When purchasing a manicure lamp, you should consider the level and type of illumination it provides first. You should also check to see whether the lamp offers magnification, the size of the magnification lens, and the magnification levels it offers. The best manicure lamp will also have a flexible, or swing-out, arm to make it easy to move around. It should also have an adjustable head and adjustable clamps.
The level of illumination offered by the lamp is the most important consideration. This will be measured in watts, and most manicure lamps provide at least 100 watts, but you should also check to see whether the lamp is manufactured to take a specific type of bulb and whether the bulb is included. Lamps that use fluorescent bulbs stay cooler during use.
A manicure lamp may also include magnification lenses, and these may be helpful if you need to do detailed work while using the lamp. Most of these lamps feature a flip-up lid that conceals the magnification lens, and sizes range from 3.5 inches (about 8.9 cm) and 4 inches ( about 10.15 cm). Some manicure lamps offer magnification of up to 500%, so consider how much detail work you do and choose your lamp accordingly.
You should also choose a manicure lamp that has an adjustable, or swing-out arm, because this makes it easy to move the lamp out of the way when it's not in use. Lamps with swing-out arms can reach as far as 36 inches (about 92 cm), so consider the size of your workspace and how far you may need the lamp to reach. This type of lamp may also save space on the desk, and make it easier to work on very small or very large workspaces.
An adjustable head is a helpful feature in a manicure lamp because it allows you to adjust the position of the head once you're working on someone's nails. It may be a good way to ensure that the lighting always comes directly from above and may also help to avoid any shadows on the hands while you work. Some manicure lamps have heads that pivot, which might be a helpful feature to look for.
Adjustable clamps may not seem like an obvious consideration but can make a huge difference in how and where you use the manicure lamp. A lamp that has adjustable clamps can be used almost anywhere, and a lamp that has a clamp of up to 3 inches (about 7.7 cm) can be used on thicker or thinner surfaces. This may be a helpful option if you need to move the lamp around frequently or to work on surfaces that vary in thickness.