The popular gel manicure that lasts for two weeks and is dried using a UV light could be changing its light source. The ever-changing lighting technology is even changing the way we dry our nail polish.
The most common nail lamps use UV Compact Fluorescents which is the same invisible light found in sunlight and tanning beds sparking suspicion that it could cause cancer. However, research disputed this claim meaning that the traditional UV lamp is safe to use although many people are finding that the newer LED nail lamp holds more advantages. An LED produces some UV light but as much offered by traditional CFL UV lamps. As Leapfrog Lighting President, Stephen Naor, said: "LEDs do produce a small amount of UV, but they emit even less. That’s because the amount that is produced is converted to white light by the phosphors inside the lamp."
Celebrity Manicurist, Elle, said: "UV is almost obsolete at this point. I do not use UV so much anymore because I don't have time to wait for a 2 minute light." The LED lamp takes around 30 seconds to dry nails. This decreased waiting time means it is time and energy efficient using less power to dry the nails. The LED nail lamps use less power than the traditional UV ones even if they were on for the same amount of time because LEDs are a lot more energy efficient.
Another good feature about the new LED lamps is that the light lasts as long as the lamp does meaning it will never need replacing whereas the UV CFL bulbs need to be replaced quite often, especially in a salon. Also, as UV light gets further into it's life it generates a poorer output leading to manicures not lasting as long. Elle said: "A lot of salons don't know that. They're not changing it, so they're getting a bad output."
The downsides of the LED lamps are that they cost more and don't work with all gel nail polish. More nail polish manufacturers are adjusting them to make them compatible with LED light and as the cost of LEDs decrease so do the nail lamps.
Please note this article refers to nail lamps and does not refer to regular lighting equipment.