Nail Lamp Buying Guide Details {update 2021}

Are you searching for the nail lamp buying guide then you at the right place now, enjoy our guide on how to buy and what to consider before buying a nail lamp.

It is clear that in recent years it has become fashionable to wear a well-groomed manicure or pedicure to show off perfect nails as another element of feminine beauty. Manicure salons are proliferating more and more in the streets of our cities since for a very affordable price we can have well-groomed hands that attract attention.

We also have the option of doing these tasks at home , we just have to have a little patience and skill. But whether we are going to carry it out at your home, or if you plan to dedicate yourself to doing manicures in a professional way, you must have a nail lamp , an essential element for a perfect finish of our manicure or pedicure treatments.

When choosing the best nail dryer, we must bear in mind that in the market we are going to find an infinity of different models , with a great variety of sizes, types of light and characteristics that can make us doubt about which one will be the most suitable for we.

With this buying guide, we are going to try to clarify the concepts that you should take into account before opting for a nail lamp that really fits what you will need.


The most important ones to consider are:

  • The type of polish or gel that we are going to use
  • The type of light that the nail lamp emits: we can find LED lamps, UV lamps and UV / LED lamps
  • The power of the bulbs
  • The size of the lamp
  • Extra functions: timer, infrared sensor for automatic ignition, etc.
  • The price

We are going to delve into each of these aspects so that you can see how they will influence your decision to buy a suitable nail lamp for you.

Types of enamels that we are going to use

The variety of enamels that we can find on the market is expanding more and more, so the options to decorate our nails are also increased to the same extent.

The main types we can work with will be:

  1. “Traditional” nail polishes , made up of a mixture of chemicals such as toluene, nitrocellulose or formaldehyde. The drying time for them is relatively short, but they have the disadvantage that they degrade easily and last no more than 6-7 days in good condition. They must be dried in the air or with the help of a hot air dryer, but cannot be dried with a nail lamp
  2. Semi-permanent enamels , which also contain methacrylate, a polymer that takes much longer to dry and requires the action of a nail lamp to accelerate this process and permanently fix it to the nail. On the other hand, this type of enamels can maintain a correct finish and shine for at least 2 weeks without problems.
  3. Gel nails , prostheses created from an acrylic gel and molded on the natural nail. These types of nails last almost two months , although they need periodic maintenance touch-ups. There are gels that have photoinitiators that react only with ultraviolet (UV) light, others with LED light, and others that are compatible with both types of light. Although the continuous evolution in the industry has managed to manufacture gels compatible with both types of lamps and lamps that cure all types of gels.

So, as you can see, the type of polish or gel you use is also important when choosing a nail lamp model that is useful for our manicures.

Type of light emitted by the lamp

In the market we can find three types of nail lamps depending on the nature of the bulbs it contains:

  1. S UV LAMP

They are the first to appear, but we can still find a few models on the market. Its main advantages are:

  • They perfectly dry semi-permanent nail polishes and all types of gel nails (LED ones too)
  • They are cheaper

As for the less favorable aspects:

  • They take longer to dry than the other types (about 2 minutes per coat)
  • UV lamps have a shorter useful life than LEDs, they must be replaced periodically
  • The energy consumption is therefore higher than in other nail lamps.
  • Ultraviolet radiation is more harmful to health

They have been gaining ground to UV lamps, thanks to the fact that they have the following advantages:

  • They need less time for each coat to fully dry (about 30 seconds per coat)
  • The LED bulbs that they incorporate can last between 30,000 and 50,000 hours, so it will not be necessary to replace them
  • Consumes less electricity than UV nail lamps
  • They do not cause damage to the body

The disadvantages of LED nail lamps are:

  • They are capable of curing semi-permanent enamels, but for gel nails you have to stick to those that are LED type, with UV gels good results are not achieved, so their use is not recommended
  • They are somewhat more expensive than UV lamps
  • They are the ones that are spreading the most today, since by combining the two technologies, they take advantage of the advantages of each one, allowing the use of semi-permanent enamels and all varieties of gel nails, so we will not have to worry about the type of manicure that we want to use.
  • The only downside may be that being a newer product, it can have some impact on the price and be a bit more expensive than the other varieties of nail dryers.


Lamp power

One aspect that will have a direct impact on the price of the nail dryer is the number and power of the bulbs that the lamp includes, since the larger it is, the faster the nail drying process will be.

This is a detail that may not be so important if you are going to use the nail lamp to perform your manicures at home, where the time spent will not be such a determining factor. But if you plan to acquire one of these devices for professional use, you must bear in mind that your clients do tend to value this detail positively. Also, think that the shorter the time required for each layer, the more clients you can serve in a day.

Therefore, if you are looking for a complete and quality model, we recommend that you choose one that has a power of at least 24 W.

Nail Lamp Size

An important element when choosing which dryer to buy is the size you have to place your hands on . Some nail lamps only have room for four fingers, so you will need to cure the thumb separately, thus doubling the total time for each coat.

In the same way, you will have this same problem if you also want to do pedicures, since with a small lamp you will have this task more complicated. Some models have a removable base (they are usually attached by magnets), which greatly facilitates the introduction of the entire foot, as well as being much more hygienic.

The size will also influence the portability of the nail dryer, since we can find portable nail lamps, very small, but very useful if you want to take it on a trip to always have your manicure in perfect condition.

This detail should also be taken into consideration if you plan to use the device to do manicures at home in a professional way.


Extra features

Other characteristics that distinguish the more complete models and that make it easier and allow a better finish of the entire manicure process are:

  • Timer . They allow the lamp’s operating time to be predetermined, thereby ensuring that all the layers (and all the nails if we have to do them in several phases) are cured during the same time, thus achieving a uniform finish.
  • Timer LCD display . It indicates the seconds that remain to end the time that we program
  • Infrared sensor for automatic ignition . With this mechanism, the lamp starts up as soon as we put our hand or foot inside it and turns off when we remove it, thereby reducing energy consumption.


All the aspects that we discussed above will influence the final price of the nail lamps, so you must think about the type of model that best suits what you will need. Obviously, the higher the performance of the lamp, the more expensive it will be , although you should also think that they are relatively inexpensive devices and that with a few uses you can already pay off your investment, if we take into account the price that can have a professional manicure.

In the same way, if you plan to use it professionally or intensively, it may be more profitable to opt for a model as complete as possible that facilitates your task and achieves a higher quality finish, which will translate into the degree of satisfaction of your clients. .


Buying a nail lamp can be a difficult task if we do not know exactly what we are looking for. However, when we take into account  the most important characteristics,  we can make the decision more easily.

For this we only have to identify  what our needs are  and the type of manicures that we are going to perform in order to make a better choice in this regard.

In this article we have described some of the characteristics that will help us make the right purchase decision, such as the type of lamps, the wattage, the size or the price. In this way we will be able to analyze with greater knowledge the different models that we will find in the market. In addition, we will be able to choose  a nail lamp that fits both our preferences and our budget .