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UV vs Led Nail Lamp: What’s The Difference?

Today, let’s analyze UV vs Led nail lamps and discuss their main difference and what is better for different occasions.

UV and LED lamps will heat, dry, and provide a perfect finish to your manicure.

I was asked what’s the difference between them.

There are many types of UV and LED lights with different prices and uses that should impact your decision.  

Let’s dive into the details now!

What Are UV Nail Lamp and LED Nail Dryers?

They are cabinets that can radiate light and heat on gel polish.

These machines provide a quicker dry, more shine, and improved manicure finish for longer.

For a long time, professionals used UV rays. Nowadays, LED light bulbs perform the same function, using less energy than UV light for a shorter time. 

Let’s look at each of them in detail in the following lines.

uv vs led nail lamp

UV Nail Lamp

The primary function of the UV Nail lamp is to make your nails dry quicker.

Sometimes, the drying time can take three times faster, more or less two minutes, than if you dried it naturally.

It doesn’t affect the final quality of the nail polish or the color and doesn’t leave those annoying air bubbles when the nail is dried.

That’s a great benefit, as it will keep the polish quality.

It has been a while since UV lights are the reference in nail lighting, and it is probably a very used method.

LED Nail Dryer

The Led Nail Dryer function also speeds up the drying process of gel nails, but much faster.

Besides, LED nail dryers have the same function as UV dryers, which provide a shinier perfect manicure finish for longer. 

What Is The Difference between LED vs UV Nail Lamps

uv vs led nail lamp

Even though both nail lights maintain very similar features, they still have their differences. 

Let’s take a look:


UV lamps usually take two minutes for the gel to dry.

In contrast, LED lamps take only 30 seconds, making them faster, more effective, and more comfortable.


Ultraviolet light requires more energy, so it is less efficient, spends more time, costing more money. 

However, LED lamps consume less energy and generally last longer, are more economical, and are eco-friendly.

Lamp Duration

The lifespan of each one is different. UV lamps need to be replaced periodically, whereas LED lights have a long life, consuming less energy.

What Are The Benefits And Disadvantages Of Each?

uv vs led nail lamp

UV Lights

  • About 10,000 hours of life (bulbs are replaced every 2 or 4 months depending on the amount of use)
  • More effective in curing clear gels
  • Cheaper than LED bulbs
  • Works with any type of gel nail polish
  • It takes longer for gels to cure
  • UV rays are more aggressive to the skin

LED Lights

  • Led light is Lighter
  • Up to 50,000 hours of lifespan
  • Causes less harm to the skin
  • Cures gels faster than UV lamps
  • It only works with LED gel nail polish
  • Currently more expensive than UV lamps

Which One Is Better?

Overall, the LED light is much faster than the ultraviolet but contains product limitations.

uv vs led nail lamp

Decide What Benefits Are Important

Think about your budget and the benefits of both procedures, and choose the one that best suits you and offers you the best results. 

What matters is that when you finish applying your gel nails, you feel beautiful and elegant, as the final result will be almost the same.

LED vs UV Nail Lamp Safety: Which One Is Safer?

Some people claim they prefer LED lamps because ultraviolet rays can be harmful to the skin.

At the same time, Led lights generate UVA rays with much more intensity as they are quicker.

There is a claim that LED lights exposure should be ok given the short exposure time.

However, some studies are reporting the existence of women having skin problems after using UV lights.

UV vs. LED Nail Lamp: Which Is Worth the Purchase?

Nowadays, you don’t need to choose between UV and LED lights because some equipment offers both technologies in one machine.

It is much more interesting to purchase a two-in-one UV / LED light machine, as you can vary the usage between technologies.

UV vs LED Nail Lamp Q&A

uv vs led nail lamp

Can You Use Gel Polish Without a UV or LED Lamp? 

You can use gel polish without UV or LED lamps during the day or the night.

Even some gel polish lines are created for non UV and Light use.

Can You Use LED Polish with a UV Lamp?

Yes, you can do it without problems.

Can You Use UV Polish with a LED Lamp?

If the nail polish is designed for UV lights only, it won’t affect LED lamps.

Does UV or LED make a difference in how long the gel manicure lasts?

Typically no, as they accomplish similar results.

Is UV Or Led Better For Gel Nails?

It depends on how long you are willing to get your manicure done.

Do UV Or LED Lamps Work On Regular Nail Polish?

NO. Nothing will happen if you decide to use these lights on regular nail polish.

How Long Do LED Lamps Last?

Around 30 seconds, which is much faster than UV light.

What Wattage is Best for a Gel Nail Lamp?

Many salons choose ​​between 24 to 36 watts while curing gel nails.

Remember that lower voltages mean longer sections. Most professionals find that 36 watts are great without overdrying your nails.

UV vs Led Nail Lamp Final thoughts

In this article, I covered the differences between LED and UV and how to choose the right nail lamp.

Before deciding which one to buy, ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you use more UV or LED gel nail polish?
  2. Are you using this nail lamp at home, in a salon, or at clients’ homes? Do you need more speed?
  3. What is your price range?

After answering these three questions, you can decide which gel nail polish lamp is perfect for your needs.

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