Nail Myth #3 - All UV lamps are the same

The Science

This is hardly the case and even more so — not all 9-watt bulbs are the same! Yes, it is true that the 9-watt lamps produce much more UV-power than a 4-watt, 6-watt or even 8-watt lamp. It is just as important to know that not all 9-watt bulbs produce the same UV light or even the proper quality of light! UV light wavelength is very important and will determine just how well a gel will cure. Likewise, the intensity of the UV light that is generated will vary from bulb manufacturers, and the service life of the bulb will vary significantly!

Generally, if your gel requires a 9-watt lamp to cure it, do not attempt to cure in a 4-watt lamp. If the gel manufacturer requires three 9-watt bulbs, then please do not use a lamp that only has two bulbs. Oddly enough, the lamps on the market that use three 9-watt bulbs will cure gels that are made for lamps with four 9-watt lamps. The lamps that
have three bulbs are generally smaller and thus require fewer bulbs to obtain the same UV intensity.

Salon Translation

I can explain this very simple....If you do not have a good cure, gels will not adhere to the nail. This causes lifting. Also, without a good cure, gels will not be as shiny. A good cure is all about space. The farther a UV ray travels, the weaker that ray becomes. I like to compare UV lamps to a tanning bed...the closer the lid, the better the tan. When purchasing a UV lamp be sure to poke your head in and look around to make sure the bulbs are close to all nails. Big is not better in the UV lamp world!

Author’s Biographies:

Jim McConnell, B.A. Chemistry, University of Oregon, President of McConnell Labs, manufacturers of Light Elegance Nail Products. A formulating chemist of UV cured systems for 12 years in the beauty industry. Jim is a contributing author for Milady’s Standard Nail Technology as well as articles in many manicuring trade magazines.

Lezlie McConnell, Lezlie is a graduate from the University of Oregon with a BS in Physical Education. She owned her own salon in Eugene called Lexy’s salon – a top shelf, full-service salon.  After owning her salon for 10 years, she and I started Light Elegance.   Lezlie travels around the world talking about UV gel products and their benefit as well as discussing business strategies with salon owners and nail technicians on how to increase business revenue in the salon.