In the beginning there was the UV-CFL lamp. These lamps emit a broad range of UV light – with only a portion of it actually curing the gel – requiring longer cure time. LED lamps emit the right amount of the specific UV-A wavelength needed to cure LED-curable gels, so they cure much faster. Since faster curing equals more time to take another client (and thus make more money), LED lamps are appealing to busy techs.
For new LED lamp owners it’s important to know how to maintain a lamp to get maximum use out of it. Because of a lamp’s build, it should be easy to clean. “Proper storage is key to maintaining a good gel lamp. Placing it in a safe and secure space while not in use is ideal to keep it in good condition,” says Orly spa manager Kelly Bannon. “To ensure a clean appearance, you want to make sure that the lamp is being thoroughly cleansed of any residue between clients.” While the lamp is in use, pay attention to the cords (although several models are now cordless) and placement of the lamp so that no tugging or pulling occurs. While the exterior of a lamp can vary a bit, many have similar settings so that nail techs investing in a new LED lamp can be up to speed in no time. So long as a client’s hands and feet are placed correctly in the lamp, nails should have contact with lights to cure properly.