If you decide to become a professional nail technician or just want to make shellac for personal use, you will first need quality materials. A lamp for curing a gel polymer coating is the most important tool for any craftsman. The final result of the work depends on its reliability and proper operation. There are so many types and manufacturers of lamps on sale that you can involuntarily get confused. Let’s take a closer look at each type of this beauty device, find out how to choose a lamp for drying gel polish, and what characteristics to pay close attention to.

Types of lamps

Without a special lamp, the gel coating cannot be dried. Gel polishes are made from high molecular weight polymers that do not evaporate or dry out in the air. For strong fixation of the gel, complete change in its molecular structure. This is the main function of the device. In general terms, the principle of operation is the same, the difference lies in the generation of radiation. There are UV, LED or CCFL, as well as lamps that combine different types of radiation. Consider the most common types of lamps for drying gel polish in more detail.

UV lamps

These devices were produced among the first and instantly gained popularity. They emit light waves of a wide spectrum, so they can fix any type of polymer coating. Tiny fluorescent light bulbs are used here as radiation generators.

UV lamp

Important! Unfortunately, light bulbs burn out quickly and require regular replacement. If they are not replaced in time, the polymerization will deteriorate, the coating will harden unevenly, crack and swell.

The UV nail dryer is powerful, easy to use and affordable. It is in demand among beginners and experienced salon professionals. An additional incentive to buy will be a huge selection of colors and designs of the lamp body.

  • fast and uniform drying;
  • have antibacterial and disinfecting action;
  • undemanding to the polymer coating;
  • low cost;
  • many design and size options;
  • high power.
  • frequent replacement of light bulbs;
  • cheap models break down quickly;
  • intense heat can sting the skin.

LED lamps

The emitting elements of the design of the LED lamp for drying nails are light-emitting diodes – semiconductors that convert electricity into light waves. There is a significant difference from the ultraviolet: the LED lamp does not require frequent replacement of parts and provides up to 100 thousand hours of operation.. It belongs to the more expensive nail equipment.

In the LED lamp completely overheating excluded even with long-term uninterrupted operation, it is completely safe and environmentally friendly. LEDs are characterized by low heat dissipation, but very powerful action. The gel coating polymerizes in an average of 30-60 seconds.

LED lamp

Important! LED lamps are capricious for different types of coatings: one can polymerize without problems, the other will not harden (most often these are thick gels for building up the nail plate, as well as varnishes of earlier series). In order not to be mistaken, it is better to immediately purchase gels marked LED.

  • high drying speed;
  • does not overheat;
  • compact and lightweight;
  • even with a partial breakdown of the LEDs, the radiation does not weaken;
  • environmental friendliness.
  • high price;
  • does not dry well (or does not dry at all) some types of gel.

CCFL lamps

This type of cold cathode lamp was developed several years ago and is now being actively introduced into the nail industry. CCFL lamp otherwise called fluorescent or gas light. Radiation occurs with the help of the glow of gases contained in spirally curved tubes. The result is a wide spectrum of waves that work with any type of polymer (except those marked with LED marking).

CCFL lamp

Replacement of structural parts is also not required here. Fluorescent bulbs are durable, do not overheat and can last up to 80,00 hours. CCFL lamps differ from the previous two types in their lightning-fast polymerization speed: shellac dries in 10-15 seconds, the base and top coat will have to be kept for about 30 seconds.

  • high efficiency and uniform drying;
  • intensity of polymerization;
  • no need to replace parts;
  • low energy consumption;
  • do not cause dry skin.
  • high price.


Modern innovations come to the aid of masters in the form of hybrid lamps for drying gel polish. These are combined devices that combine two types of radiation (UV + LED, CCFL + LED). This option is the most optimal for beginner nail-masters. Any type of coating can be guaranteed to dry, and in a matter of seconds. Often, combined models are equipped with timers to make it easier to keep track of the drying time. Combined lamps have high power (up to 48 W), efficiency and modest dimensions. They are expensive, but worth their price, because they are practically devoid of flaws.

LED CCFL lamps

  • fast hardening of the coating;
  • profitability;
  • ease of use;
  • additional options;
  • high power;
  • versatility.

Whichever nail lamp you choose for drying the coating, mainly focus on the level of your experience and the quality of your skills. Do not forget about the type of gels with which you have to work. And you should not turn on the austerity mode: cheap equipment is often of poor quality, can harm the health of the nail plate.

Criterias of choice

Regardless of the type of lamp, there are key characteristics that you need to pay attention to when buying.


The intensity of the action of the heating elements depends coating curing speed. The power of the lamp for drying gel polish is the amount of energy spent on the operation of ultraviolet or LED bulbs in the device. The higher the power rating, the more electricity will be consumed. If you are taking your first steps in the shellac industry and working from home, do not rush to purchase a heavy-duty device. The most common lamps have values ​​\u200b\u200bof 9-36 watts.

To understand how many watts you need, evaluate the specifics of the work and the type of coating to be dried. So, for nail extension you will need a device with a value of 36 W and above. Less powerful lamps polymerize transparent coatings (for example, the top layer of acrylic). For polygel (acrylic) hardening, an ideal option would be a medium power LED lamp.

Dimensions and weight

For home use, the size of the lamp does not really matter, although most craftsmen appreciate compactness. On sale you can even find mini-devices where only fits one finger. Most often, a whole palm is placed in a manicure lamp, which is very convenient when you need to fix the result at the finishing stage of work. For craftsmen who travel to clients’ homes, the weight of the device is very important, because transporting all the tools can be difficult.


This concept reflects how thought out the design of the device for its comfortable operation. The complete set of lamps can vary greatly depending on the manufacturer and the set of functions. In some lamps for drying shellac the bottom is removed (or it doesn’t exist at all). This design is easier to clean after each session. Almost all modern models are equipped with a timer, an energy-saving mode, and an internal mirror surface.

On a note! Expensive lamps may additionally have a display, a thermal control option, and automatic switching on when a hand is raised.

Lamp with display


Multicolored, with drawings, prints and whimsical patterns – there are so many design options that your eyes run wide! Of course, the appearance of the case does not affect the quality of the work, but it can improve the mood of the master or become a nice decoration element of the manicure parlour.

Tips for choosing a model for your home

The main criterion when choosing a manicure lamp for the home is ease of use. In addition, the compactness of the apparatus is important for home nail technicians. Beginners of the nail service are advised to use an ultraviolet lamp at home. It is much easier to practice with it, and it does not require much investment. Versatility also speaks in favor of the UV device. It copes with any coatings, unlike LED, for which specialized shellacs are produced.

If your budget and skills allow, we recommend taking a closer look at hybrid models, because they combine radiation of two types. And forget about weak lamps (9-12 W). The coating in them dries for a very long time, and time today is a valuable and expensive resource.

Removable bottom UV lamp

Advice! Choose tabletop UV lamps with a retractable or removable base. This will make it easier to replace the bulbs when they reach the end of their life, or they themselves fail.

Better choose device with a power of at least 36 W and with a timer. The countdown of seconds will help out novice masters, because the coating will harden correctly, evenly, exactly as much time as it takes.

As a conclusion

Before starting work, it is necessary to check compliance with the basic norms and requirements for work, the sterility of the equipment, and the operability of the lamp. It is necessary to organize the space so that unnecessary things do not interfere with work, nothing distracts, and everything you need is at hand. Then the process of manicure will bring pleasure and captivate for a long time. Well, customers, seeing the order and neatly arranged equipment, will want to come to your home again. And perhaps, from a home environment, you want to move to work in a professional salon or rent your own office.

The best lamps for drying gel polish

Lamp for drying gel polish, shellac JD-818 36 W on Yandex Market

IMnail, Lamp for drying gel polishes Sun 5 UV/LED (48W)/span> on Yandex Market

Lamp Soline Charms SUN 9X Plus UV/LED for drying gel polish pink, 36 W on Yandex Market

UV LED+CCFL Professional Nail hybrid lamp for gel polishes (48 W) on Yandex Market

Lamp for gel polish UV LED Nail Lamp K2 on Yandex Market