Looking for the best LED or UV nail lamp to cure your gel polish?

With so many nail lamps on the market, it’s hard to know which one is best for you. 

After 42 hours of in-depth research, we’ve ranked the best models on the market below to help you decide!

New to nail lamps? Check out our guide for newbies at the end of the post.

Keep reading to find out which nail lamp is best for you!

Makeup Scholar

Top Hybrid, UV, and LED Nail Lamps

Hybrid Lamps

 #1. Best Salon Quality LED/UV hybrid: Lumcrissy Professional 64W

  • Color options: black or white
  • Product dimensions: 9.17 x 8.26 inches
  • Inventory: nail lamp, adapter, free nail clipper

u v nail lamp

  • 1 year warranty
  • Sturdy metal cover
  • High 64 Wattage (cures better)
  • Cures almost all gel polish types
  • Lifting handle for transportation
  • Comparable to the OPI nail lamp (discontinued)
  • Cures five toes or fingers at the same time

u v nail lamps

  • American plug only (need an adapter for overseas)
  • Heavy even though it has a lifting handle
  • Mid to high end price
  • Cord is short

More expensive – but saves time, has higher power bulbs, and a 1 year warranty

An LED/UV hybrid (cures all types of gel polish) – this model has a heftier price tag than some other models, but it has more powerful bulbs (64W, 32pc). It is a well-known dupe for the now discontinued popular salon quality OPI gel lamp.

Because it’s so powerful (64W), be very careful when using it – it does get hot.

Worried about your lamp breaking? A one year warranty is included to keep your worries at bay.

Good for time saving – Lumcrissy claims the lamp is 5-10 times faster at drying than conventional phototherapy lamps, and it operates with four timing settings operated via touch screen (15, 30, 45, or 60 seconds).

On first impressions, you might think this is a good option for travel. The model has a sturdy metal container, and a handle for transporting the lamp.

However, some customers found it quite heavy. The cord is quite short so its placement in a room is quite restricted. Another entry on this list (the cordless Lumcrissy model) is a much better option for travel!

led UV nail lamp

This hybrid lamp comes with a mid to higher range pricetag, however the high power wattage (64W), sturdy cover, and 1 year warranty makes it a great option for someone looking for a less expensive dupe for the now discontinued OPI gel lamp.

Even though it had a handle, and is designed with transport in mind, it is quite heavy and the cord is short. The cordless Lumcrissy model (see below) is much better for travel.

Check the current price of the Lumcrissy Professional 64W on Amazon here 

 

 

 #2. The best all-rounder LED/UV Nail Lamp Dryer hybrid: MelodySusie 48W

  • Product Dimensions: 10.4 x 5.5 x 8.7 inches
  • Available in 24W (48W is much more powerful and effective)
  • Inventory: Violetira Pro48W nail drying lamp, A/C adapter, full usage instructions, and a welcome card all contained in a black box.

u v nail lamp

  • Fits all 5 nails on hands or toes at the same time
  • The LED/UV hybrid cures virtually all types of gel polish
  • 12 month warranty
  • Comes with a spare bulb
  • Customer rave reviews
  • Has a fan inside to help cooling

u v nail lamps

  • Mid range price
  • Only comes with an American plug – needs an adapter for overseas
  • The automatic sensor is very sensitive to hand movement

Impressive brand reputation, 12 month warranty, and excellent customer reviews

This hybrid LED/ UV gel nail lamp earns a place on our list because of the MelodySusie products and brand’s impressive reputation.

The 12 month warranty, and rave customer reviews, make it a safe choice for any newbie or professional and wanting to minimize the risk of dissatisfaction with their nail lamp.

MelodySusie’s hybrid UV/LED lamp can cure almost all types of gel nail polish (including glitter gel mixes, led and uv builder gels) on natural nails or acrylic extensions.

This model can also cure the newer PolyGel formula (23% lighter than acrylics and 16% lighter than traditional hard gels – it creates strong, natural feeling nails with no separation or lifting of the polish throughout wear).

Great for home or salon use – impressive features but not the cheapest

The lamp has a detachable bottom which is useful for drying gel pedicures and for easy cleaning. The machine has an overheating safety system, and a spare bulb is also included in the package.

Like all lamps on this list, this model can cure all five nails on a hand or foot at the same. This is a significant advantage compared to some cheaper models that require thumbs to be cured separately, which can waste time and the fuss of nails drying at different times can lead to clumsy, smudged application.

Great for salon or at home use, the machine has an automatic hand sensor and three present time controls for easy operation and to save you time.

This is not the cheapest model. Some customers find the hand sensor a little too sensitive: this isn’t the best if you find it difficult to keep your hands still.

led UV nail lamp

If you’re looking for a reliable, powerful hybrid LED / UV nail lamp, the strong reputable brand, 1 year warranty and impressive customer reviews (many customers say this is their favorite) means this model is a safe bet if you want to minimize the risk of dissatisfaction when you purchase.

However, this mid range price model is not the most affordable nail lamp on the list. Some customers had difficulty keeping their hands perfectly still for the oversensitive hand sensor.

Click here to view the current price of the MelodySusie 48W UV/LED hybrid here

 #3. Best budget UV/LED Light: Liberex Nail Dryer 48W

  • Product Dimensions: approximately 8.2 x 4 x 4 inches
  • Inventory: package contains one Liberex LED UV nail lamp, one user manual, and one power adapter.

u v nail lamp

  • 12 month warranty & life-time maintenance
  • Great price
  • Cures almost all gel polishes
  • Double power option for faster drying
  • Can cure both hands or both feet at the same time
  • Overheating protection

u v nail lamps

  • Only comes with American adapter plug (need an adapter for overseas)
  • Reviews indicate it doesn’t last as long as other models
  • Doesn’t come with proper instructions

Impressive features on a budget – automatic sensors, timer, and speed drying

Another hybrid LED and UV model, this works well with both LED and UV polishes. Less expensive than the other hybrid models on this list, it is a great option if you’re on a budget.

This nail lamp is very user friendly, with 4 time controls displayed on the LCD time display screen (10, 30, 60 and 99 seconds), an automatic hand/foot sensor, a removable bottom for pedicure and cleaning, and an option to set up your preferred time settings to save you some time.

A great option for time saving, the lamp was clearly made with people who have time constraints in mind. This lamp can cure both hands or feet at the same time.

For faster drying, you can long press the 99 seconds timing button for 2 seconds to double the power, making it 2 times faster to cure.

Liberex claims the 36 piece UV/LED bulbs last over 50k hours, however some customers find it breaks quite easily, and generally doesn’t last as long as other models. However, it does come with a 12 month warranty and life-time maintenance.

One reason for the higher return rate appears to be the fact that the product doesn’t come with detailed instructions. I have provided instructions (based on reviews) below:

Easy to use – here’s how

  1. Place the base coat one clean nails.
  2. Put your fingers into the lamp for the required seconds. (Do not touch your nails to make sure they are dry)
  3. Place the color gel polish on your nails and dry with UV lamp.
  4.  Add another layer of color for a more opaque coverage and dry again.
  5.  Put on the top coat and dry again
  6.  Place some alcohol on a cotton bud and wipe your fingers to remove the stickiness. After that you can touch your nails.

Notes: The instructions say to remove the blue film covering the mirror sides on the inside of the dryer – this means the “floor” and “roof” of the dryer, so also remove it from the top and bottom mirrors.

led UV nail lamp

This is a great UV/LED combination model for the price. A lot of customers found its life span isn’t as long and it’s not as sturdy as other models – but considering the price and the life maintenance guarantee, it might be worth going for anyway.

The price, combined with the quick speed (2x) drying time option, and the fact that both hands or feet can be cured at same time, means it’s great if you are both on a budget and time constrained.

Check out the Liberex Nail Dryer 48W on Amazon here 

 #4. Best value for money LED/UV Lamp: Star Cosmetics, 60W

  • Product dimensions: 8.9 x 8.5 x 4.3 inches
  • Inventory: 1 hybrid LED UV Nail lamp, 1 US socket, and a limited edition surprise free gift (small flowers stickers according to reviews)

u v nail lamp

  • 60W high power
  • Extra long cord
  • Cures all 5 fingers or toes at once
  • Cures most gel polishes
  • Power saving auto sensor feature
  • One year warranty and money back guarantee

u v nail lamps

  • Not as sturdy as other models
  • Can spark if the power button is switched on when plugging in

Unique light in a slightly more compact size with an extra long cord

Another hybrid model that cures all kinds of gel polish, it has four time interval options (15, 30, 60, 90s) and bulb power that provides thousands and thousands of hours of curing. This model works via an auto sensor for power saving – great for keeping bills low and protecting the environment.

Unlike most other models on the list, it comes with an extra long cord – perfect if you don’t have too many plug sockets in your house. It is also smaller than other models, and therefore much more portable and better for travel than some other options on this list.

The price point is great for the quality and features, however it’s not as sturdy as other models, and some customers found it produced sparks if the power button is switched on when plugging in.

While a warranty wasn’t initially available, STAR now offer a 1 year warranty and full money back guarantee. Perfect for that extra peace of mind. That said, it doesn’t seem to break easily based on the reviews online to date. 

led UV nail lamp

The unique features and 60W power at such a relatively low price means this model is great value for money. This model has fantastic customer reviews, and now offers a money back guarantee and one year warranty. If you are looking for a hybrid LED / UV nail lamp with some nice unique features, with an added warranty at a great price – this is for you.

 Click here to check out the STAR cosmetics hybrid model on Amazon

#5. Best For Travel: Lumcrissy Professional Cordless 64W Rechargeable Led UV Nail Lamp

  • Dimensions: 9.17*3.14*8.26 inches
  • Inventory: 1 LED Nail Dryer Lamp, 1 AC/DC Adapter, 1 Instruction Manual, and 1 Nail Clipper.

u v nail lamp

  • Battery operated, cordless
  • Portable handle, sturdy and easy to carry.
  • One year warranty.
  • Cures all five fingers or toes at once.
  • Cures almost all kinds of gel polish, including CND Shellac.
  • High power (64W, 32pc)

u v nail lamps

  • Higher end price point
  • Can be difficult to figure out the settings initially
  • Some wish it was a bit bigger

Expensive – but gel battery operated, cordless for travel, & comes with a 1 year warranty

At the higher end of the price point on the list, this model is different from the others because it’s gel battery operated and cordless (it comes with a special charger). Specially designed for travel, two hours of full charging provides 1.5 hours of curing time.

The lamp works with an automatic sensor, and has four touch curing timer options (30s/30s/45s/90s) displayed clearly (along with the battery capacity) on the LCD display. The product comes with a one year warranty for peace of mind.

Although it was designed smaller than average to make it easy for travel, some customers wish it was bigger. Others note that it can be difficult to figure out the default settings when using it for the first time.

led UV nail lamp

This model is battery operated, smaller than average, and has a handle for easy transportation – if you travel a lot, this is the one for you! The price is heftier than most others on this list, but it does come with a 12 month warranty.

Click here to check out the current price of the Lumcrissy Professional Cordless 64W on Amazon

#6. Best Convenient and Adaptable Hybrid Lamp: Lumcrissy 60W (Adjustable Power and USB Charger Professional LED/UV Nail Lamp

  • Dimensions: : 20.8 * 19.8 * 9.8cm / 8.2 * 7.8 * 3.8in
  • Inventory: 1 LED / UV Nail Lamp, 1 Power Adaptor, 1 Plug, 1 User Manual, 1 Nail Clipper.

u v nail lamp

  • USB interface for mobile charging
  • Convenient to use
  • Cures almost all gel polish, on five fingers or toes at once
  • 1 year warranty
  • Mid range price

led lamp for nails

  • US Plug – need adapter internationally.
  • The cord can be slightly faulty.

Adjust from 48W to 60W & with a USB interface – can be faulty but comes with a 1 year warranty 

Another hybrid UV/LED device that cures almost all gel polish types. This model sets itself apart from the competition with its adjustable power from 48W to 60W, and a unique USB interface for charging the lamp on your phone, in the car, or on your laptop.

The lamp has a touch screen with multiple timer and power settings (15s/30s/60s/90s/power+), displayed on the LCD screen and can be programmed on automatic settings for time saving. This mid range priced lamp also has an overheating safety feature.

A minority of customers find the cord slightly faulty, but the product does come with a one year warranty. The plug is designed for US sockets; international customers will need a special adapter.

led UV nail lamp

If you are looking for a convenient and adaptable nail lamp, the USB charger feature for car, laptop, and phone, and flexible power options (from 48W to 60W) make this lamp a great option for you.

Check out the Lumcrissy adjustable 60W on Amazon here

LED Polish Only Nail Lamps

#7. Best Salon quality LED only lamp: Gelish 36W 18G

  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 8.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Inventory: 1 LED light, 1 charger.

u v nail lamp

  • Incredibly fast drying (base coat dries in 5 seconds)
  • Cures all five fingers or toes at once
  • Scratch and Acetone-resistant
  • Finger stopper guides
  • Patented eyeShield technology to limit eye damage
  • Never need to replace bulbs
  • Magnetic removable tray for easy sanitation

u v nail lamps

  • Expensive
  • US plug – needs an adapter if not in US
  • LED polish only
  • Warranty not available everywhere

Expensive – but as an LED model it cures quicker and you don’t need to replace the bulbs.

This LED lamp for nails comes with a luxury price tag, however as it is an LED lamp, you will never need to replace its bulbs, and it cures all five nails much quicker than most other models –in just 5, 20 or 30 seconds.

It has an automatic finger sensor, a special eye guard to protect your eyes, and a LED display timer with a countdown. It has a magnetized removable tray for sanitation purposes and is scratch and acetone-resistant.

An LED polish only lamp, this model will not work well when used with UV polish. The brand advertises a 12 month warranty its website, however this is not available on Amazon.

led UV nail lamp

If you’re really time constrained, and looking for a salon quality ultra fast LED lamp for nails (dries base coats in only five seconds!) – this is a good option.

Like all LED only lamps – it is NOT compatible with UV polish. This is a pricey model, it is not a suitable lamp for someone on a budget.

The lamp has very positive reviews. If you want a 12 month warranty you need to purchase outside of Amazon, where it is usually more expensive.

View the Gelish 36W LED only lamp on Amazon here 

#8. Best value LED only: MelodySusie 48W

  • Comes in classic black or red colors.
  • Dimensions: 10.4 x 8.6 x 5.5
  • Inventory: 48W nail drying lamp, 100V-240V A/C adapter, usage instructions

u v nail lamp

  • Incredibly fast curing – in 5, 20, or 30 seconds.
  • 6 month warranty, MelodySusie provide good service
  • Cures all five fingers or toes at once
  • Overheating prevention system
  • Cheaper alternative to the Gelish 18G

u v nail lamps

  • Some customers find the beeping and vocal communication feature annoying
  • The timer is at the back of the lamp
  • Instructions provided are limited
  • LED polish only

A cheaper alternative to Gelish 18G, designed for a salon. LED lamps don’t work with UV polish

Similar to the previous entry (Gelish 18G), this LED specific lamp cures nails incredibly fast – in just 5, 10 or 30 seconds.

The device uses voice technology to say “hello” when it starts and “goodbye” when it is done, and it also beeps when the time is up – you will probably love or hate this feature depending on your perspective!

Another LED lamp, the bulbs will never need to be replaced, however it can only cure LED polish – it won’t work with UV polish.

Some customers felt that there should be more instructions provided in the box (for example, they don’t explain that you need to peel off the plastic protector on the bottom plate).

The timer is at the back of the lamp for nail salon convenience. If you’re using this at home, you won’t be able track the remaining time while you cure (however, it only takes up to 30 seconds per cure).

The product is protected by a six month warranty, and you can register your purchase on the MelodySusie website to get extra warranty coverage.

led UV nail lamp

If you’re interested in the Gelish LED lamp for nails, and don’t mind the time tracker at the back of the product (a great feature for salon use, but might be annoying for at home use), this is a great dupe for half the price and with a six month peace of mind warranty.

Click here to check the price of the MelodySusie 48W on Amazon

UV Polish Only Nail Lamps

#9. Best UV only lamp: Ikonna 36W

  • Dimensions: 6.61 x 7.48 x 3.14 inches
  • Inventory: UV nail lamp, plug.

u v nail lamp

  • Cures virtually all gel polish because it’s a UV lamp
  • Affordable price
  • Compact
  • Light visor protection for eyes

u v nail lamps

  • UV lamp – takes longer to cure polish (90, 120, 180 seconds)
  • Bulbs need to be changed in the future
  • No warranty

The only UV nail lamp on the list – basic, but works with all polish & is small and affordable

The benefit of UV is that virtually any gel polish works with the lamp. The downside is that it takes quite a bit longer than LED only lamps (90-180 seconds compared to 5-60 seconds). Bulbs need to be replaced on UV lamps every year or so.

This 36W model is pretty basic, but the price is very affordable. It is small and compact, with a light visor protection feature to protect your eyes.

The UV nail lamp does not come with a warranty, however customers are impressed with the product on average overall.

led UV nail lamp

If you’re looking for a UV nail lamp at an affordable price, this is a good option.

This model has impressive reviews, however there is no warranty available. UV nail lamps take longer to cure and need bulbs replaced after a while, but unlike LED lamps, they are compatible with all types of gel polish.

Click here to check out the Ikonna 36W UV only lamp on Amazon 

 

 

TL;DR – Which Hybrid, LED, or UV Nail Lamp Is Best For Me?

  • If you’re looking for a high quality LED/UV hybrid lamp that will cure virtually all gel polish at good value for money, with fantastic customer reviews and a 12 month guarantee, the MelodySusie 48W hybrid is the best option for you.

 

  • On a budget? The Liberex 48W is really great considering the budget-friendly price tag.

 

  • The Star hybrid model has a lot of unique features, with the added security of a one year warranty and money back guarantee. Plus, it has great customer reviews at a budget friendly price.

 

 

 

  • If you’re looking for a hybrid model with multiple power options (48W to 64W), with convenient USB charging in your car or on your laptop , the Lumcrissy 48-60W hybrid is the model you want.

 

  • Interested in a UV only lamp? (UV lamps are cheaper than LED, can cure all types of polish, but take much longer to cure), the Ikonna 36W UV nail lamp is great for such a low price.

 

  • The best value LED only (faster curing time than UV only, but usually more expensive than UV only and not compatible with UV only polish) to get is the MelodySusie 48W LED lamp, which is a great dupe for the higher salon quality Gelish 36W LED light at a much lower price.

 

 

Why Gel Nail Lamps?

Gel nail lamps are perfect if you want to give yourself a long lasting, chip resistant gel manicure at home. It can be such a hassle to constantly book appointments and drive back and forth to a nail salon when you’re juggling a busy schedule. It’s much more convenient (and quicker!) to do it yourself at home.

The average price for a gel manicure at a US salon in 2017 was 29 dollars.  If you get one manicure every three weeks, that adds up to a hefty 493 dollars spent just on gel nails every year. Ouch!

Not only is it a lot cheaper, doing your gel polish from home means it’s a lot easier to change your color as often as you want.

One reason why most people haven’t made the obvious switch from salon appointments to at home gel nails is confusion about what they are and what they really do. By the end of this post, you’ll know all the essentials about nail lamps to make an informed decision.

Nail lamps are machines that make it possible to dry gel nails in the comfort of your own home. The special light in nail lamps make drying gel polish possible – in the absence of the lamp, the gel polish will chip and won’t last long, and using gel polish instead of regular would be pointless.

Forget the confusing jargon – this post explains in simple terms: the difference between UV, LED, and hybrid lamps; and discusses the confusion surrounding the potential skin cancer risk from using nail lamps. Check out all of this info at the end of this section.

Gel Nails for Newbies

 Why gel polish lamps?

Gel polish is superior to normal polish because it dries faster and lasts much longer on the nail than regular polish. Gel polish manicures can last up to 3 weeks with no chipping or peeling.

Nail lamps are machines that make it possible to dry gel nails in the comfort of your own home. The special light in nail lamps make drying gel polish possible – in the absence of the lamp, the gel polish will chip and won’t last long, and using gel polish instead of regular would be pointless.

How do they work?

  1. Press the on button
  2. Set the timer for the desired time
  3. Place hand under the machine until the timer runs out
  4. Repeat for the other hand

 What’s the difference between UV and LED?

Unlike LED lamps, UV lamps are compatible with all types of gel polish, but take longer to cure each polish coat than the LED models. They’re more affordable than LED lamps but use more energy than LED models (U V lights are less eco friendly).

UV bulbs need to be replaced every year or so (bulbs in LED lamps never need replacement).

 UV/LED Hybrid Lamps

In recent years, UV/LED hybrid lamps have come on the market. They combine the benefit of universal polish compatibility (UV lamps cure all types of gel polish) and the curing speed of LED lamps in one device.

They’re typically more expensive than UV and slightly more pricey than LED lamps, but if you plan on using all types of gel polish and want your nails cured quickly, it’s worth going for a hybrid model.

 Do LED / UV Lamps Increase Your Risk of Skin Cancer?

A common misconception is that U V lights for nails carry an increased skin cancer risk, while LED lamps do not carry a risk.

All UV and LED nail lamps emit UV radiation, including UVA rays, which have been linked to both premature skin ageing and skin cancer.

There is debate over the extent of harm that nail lamps can cause.

One study found that an individual would have to undergo 250 years of nail drying sessions before they would receive the same UV dose as a person with psoriasis.

Other studies claim that nail lamps are likely to be more harmful than the previous study would suggest.

The Skin Cancer Foundation states that even the most intense of these devices presents only a moderate UV riska far lower risk than that presented by UV tanning devices.

How to protect your hands? 

To play it safe with gel manicures, The Skin Cancer Foundation recommends applying a broad spectrum (UVA/UVB) sunscreen to hands 20 minutes prior to UV light exposure.

Polymer fingerless gloves with titanium dioxide (a sunscreen ingredient), like YouVeeShield, can protect your hands against UVA rays.

If you like doing your gel nails at home, you may be interested in some other DIY beauty treatments!