lamps in 2021
- Makartt Dolphin LED Nail Lamp
- Portable UV LED Mini Nail Lamp
- MelodySusie Portable UV LED Nail Lamp
- LKE Nail Dryer 40W
- SUNUV 48W UV LED Nail Dryer
- UV LED Nail Lamp 54W
- Professional Two Hand Nail Dryer 72W
- Easkep LED Light Curing Lamp for Gel Polish, 86W Fast Nail Dryer
- JODSONE 120W LED Nail Lamp for Two Hands
- MelodySusie Professional UPF50+ UV Protection Gloves for Manicures
- Gellen Gel Nail Polish Starter Kit with 72W UV/LED Nail Lamp
- Beetles Full Maroon Gel Nail Polish Starter Kit
- Teenitor Nail Art Set for Gel Manicures
Which is better: a UV or LED nail lamp?
In the battle of LED versus UV nail lamps, LED has emerged as the clear victor.
In fact, as we researched the best nail lamps for these reviews, we couldn’t even find UV nail lamps that met the criteria. It was all LED, all the time.
There are two crucial reasons why LED nail dryers are the top pick these days.
They work much faster than UV nail lamps, curing gel polish in a quarter of the time. This is efficient and safer for the skin. It saves on electricity and time, plus it reduces UV exposure.
Also, you won’t have to replace the bulbs in an LED nail lamp, not ever. While UV bulbs are rated for 1000 hours of use, LEDs are good for 50,000 hours or years of service (1).
The downside to LED nail lamps
Although most manufacturers have upgraded their gel polish to cure under LED light, there are still a handful of holdouts. Double-check to see if the polish you use requires a UV lamp. Then consider switching to another brand to save yourself money and protect your skin, too.
Any UV-light-emitting lamp poses a risk. Whether it comes from the sun or a lamp, UV radiation raises the risk of skin cancer and premature aging.
To combat those consequences, you can wear manicure gloves or sunscreen to reduce exposure to the bare minimum.
What UV light do nail salons use?
These days, you’re likely to see manicurists using the best professional LED nail lamps instead of old-school UV nail dryers. Check out the reviews below to see the nail lamps that salons are using.
Best LED & UV Nail Lamps in 2021
Makartt Dolphin LED Nail Lamp
Let’s start with an ultra-compact rechargeable nail lamp. This one can only cure one nail at a time, but it does the job in 30 seconds. You won’t be trading power for portability.
Imagine how convenient it will be to do nail art with this little beauty. It’s beginner-friendly as it’s straightforward to use.
Moreover, you don’t have to re-expose your skin over and over.
There are two timer settings: 30 and 60 seconds. Touch the power button for 30 seconds; press it longer for 60 seconds.
The output is 5W, plenty for curing gel polish. The lithium-ion battery has a capacity of 1500 mAh, enough to do a complete manicure.
Portable UV LED Mini Nail Lamp
If you’d rather cure all the nails on one hand at a time, but still want a compact nail lamp, consider this one. It’s about the size of a cell phone, and it folds up for transport.
The embedded LEDs use UV light to cure all types of gel polish. There are no brand limitations. To cover all the bases, it emits two wavelengths, 365nm and 405nm.
There are three preset timers: 60 seconds, 3 minutes, and always on. One press of the button turns on the first setting, two presses the second, and a long press leaves the light lit.
It’s powered by a USB source. Plug in the included cable to a laptop, PC, or power bank to run it.
What’s more, the manufacturer offers a satisfaction guarantee and a 12-month warranty.
There are just a couple of cons, however. Reviewers say the lamp isn’t very stable and may tip over if bumped. Also, there’s no bottom tray to protect the furniture from UV exposure.
MelodySusie Portable UV LED Nail Lamp
One of the best UV nail lamps for home use is right here. It’s inexpensive, convenient, and comes from a reputable manufacturer.
The 6W nail lamp is compatible with most types of gel polish. It uses only LEDs from LG, guaranteeing powerful, even performance.
The UV light is low heat and should never cause a burning sensation. Although the unit is small, most find that they can fit at least 4 fingernails in it at a time.
The single button on top doubles as the on-off switch and the timer. One press emits light for 60 seconds, and a double-press for 45 seconds.
LKE Nail Dryer 40W
If you’re doing regular home manicures, this nail lamp can help you save money. It has advanced features that you won’t find in the compact models.
For example, it has a smart sensor. Once you place your hand inside, the LED lights automatically turn on.
Next, there’s an LCD that shows the countdown of the timer. Choose from 30, 60, or 99 seconds settings.
Although there is no nail tray, the low heat mode and whiter light make this lamp comfortable to use.
SUNUV 48W UV LED Nail Dryer
There are 33 LED lights inside this powerful nail lamp. They are rated for 50,000 hours of service, and you’ll never have to replace them.
Instead of pressing buttons, all you need to do is insert your hand to trigger the light for 120 seconds. Otherwise, you can set the timer for 10, 30, 60, or 90 seconds.
If your skin is sensitive, use the low heat mode.
Thankfully, the space inside is large enough for all 5 fingers or toes at a time. Each one gets plenty of exposure to the light for an even cure. When you’re done, you can pull out the tray to clean it.
Furthermore, this professional nail lamp cures all gel polish brands. It can handle sculpture gel, acrylic, and gem glue as well. There’s no need for a UV lamp anymore.
The manufacturer offers 12 months of customer service to handle any problem that might appear.
UV LED Nail Lamp 54W
It’s a little confusing that this higher-wattage lamp has fewer LEDs than the lower-wattage model above. But take into account that these are “double LEDs.” They are potent and able to handle gem gel, nail sculpture glue, and practically every type of gel polish.
It also has a sensor that allows you to trigger the light by placing your hand or foot inside.
On the other hand, you can just press one of the three buttons on top. They are for 30, 60, and 90-second timers. The LCD shows which you’ve chosen and the countdown.
As for salon use, this lamp has a sensor to prevent overheating. It switches to low-power until it cools.
To operate it, you’ll need to plug the included cable into a USB port of a computer, wall charger, or power bank.
It comes with a satisfaction guarantee and a 12-month warranty.
Professional Two Hand Nail Dryer 72W
If you prefer to treat both hands at once, this is a double-wide nail lamp. It fits two hands or two feet at the same time. It’s powerful enough for a nail salon, yet affordable for using at home.
With 36 LEDs, it’s equipped to cure most gel nail polish brands as well as CND shellac, sculpture glue, and hard gels.
What’s more, it’s programmable. It will remember the timer setting, whether it’s for 10, 30, 60, or 99 seconds in low heat mode.
There’s also a smart sensor. It’s an infrared detector that automatically turns the light on and off when you insert or remove a hand or foot.
Easkep LED Light Curing Lamp for Gel Polish, 86W Fast Nail Dryer
This pretty nail lamp comes in gold, white, purple, and other colors. It’s spherical with a diamond-like texture.
With LEDs mounted across the top and sides, it can cure gel polish in as little as 10 seconds.
There’s an auto sensor plus four timer settings if you need a longer cure time for nail art.
Fortunately, it has a detachable base for easy cleaning.
JODSONE 120W LED Nail Lamp for Two Hands
Here is the most powerful nail lamp in the reviews today. It’s professional-quality for the serious manicurist.
It can replace your old UV nail lamp as it outputs dual UV wavelengths (365 and 405nm). Therefore, it’s reported to cure any type of gel polish, including builder gel and acrylic.
Because it’s so potent, the dry time is up to 85% faster than similar or older nail lamps. Furthermore, it can dry 10 fingers or toes at the same time. Merely sticking your hand or foot inside will trigger the light. After 120 seconds, the light turns off automatically.
Otherwise, you can choose from 4 timer settings, including 10, 30, 60, and 99 seconds. The latter is the low heat mode. Then, the LCD verifies your choice and shows a countdown.
MelodySusie Professional UPF50+ UV Protection Gloves for Manicures
Keep in mind that LED nail lamps still emit UV radiation, or they could not cure gel polish.
Repeated exposure to UV radiation increases the risk of age spots, wrinkles, and skin cancer.
But if you protect your hands with gloves like these, you limit the amount of exposure to the bare minimum.
Happily, they are constructed from soft Lycra that stretches to fit any hand. They are breathable and dry quickly after machine-washing.
The manufacturer offers a 6-month warranty.
Gellen Gel Nail Polish Starter Kit with 72W UV/LED Nail Lamp
If you’re new to gel polish or looking for a gift set, here’s a bargain to consider. Gellen includes everything needed to start doing gel manicures at home. Moreover, it’s packed in an attractive gift box.
The kit comes with a dozen popular colors of gel polish, including nudes and grays. There are also accessories for nail art like rhinestones and glitter.
Don’t forget the complete set of manicure tools. There’s also a nail lamp with an LCD, a smart sensor, and 4 timer settings.
Beetles Full Maroon Gel Nail Polish Starter Kit
The Beetles kit gives you everything you need for home manicures along with a nail lamp. It has excellent value for the money, and it comes with clear instructions.
For starters, there are 6 colors of low-odor gel polish. When properly applied, they last up to 3 weeks.
Then, there’s a set of manicure tools, including a cuticle pusher, clippers, nail file, and buffer.
But you might purchase the set just to get the nail lamp. With 48 W of curing power, it gets the job done fast. The full spectrum of UV light sets all types of gel polish, not just the bottles included in the kit.
Inside, the LEDs are mounted so that the light reaches every part of the nail for even curing.
Outside, there are 3 timer buttons for 30, 60, or 120-second settings. Once the time has elapsed, the light shuts off.
The only thing lacking is a nail tray. But you can put a towel down underneath the lamp.
Teenitor Nail Art Set for Gel Manicures
While you’re at it, why not pick up a nail art kit? This one has 15 different brushes, dotting pens, rhinestones, striping tape, and foil stickers.
The brushes include essentials like oblique, pull line, and elbow styles. Don’t forget to buy brush cleaner to keep them in top shape.)
Meanwhile, the dotting pens have different sized tips.
The assorted rhinestones come in a container that divides them by size and color. Also, the foil is separated into individual pots.
The set comes with a zippered bag to keep everything together and organized.
There are several LED nails lamps to choose from whether you prefer a portable nail lamp or a professional-quality salon model.
Take into account whether you would like an automatic sensor and an LCD to see the time remaining.
Also, consider whether having a nail tray is essential.
Once you try it out your new nail dryer, drop us a line about your experience.
1. https://www.miladypro.com/home/b/nails/archive/2017/11/10/the-difference-between-uv-and-led-nail-dryers by Tiffani Douglas, published November 10, 2017, accessed October 12, 2020