UV Nail Lamps AKA Nail Dryer

UV Nail Lamps AKA Nail Dryer imageUV nail lamps are an essential item for those who are serious about their nail art. If you are looking to buy one, scroll down to the bottom of the page where you can find some good quality nail dryers on sale at Amazon.

What’s so great about a UV nail curing lamp? They can reduce drying time to under a minute depending on the quality and wattage of your nail dryer. UV nail lamps are also known as UV lamps, nail dryers, UV nail curing lamps, UV curing machines or equipment.

What to look for in a UV nail lamp?

Ideally you want to buy a 36W UV nail lamp as this will allow you to dry Shellac Nail Polish as well. Any lower wattage and it can take forever and if you go any higher you could risk skin damage to your hands if you use the dryer without sun protection administered.

Will you be wanting to paint your toenails as well? If so you need to be able to buy a lamp that will fit one foot at a time in to help speed up the drying process. Some nail dryers come with removable plates so there is enough room to squeeze in a foot.

It can be worth paying a bit extra for a lamp with a timer built in. This will ensure you always dry your nails for the required amount of time.

Points to consider before purchasing a nail dryer

How much can you afford to spend? When you decide you are going to skip the salon to start creating beautiful nails designs at home you need to ask yourself how much you are willing to pay for your nail art supplies? Keep in mind how much money you normally spend at the salon and how long you want the process to take at home.

How long do you want to spend doing your own nails at home? Some 9W UV nail curing lamps will take 3 minutes for each coloured gel nail as coloured polish takes longer for the UV light to penetrate. Multiply that 3 minutes by how many times you need to use the nail dryer and how many coats you will be applying. Do you have that much time to spare?

Will you be using Shellac Nail Polish at home? If so, shellac requires you cure your nail with 36W UV curing equipment.

It might be cheaper to buy a battery operated nail dryer at first but think of how annoying it will be changing the batteries when you are half way through drying your nails. The cost of batteries over time will also start to add up.



  • Possible UV damage to your hands – this can be avoided by wearing a good Broad Spectrum Sun Cream that blocks UVA and UVB rays. Another way to avoid UV damage is to wear a pair of Anti UV gloves which are full arm gloves that only expose the nail beds. Further studies are being conducted on the damage caused by nail dryers.
  • Price – decent UV curing machines can be expensive, this is why it is necessary to weigh up how much you would be spending in the salon to work out what you can afford to spend at home. A good quality nail dryer can be a very good investment.
  • Replacing UV lamp bulbs can be fiddly and annoying.

LED vs UV nail dryers

UV Nail Lamps AKA Nail Dryer (2) imageYou might be considering buying a LED Lamp as a way to minimise UV damage. If this is the case you should be aware that LED lamps still can cause skin cancer, they omit UV rays as well.

Before making a purchase you will need to research first whether an LED lamp will dry your nail products. With some gel nails it is necessary to buy an LED cured gel nail polish and this can be expensive and doesn’t normally have the range of colours. OPI and Red Carpet both sell LED cured gel nail products and both lots of products look great and are easy to apply.

LED nail lamps are expensive at first but you will never need to have to replace any bulbs (they promise 50,000 hours) and they work fast. As LED lamps are more efficient you will be doing your bit for the environment as well. Read up on the best LED Lamps in my recent post.

Decent Nail Dryer brands

I’ve tested both the USpicy and Vogue brands of Nail Dryers and have been happy with the results for both. If you are looking to spend a bit more money you might want to consider investing in a professional UV lamp these normally cost $100 or more but they have a longer warranty and come with extra features such as timers and have UV lamps on the top and sides of the nail dryer.

If you’re looking for nail dryers that have built-in timers as well.

Lynda Wyatt