Do LED Lamps Use Ultraviolet Light? May 03 2017, 0 Comments


The simple answer is “Yes”. Both LED lamps and the more traditional compact fluorescent lamps (CFL) or sometimes incorrectly called UV (ultraviolet) lamps both use ultraviolet light to cure gel manicures.

So, how does it work? Manufacturers develop gel products for specific ultraviolet wavelengths, light intensity, and curing time.

All light is categorized by wavelength ranges. Ultraviolet light is divided into 3 main ranges; UVA, UVB, UVC. For the purpose of gel manicures, we are concerned with the UVA wavelength range from 315 nanometer (nm) to 400 nm.

CFL lamps typically emit a broad wavelength ranging from 320 to 400 nm and LED lamps a narrower wavelength ranging from 370 to 380 nm. The photoinitiators for traditional gels require the use of 350 nm to cure while LED gels typically require the use of 375 nm. Photoiniators are used during the polymerization process and are activated by UVA light. This is what hardens the gel. 


As you can imagine, using LED lamps not developed for a specific UV gel or using one lamp for all gel products can lead to improperly cured gel manicures.

This is why you should look for a salon that uses a gel lamp made by the same company as the gel product they are using. For example, if using CND Shellac then look for CND lamps.

There are many variables to getting a high quality gel manicure. In addition to locating a salon that uses the proper equipment we also recommend a salon that has nail technicians that have product-specific vendor training. Do you know what the most important step is in the gel process?  Read here for more details.  You can often find these salons on vendor websites or the salons themselves may course certificates displayed.  

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