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ARE LED SAFE? YOUR SAFE GUIDE!

Multiple benefits, LEDs offer, make them superior from traditional lighting sources. Because of their dominancy in factors like effective cost, long lifespan, low energy requirements, zero maintenance levels etc. make them out rule the lighting world.

But,

“Are LED safe enough to be used, from both safety and health perspective?”

Let’s check that out!

LED lights are safe to use, from health perspective, unless or until the color temperature of light lies under 4000K and is not too bright.

Wherever, general assumptions regarding LED lights like it can make you blind, contains toxic materials, effects circadian rhythms etc. are all wrong if we talk about the today’s advanced LED technology.

Yes! LED Lights are Safe to use!

The use of LEDs is safe as long as it’s used wisely, whereas, overexposure of anything can cause more harm than good and same is the case with LEDs.  

This was about the LEDs from health perspective, but now let’s check out whether LED light are physically good for us? Are they the real danger? Are LED safe to use? Will they catch on fire or will cause a fire hazard? Get to know a lot more in this safe guide about the LED being safe or NOT?

With that said, let’s move on to see whether these tags on LEDs are CORRECT or are they just the RUMORS?!!!

Let’s check out!

YES! LED lights are safe to use from safety perspective! But, don’t conclude this hurry! LED can be safer, if used with precautions. They won’t cause a fire, but in some cases they are susceptible to catch on fire!

HOW?

We’ll see, but first let’s check out the innocence of the LED bulbs!

If you compare an incandescent bulb with LED bulb you’ll find out that after an operation of three minutes, an incandescent bulb reaches to a temperature of 216 as compared to an LED bulb that after three minutes of operation heats up to 32.6.

This concludes that LED lights themselves can hardly cause a fire!!

But, as we told you, there are reasons and situations in which the use of LED can cause a fire.

Let’s see what those are!

The Situations in which LED lights can catch on Fire:

According to the US fire administration report, the leading causes of fire are:

  • Wiring problems.
  • A bulb fitted with too high wattage as compared to its standard wattage.

So, are these the only problems because of which LED lights are considered harm? So, is it right time for you to make a purchase?

NO, before the installation of LED bulbs and fixtures you should consider these factors:

  • LED bulbs are sophisticated as compared to other bulb types, therefore a proper installation is required if you want to safe your home from any fire hazard.
  • LEDs come up with the driver built-in the bulb itself that are quiet complex components, so if you find a heating issue, it’ll be from the driver or the capacitor.

Fact: If LED lights placed near a flammable object, they’ll never catch on fire as compared to incandescent bulbs.

Why Incandescent Bulbs Catch on Fire but LEDs do not?

Technology on which LEDs operate is known as SSL- Solid State Lighting. In this technology, light is not emitted from a vacuum or from a gas as compared to incandescent bulbs. Instead, it’s the light is given out from LED lights from a semiconductor!

This is the reason why incandescent bulbs become hot so easily, and are more prone to catch a fire as compared to LED lights.

This concludes that the main factors that causes a bulb to create fire are:

  • Temperature
  • Overheating

Now, let’s take a look at other factors that makes LED bulb highly unlikely to overheat and cause a fire. Furthermore, we’ll see what precautionary measures you can take to minimize the risks of fire hazards.

LED BULB CHARACTERISTICS THAT MAKES IT LESS PRONE TO CREATE FIRE!

1. The Relatively Low Temperature LED Bulbs Maintain:

Although LED bulbs are hot to touch, but the hotness level is nowhere near to incandescent, halogens or CFLs.

WHY?

This is because LEDs produce relatively low running temperature than traditionally used bulbs.

HOW?

  • The traditional tungsten bulbs use a filament to produce light because of which most of the power is lost in the form of heat, as compared to LEDs that use a semiconductor.
  • Incandescent bulbs produce heat in the form of radiations, whereas LEDs do not.

LED bulbs temperature facts you should be aware of!

  • LED lights are not effected by ambient temperature, instead it make them suitable for use in contained and small places, and temperature controlled environments.

For better color controls, you should maintain low temperatures for LEDs. This is because color rendering ability of LED scan be affected if temperature is too hot for them.

2. LEDs Dissipate Most of the Heat Produced:

If you take an incandescent and an LED bulb with same brightness level, you’ll notice that LED bulb is hot only half the temperature of halogen. What more is, LED lights are 20% cooler as compared to CLF bulbs.

Reason:

  • LED bulbs are operated on a technology that uses a heat sink that’s located at the base of the bulb. That heat sink draws most of the heat at one place that keep the bulb relatively cool.

This technology of keeping the LEDs cool is among the reasons of long life span of LED bulbs.

  • LEDs do not allow energy dissipation in the form of heat, instead most of the energy is used to provide light. LEDs do produce heat, but that heat is held internally.

In comparison to this formula of LED energy usage, incandescent and CFL lights lose between 60-90% of their energy input to heat.

A SAFETY INSTALLATION GUIDE FOR LEDs THAT WON’T CAUSE ANY FIRE!

LEDs consume low power because of which they are cost effective, and relatively safer as compared to other light bulbs. Because of low power consumption, the chances of LEDs to catch or produce fire is significantly lower.

STILL, the danger lies!

So, to make your LED journey safer, we bring to you this safety guide for LEDs that won’t let LED to catch on fire!

Hence, keep reading to avoid any mishap!

A few of the safety measures you can adopt during the installation of any kind of bulb, especially LEDs, to minimize the risk of electrical fires are:

1. Proper Wiring Check:

Bad wiring is the utmost reason of causing an electrical fire (a common cause and type of fires). So, a proper wiring checkup is necessary to avoid any mishap.

If you own an old house or you’re moved to a new house, it’s always better to let an experienced electrician check your wiring.

A wiring checkup is also necessary to check out whether wiring is chewed by any rodent or it’s all fine. A chewed wiring can cause a short circuit.

2. Consider Purchasing Fire-Rated LED Fittings:

Building regulations require fire-rated LED fittings for ceilings with escape rooms. If fire hazard is your concern, you can consider installing the fire-rated LED fittings throughout your home where down light or ceiling light fittings lies.

3. LEDs should be connected in series with a Resistor:

LEDs being current-driven devices, it’s recommended to install the LED bulbs with a resistor in series instead being installed in parallel.

WHY?

When LEDs warm up, they become more conductive, if connected in parallel. This connection results in the damaging of LED fixture because of the overloading of the current.

4. Your LED bulbs shouldn’t be closed in Fixtures:

When you enclose LED light bulbs in closed light fixtures, overheating of LEDs may result. This is because, the dissipation of heat is prevented. Therefore, if you want to avoid any mishap, avoid doing this step.

5. You should Consider Buying High Quality Bulbs:

You can get great deals on various online stores where you can pay significantly less to purchase LEDs. BUT,

Risks are there!

  • You may not get warranty if the product ceases out soon.
  • Quality may differs from the LEDs you purchase from a well-known store.

But!

From wherever you buy, you should consider quality, and warranty of the product first!

ARE LED LIGHTS A FIRE HAZARD IF LEFT OVER TIME?

“YES, if LED lights are left over time, or any kind of bulb, they can cause a fire hazard!”

According to records, on average, there were 260 home fires from 2004 to 2008 every year because of Christmas lightings. Furthermore, 150 home fires were caused every year because of the use of festive and decorative lightings that were left over time.

These fire were all caused because of the lights left switched on longer periods of time.

Therefore, it’s advisable not to leave you LED lights on for long solely for safety purpose.

But, is it hard for1! you to keep record every time whether your LED lights are on or off?

 Don’t you worry!

These features will make you safe by switching off the lights at appropriate times you’ll set for them:

This measure taken will also help you in saving money on your utility bills.

Still, if you have to leave the LEDs on, are they safer than other types of light bulbs?

As you’ve learned that LED bulbs are not hot as other bulb types. This feature, unlikely will cause a fire hazard!

If you’re sure enough that every component from wiring to installation of LED light is done correctly, then you should not worry about your LED lights starting out a fire!

Now, let’s be honest here, you might have left out bulbs or LEDs for long that, but it doesn’t caused any harm! YES, that’s right! Still, it’s not advisable to leave a bulb on for long as it may start a fire, and will cost you more!

CAN STRING LED LIGHTS CAUSE A FIRE?

“Generally, there is more heat involved in LED string lights, therefore, chances are higher in string LED lights to cause a fire.”

As, bunch of LEDs are stringed together, more the heat will be, higher the chances of fire hazard. Because of the reason, LED string lights require a proper know-how to ensure safety.

The Common Problems in String LEDs that can cause Fire:

Two of the most common issues found in LED string lights that can start a fire are:

  • Overheating of strip lights.
  • Power cord failures.

Therefore, you should be conscious enough while using LED string lights to ensure proper home safety.

Things you should to Ensure Safety:

  • LED string lights either come in line or low voltage with 120V and 12 or 24 V, respectively.
  • The line voltage strings come in spools of 50 meters.
  • Low voltage string lights comes in spools of 5 meters that require a power adopter, usually included in the package.

Steps towards Safety:

The First Step: make sure that the power source is loaded as compared to the length of the string or multiple string LED lights.

The Second Step: You should not install the LED string lights near the flammable material or objects.

The Third Step: Your pet presence near the string lights can make the risk of fire much higher.

CAN LED STRIP LIGHTS CATCH ON FIRE?

The case of LED strip lights is not different from string LED lights. Therefore, answer to the query “can LED strip lights catch on fire?” is a big YES!

More the LEDs on the strip, more the heat generation will be, higher the risks of LEDs to catch on fire!

So, in the case precautionary measure should must be taken!

A few are:

  • To efficiently dissipate the heat away, ideally, you should use aluminum heat sink.
  • If multiple strips are connected together, make sure that the power supply unit is not overloaded. In the case, the wattage should be at least 20% in comparison to the total strip consumption.
  • Never ever put or install the LED strip lights near safety hazard like heater, ovens etc.
  • Also, be aware of the air circulation. The strip lights shouldn’t be used in tight places. This is because, smaller and tighter the place, lower the air circulation will be, more the heat will be produced. This’ll cause high fire risks.

LEAVING THE LED LIGHT BULB ON FOR 24-SEVEN

It’s quiet safe to leave the LED light bulbs switch on for 24-seven. But, in the ideal situation.

The Ideal Situation:

  • LED bulb should be installed correctly.
  • Proper wattage usage.
  • No physical object hindering the heat dissipation of LED light.

In this ideal situation, you can leave your LED bulb on for 24-senven.

But, generally it’s advisable to leave your LED light on for 12 hours only to safe the cost!

NOTE:

Leaving your LED bulb on for long won’t make its life span shorter. Instead the factors mentioned below can deteriorate your LED light:

  • High temperatures.

Inefficient heat dissipation ways.

GENERAL SAFETY GUIDELINES FOR LED LIGHTS

Here we’ve enlisted a few of the general safety guidelines, once you consider installing LED lights in your home!

They are:

  • You should must follow LED manufacturer’s specifications listed on the LED bulb’s box.
  • LED bulbs should be fixture compatible, and environment friendly.
  • Never obstruct the heat dispersion system of the light fixture in which you’ll install the LED bulb.
  • In case, if you have an enclosed fixture for LED light installation, consider buying LED bulbs with stamp: “Enclosed Fixture Rated.”
  • Make sure that your LED bulb and light fixture are ETL or UL listed- the standards ensuring the longevity of the product.
  • LED bulbs are sophisticated as compared to other bulb types. Therefore, install them properly to avoid any fire hazard.
  • Most of the LED bulbs come up with pre-installed drivers. These drivers are with a purpose to regulate the mains voltage to an amount compatible for it. Therefore, don’t forget to read the specifications and guidelines before installing the bulb.

We hope that these guidelines will prove handy in your installation period of LED lights.

HALOGEN AND INCANDESCENT BULBS ARE THE REAL FIRE STARTERS NOT THE LED LIGHTS!

A halogen bulb is a more danger than the incandescent light bulb. It produces up to 4 times more heat than the incandescent bulb.

A 500 Watt Halogen Bulb, the Real Fire Threat!

Halogen bulb, sometimes, exceeds 1,200 degrees causing a fire hazard, especially near flammable objects like carpets, curtains, and household furniture.

The Disasters caused by halogen Bulbs in Past:

  • A $90 million damage was done in Windsor Castle in 1992 that was singlehandedly resulted from the halogen lights fire hazard.
  • Halogen pole lamp was banned from the numbers of US dormitories because of the lamp fire caused in the Arkansas’ Hendrix College. The accident caused an estimated damage of $450,000.

Incandescent Bulbs, and CFLs:

Incandescent bulbs can get hot, and can cause overheating, resulting in a real fire hazard. They have caused many fires that ended with loss and destruction.

Fun Fact: Incandescent bulbs are used are used as heat sources. For example: incandescent bulbs are used as heater in poultry incubation, and for reptiles. 

CFLs: It’s not wise to exempt the CFLs from the bulbs causing fire hazards. Many fire cases are reported caused by the burning of CFLs.

Fun Fact: There’s a burning report caused by the ballast of CFLs, as it was the end of their life span.

LED BULBS VS. INSCANDESCENT BULBS

LED BULBS INCANDESCENT BULBS
Uses much less energy than incandescent bulbs because of the use of diode.
Incandescent bulbs made of filaments filament that uses more than 75% energy.
They last for long.
They have a shorter life span.
Much brighter.
Low luminosity factor.
They won’t catch fire, are safer to use but cost more than incandescent bulbs, and that’s worth it!
They easily get hot, are more prone to catch on fire, and are cheaper than LED bulbs.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Q. Do LED lights get hot enough to start a fire?

NO, LED bulbs never get hot enough to start a fire because of the heat sink technology used in LEDs.

Q. Is it safe to leave LED lights on all night?

NO, it’s not advisable to leave an LED light on for long. But, if it’s the matter of night, you can go for it!

Q. Can you leave LED lights on all the time?

NO, it’s strictly forbidden to leave LED lights on all time as it may cause a fire hazard.

Q. Will led lights catch fire?

Yes, LED lights can catch fire if the wiring or installation is done wrong. Otherwise, LED lights are safe enough that they won’t catch fire.

THE VERY IMPORTANT FINAL LINES

Thank you for making till here. We hope that this safe guide on “Are LEDs Safe” will save you, your family and your home from any electrical fire and fire hazards.

To sum this all up:

  • LED lights are generally safe to use, if installation is done by taking precautionary measurements.
  • LED string lights, and LED strip lights may catch on fire because of the instant over heating as there’s a cluster of LEDs joined together.
  • It’s not recommended to leave the LED bulbs on for long period. But, if they are installed with precautions you can leave them on for 24-seven.
  • Make sure to read pre-installation, and safety guides on LEDs to ensure a safe installation, otherwise chances are there of fire hazards.

It’s a quite a learning for now, still if you want to explore more regarding LEDs, checkout our additional guides on LEDs and your safety!

Now, it’s time to say a bye!

HEY!! wait,

 Before leaving out, do let us know in the comment section down below about your journey with LED lights. We’d love to hear back from you guys!

We’ll see you with another guide! Then then stay safe as it’s corona outside 😉

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