Maggie Rants [and Raves]

Like an LED Balloon

by Maggie Franklin | June 30, 2010

After taking some time to think it over, I have decided that I am not going to run out and invest in any fancy-schmancy LED gel lamps any time soon.

For one thing, I have done my darnedest to learn as much as I can about LED UV technology versus fluorescent UV technology, which came down to a long afternoon of learning about light technology in general — which was interesting enough, but probably the most interesting thing I took from it was that I might, maybe, possibly, understand the theory behind photon torpedoes better now.

It all boils down to the conclusion that LED technology isn't all that stunning to me, is quite pricey-(and I'm not convinced the extra cost is worth it in the long run), and that the gel manufacturers don't seem to want to actually offer any legitimate information about LED lamps and gel technology — leaving me with a nagging feeling that I'm looking at a lot of smoke and mirrors.

Yeah, LED lights are cool. Both literally and figuratively. And maybe that's where the future of our gel lamps is headed, but for the moment I think I'm just gonna hang tight with my good ol' tried-and-true trusty fluorescents.

I'm not interested in investing that kind of money into a couple of lamps that will take up almost the same amount of space on my desk and may — or may not — work with multiple lines of gel products.

Let's face it, I'm not using gel products from only one manufacturer. I need lamps that work with whichever gels I use. It's ludicrous to expect a tech to buy a different lamp for every gel product she uses, both in terms of the financial investment and can you imagine having to put away one lamp and get out another with each client? But rumor has it that the impending LED lamps might be adjusted to such a precise wavelength that they honestly won't be able to bridge the gap between product lines.

And that 30-second cure time we keep hearing about sounds so enticing — until I'm actually sitting here doing gels and realize that it takes me one-and-a-half to two minutes to apply a layer of gel on one hand while the other hand is curing for two minutes. I have two lamps on my desk, so I never have down time waiting for one hand (or foot) to cure before the other hand can go in the light. A 30-second cure time won't make my life easier. It won't cut my service time down.

Oh yeah, and then there's the promise that we will never have to replace the LEDs. But the more I look into this claim, the less inclined I am to buy it. Apparently this will have a lot to do with how the lamps are built, the quality of the components used to construct them, and how they are maintained over time.

I'm just going to wait on this. Hang tight with the lamps that I already know work just fine and ride out the time it takes to work out the bugs with this new technology.

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