Using the SensatioNail LED Nail Lamp vs a UV Nail Lamp

As you may know the SensatioNail Gel Nail lamp is an LED lamp. You may have been to a salon in the past and had your gel mani cured under a UV lamp. Many people don’t know the differences and upon first glance LED and UV nail lamps can look very similar.

With lots of talk about nail lamps, we thought we’d take a look at the differences and answer some of the common questions we get asked.

What’s the difference between a LED lamp and a UV nail lamp?

Here comes the science part…

Gel polishes are formulated to harden when exposed to lights within a certain part of the electromagnetic spectrum - the Ultraviolet range. Humans can’t see the light in this part of the spectrum. It’s a lower part of the spectrum than the ‘visible light’ range which is why gel polish won’t cure in normal sunlight.

Whilst LED lights sit in the visible spectrum, Both UV and LED UV lights sit within the Ultraviolet part of the spectrum.


Each gel nail manufacturer creates gels which harden when exposed to UV or LED UV light within a very specific part of the ultraviolet spectrum. This means, you may find that mixing gels and lamps from different manufacturers might mean that the gel doesn’t cure properly. For this reason, it’s always best to use the gel manufacturers’ lamp where possible.

Not all polishes are formulated to cure with LED lamps. Some will only cure with a UV lamp.

Today, LED lamps are more popular and most manufacturers are moving towards developing gels which cure with LED rather than UV due to the speed and reliability of the lamps.

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Why should you use an LED nail lamp over a UV nail lamp?

Today, LED lamps are generally considered better and more effective than UV lamps.

Faster curing time
LED lamps cure in a matter of seconds. UV lamps can take a few minutes.  For example, the latest SensatioNail lamps take 15 seconds to cure a clear coat, a UV lamp would take 2 minutes

LED lamp bulbs very rarely need replacing
They will usually last 30,000 - 50,000 hours!  So good for the lifetime of your lamp. UV bulbs will need replacing, adding to the overall cost of ownership of the lamp.

Lower power usage 
LED lamps use less electricity than UV lamps so cost less to run.  Even with the much lower power output though, they will cure more quickly - A SensatioNail 4.5w LED lamp can cure colour in 30 seconds, but a 36w UV lamp will take 3 minutes as the light is less efficient

Is an LED Lamp safer than a UV lamp?

Contrary to popular belief, both LED and UV lamps do emit a small amount of UV light but neither are considered dangerous or require a health warning for normal use. One manicure is equivalent to around 10 minutes in daylight.

If you are worried about the long-term effects of skin damage using a nail lamp, you can apply sun cream to hands prior to your manicure - just as you would when going out in the sun. Make sure you wipe nails with cleanser on a lint-free wipe prior to applying gel polish to make sure they are free of any oils from creams.  Some people like to wear fingerless gloves.

Shop the SensatioNail LED Nail Lamp

All our gel nail starter kits come with LED nail lamp included. The LED Nail lamp can also be purchased on it’s own.

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The latest SensatioNail LED Nail Lamp works with all SensatioNail gel polish and has loads of great features:

  • Automatic sensor - No need to press the button when you want to start curing- just pop your fingers under the lamp.
  • No base - Making pedicures so much easier!
  • Base / top coat cure in just 15 seconds - our fastest ever.
  • Colours cure in 30 seconds.
  • Flash after 15 seconds and auto shut-off after 30 seconds - no need to time yourself.
  • USB cable and mains power adaptor - multiple charging options.
There are a few LED lamps available from SensatioNail. Our older lamps take a few seconds longer to cure than our latest lamp.

Have you tried our Mini LED Travel Lamp?

Perfect for holidays and on-the-go mani fixes, the Mini LED Travel Lamp is small enough to fit into a handbag and charges via USB cable or mains cable. The Mini travel Lamp cures in 30 seconds  and at only £8.99, you’d be daft not to own one! Read more about the Mini LED Travel Lamp.

Nail Lamp Animation