The Experiment: Can I use a 36 watt UV lamp instead of a 9 watt UV lamp for curing colour gels?
I did a ton of research into whether I could do a set of colour gel nails with a 36 watt lamp instead of the recommended 9 watt. I purchased new colours without thinking and then had a last minute panic about whether I would cook someones hands or feet, so I did an experiment. I figured that there must be other nail technicians out there who had wondered the same thing. Here's the result:
In order to make it a better test I tested the 36 watt lamp on two different brands, ASP from Sally's and my lovely faithful OPI Axxium Soak-Off Gel Color. I also decided to use myself as the test subject as I would be able to tell quickly if there was a problem or if something wasn't right.
I started off with the gel base coat. The curing process seemed normal and worked well. There were no adverse effects so I continued top the first colour layer. Again, no problems or areas for concern so I continued to the second layer of colour. I started to feel more and more confident that this was going to be a success, but the true result would only be realised once I had completely finished the set so I added the clear top coat and then wiped of the excess once all steps had been completed. The result was fabulous, just the same if I was doing a set with the OPI Axxium File-Off system which actually requires the 36 watt lamp.
I would be really interested to know if anyone has tried a 36 watt lamp on the OPI GelColor range. I'm going to be offering this shortly but I want to know whether I have to spend a fortune on the OPI LED lamp or whether I can use my 36 watt lamp for this as well. When I'm doing mobile nails in the local area, I don't really want to have to be draggin around more than I have to, as nail tech's out there will know that we need a lot of kit!
Important note: As mentioned in a previous post, I like to think of myself as an OPI purist and would always recommend that you do your research when using a different lamp. These are my personal experiences and I would always try to use the suggested lamp. I needed to try this experiment as I had a set of nails to do but didn't have time to get a 9 watt lamp. I now have a 9 watt lamp and would use this unless I absolutely couldn't for some very good reason.