Ultradent Valo Curing Light Review

Wide-Spectrum LED – Yes.  Halogen – No more.

Ultradent Valo LED Composite Curing Light

Ultradent Valo

For many years, I was happy with my halogen curing light.  But, it did annoy me that I had to regularly measure the light output and replace expensive bulbs when they either burned out or dropped below 600 mw/cm2.  And, when LED curing lights first came out, I was reluctant because they were limited in the types of composites they could cure.  Halogens would cure any type of composite, so I stuck with my trusty Demetron 501 for many good years.

Destination:  South Jordan, Utah

About a year ago, I had the pleasure of visiting Ultradent in Utah along with about 100 other “Townies” (denizens of Dentaltown.com).  We spent two full days learning about Ultradent as a company and got a personal introduction to some of their products.  The Ultradent facility is truly amazing.  Everything is made right there in Utah.  And, the techno-nerd in me was mesmerized when I got to watch robots manufacturing some of the products.

Valo Curing Light

One of the demonstrations we got was seeing the Valo curing light actually being manufactured.  And, then we got a hands-on demonstration using the lights at the clinical workstations in the conference center.  Of course, I bought one and have been using it for a year now.

Valo body is CAD/CAM machined from a solid piece of billet aluminum.

First, I can tell you that the Valo is nearly indestructible.  The “chassis” of this curing light is milled from solid billet aircraft aluminum.  Many of us have cringed when a traditional curing light is dropped by an assistant.  I’m fairly certain that in a 3-foot radius around dental assistants there exists a sort of hyper-gravity that causes dental equipment to smash against the floor as if it’s been shot out of a rail-gun.  Things just get dropped, don’t they?  🙁  With the Valo, you won’t have to worry about that.

You can literally swing it by the cord “rock star style” and then whack it on the hard floor, and it will not break.  They actually did this right in front of us at the Utah meeeting.  Turns out the cord has Kevlar strands in it.  It really IS bullet-proof!  😉  Yes, it is corded.  And, I know the general trend is cordless.  But, a cordless light has the disadvantage of having heavy batteries inside of it.  I find cordless lights a bit ungainly, while I find the featherweight 2.65-oz (75-grams) Valo to be very comfortable to use.  By comparison, a popular cordless light weighs 1-1/2 lb (almost 700-grams) – about 9 times more!!  That’s a huge difference!  And, of course, you’ll never have to replace any batteries with the Valo.

Valo mounting bracket.

The Valo light is shaped like a handpiece and comes with a handpiece bracket holder to put on your dental unit.

The Valo has multiple LED light sources, covering the wavelengths 395nm – 480nm, designed to cure any type of composite on the market.  The light beam diameter at the curing surface is a wide 10.5-mm.  And judging by my eyeball-ometer, it puts out some SERIOUS light!

Valo’s custom multi-LED chipset creates a broad spectrum that will cure any composite.

There are three versatile curing modes (with adjustable curing times) to choose from:

  • Standard – 1000mW/cm2 (5 – 20 seconds in 5-second increments)
  • High – 1400 mW/cm2 (1 – 4 seconds in 1-second increments)
  • Plasma Emulation – 3200 mW/cm2 (fixed at 3 seconds)

I believe the U.S. Navy is researching the Valo Plasma Emulation mode to knock inbound enemy missiles out of the sky.

Valo Radar-guided Anti-missile Defense System (aka “V-RADS”). 😉

I once used the Plasma Emulation mode to break into a safe!  😉

Another nice feature is that you can buy extra power cords (~$30) and mounting brackets (~$6) to put in each operatory, if you want to buy just one light (and move it room to room).  You can also get a variety of accessories such as spot-curing attachments to tack in veneers.

Retailing at $1199, the Valo Curing Light is a worthy piece of equipment in the Dental Warrior arsenal.  Contact your Ultradent rep or order online, and tell them The Dental Warrior sent you.  (I have no financial interest in this recommendation.)  You’ll feel like a “Jedi Knight” wielding a dental light sabre!

The Townie “field trip” to Ultradent culminated with a Utah-style cookout at Ultradent founder Dr. Dan Fischer’s beautiful home.

Left to right: Dr. Jan Frederick, Dr. Phuoc Vuong, Dr. Dan Fischer, and me!

PS… I have no financial interest in the Valo curing light nor in Ultradent.  I paid full price for my Valo, and Ultradent did not have any hand in this review.  They didn’t even know I was going to do it.

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23 Responses to Ultradent Valo Curing Light Review

  1. Mike, if you have the demonstration, PLEASE advise all viewers to wear protective eyewear while watching, so as to avoid any permanent blindness. The Valo is INTENSE! Great write-up for a great product, that’s for sure. Yes, they ain’t cheap, but given how long they last, and how well they work, they’re worth it.
    Actually, my ONLY complaint with it, is the cord is a bit too long. I mean, you could cure composite on the patient’s foot, even if said patient is 7 feet tall, it seems. Any tips on keeping it from getting tangled?

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Hi Chip!

      Thanks for your comments.

      I coiled up the excess cord and cinched it up next to the plug with a zip-tie.

  2. Don says:

    Right on the money about the Valo light, Mike. I have two and they’re operated flawlessly from day one. As a former Demetron owner, then Ultradent’s Ultralume-5, the Valo was the next logical step. No regrets.

    However, as CHiP said, the cord is plenty long. I need to find some zip ties …

  3. The Dental Warrior says:

    Heck, I did such a good job writing this up, the folks at Dentaltown decided it was better than a professionally paid advertisement…. so it got deleted. Haha! Oh well. Just trying to share. Maybe I should go into ad writing?? 😉

  4. Derek Stokes says:

    Mike, I got two at the same meeting, they are awesome! I stopped by the Ultradent booth at a recent dental meeting in Utah and I told them the same story. One of the reps asked me if the cord gets in the way and I said not really. She told me the main complaint of many Dr’s is that it is corded and not the trendy cordless with rechargeable batteries. I told the rep that they can tell the Dr – to his face – don’t be dumb. Because of a small, light, cord you are going to give up the functionality and near indestructability of a Valo? You want to run the risk of a battery losing a charge in the middle of a procedure? You want to carry the extra weight around? You want to change batteries? Not! Some docs focus on the wrong things, I know I do at times, but as far as curing lights go I think we got the right one. Keep up the great work.

  5. Jan Frederick says:

    Zip ties! Now why didn’t I think of that? Good thing there is a dental warrior to let me in on these big secrets!

  6. Mark Dolson says:

    Just got this a few weeks ago… but mine is CORDLESS!!!!!!!

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Hi Mark,

      I checked out the new cordless version at the Townie Meeting. Very nice. I don’t need it at this time (and like my corded one). But, if I was buying one today, I’d probably go cordless.

  7. E.M. says:

    Hi Mike,
    Have you ever looked through ebay for curing lights? They sell for about $30 bucks! Very hard to believe but have you ever purchased any or know of them? Thank you for the feedback!

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Hi Ed,

      No. I haven’t. Honestly, that price is SO low, I just wouldn’t trust them. Do they REALLY cure composite completely? There are certain things I don’t want to skimp on (that could possibly compromise the final result). That said, I recently bought some rebuilt high speed turbines on Ebay. I will eventually do a review on those. The worst thing that can happen with the turbines is that they crap out on me. But, uncured composites could be an issue with patients.

      • Gerald Benjamin says:

        Gordon tested the cheap lights and noted that they all dropped in power without indicating that light output was lower than stated. Why would anyone want cheap anything? Cheap lights will cause our work to fail but of course dentists will always play the “Blame the patient game. ” “Mrs. Jones, you know that you grind your teeth and that’s why your filling, crown, veneer broke.” The best cure is only 80% of possible, why would we want resin to cure less? Gordon strongly suggested not buying a cheap light

  8. roan says:


    hi mike i have a question regarding in the disinfection of the velo??? is there and cover tips that need to replace and change after 1 patient before you treat the next to the line..

  9. Dr Shameem Thaha says:

    I am using valo led since since 4 yrs. It’s very good . Even I think 7 foot chord is not necessary and don’t know why ?recently the chord of valo got disintegrating and now it’s not working inspire of Kevlar strands present

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  11. Dave says:

    Hi Mike,

    I’m researching curing lights that will allow for quicker curing times (3-5 seconds per increment); have you noticed any change in post op sensitivity since using a more powerful light? Gordon C mentioned in his report an increase in heat production and the potential for plural damage/irritation, however he didn’t expand on whether it had an actual clinical effect.

    Thanks, and keep up the great work.

    • The Dental Warrior says:

      Hi Dave,

      Thanks for visiting my blog and posting a comment!

      I generally don’t use the Valo “high / plasma” curing mode. If you hold it to your fingernail in that mode, it flat out hurts! It does get hot. Is it clinically significant? I don’t know, honestly. I mostly use the medium setting on the Valo. No problems at all.

      • Dave says:

        Appreciate the quick response! The math that Gordon Christensen puts forward about time/money saved with a quicker cure has me intrigued.

        • The Dental Warrior says:

          Shit… I WISH my business efficiency was so finely tuned that I had the latitude to worry about “time saved” with faster composite curing. Yeah… I’m NOT intrigued by “saving time / money” by virtue of faster curing. 🙂

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