11 Best LED & UV Nail Lamps: Your Buyer’s Guide

uv nail lamp

123RF.com (Serhii Tesliuk)

An at home gel manicure with your own LED or UV nail lamp is more affordable and easier than you think. In order for gel polish to set into its rock-hard, impervious state, it has to cure under UV or LED light.

Comparing nail lamps can be confusing with specs like 16 beads and 10W that might not give you a good sense of how good a lamp is (spoiler: a 10W lamp is very weak). I’m going to break it all down so you know which is the best fit for your home or salon. If you’re just starting out, you might want to check out a gel nail kit and get everything at once.

What Are the Best UV & LED Nail Lamps?

Nail lamp with two hands in it Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Redesign of popular lamp
  • Room for two hands at once
  • Lots of power
Price: $29.74 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Silver gelishnail lamp Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Professional grade
  • Eye-sheild
  • Fast curing times
Price: $259.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
nail lamp with hand Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Cordless and rechargeable
  • Display can be forward or backward-facing
  • Battery life of 12 hours of use
Price: $66.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Black Lumcrissy nail lamp Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Salon-quality
  • Durable
  • Stays cool for the user
Price: $108.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Folding pink nail lamp Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Folds down flat
  • Pedicure
  • Great for pedicures
Price: $9.89 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Abox Star 2 nail lamp Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Cures gel fast with 72W
  • Easy to use
  • Automatic light sensor
Price: $16.98 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White nail lamp with phone stand Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Smartphone stand
  • Adjustable power
  • Affordable
Price: $22.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Holographic LED nail lamp Amazon Customer Reviews
  • It looks like an emoji face
  • Motion sensor
  • 54W power for fast curing times
Price: $32.75 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Small pink led lamp Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Small for travel
  • USB charging cord
  • Cute pink color
Price: $18.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Melody Susie UV lamp Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Includes replacement bulb
  • Choice of colors
  • Traditional UV
Price: $34.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
White Deep Dream nail lamp Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 110W dual-light bulbs
  • Low heat option
  • User-friendly buttons and digital readout
Price: $24.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. Both Hands at Once: SUNUV Sun 5 Pro 72W Lamp

    • Low heat mode for comfort
    • They've improved on their design
    • Can fit both hands at once
    • Bottom plate is removable
    • Preset timers and motion sensor
    • Faster curing times
    • Good for pedicures
    • Heavier than some
    • Too big to throw in your purse
    • Bottom comes off too easily for some

    It has salon-quality power in a design that’s simple enough for beginners to use and space for two hands at once.

    I have had the first version of this lamp, the Sun 5, on this list before but now that they’ve come out with this redesign, I had to switch it out for the Sun 5 Pro. The new design is wider and deeper so you can easily fit both hands or both feet inside.

    They’ve also cranked up the power to 72W. This boost in power means that curing times are faster than its predecessor. It has preset timer settings for standard cure times and the motion sensor turns the light on when your hand is inside the lamp and off when you remove your hand. The magnetic bottom plate comes off for cleaning and for pedicures. 

    There’s a low heat mode for people sensitive to the burn of long cure times so you can reduce the power for products that need a long cure.

  2. 2. Best Professional Lamp: Gelish 18G Professional LED Lamp

    • Salon grade
    • Ultra-fast curing times
    • Pull down eye sheild to limit light exposure
    • Acetone resistant
    • Convenient hand rest
    • Removable bottom
    • Buttons positioned for salon setting
    • Bigger initial investment
    • Home users may find beeping annoying

    This is about as professional as you can get. It’s sleek, from a trusted brand, and above all, it’s fast. Like curing some coats in five seconds fast. It’s only 34 watts, but as it’s strictly LED, those watts pack more punch.

    There is plenty of room for one hand and with the light placement you won’t have to worry about your thumbs. It has three preset timers and an LED screen, both on the back of the unit which is good for a salon setting.

    It beeps when a cycle is done in case you have your back turned or a client isn’t paying attention. The padded hand rest is a perfect spot to apply your polish and the lamp is acetone resistant to hold up to a salon environment. And for all that, it’s not a huge unit and wont take up your whole table.

    Gelish recently released a cordless version of this lamp as well.

  3. 3. Best Cordless Nail Lamp: Lumcrissy 72W Rechargeable

    • Cordless and rechargeable
    • Good for home or salon use
    • Side display leaves room for other hand
    • LED display orientation can be switched
    • A two-hour charge lasts for 12 hours
    • Removeable base
    • 36 LED bulbs
    • Many timer settings
    • Hand sensor
    • Low heat setting
    • Pink isn't everyone's fave
    • You need to remember to charge it eventually
    • Battery makes it heavier than corded models

    This rechargeable, cordless nail lamp from Lumcrissy frees you from the need to be near an outlet and has a long list of features with functionality in mind.  I love my current lamp but the idea of not having to worry if the cord will reach has me reconsidering my options.

    The Hotrose Cordless takes two hours to fully charge and that will power the lamp for 12 hours of continuous use. To put that in real-world terms, if you used the longest function of 120 seconds per hand, the battery should last through 180 full manicures. That’s not bad at all. 

    A unique feature this lamp has that you don’t see often is the ability to reverse the LED display. If you’re using it on yourself the display can face the front of the lamp. Then, to use it on someone else, you can hit the reverse button and the display will switch to face the back of the lamp. You never have to look at the display upside down again.

    I love the set up of the LED display screen pushed to the side like this. It’s still very readable but if you’re doing someone else’s nails, the lamp has this large blank space perfect for them to rest the hand you’re working on while the other cures. 

    This 72W lamp has 36 LED bulbs that line the top and sides of the dome for coverage from all angles. The lights turn on automatically with a hand sensor and the bottom panel is removable for pedicures and easy cleaning. It comes with four timer settings of 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 60 seconds, and a low heat 120-second setting. It will remember the last setting you used and continue with that selection until you press a different button.

  4. 4. Most Durable Nail Lamp: Lumcrissy 64W Nail Dryer

    • Professional
    • Durable
    • Metal case keeps hands from getting hot
    • LED readout
    • Motion sensor
    • Heavy
    • LED only
    • Sensor is a little slow
    • Beeps at end of cycle

    The Lumcrissy 64W Nail Lamp is a professional model built to last. It comes with its own carrying handle which seems odd until you realize it weighs five pounds. So it’s not one you’d want to travel around with. It’s that heavy because it’s made of a zinc alloy instead of the normal plastic. 

    The metal absorbs heat, which means all that heat generated by the lights is drawn away from your client’s hand and away from the LED bulbs, extending their lifespan. It doesn’t have a bottom plate to need to fiddle with and digital readout faces the rear of the unit.

    The motion sensor isn’t as quick as some of the others but with its power and durability, it might be worth waiting the extra second or two.

  5. 5. Best Portable LED Lamp: 36W Folding Nail Lamp

    • Folds flat for storage and travel
    • Easy one button timer
    • No bottom plate to clean
    • Good for hands and feet
    • Affordable
    • Not as strong as others
    • No visible timer
    • Open structure lets LED light out

    When you’re not using it, this 36W LetGo Lamp folds flat and is easy to slip into a purse or luggage.

    If you’re tight for space (like if your nail polish collection has slowly taken over your home) being able to easily store your nail supplies is at the top of your list. Bulky nail lamps take up space, but LED lamp is as compact as a nail lamp can get.

    It has a very different shape than most lamps being very thin and rectangular with two wide stands on either side. The legs fold down and now you’ve got LED nail lamp that takes up less space than a tablet.

    You are going to sacrifice some power here since the lamp is open enough to let some of that LED light from its 12 bulbs escape. The one-button design is user-friendly and you have two timer options of 60 seconds and 120 seconds. 

  6. 6. Fastest Home Lamp: Abox Star2 72W

    • Powerful 72W cures fast
    • Automatic light sensor
    • Easy to use touch buttons
    • Has presets and a low heat mode
    • Magnetic removable base
    • Doesn't get that hot
    • Not everyone digs the pink
    • Not big enough for two hands
    • Almost disturbingly lightweight

    If you don’t have a lot of time to spare and need a good nail lamp for home use, check out the Star2 by Abox.

    The Star2 has cranked up the power to 72W so it will cure gel faster than the lower wattage lamps on this list. It has presents for 10 seconds, 30 seconds, 60 seconds, and a 99-second low heat mode where the wattage starts out low and gently increases. 

    It’s extremely easy to use and has all the perks you expect from a quality lamp including automatic sensors to turn the light on when you insert your hand, magnetic removable base for cleaning and pedicures, and easy to select presets. It has a handle for carrying around and is incredibly lightweight.

    I got to try out a media sample of this lamp (with no promise that I’d write a review at all) and I’m really loving it. It’s fast, easy to use, and doesn’t get too hot on me. The lamp a nice medium size and I can fit my whole hand in to cure my thumb at the same time as the rest of my hand.

  7. 7. Built-In Phone Stand: Beetles 18W/36W Red Light Lamp

    • Unique smartphone stand
    • Affordable
    • Adjustable power from 18W to 36W
    • Choice of color
    • Three timer settings
    • Magnetic base
    • Red light is better for your skin
    • Automatic sensor
    • Not big enough for two hands
    • No a lot of backing that red light reduces wrinkles
    • Phone blocks access to buttons

    The Beetles Adjustable Nail Lamp solves a problem you didn’t realize you had. It has a built-in slot to hold your smartphone so it’s easier to use while you wait for your nails to cure. 

    As much as lamps are curing nails faster and faster these days, it still adds up to minutes of doing nothing but watching a little counter count down. With this lamp you can keep watching using your phone while you wait. 

    It’s also great if you have a nail tutorial you’re trying to recreate to have a central place for you to be able to view it while you work. 

    The Beetles lamp has adjustable power so you can choose either 36 watts or a lower 18 watts. It also uses red LED light which they say is better for your eyes and skin. 

    It has all the features you want in a lamp these days: magnetic removable base, motion sensor that turns the light on when you insert your hand, digital readout, and three timer pre-sets. 

  8. 8. Cutest Lamp: PrettyDiva 86W LED Lamp

    • You stick you fingers in its mouth to cure them
    • Motion sensor
    • Preset timers
    • Digital countdown
    • Faster curing times
    • Small
    • Too silly for some
    • You lose some LED with the open back

    Your nail tools don’t have to look boring as this Holographic 86W Nail Lamp from Pretty Diva proves. 

    For a lamp that puts the focus on how it looks, it packs a punch with 86W of LED bulbs which makes for quick curing times. There are four preset timer options that are counted down on the LED display.  The lamp is motion activated so it turns on when you stick your hand inside and off when you remove it.

  9. 9. Best Travel LED Lamp: Makartt Compact Polish Dryer

    • Travel-friendly
    • USB power cord
    • UV/LED dual light
    • Great for pedicures
    • Not as strong as others
    • Low wattage equals longer curing times
    • Thumbs best separately

    If you need a sleek travel dryer that’s easy to slip into your bag, Makartt’s Compact LED Polish Dryer fits the bill. It’s small, light, and simple.

    It’s USB powered so you can either plug it into the included wall adapter like any other nail lamp, or you can plug it into your computer or portable cell phone charger. That’s about as travel-friendly as it gets. With UV/LED combo bulbs, this lamp works with all gels, but at 18 watts, expect the drying times on this one to be longer than on nail lamps that can’t fit in your purse.

  10. 10. Best UV Only: 36W Melody Susie UV Nail Lamp

    • Time presets
    • Choice of colors
    • Cures all gel types
    • Use to use buttons
    • Longer cure times than LED
    • Bulbs will need replacing
    • Larger than other lamps

    For those who like the traditional style, this Melody Susie UV-Only Lamp which means it will cure all gels and shellacs but the curing times are longer than LED. The shortest preset on this is two minutes.

    And being UV, the bulbs have a shorter lifespan of about 1000 hours so at some point they’ll need replacing, but the bottom panel comes off for easy access and this comes with a replacement bulb to start with.

  11. 11. Most Powerful: Deep Dream X5 Plus 110W Lamp

    • Great hand coverage
    • User-friendly buttons and digital readout
    • Low heat mode
    • 110W for faster curing
    • Bottom is removable
    • It can get a little warm
    • Can only do one hand or foot at a time
    • No fun colors

    The Deep Dream X5 Plus has the highest wattage on the list and uses double light source bulbs so it works with all gel and shellac polishes.

    It’s large enough that you can easily fit your hand inside and the angling of the bulbs means you won’t have to contort your thumb for even curing.

    It has 36 dual-light bulbs with a lifespan of 50,000 hours, so if I run this thing 24 hours a day, the bulbs would burn out five years from now.

    The bottom plate slips off for cleaning and for easy pedicure use. The Deep Dream has four simple buttons, including a low heat mode, and a large LED screen that shows the time you have left. Once you have chosen your time, a sensor detects when your hand is under the lights and starts your cycle.

Why bother doing your gel nails at home?

Gel polish nail lamps used to be expensive and bulky, but now you can get a portable nail lamp for the price of a single salon manicure. Even professional, salon-grade models pay for themselves after only a couple of uses. If you're getting a $35 manicure every three weeks, that's $600 a year.

Do you need a UV or LED nail lamp?

For years ultra violet light (UV) was the industry standard but the new LED lamps are significantly faster with curing times of 10 to 30 seconds.

LED bulbs have a longer lifespan and they are gentler on your skin. When LED first came on the scene the price made it only reasonable for professional salons to carry them, but the price of LED units has come way down recently making them very affordable.

One thing to note about LED is that it will only cure LED gels so you need to be sure you're buying LED polish. Luckily, most brands are rolling out double light source bulbs, which combine the two for the best of both worlds.

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