I’ve been using a lot of gel polishes lately, so it’s only natural that I give you a review of a UV/LED lamp.
This one from Amazon is offered by Elite 99, although that is not who manufactured the lamp. The closest thing on the item to a brand name is K12, although I think that’s the model number of the unit.
Numerous spelling and grammatical errors appear on the packaging as I’m sure that this product was made in China. Interestingly, the front and back panels look identical to each other as do the two side panels.
This unit has a very futuristic dome design with an attached base. It is more than wide enough to fit your entire hand inside the lamp as the opening measures 7 inches wide with a 3 inch height.
The cord is attached to the back of the lamp and ends with a USB connector which can be plugged into a power adapter (not included, although virtually every tablet and cell phone comes with one) or your computer’s USB port. Once power is supplied, the display on the lamp will turn on. There is no on/off switch to control the power supply, so be sure to unplug the lamp after you are done with your manicure.
3 buttons are located beneath the timer display screen which can be pushed to select the timer to be set for 30, 60, or 99 seconds. They also serve to turn the UV/LED light on and off if you choose not to take advantage of the unit’s automatic sensor. An infrared beam inside detects whether your hand is placed in or out of the unit and activates the power according to the last timer setting that was selected. The light will turn off when the timer runs out or when your hand is removed from the lamp.
A brief instructive paper is included with the unit, scanned here for you to review.
One thing that I find confusing is how the leaflet says the lamp is 24W when the box says it is 36W. I’m not sure if each light diode emits 2W or 3W (there are 12 inside the lamp), but that is a considerable difference in power.
In terms of curing ability, I wished that the lights were positioned a little higher up so that they pointed down at my nails more directly. There may not be any dead spots inside the lamp, but you will notice that it may take a longer time to cure your polish or that you need to use 2 cycles to cure one layer of gel polish if your nails are not positioned directly under one of the lights. The verdict is that the lamp does work, but maybe not as efficiently as it could.
I used the lamp to cure all layers for this snowflake manicure. In my other 36W SUNUV UV/LED lamp, I was able to cure each layer of gel in 60 seconds. In the K12, I felt like each coat was not fully cured and still movable after a 60 second cycle. The 99 second setting was much better, but I would definitely suggest that you experiment with where you position your hands in the lamp if you have problems curing your polish.
TLDR: I think this lamp would be an excellent first or step up option for beginner gel polish users. You can cure all 5 fingers at once, use 3 different timer settings, and take advantage of an automatic sensor to start the curing process. I didn’t experience any burning sensations when using it, either. The price is very reasonable for all these features.
However, if you already own a good quality lamp, this is a step down. It is questionable as to whether or not this lamp really is 36W because the product’s instructions say otherwise, and the curing time appears to take longer compared to a lamp that definitely runs at 36W. This may also be due to the placement of the light diodes inside the lamp. I would not recommend this product for professional use, but it is great for an at home DIY user.
Diamond rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ (5/5)
If you are interested in purchasing this nail dryer (retail price is $15.99 USD), the link for the item is below. Happy polishing!
Disclosure: As an Amazon associate, I may earn from purchases.