Is there such a thing as a “universal” UV light unit or do I have to buy a different light unit for each gel system?
Light Elegance and CND have light units that will cure all of the gels on the market. They are different from other lights (such as a 36-watt light unit) because the lamps (UV bulbs) are very close to the fingers and this results in a more powerful light and better curing. The next best option would be a 36-watt “tunnel” light. These have four 9-watt lamps for 36 watts of curing power, but the bulbs are farther from the fingernails and as such they are not as powerful. (Tunnel lights are available from Young Nails, LCN, and Nailite, as well as others.) These 36-watt tunnel lamps will cure nearly all gels – except for CND’s Brisa gel. Brisa gel does require the use of a CND or Light Elegance lamp to cure completely.
It is equally important to be sure to use good 9-watt bulbs in your light unit. It is best to purchase SLI, Philips, or Sylvania. These UV bulbs need to be changed regularly. If you have 30 to 40 gels clients a week, the bulbs need to be changed every four to six months. If you have 20 gels clients a week, you will want to change your bulbs every six to eight months. Once a year is sufficient for fewer than 20 gels clients a week. – Jim McConnell is president of Light Elegance.