People are obsessed with gel nail manicure once they see how awesome gel can be. However, the cost of having a gel manicure every two or three weeks adds up fast, and keeping up with nail appointments is not always the case.
How’s about at home gel manicure? You’re probably thinking, “Oh. I’m not a professional manicurist.” At home gel manicure is more affordable and easier to achieve than you’d ever think. All you will need is gel nail polish (top and base coat) and a UV or LED nail lamp. It sounds easy enough, right? Now, you might have another questions about UV or LED nail lamp. Don’t worry! I’ll walk you through it step by step.
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 pedicuresCons:
Heavier than some
Too big to throw in your purse
Bottom comes off too easily for someIt 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.Find more SUNUV Sun 5 Pro 72W Lamp information and reviews here.
2. Best Cordless Nail Lamp: Hotrose 72WPrice:$79.98Amazon Customer Reviews Shop at AmazonPros:
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
36 LED bulbs
Many timer settings
Low heat settingCons:
Larger than some
You need to remember to charge it eventually
Battery makes it heavier than corded modelsThis rechargeable, cordless nail lamp 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.It’s available in white and pink.Find more Best Cordless Nail Lamp: Hotrose 72W information and reviews here.
3. Best Professional Lamp: Gelish 18G Professional LED LampPrice:$214.99Amazon Customer Reviews Shop at AmazonPros:
Ultra-fast curing times
Pull down eye sheild to limit light exposure
Convenient hand rest
Buttons positioned for salon setting
Bigger initial investment
Home users may find beeping annoyingThis 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.Find more Gelish 18G Professional LED Light information and reviews here.
4. Fastest Home Lamp: Abox Star2 72WPrice:$39.99Amazon Customer Reviews Shop at AmazonPros:
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 hotCons:
Not everyone digs the pink
Not big enough for two hands
Almost disturbingly lightweightIf 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.Find more Fastest Home Lamp: Abox Star2 72W information and reviews here.
5. Most Powerful: Deep Dream X5 Plus 110W LampPrice:$27.99Amazon Customer Reviews Shop at AmazonPros:
Great hand coverage
User-friendly buttons and digital readout
Low heat mode
110W for faster curing
Bottom is removableCons:
It can get a little warm
Can only do one hand or foot at a time
No fun colorsThe 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.Find more Deep Dream 110W UV LED Nail Lamp information and reviews here.
6. Most Durable Nail Lamp: Anself Pro 64W Nail DryerPrice:$125.00Amazon Customer Reviews Shop at AmazonPros:
Metal case keeps hands from getting hotCons:
Sensor is a little slow
Beeps at end of cycleThe Anself Pro 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. The Anself Pro is 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.Find more Anself Pro 64W LED Nail Dryer information and reviews here.
7. Best Travel LED Lamp: Abody Polish DryerPrice:$30.99Amazon Customer Reviews Shop at AmazonPros:
USB power cord
UV/LED dual light
Great for pedicures
Choice of colorsCons:
Not as strong as others
Low wattage equals longer curing times
Thumbs best separatelyIf you need a sleek travel dryer with your choice of colors, this Abody nail lamp 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 24 watts, expect the drying times on this one to be longer than on nail lamps that can’t fit in your purse.With the simple arch design, it’s great for pedicures, but because the bulbs don’t go that far down the side, you’ll probably want to do your thumbs separately. The lights go on automatically when you put your hand under the arch, and it has two preset timers.It’s available in pink and blue.