LED lights are extremely popular around the world for their numerous benefits. They are cost-effective, environment-friendly, and have a long life. In addition to these advantages, there is another important feature of LED lights. There are almost zero chances of an LED light causing a fire hazard. So do LED lights get hot enough to start a fire? Let’s discuss in detail to see how a bulb causes fire and whether an LED light bulb can cause a fire.
How does a bulb cause a fire?
Light bulbs like incandescent bulbs can cause a fire because of overheating. When a light bulb is fed with electrical wattage which is more than what’s required, it causes fire. It is because incandescent bulbs use only 5% of the energy supplied to them and emit the remaining energy as heat. Due to this, the filament of the bulb gets heated up so much that it eventually starts a fire.
5 Factors that cause light bulbs to start a fire
Several factors lead to fires by light bulbs, besides overheating. Some of these factors are given below.
1. Quality of bulbs
There is a wide range of light bulbs found in the market which can be filtered in terms of type, cost, durability, energy efficiency, and so on. Cheap bulbs are likely to cost you a lot more in the long term as they are made up of materials that can melt and start a fire very quickly.
2. Keeping the bulb ON for a long time
Leaving the light bulbs ON for longer durations is the most common cause of fire from light bulbs. The duration of safe working for different light bulbs depends upon their quality, manufacturing, and type of bulb. Some bulbs such as incandescent bulbs can start a fire when left ON overnight, whereas LED light bulbs may stay ON for a month or two without causing a fire.
3. Flickering lights
Flickering lights happen either when the bulb is not installed properly or the switch is faulty. Therefore, it is extremely important to check the switches and install the light bulbs properly as flickering lights, in the long run, may cause dangerous hazards such as fires.
4. Incompatible bulbs
The light bulbs and the sockets in which they are installed must be compatible with each other. Not checking the specifications on the bulb and the fixture can lead to potential fires. For example, you cannot install a 120-watt bulb on a fixture that is designed for a power of only 60 watts.
5. Brittle wiring
Fires due to brittle wiring happen when the light bulbs are overheated. When electrical energy greater than the required value is supplied to the light bulbs, the bulbs get overheated. This leads to the wires starting a fire if they are passing through the ceilings and walls of the room.
Do LED Lights get hot enough to start a fire?
No, LED lights don’t get hot enough to start a fire as they are designed to produce more light but emit less heat. In the case of traditional light bulbs, the filaments get heated up too much because these bulbs emit 95% energy as heat. This is the reason for fires happening in the case of incandescent bulbs.
On the other hand, in LED lights, there is a heat sink present at the base of the bulb which absorbs the emitted heat to keep the overall LED bulb temperature low. Keeping the emitted light constant, an LED light bulb has a temperature equal to half the temperature of a regular halogen bulb. Hence, LED light bulbs do not cause a fire.
What happens when you leave LED lights ON?
Nothing will happen if you leave the LED lights of your home ON 24-7. It is because LED lights are made of semiconductors and do not use a filament to emit light. Since there is no filament, there is no risk of overheating.
In addition to this, the heat sink present at the base of the LED light bulbs absorbs most of the heat generated by these bulbs. While normal incandescent bulbs last up to 750 to 2000 hours, LED light bulbs have a lighting life of 35,000 to 70,000 hours. Therefore, there are almost zero risks attached to leaving an LED light bulb ON.
Safety rules for LED Lights
Here are some safety rules and tips for using LED light bulbs.
- When installing new bulbs in a working light fixture, make sure to let the fixture cool down especially when the fixture was earlier fitted with incandescent bulbs.
- Do not change the bulbs with naked hands as it may cause burns from the heated bulbs. Wear work gloves while handling LED light bulbs.
- Dispose the replaced bulbs properly by wrapping them in cardboard so that even if it breaks, it doesn’t cause injuries to the dump handlers.
- Make sure to turn off the switches for the electrical fixtures to prevent unwanted shocks.
- Always read the instructions on the bulbs and fixtures to match their compatibility. Incompatible bulbs and fixtures can cause fire hazards.
- Do not use bulbs outside the working range of fixtures. Doing so can result in severe hazards like short circuits and fires.
- Equip all indoor and outdoor lighting with Ground Fault Circuit Interrupter (GFCI). This is the best way to prevent potential short circuits and shocks. You can get it done by an electrical professional.
- If there is an issue with the electrical wiring of your house, make sure that the main electrical supply is turned OFF and not just the switches controlling the lighting.
- Always cover the bulbs that may cause intense heating to prevent them from shattering under the heat pressure inside them.10. Make sure to install the LED light bulbs properly by following the guidelines mentioned in the safety manual. Do not push the bulbs inside the fixture. Instead, turn the bulb clockwise inside the socket to fit it snugly inside the fixture. Improperly installed bulbs lead to the flickering of lights and may cause a fire in the long run.
LED lights don’t get hot enough to cause any fires. Unlike other lightbulbs, LEDs do not have a filament that generates heat. In addition, LEDs have a heat-absorbing mechanism at the base of the bulb, making the light about half the temperature of other light sources, such as halogen bulbs.