Are LED strip lights a fire hazard, and if yes, what causes fire and safety tips?
The truth is that LEDs have a low probability of causing fire than traditional or fluorescent bulbs.
We can attribute this to their high energy efficiency and versatility; thus, less energy is converted to heat that causes fire.
Also, they’re designed with heat management systems to dissipate heat more effectively.
However, with poor installation and manufacturing practices, LED strip lights can become a serious fire hazard.
Keep reading to understand how you can prevent LED grow light fires from happening. Let’s get rolling!
Are LED Lights A Fire Hazard?
(Properly installed LED lights)
When we compare LED strip lights to traditional and fluorescent lights, they experience fewer fire hazard risks.
They normally emit less heat, have minimal overheating cases, and won’t ignite easily.
Engineers design these lights with heat dissipation systems like heat sinks to help emit excess heat.
Moreover, to further limit cases of fire hazards, you can restrict yourself to following the LED installation guide and buying products only from reputable brands.
Furthermore, restrain from overloading the circuit and ensure the whole LED system is in good working condition.
How Do You Install LED Strip Lights Safely?
(How to install LED strip lights correctly)
The below guidelines will help you install LED strip lights with maximum safety.
Select quality products: Nothing beats a quality LED strip light from a highly-rated manufacturer and brand.
Calculating power requirements: Determine whether your power system can meet the LED strip light requirement without causing an overload.
Area Preparation: Your installation surface should be clean and free from contaminants, dust, and grease.
Cut strips effectively: Since LED strip lights have predefined cutting points, employ a sharp cutting tool or scissors to avoid damaging the circuitry.
Connect power safely: Most LED strip light manufacturers will provide instruction manuals on connecting the LEDs to power.
Therefore, follow these instructions and employ appropriate soldering methods, connectors, and adapters.
Secure your LED strips: Use adhesive backing and mounting clips to eliminate loose connections.
Ensure these adhesives or clips are firm and don’t fall off easily.
Don’t use sharp twists or bends: Manufacturers have a recommended bend radius for every LED strip that, if ignored, could damage the circuitry.
Heat dissipation and ventilation: Although LED strip lights don’t emit too much heat, you should still employ measures to dissipate the little they generate.
First, never place the LED strips in confined places and closer to heat sources.
And the best solution would be to include heat management systems like heat sinks.
Regular inspection: It’s important to check your LED strip light now and then for loose connections and damage signs.
And if you find any damage issues, you should prioritize immediate repair.
Causes of LED Grow Light Fire Hazards
(Man holding a broken LED)
If you’re not careful, the following things can cause LED grow light fire hazards.
Electrical circuit overload: You can plug a maximum number of LEDs into a circuit, and exceeding this limit can cause heat buildup and fire.
Therefore, abide by the manufacturer’s guidelines on the maximum LEDs you can link to a circuit.
Using poor quality LEDs: The market is full of counterfeit and low-quality LEDs that don’t comply with the set standards and requirements.
For example, we found some LEDs using inferior components, having improper heat management systems, and lacking proper insulation.
Such will accelerate the overheating rate and cause a fire.
Inadequate ventilation: Although LED grow light generates little heat than fluorescent bulbs, such heat can cause fires if you ignore them.
Therefore, employ proper ventilation by ensuring airflow around the LED grow lights.
Also, keep combustible materials away from the LED grow lights.
Improper LED grows light installation: You can’t expect to install an LED grow light without proper focus and precision and still expect it to deliver exemplary results.
Fortunately, we already have installation standards that guide the installation of LED grow lights.
Ignoring such guidelines translates into loose connections and faulty wiring that might cause a fire.
And if you lack installation skills, you better hire a professional technician.
Lack of maintenance: Regular checks are necessary to improve the performance and prevent fire hazards after installing LED strip lights.
Ignoring proper maintenance translates into accumulating contaminants, dirt, and dust, preventing proper heat dissipation.
As a result, fire hazards become inevitable.
How Do You Limit LED Strip Light Heat?
(A blue LED strip light)
You can implement the following to limit LED strip light heat:
Buying Quality strips: As mentioned above, quality strips from reliable manufacturers have efficient heat management systems like heat sinks to minimize overheating.
Proper power supply: You should only supply the LED strip light with a proper power supply.
Generally, an overloaded and underloaded power supply causes excessive heat generation.
Don’t overdrive: Every LED strip light has a recommended current and voltage that, when exceeded, causes overheating and reduces the lifespan.
Proper installation: First, install the LED strip lights on a clean, dry surface.
Secondly, follow the installation guidelines from the LED strip manufacturer. Additionally, the installation process should only be done by a reputable technician.
Thermal management & heat sinks: Evaluate the length and type of LED strip and apply relevant thermal management systems.
Such systems, which include heat sinks, will help to dissipate and distribute heat effectively.
LED controllers and dimmers: Controllers and dimmers with in-built thermal protection can regulate the LED brightness to eliminate heat buildup when necessary.
LED strip light maintenance: Finally, you should always be on your toes maintaining and repairing the LED strip when anything goes wrong.
This could include replacing damaged parts or removing dirt and dust.
Can LED lights get very hot to cause a fire?
Generally, LED lights produce minimal heat, making it almost impossible to cause a fire.
Therefore, they might only catch fire due to improper installation, circuit overload, poor ventilation, and poor-quality LEDs.
Your priority should be proper LED light maintenance, installation, and adequate ventilation.
Are LED lights able to melt plastic?
Since LED lights don’t generate much heat like fluorescent or traditional lights, they cannot melt the plastic.
However, some LED lights might experience overheating to the extent of affecting performance but not melting plastic.
How hot can your LED lights get?
Most manufacturers design LED lights that can withstand temperatures of about 85°C without affecting performance.
But under normal operating conditions, the LED light surface will record a temperature between 30-70°C, which falls below the 85°C limit.
Can you apply a heatsink to your LED light?
Yes! Nothing stops you from applying heatsinks to your LED lights.
Most manufacturers employ heat management systems like heatsinks on LED to limit overheating cases.
As a result, LED lights will experience better performance and improved lifespan.
In conclusion, LED strip lights have a lower chance of fire-related hazards than traditional and fluorescent lights.
However, the chances of fire hazards increase without proper ventilation, installation, and quality.
Therefore, you should always comply with the LED strip light installation guide and purchase quality products from highly-rated brands.