The Best UV Nail Lamp

Updated on 6 March 2023

After 16 hours of research, comparing 23 UV nail lamps and testing 5 of them, we prefer the SunUV Sun2C for its good price/performance ratio.

This comparison is certified 100% impartial and follows our selection process.

Our choice, Best budget

SunUV Sun2C

This UV and LED lamp is suitable for drying all types of nail polish and gels. In addition, it has a handy timer, a comfortable low temperature mode and a nice design.

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SunUV Sun2C

Capable of drying all kinds of gels as well as semi-permanent nail polish, it features a good power of 48 W and the presence of no less than 33 LED beads, for a fast and homogeneous result. Its timer can be set to 10, 30 or 60 seconds in standard mode, or to 90 seconds for low temperature drying. Its girly design with a comfortable cushion is very appreciated, and it is easy to clean. In our tests, we were able to get our full hand on it easily and noted that the base could be removed. The colours dried well after about 70 seconds of catalysis, but the Base and Top Coat took a little longer. We also noticed that, like all the models tested, this lamp tended to get a little hot when in use, but without burning. Finally, although this was not our case, note that several users complained about broken LEDs.

 

 

Best mid-range

SunUV Sun4

This model has additional features that justify its higher price, such as the presence of different timers, but also the possibility to see the time remaining or spent.

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SunUV Sun4

Also offering dual technology (UV and LED), this 48W lamp (like the Sun2C) has no less than 36 LED beads and a handy LCD screen. Indeed, during our tests, we appreciated the possibility of seeing the time. Very ergonomic, its timer can be set to 10, 30, 60 (with buttons) or 120 seconds (by placing the hand without pressing a button). It also has a low temperature drying mode and an ultra-fast mode. However, the 99 second button did not really convince us as it only seemed to be used to set the time to 0 to count down the time rather than counting down from 99 seconds. All in all, it took us 2 to 3 minutes to properly catalyse and dry the colours, Base and Top Coat. We also appreciated its size which allowed us to do our fingernails (with or without tips) and toenails easily. However, it did heat up a lot and, without burning, it is therefore important to let it cool down properly before putting it back in its box after use.

 

Our selection

Our choice, Best budgetBest mid-range
SunUV Sun2C SunUV Sun4
This UV and LED lamp is suitable for drying all types of nail polish and gels. In addition, it has a handy timer, a comfortable low temperature mode and a nice design. This model has additional features that justify its higher price, such as the presence of different timers, but also the possibility to see the time remaining or spent.
£ 49.99 on Amazon See the price on Amazon

 

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How did we do the test?

In order to test the UV nail lamps, we first looked at the design of each of them (overall quality, design, number of LEDs and how well they work) as well as their practicality (length of the cable, removable base, height of the opening that is wide enough, interior space that is large enough to put your hand comfortably with or without tips/extensions, clear buttons, etc).

Then we evaluated their efficiency and speed for drying our nails (hands and/or feet). We observed how quickly each layer could be ready (Base Coat, colours and Top Coat). For this, we used the same brand of nail polish for all of them so as not to distort the result by including other parameters (we used the Rosalind brand, known for its fairly good quality/small price ratio).

 

How to choose your UV nail lamp? 

If you are a manicure and pedicure fan, but are tired of salon visits or simply curious about the results that are possible at home, the purchase of a UV lamp, designed to dry semi-permanent nail polish and gel, is a must. Unfortunately, it can be very difficult to differentiate between the many different models and technologies on the market, as they are both numerous and appear to be very similar.

Lampes UV Ongles

We have therefore gathered some information that should help you to see more clearly, starting with the distinction between the 3 existing types of lamps:

  • UV lamps: with this type of lamp, you should only use UV gels (not LEDs), but you should know that you can also dry semi-permanent nail polishes. Drying takes about 2 minutes. The bulbs have to be replaced from time to time, which is a little less convenient. Exposure to ultraviolet rays is rather controversial, but it is possible to use protective gloves or sun cream to protect your skin.
  • LED lamps: the light is produced by light-emitting diodes with a shorter wavelength than UV light, and therefore potentially less harmful. You can only use LED gels under this lamp. Its advantage is above all its speed: it is capable of drying the semi-permanent nail polish in only 30 seconds! In addition, the bulbs last considerably longer (you normally never have to replace them), which is much more economical and ecological.

Lampes UV Ongles

  • CCFL lamps: more recent on the market, they use a double technology, LED and UV. They are therefore compatible with both types of gels and also catalyse semi-permanent nail polishes as effectively as an LED lamp. They work with a cold cathode system, which ensures an inexhaustible source of light. Although they are a little more expensive, they are very flexible and reliable over time.

In addition to this, here are some features and practical details that may help you make your choice, depending on your wishes and preferences:

  • The timer: you can often choose a drying time of between 10 and 120 seconds on the higher-end models. Some lamps offer longer modes for drying nails at low temperatures, for even greater efficiency, or even ultra-fast modes if you do not have time. The presence of an LCD screen will be a great advantage to easily follow the countdown.

Lampes UV Ongles

  • Power: the more powerful a lamp is with a high number of light source points, the faster and more efficient it should be in terms of drying. The most efficient and popular models often have a power of 48 W.

Lampes UV Ongles

  • Design: while choosing a model that is visually attractive is interesting, the size and shape of the lamp is of particular interest. It should be spacious enough to fit your whole hand or foot comfortably. Some have a small cushion to rest your hand on, or a light that turns on when you apply the gel. You should also choose a model that is easy to clean.

Lampes UV Ongles

We have chosen to include lamps with LED and CCFL technology in our selection because they are very efficient, are less harmful to the skin and eyes, and are currently the most modern and popular models.

 

Other UV nail lamp we recommend

SunUV Mini2 (£6.26 upon publication): a mini lamp to take with you when you travel. This ultra-compact (13.7 x 9.4 x 2.5 cm) UV lamp of only 6 W is convenient to carry around. In our tests, we found that its effectiveness was somewhat affected. In fact, we had to leave our hands on it for much longer to get a more or less correct result. In addition, it only includes a cable, but no plug. So, we think it is a good backup solution when travelling, but we do not recommend it for more regular use.

 

Other UV nail lamp we tested 

Beurer MP 48 (£64.76 upon publication): although it was fairly well rated online, we were disappointed by its lack of ergonomics. In fact, we found it too small (both on the inside and in height) to be used easily for feet or for putting tips.

 

 

Translated by Selectos

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