Have you tried curing your resin with an LED light? Resin hardens by a chemical process called polymerization. This is when the molecules of the liquid resin link together to form solid molecules.
In order for polymerization to occur, the resin needs a chemical catalyst or monomer (or both) and it needs to be exposed to certain kinds of energy. These energies are most commonly heat or UV light from the sun (or an artificial source).
You can now use an LED lamp as well. The duration of curing time will vary with different methods and different types of resin, but all resins need to cure for at least some time before they are safe to touch without wearing gloves or using tools.
Keep reading for more about curing!
Can you cure resin with an LED light?
Did you know that UV light is the only thing that will cure resin? That’s because UV light is so strong that it hardens the resin in a matter of minutes. And as handy and versatile as LED lights are, they simply don’t emit enough energy to cure your resin.
You might be wondering why LED lights don’t work for curing resin when there are products on the market which claim to be able to do just that.
The answer is simple: these companies are lying to you! No puny LED light can cure your polymer clay or epoxy resin in any meaningful way. It would take days, if not weeks before you could even see a dent in all but the most minuscule pieces, and it would still come out sticky and gummy, likely ruined beyond repair.
You wouldn’t go swimming with sharks with a knife strapped to your ankle when a spear gun would be better; similarly, why settle for an LED light when what you really need is something stronger?
What kind of light do you use to cure resin?
You can cure resin with UV light or sunlight. LED lights, black lights, curing lamps and fluorescent light bulbs all emit UV rays that will cure your resin. The more UV rays you have the faster your resin will cure.
Can I cure resin without UV light?
The short answer is: no, you cannot cure resin with an LED light. The long answer is: yes, you can cure resin with an LED light but it will take days.
Most resins today require UV light to cure. This can be provided by a UV lamp or from the sun. Many companies sell UV lamps specifically designed for curing resin, but we will talk about saving money in a second.
Natural sunlight also works great as long as there isn’t anything blocking it between you and the sun (such as glass).
You should know that natural sunlight also contains a large amount of visible light, so if you want to use the sun make sure your pieces are not going to yellow before they harden because of this visible light radiation.
If there is no sun or you are trying to save money on buying a lamp then there are other options available to cure your resin without using an LED light.
Halogen and fluorescent lights work well when curing resin too! These lights contain more energy than incandescent bulbs (LEDs) so they work a lot faster than LEDs do; however, these two types of lights also tend to yellow your piece over time due to the large amount of visible light radiation that they emit too.
A blacklight does not emit any visible light so it will not cause any yellowing either! Most nail salons have these types of lights hanging above their manicure tables which makes them inexpensive options for curing small pieces with consistent results!
How do you harden resin without a UV light?
So the question really is: How do you cure resin without a UV light? The answer is, essentially, that you don’t. Curing refers to a chemical reaction (called polymerization) that happens when you mix your resin and hardener together, which results in a thickening process called cross-linking or curing.
This can happen with all resins (there are other types), but only those that contain photoinitiators will cure with exposure to UV light. If you have a photoinitiator and want it to harden fast…just put a UV light on it! Resins that do not contain photoinitiators will harden over time at room temperature.
Depending on the type of resin you have, this could take between two days and four days for the resin to fully cure. Note: if it’s cold or very humid where you are (which affects how quickly heat rises from the surface of your resin piece), it could take longer for your piece to fully cure.
Can I use a nail light to cure resin?
- The short answer: yes, you can use a nail lightly to cure resin.
- Most people use UV lamps designed for curing fingernails and toenails, or UV flashlights or UV-A/B meters, to cure resin.
- Most nail lights are too weak to adequately cure resin, so you’re better off using a lamp with four 30-watt bulbs (or similar strength) if possible.
Can you use a UV light to cure epoxy resin?
Detail: Epoxy resin is different from resin
Resin, in general, is a broad term that covers any liquid plastic that cures into a solid. Epoxy resin is one type of resin, and it has specific curing requirements to go from a liquid to a solid. Epoxy resins need UV light, or ultraviolet light, in order to initiate curing.
This means that the LED lights you have on hand will not cure epoxy resin. In fact, even the “black” lights that you might have used for an 80s-themed party won’t work since these are fluorescent black lights and don’t emit UV light. (Black lights can be great for fun effects like fluorescence.)
Can you use a hair dryer to cure resin?
Yes, you can use a hair dryer to cure resin. The secret is to use the hair dryer on the highest setting and to keep it moving around constantly. You also want to keep the airflow at least 6 inches away from your resin at all times.
The farther away your heat source is, the longer it will take for it to cure, so be patient with this process.
If you’re using LED resin, place your mold underneath an LED light and leave it for 1 hour (15 minutes if curing a thin layer).
If you’re using UV resin, place your mold under a UV lamp and leave it for 3 minutes (30 seconds if curing a thin layer).
You can also put the mold in direct sunlight; just make sure that the sun isn’t blocked by anything in its way!
Does black light cure resin?
But wait, what about black light?
Blacklight is not the same as UV light.
The short story is that black light cannot cure resin, but LED lights with a shorter wavelength can. If you try to use a black light on your regular resin, it won’t work!
As you can see from the questions above, there’s a lot of confusion about curing resin. That’s why we’ve gone ahead and answered all of the most common questions below.
- Can you cure resin with an LED light?
Yes! In fact, LED lights are some of the best curing lights for resin because they expose your resin to a broad range of UV-A wavelengths that will ensure your resin fully cures.
- What kind of light do you use to cure resin?
To cure cured epoxy, you should use a UV light that emits a broad range of UV-A wavelengths between 365-380 nm. A nail light or lamp will work well since they are designed to emit UV wavelengths in this range, as well as some visible light and infrared radiation.