It is frustrating after you prepare your nail for gel polish, only to find out that your UV LED lamp does not turn on. What are you to do?

The most common problem that causes a UV LED nail lamp to stop working occurs at the electrical contact where the DC adapter is attached to the base of the nail lamp. Over time, this connector either wears out, gets dirty, or breaks, and the electricity flow is reduced or can no longer pass through. Cleaning this part can make the lamp work again.

Why is an electrical connector for the UV LED nail lamp needed?

This connector is installed there for two purposes: convenience and cost.

It is easier to move the LED nail lamp around and store it without having to worry about the adapter with its long cord when not in use. You can either leave this adapter plugged in at an electrical outlet and do not have to worry about misplacing it.

Imagine if the whole electrical adapter is inside the UV LED lamp unit, this will add more weight, space to the overall lamp design. The final design will have to be larger and requires more material is needed to make a larger outer casing that will increase the overall cost of the lamp.

When you need to use your lamp, all you need to do is to plug the male receptacle end of the adaptor to the female part at the base of the nail lamp and you are ready to do gel polish.

If UV LED nail lamp does not turn on: check the connector if your lamp has one.

The electrical connector of an LED nail lamp can go bad for two reasons.

Worn out:

After a countless number of inserting and pulling when you plug in and unplug your lamp, you will eventually wear this connector out. When it gets loose, the electrical contact is no longer optimal and the electric current flow is reduced or stopped. When this happens, the nail lamp is no longer working.


Another reason that makes the LED nail lamp stop working is contamination. Since the male part of this connection is exposed, it is easy to get dirt, oil, lotion, or other substances that prevent electrical transmission.

One clue that tells a UV LED nail lamp connector is bad

If your nail lamp was working fine the last time you used it and after you put it away, there was no accidental drop or hard impact, chances are the lamp’s connector is either worn out or dirty.

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How to make non-working LED nail lamp work again

There is one simple thing you can do to hopefully turn the lamp back on so you can finish putting gel polish on your nails.

Clean the connector with rubbing alcohol:

WARNING: make sure you disconnect the power adapter from the outlet to prevent any electrical shock.

Wet a small piece of cotton or paper towel with alcohol and wipe the male part of the connector clean.

For the female part, either pull as much cotton as you can from a q-tip. Wet it with some rubbing alcohol and gently insert it onto the cavity and go around the inner surface to remove any dirt or oily substance.

Plug the power adaptor and turn on the lamp

After you clean the connector, Insert the male to the female part on the lamp. Turn the nail lamp on and slowly turn the male part.

As you turn the male connector part, the electrical contact might be good again and the lamp can be turned on this way.

If your lamp has a motion sensor then you have to put one of your hand or an object between the sensor to activate the lamp.

There is a simple check list to find out the cause of a non-functioning LED nail lampOpens in a new tab. that you can follow.

If after cleaning and turn the male connector part to increase the electrical contact, you can still not be able to turn the lamp back on, your lamp has some issue on the internal electronic circuit board that can not be fixed easily.

Your LED nail lamp is not working: use a spare one

If you do gel polish a lot at home, it is good practice to have a compact, inexpensive LED nail lamp as an extra because you never know when your main UV LED nail lamp stops working. As with any other electronic products, it only lasts as long as its weakest, thinnest electrical connection is intact.

There is a compact, USB chargeable UV LED nail lamp available. This lamp is as big as your computer’s mouse so it does not take up a lot of space. It operates on 5V DC which is the same as most smartphones and has a rechargeable battery inside.

This means that you can charge it the same way you would with your smartphone. After the battery is sufficiently charged, you can use it to cure your gel polish without any cord attached to get in your way.

One drawback that for being small, you can only cure four fingers at one time and cure your thumb later. I think it is a good trade-off for being a small backup LED nail lamp.

I would recommend you get your backup LED nail lamp before you find out that your main lamp stops working in the middle of your gel manicure. This LED nail lamp is under $5 which is very affordable. You can check out the latest price on Amazon here.Opens in a new tab.

What do you do if your LED nail lamp is not turning on?

Your gel polish needs a UV light source to cure. If your LED nail lamp is not working, you should not put gel polish or your nails and wait till you fix your lamp or get a new one.

Gel polish does not dry out, so if you are thinking about drying your gel polish with a fan or hairdryer, don’t. It will not work.

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Good luck and happy gelling.                           

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