Getting Started with UV/LED

Gel nails in the 80’s?
Gel nails were first created in the U.S. in the early 1980s, but didn’t actually take off until the 90’s. With more known about the science behind Gel, formulas improved to work with a precise light wavelength and intensity in order to cure.

UV light wavelength is important!
UV light wavelength determines how well a Gel will actually cure and the duration it will take to cure. Most professional UV LED and UV CFL nail lamps are at least 36 watts as higher watt bulbs can cure gel polish faster – ideal for a salon setting.

For example the Apex Professional Rechargeable UV LED Lamp has a wattage of 48, but the most important thing you need to know is that the lamp has Twin Wavelength LEDs 365nm + 405nm(nanometers) This will mean that this particular light is suitable for all types of Gel Polishes.

What are Photoinitiators?
photoinitiator is a molecule found in all Gel Polish. It reacts when exposed to radiation(UV). It is this element of your Gel polish that is essential for the perfect cure. Most gels contain photoinitiators that react in light wavelengths of 340 to 380 nanometers (nm), but there are some that require up to 405nm.

Due to this fact, not all LED lamps are able to cure all types of Gel. However, the Apex Professional UV/LED Lamp does not have this issue. This is due to the kind of Gel you’re using and at what wavelength it cures at… Not all Lamps cater up to 405nm.

The placement of your/your clients hands is also important as we need to ensure that the light is reaching every bit of the Gel polish. If this doesn’t happen, typically with the thumb nail, the Gel will not cure.

The main difference between UV CFL and UV LED Lamps.
The main selling point of an UV LED is the time that can be saved when using it compared to curing by UV CFL lamp alone. Typically, an UV LED lamp will cure a layer of gel polish in 30 seconds, which is a lot quicker than the 2 mins that it takes a 36w UV CFL lamp to do the same job.

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