How To Find The Best LED Nail Lamp – Our Top 5 Picks
We all want to have super-fantastic nails, but a lot of the time it’s the case that we can’t afford the price tag coming with them. Whether you want long nail extensions, or you simply want to have a color for every weekend, it is entirely possible to obtain salon-quality nails at home, provided you purchase the right equipment for the job.
If you want to have those shiny, strong nails you see on salon advertisements, you need to find the best LED gel lamp for your needs, as well as making sure you don’t go over budget, and also that your favorite polishes are compatible with the type of lamp.
Never fear, however! We are going to talk about what to look for when searching for the best LED lamp for gel nails and we’re also going to talk a little about the UV nail lamp too, just to bring the whole subject into a full circle.
**Below, you'll find our more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.
LED/UV Nail Lamp 101
Where do you start?
Well, first things first, what type of nails do you want to achieve? Most people love the shine and strength of gel, and in that case, you need gel polish and you need a lamp. Shellac is one of the most famous types of this nail version on the market currently, and this is entirely possible to achieve at home, with a little practice.
There are ways to use gel nail polish without actually using a UV or LED light also, however these may lack the overall strength of nails which have been cured under a lamp.
What is curing? Basically this is the process of allowing your nails to dry and strengthen with the aid of a lamp, either LED light or UV light. You can choose between the two types of lamp, and we’ll discuss the pros and cons of each in a short while.
For this chat however, we are focusing mainly on the best LED nail lamp for your personal needs, because of most nail polishes cure well with LED light. Having said that, you shouldn’t assume that the best UV nail lamp doesn’t work with nail polishes, it’s really a case of checking on the polish packaging.
Okay, so let’s talk about what you need to think about before you decide on the best LED lamp for gel nails.
#1 - Budget
You need to set yourself a budget and stick to it. If you’re a beginner, don’t spend too much, because you may find that gel nails aren’t for you!
Of course, this is unlikely, and having a curing lamp in your house will give you the flexibility to give yourself a great set of nails for a special occasion, without having to head to the salon.
If you go to the salon for your nails regularly, you should probably add up how much this is costing you over a year – it is, therefore, probably cheaper to do it yourself and consequently, finding the best LED gel lamp is a more pressing concern!
#2 - The types of nail polishes you regularly use
We touched upon this briefly, but you need to know that the type of nail polishes you like and regularly use are compatible with the type of lamp you’re going for. UV lamps generally work to cure all polishes, whereas LED curing lamps only cure LED nail polishes.
If you enjoy using Shellac, you will need to find the best UV nail lamp for you, because certain ones don’t work so well with LED lamps. Having said that, most big named nail polishes on the market do work with LED lamps aside from Shellac, so it’s really a case of checking the small print on the packaging before you make your final decision.
#3 - The changes in curing time
On the whole, LED nail lamps cure polishes much quicker than UV lamps, averaging around 30 seconds per layer, compared to 90 seconds per layer on a UV lamp.
If you’re pushed for time, LED is, therefore, better for you and it is also thought to be much more energy efficient as a result. LED bulbs also never need to be replaced, whereas UV bulbs do.
#4 - Warranty options
The length of warranty will totally depend on the brand you go for and where you purchase it from. This is something you should look into carefully because you get a large amount of peace of mind when you have a warranty to fall back on.
#5 - Added extras
When shopping around for the best LED gel lamp for your particular needs, you need to check out the various added extras on offer too.
For instance, some lamps have timers you can set for custom performance, some have motion sensors which turn the lamp off when you remove your hand, therefore, saving energy, and some have fans included. Another plus point is a lamp which has a detachable bottom, because that way you can use it for pedicure curing, as well as manicure curing.
DIY gel nails are not that difficult, and it’s really about patience. You should always ensure that you allow each layer of the gel polish to cure completely before adding another – sometimes it’s hard to stay patient, but if you rush this process, you’re simply going to end up with ruined nails from the get-go. To see a visual reminder of all of this, check out this video.
Five Best LED Nail Lamp Reviews 2018
This particular option is one of the best LED lamps for gel nails options because it is not only cost effective, but also super-efficient too. The power is consistent, which means from the moment you purchase it, to the time you use it for the 100th time, the performance will be the same amount, and you don’t have to worry about having to replace bulbs early, or a weakening of power.
- Power efficient, which means you will use less electricity
- You don’t need to replace bulbs
- LED display timer which also has a countdown facility – this can be preset
- Acetone resistant so you don’t have to worry about damage occurring
- Fast drying time with four 9W bulbs working at the same time – therefore, easy to cure hands one after the other
- Lightweight at 2lb, ideal for mobile nail technicians
- The price – this is not as cheap as some of the other lamps we are going to talk about, but the argument is that you do get what you pay for
- Possibly better for professional use rather than home use, because of the price and also because of the light weight
In our ‘all about’ section we discussed that not all polishes are compatible with LED curing lights, but this particular lamp doesn’t have that issue because it is compatible with all LED and UV gel types of nail polish. This obviously makes it a flexible option, as well as one which comes from a big named brand.
- Compatible with all LED and UV nail polish types
- Big named brand which gives you confidence
- 60W power means this is a very powerful lamp to go for, so professionals and home users are catered for
- Four presets on the model, 15, 30, 45, 60 seconds – allows bespoke drying times and you can avoid overheating
- Detachable bottoms so you can cure toenails as well as fingernails
- Motion sensor, so the lamp turns off when it detects movement, e.g. your hand or foot coming away from the lamp
- All in all, this is a great all-rounder gel UV lamp to go for, but if you are a beginner, and you’re not too sure if you’re going to get along so well with DIY gel nails, you may find it a little too high spec for you
This particular option is a middle of the road choice of the above product in the MelodySusie range. You can choose between an exterior of red and black, or black and white, whatever you choose the performance will be the same!
- 48W power is more than enough for the average home user
- Three-time presets, 5, 20, and 30 seconds – no worries about overheating
- Detachable bottom section for curing toes and fingers
- Fast and effective drying time
- Automatic sensor saves energy and turns the lamp off when you move your hand or foot away
- Many users state that the motion sensor on this particular model is very sensitive so you will need to hold very still when curing
- Not as strong in terms of wattage, so high professionals may need a stronger model
This is a very pretty and attractive LED nail lamp to go for, with a white and purple flower pattern on the outside; this might not be too important to you, but for some it might well be!
- You can use this lamp for all gel nail polishes, including those which state UV and LED light
- 48W is enough for home users
- Detachable base, so you can make your fingers or toes as pretty as you like!
- Large enough to cure one hand and one foot at the same time – good for those in a rush!
- Timer has three settings, 30, 60, 90 sections, giving a fast curing option
- Automatic sensor detects movement and saves energy when not curing
- There is a cover on the top which is an added extra, because it slides over and you can pull it down to protect your eyes from the brightness of the LED light
- As with most LED gel lamps, you will not need to replace the bulbs, as they have an extremely long shelf life
- A professional nail technician may prefer to go for a stronger lamp, e.g. 60W
- Not as lightweight as some other brands or products on the market
When you’re searching for the best LED nail lamp, it’s important to find a big named brand, to give you confidence. The Vogue range of nail products is certainly well-known, and you are also treated to a good warranty as standard.
- Fast drying time – when you use the three in one method of curing and drying, the total time is less than 20 seconds
- Easy to use, you can program this lamp without fuss
- Compatible with a wide range of different products and polishes
- Very long lasting, and no need to replace the bulbs
- Can be used at home or for professional means
- Limited one year warranty on parts and labor
- The lamp isn’t the lightest, so if you are a mobile nail technician, this particular lamp weighs slightly more than some other products in the same vein.
- If you are a serious nail technician or beautician, a 60W option may be better for your professional needs. This is a 40W option.
These top five gel nail lamps are some of the best on the market, and certainly some of the most highly regarded. Remember to shop around and find the best one for your budget and needs, leaving you free to look forward to super-shiny, super-strong, and super-attractive gel nails, in the comfort of your own home.
If on the other hand you are a professional nail technician, there are several options here which could certainly fit in with your work needs, helping you to make a living much easier! For that reason, the 60W MelodySusie option is certainly a good go-to, as well as the Vogue Professional Fast & Easy Wide LED Lamp Nail Sealer, which is a fantastic all-rounder, for both home and professional use too.
The best LED nail lamp will certainly give you those salon-esque nails, without the major cost or time, so this is something you should certainly be investing in!