My Table Lamp Cures Gel on the Brush! (Mystery Debunked by a Nail Enthusiast)

Have you ever experienced gel starting to cure while you're still painting? Or maybe on day you discovered that gel has hardened in the bottle and it's no longer usable? I know I have. In this blog post, I will be breaking down the reasons and how you can avoid having your gel harden or dry up while you're painting or while it's in a bottle.

3 Reasons Why Table Lamps Cure Gel

1. Sunlight

Probably most of you know that UV radiation is a part of the sunlight spectrum and the reason for using SPF creams. If you are a qualified nail technician, you heard it already in college: keep your working table, brushes and gel bottles away from windows, doors and roof windows. Working outside it's not even an option.

Remember that you should avoid not only direct sunlight, but ANY sunlight. It doesn't matter if your table is far from the window or if the Sun is hidden behind the clouds. If the room you're working in has a window, you have to cover it with shades or at least blinds.

Best Nail Technician Table Lamps

Daylight LED Slimline Table Lamp

  • Colors look same as in natural light
  • Well-known and reputable brand
  • Solid Structure

WonderfulDirect LED Light

  • Stylish
  • Easy to Position
  • USB Recharable

2. Table Lamps and Overhead Lamps

There are a lot of people asking whether LED ceiling lights or desk lamp will cure their nails. The answer is no. It's not like some scientists invented a new kind of light and it's called LED. LED means "light-emitting diode", so to put it in simple terms, it's basically a kind of a light bulb. UV is a type (spectrum) of light can be produced by various types of bulbs.

The one we use to cure nails emits UV light. Yes! Both "UV nail lamp " and "LED nail lamp" produce predominantly UVA rays. For lightening a room we would use a different kind of LED lamp, for example, a visible-spectrum LED lamp.

However, there is some truth in the “table lamp hardened my nails” story, because every lamp will produce some ultraviolet – not enough to cure nails, but enough to ruin gel kept in a bottle! Traditional bulbs and LEDs produce almost no UV, while compact fluorescent lamps (CFL), and especially halogen lamps, can produce a significant amount of UV. Popular "true-color" and "daylight" lamps can give various amounts of ultraviolet. But whatever bulb it is, as long as it's not a UV lamp, it will not cure nails.

If you are worried about the shelf life of gels you are displaying or showcasing, you should do this simple test: put a little bit of gel on a tip and hold it 3-4 inches from the lamp for 5-7 minutes. If after this time gel is visibly thicker or even started to harden, you should probably get a new lamp! Later on, we'll show you what lamps are recommended.

3. Heat

Do you live in a hot and humid place? Make sure you have air conditioning, otherwise your gels will become denser and will start curing earlier. It won't probably make your job much more difficult, but your nails will chip the next day. Halogen lamps not only emit a significant amount of UV, but also a lot of heat. It‘s better to not use them at all since there is a chance they will explode!

Other reasons of gel hardening in the bottle or on a brush:

  • Bottle is still open
  • Placed near curing lamp (don't put your bottles or brushes anywhere near the curing lamps)
  • Improper storage or old product (store your nail polish on racks!)
  • Not the original product (Read more about nail salon tips here)

To avoid losing your products make sure you have a proper and safe table lamp! What's interesting, the top coat is more vulnerable than colors. That's because pigment slows down the UV pass through the layer.

The best would be a LED lamp and that’s because:

  • It doesn't flicker
  • It gives an equal distribution of light
  • Does not produce much heat
  • Energy Efficient
  • Doesn't make your eyes tired
  • It looks cool! 🙂

Best Nail Art Table Lamps

Bell and Howell Nail Lamp

Table Lamp Cures Gel
  • Extends to 3 feet
  • Easy to Store
  • Perfect for Mobile Nail Techs

Gracelove Table Lamp

  • Perfect for Nail Art (8X Magnification)
  • 4 Adjustable Joints
  • Built-in Handles (never too hot to touch)
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