Ask Marty: What should I look for in a new LED curing light?

By Dr. Marty Jablow, contributing writer

November 16, 2009 -- Q: My old halogen curing light has stopped working. What should I look for in a new LED curing light?

A: The nice thing about LED (light emitting diode) curing lights is that they are lightweight and cordless. They are also quiet, as they do not need fans for cooling.

The most important thing when considering a LED curing light is to find one that fits your hand and is easy to control. Some look like guns, while others are more cylindrical.

Also, make sure you get one with a minimum curing power of 1,000 mW/cm². There are LED curing lights with up to 2,000 mW/cm² power output. The higher the output power, the deeper and faster the composites cure. Some lights even come with their own radiometer.

One thing I like about the high-power curing lights is the ability to cure to the bottom of the interproximal box. Remember: When measuring output, you are curing to depths, not just the top of the composite. One of my curing lights cures to almost 900 mW/cm² at 5 mm. This is almost three times the depth cure of my old halogen light.

Martin Jablow, D.M.D., is a practicing dentist and a self-professed technophile who lectures and blogs on a variety of technologies used in dentistry ( If you have a technology question for Dr. Jablow, e-mail it to us at

Copyright © 2009


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