The Ultimate Guide to the Best LED/ UV Gel Nail Polish Lamps

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With the popularity of gel nails on the rise, there are so many different lamps to choose from. There are LED and UV lamps. Lamps that allow you to cure both hands or only one. Lamps that have special settings and lamps that only do just the basics. All of them are wonderful in their own way, so making a decision can require a lot of exhausting research. After all, you want to make sure you’re paying money to get a product that meets all your needs. So we’ve gone out and collected some of the greatest lamps on the market and put it together all in one place. Click the links to learn more or purchase a lamp, or check out the chart to get a quick overview of the most important features.

CND

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CND Shellac UV Lamp
This is the official gel polish light for CND brand nail gels. If you swear by Shellac polish, than this is the gel nail light for you.  This 36 watt lamp is completely programmable to any time you need to set it to, but it also comes with 4 preset times. It’s large enough to accommodate your entire hand or your foot for a pedicure, so you won’t have to do your thumbs separately, but you will have to do each hand one at a time. The bulbs are positioned in a way that will allow each nail to be cured evenly and thoroughly.

If one of the bulbs go, it’s no problem since there is a bulb replacement indicator that will let you know when it’s time to update your lights. The cord is 7 feet long and removable, so you’ll definitely be able to place and use this anywhere in a room. If you travel a lot, or need to move the unit around, there’s a carry handle that will make that really easy. This lamp is absolutely worth the cost as it’s the best UV light for nails available. [Learn More or Purchase]

Gelish

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Salon Essentials LED Nail Light
This is a 36 watt gel curing lamp that is often used by professionals at salons. It’s also great for doing your own professional manicures at home. It’s fully programmable, and designed for rapid, efficient curing of all gel polishes, but especially Gelish soak-off polishes. The opening is large enough that you’ll be able to cure both of your hands simultaneously, which will drastically cut down the amount of time it takes to do your nails. There are LED lights mounted on the sides of the device, which will help evenly cure the thumbs as well.

This lamp uses LED lights, which don’t need to be replaced the way that UV lights do. In fact, an LED gel lamp will absolutely outlive a UV lamp, which is why they often cost so much. They also cure faster than UV lamps. This lamp is motion activated. It’ll turn on when you put your hands in it and then automatically shut down when the curing time is up. The bottom of the lamp is removable, so you’ll be able to insert your feet for a pedicure or clean it up. Afterward, simply snap it back on with magnets.

One annoying thing about this lamp is that it doesn’t include an on or off switched. When you’re finished with your manicure, you’ll have to unplug it in order to completely shut it down. Despite this, this is a lamp that is worth the price if you’re serious about your gel manicures. It’s one of the fastest curing lamps available, if not the best LED nail lamp, and it will more than pay for itself after the first couple of uses. [Learn More or Purchase]

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Gelish Complete Starter Kit
If you want more than just the gel polish lamp, this starter kit has everything you need to do a full gel manicure. With this, you get the Gelish Mini Pro LED Light for nails, 2 full sized gel colors, a base gel and a top gel. cleanser, PH bond, nourishing cuticle oil, and gel polish remover. The lamp is small and portable, so it’s easy to store away, but the tiny size means you’ll have to do each hand one at a time. There is one preset timer for 45 seconds. This is one of the least expensive ways to get started with a gel manicure ASAP. [Learn More or Purchase]

OPI

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OPI LED Nail Lamp
OPI offers an LED nail curing lamp that will cure all five fingers at once with 40 watts of light. It works with all LED curable gels,  and OPI brand gels will only need 30 seconds for curing. The interior is comfortable and roomy, so you won’t accidentally make a dent in your polish before you begin curing. It’s also sensor activated, so it’ll start when you put your hands underneath for even more damage control. For pedicures, the legs are adjustable, so you can easily stick your feet underneath.

OPI’s lamp includes presets for 15, 30, 45, and 60 seconds of curing. Many lamps are made with salons in mind, so the countdown display is usually placed on the back for the manicurist to see, but the OPI lamp includes a countdown display on top, so you can easily watch for yourself at home. This lamp is incredibly durable because it’s mostly made from metal, but that also means that it’s a bit heavier than most. This isn’t the ideal gel nail lamp if you’re looking for portability, but other than that, it’s great. [Learn More or Purchase]

Red Carpet Manicure

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Red Carpet Manicure Light Pro 45
This is a compact and portable 6 Watt LED light.  It’s a great inexpensive option for anyone who doesn’t want to drop too much money on a lamp. It includes a 45 second timer. The small size means that you’ll have to do your thumbs separately, which might be a deal breaker for some. The tininess will also force you to be really careful as you insert your hands beneath it. This may not be the best LED gel lamp, but overall, it’s a good starter lamp if you’re unsure about gel polish or if you’re just looking for something smaller to travel with. You may want to eventually upgrade to something larger and more powerful. [Learn More or Purchase]

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Red Carpet Manicure Pro 45 Starter Kit
The Red Carpet Manicure Starter Kit includes the same light as mentioned previously. In addition, the set contains everything else you’ll need to complete a gel manicure at home. Inside you’ll find the prep substance, base and top coat, red gel color, cuticle oil, pre and post application cleanser, gel polish remover, and instructions. This is the perfect little starter set. [Learn More or Purchase]

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Red Carpet Manicure Gel Polish Starter Kit with Portable Light

This is another starter kit offered by red carpet manicure, it comes with all the stuff included in the other starter option, however the lamp that comes with this particular set is more portable. You can either plug the light in, or you can use batteries with it. It has a nice slim and sleek design. While the portability of this lamp is wonderful, it’s definitely not as powerful as the standard manicure light.The smallness also makes it a little trickier to do a pedicure, but it is possible. [Learn More or Purchase]

USpicy

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USpicy Crescent Lamp
This 18 watt LED lamp for gel nails from USpicy doesn’t produce any heat like all LED lamps for nails, so there’s no damage to your hands and there’s no unwanted tanning. It includes timer controls for 30, 60, and 90 seconds. There’s a display that tracks the remaining time of the cure, but it also beeps when it’s completed. It beeps when the hand is inserted as well, which could either be annoying, or helpful. This lamp includes a sensor that detects your hands when they’re inserted. It’s large enough to do the entire hand, with thumbs thanks to the crescent shape. You may even be able to fit both hands inside with some strategic positioning, or if you have small hands. [Learn More or Purchase]

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USpicy Diamant Nail Dryer
This Lamp has 24 watts of LED lights as well as UV light that works with it so that all kinds of polishes can be cured. The design of the lamp is compact and convenient. Preset timers for 20, 40, and 60 seconds are included. [Learn More or Purchase]

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USpicy Macaron UV Nail Lamp
While LED lamps are always the best choice for a faster cure, UV lights do the job too for a price that is far less steep, and you may find yourself with some gel polishes that won’t cure under an LED light. This 36 watt lamp is perfect for both professionals and those who want to be professional at home. You can set the lamp to 120 seconds, 180 seconds, and infinite. It also comes with protective gloves. The bottom of the lamp is removable for easy cleaning and placing over feet. [Learn More or Purchase]

Vogue Professional

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Focus Beam LED Curing Lamp
The Focus Beam lamp has 18 watts of LED light for gel nails that works with a wide array of gel polishes. The lamp has a long life expectancy and doesn’t produce any heat. Built in timers include settings for 30, 60, and 90 seconds with a digital countdown display so you’ll always know how much time is remaining. This lamp will fit the entire hand, including the sometimes problematic thumbs. This lamp does not include a fan and it does not automatically turn on when hands are inserted, but it’s still a great value for LED lamps, which are often on the pricey side. [Learn More or Purchase]

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Fast and Easy LED Lamp
This 18 watt LED light for gel nail polish is just as good as the other lamp offered by Vogue professional, in fact it’s even better because it automatically turns on when your hand is inserted, and it will automatically  turn off when curing time is up. The curing time for the nails is very quick with most gel polishes. The timer has settings for anything between 30-90 seconds. The digital countdown timer will help you track remaining cure time. It’s wide enough to fit the entire hand along with thumbs, and it should work perfectly with any gel that is formulated for LED light. [Learn More or Purchase]

Salon Edge

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Salon Edge UV Lamp
Salon Edge offers a UV light for gel nails with 36 watts of power in a very convenient, compact size. The bottom tray can slide right out to place over feet or clean off. The lining is reflective to ensure all curing is completely uniform. The built in timer is for 2 minutes, and it unfortunately cannot be changed from this setting so you may need to use your own stopwatch if you need less time. It also does not include a fan. On the plus size, you’ll be able to cure a full hand, including thumbs. [Learn More or Purchase]

Thermal Spa

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Thermal Spa One Hand LED Gel Light
This 11 watt LED gel nail lamp will accommodate one full hand or one full foot. The lamp will turn on automatically, but the sensor is very sensitive, so you’ll have to be careful when pulling your hands out after curing, as it can sometimes get activated and start the curing timer again. The bottom of the lamp is reflective, so you get a nice, complete cure. The settings included are for 10, 30, and 60 seconds. [Learn More or Purchase]

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Thermal Spa UV Nail Dryer
If you like thermal spa, but you want a bigger option, this gel nail polish lamp is large enough to fit two hands at a time or two feet at a time, allowing you to finish your manicure in less time since you’ll be able to do all the curing at once. The lamp is extra durable thanks to the heavy duty steel construction. The bottom is removable and easy to clean. There are only 3 settings, 2 minutes, 3 minutes, and constant. At 45 watts, this lamp is just as good as some other bigger brand lamps and at half the price. [Learn More or Purchase]

Essie

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Essie Gel Professional LED Lamp
Essie’s gel lamp is kind of pricey, but pretty great. It has a 360 degree interior mirror so it’s completely reflective. The bottom tray is detachable, and it’s hand sensor activated. This is a highly professional lamp, so it includes all of the things you’d expect to see from a high range model. The time settings included are for 30 and 60 seconds which is sufficient for Essie gels and most other LED curable gels. The LED lights have been strategically positioned for the most precise curing. And best of all, you can cure your full hand. [Learn More or Purchase]

IBD

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IBD Jet UV Lamp
This 45 watt UV light works with a fan to cure your polish quickly and easily. There are 7 different controls so there’s lots of settings to choose from. The height of the lamp is adjustable, making pedicures simple to switch over to. The lamp is large enough to cure both hands at once. [Learn More or Purchase]

Belle

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Belle Fashion Pro LED Lamp
This lamp from Belle has a compact design that is travel friendly and easy to carry. It’s really inexpensive when compared to most other available LED lamps. It includes 6 watts of LED light that don’t produce any heat. The preset timers are for 45 and 60 seconds. As is a problem with many of the smaller model gel nail lamps, you’ll only be able to cure 4 fingers at a time with thumbs done separately. This lamp should work with most gel polish, but you should always make sure your preferred polish is compatible before purchasing. [Learn More or Purchase]

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Belle Dome LED Lamp
This lamp costs more than the other Belle light, but overall it’s a bit of a better product. The lamp is 12 watts and it accommodates the thumb which combined together cut down the curing time, as opposed to the other Belle model. The top of the unit includes buttons for 30, 60, and 90 seconds and an additional timer for 30 minutes. A beeping noise occurs when the timer is set and then again when the timer ends. [Learn More or Purchase]

Sally Hansen

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Salon Pro Gel Starter Kit
You can always count on Sally Hansen to have wonderful nail products, including products for beautiful gel nails. This is a complete system that will give you a manicure that lasts up to two weeks. The lamp included will also work just fine with curing other LED compatible gels, but if you want to stick with Sally Hansen, this brand offers a huge variety of gel colors that leave you with no chips and a mirror shine. Aside from the lamp, the set includes a base coat, top coat, color, remover, cleanser pads and other manicure accessories like a cuticle stick and a buffer. You should be able to fit your entire foot beneath the lamp, however only four fingers will fit and thumbs must be done separately. When curing is completed, the lamp will shut down on its own. [Learn More or Purchase]

Orly

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Orly Smartgels LED Lamp

This is a 7 watt lamp that is rather small so storage is no problem. It works with Orly smart gels as well as other brands of gel polish. The lamp will turn on automatically when you place your hand inside and then shuts off after one minute. At the 30 second mark, it makes a chirping sound if you’d like to remove your hands even sooner. Once again, the small size is both an upside and a downside as you’ll have to cure your thumbs alone. [Learn More or Purchase]

Other Brands

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MelodySusie Violetili Gel Lamp
This 12 watt gel nail LED light has a wide opening so that you can fit all five fingers at one time.The design is otherwise very compact. The lights are placed on the top of the unit only, however there are mirrors on either side to reflect the lights that help cure the thumbs. The settings included are for 30, 60, 90 seconds and 30 minutes. [Learn More or Purchase]

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Artistic Pro LED Lamp
The Artistic Pro LED Lamp is perfect for curing all 5 fingers at the same time. That’s because there are lights that target the pinky and thumb specifically. It has 30 watts for rapid curing. The settings are for 10, 20, 30, and 40 seconds and there is an LED timer that will display a countdown. This lamp will allow you to have years of salon level performance from the comfort of your own home. [Learn More or Purchase]

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Dual Hand Curing Light
This is a wonderful lamp that has a few cool features that you won’t see elsewhere. It includes dual circulating fans that can be used alone for drying standard, non gel polishes. The coolness of this lamp lies in some of the settings. You’ll be able to use this one in 3 different modes. You can use it with the UV lights activated only, with the fans activated only, or you can use the UV and the fans simultaneously. The UV light bulbs provide a whopping 54 watts of curing power and there are six different timer settings for 2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 minutes.

If all of that other stuff didn’t win you over, this lamp also has a spacious design that will let you cure both of your hands at once or two feet, without the risk of accidentally smudging your manicure. The interior is mirrored to make sure that there’s full coverage for impeccably curing. The alarm will beep when it’s finished curing and then the lamp will automatically shut off. If replacing bulbs is a worry of yours when it comes to UV lamps, then don’t fret because this one comes with a spare. [Learn More or Purchase]

Budget Friendly Gel Polish Lamps

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Heart LED Lamp
If you’re into something a little cutesier than some other models, this is an energy saving LED with cold light and fast drying times. It’s only 3 watts but it will still work with most UV and LED curable gels. The design is compact and it won’t take up much space. It’s cute enough to be placed on a beauty table or shelf. Of course, because this is kind of small, you’re going to have to cure your thumbs separately. [Learn More or Purchase]

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Bundle Monster LED Lamp
This is a nice 9 watt budget gel nail dryer with 3 settings for 30, 60, and 90 seconds. There’s only one button to control it, which makes it really easy to use. However, this one button thing can be a little annoying because you press the button once to get 30 seconds, 3 times for 60 seconds, and then 5 whole times to get 90 seconds. This is not the greatest thing in the world if you’re looking to be extra careful about not accidentally nicking your manicure. This lamp only accommodates four fingers, so you’ll be doing your thumbs separately, but you can place it on the floor to do an entire foot. On the plus side, the cord is really long, so you’ll be able to use this thing anywhere in a room, unless you’re in the biggest room ever. This is the best LED nail curing lamp for budget shoppers if you can get past the irritating controls. [Learn More or Purchase]

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Loel Super Mini LED
This is an itty bitty 6 watt LED manicure lamp that will cure all LED gels. The preset timers allow you to set the lamp for 45 or 60 seconds. As mentioned before, this is tiny so thumbs won’t fit, but this is the ideal lamp for a traveler that still wants beautiful gel nails or for a casual user. [Learn More or Purchase]

Lamp Type Watts Settings 2 Hands Auto Turn On Polish Included
CND Shellac UV Lamp UV   36 Fully Programmable
Salon Essentials LED Nail Light LED   36 Fully Programmable     X     X
Gelish Complete Starter Kit LED 45 seconds     X
OPI LED Nail Lamp LED   40 15, 30, 45, and 60 seconds     X
Red Carpet Manicure Light Pro 45 LED    6 45 seconds
Red Carpet Manicure Pro 45 Starter Kit LED    6 45 seconds     X
Red Carpet Manicure Gel Polish Starter Kit with Portable Light LED     X
USpicy Crescent Lamp LED   18 30, 60, and 90 seconds     X
USpicy Diamant Nail Dryer LED   24 20, 40, and 60 seconds
USpicy Macaron UV Nail Lamp UV   36 120s, 180s and infinite
Focus Beam LED Curing Lamp LED   18 30, 60, and 90 seconds
Fast and Easy LED Lamp LED   18 30-90 seconds     X
Salon Edge UV Lamp UV   36  2 minutes
Thermal Spa One Hand LED Gel Light LED   11  10, 30, and 60 seconds.     X
Thermal Spa UV Nail Dryer UV   45  2 and 3 minutes, infinite     X
Essie Gel Professional LED Lamp LED  30 and 60 seconds     X
IBD Jet UV Lamp UV   45  7 controls     X
Belle Fashion Pro LED Lamp LED    6  45 and 60 seconds
Belle Dome LED Lamp LED   12  30, 60, and 90 seconds and 30 minutes
Salon Pro Gel Starter Kit LED     X
Orly Smartgels LED Lamp LED    7  1 minute     X
MelodySusie Violetili Gel Lamp LED   12  30, 60, 90 seconds and 30 minutes
Artistic Pro LED Lamp LED   30  10, 20, 30, and 40 seconds
Dual Hand Curing Light UV   54  2, 3, 4, 6 and 7 minutes     X     X
Heart LED Lamp LED    3
Bundle Monster LED Lamp LED    9  3 settings for 30, 60, and 90 seconds.
Loel Super Mini LED LED    6  45 and 60 seconds