Many people have heard that light fixtures can cause fires. It was an accident, but it was true. The traditional light fixtures could cause an accident because of overheat.
We now use more and more led products, such as LED strip lights, LED linear light, LED neon flex, etc.
So the question is Can LED strip lights overheat and catch fire?
We know that led strip lights are made by LED, PCB, resistant, etc. It’s low wattage per meter. It is approx 1w/m to 30w/m.The low-voltage led strips are not hot when you touch the surface. The LED lights produce light at a lower temperature, they don’t catch fire easily.
The traditional incandescent bulb wattage is more than 100w/pcs. It is very hot when you are close to the bulb.
Here we will let you know LED strip lights is safer than a traditional bulb, and how to avoid incorrect installation methods.
Let’s compare LEDs and incandescent bulbs. You will know the advantage of LEDs.Many of the lighting project use LED strip lights instead of the traditional light bulbs.
1. How can an incandescent bulb start a fire?
Incandescent bulbs have been in use since forever. We grew up with these bright yet extremely hot sources of light. I’m sure you touched that bulb at least once.
We have been using incandescent bulbs since Edison invents the light bulb in 1879. This is an epoch-making invention. It is around our home, living room, kitchen lighting, etc.
Most of the incandescent bulbs are 60w, 100w, 200w. It is a big wattage compare with LEDs. That is why incandescent bulbs can get very hot.
The bulb filament is the key part that gets heat. When we test the blub in labs. The filament can reach 230℃ after light on. On the surface of the bulb glass, the temperature will be more than 130℃. It is very hot.
That is more than enough heat to catch fire. If you place a paper or a cloth near the incandescent bulb, the paper will get hot easily. The paper ignition point is 130℃ - 255℃. That is why an accident bulb can burn down a house.
2. Do LED strip lights get hot?
LED strip lights are low wattage. It is 3w/m to 18w/m. Some special led strip lights will have bigger wattage, but that will install into the aluminum profile.
When you touch the led strip light, you can not feel the heat if you touch a low-wattage strip light. The temperature of the led strip light will be between 30-50℃。
LEDs are harmless when it comes to catching fire.LEDs don’t have enough heat to start a fire.LED efficiency ranges from 20-50%.So it produces less heat than incandescent
2.1 Are LED strip lights too hot to harm you?
People feel hot when they are touching a 40℃object. It can burn your skin when the temperate goes above 50℃.
From our experience, the wattage below 20w/m led strip light, the temperature will not exceed 50℃. If the wattage is more than 20w/m, high power and high density led strips, and this led strip light not install in aluminum profile surface. The environment temperature is high and not good heat dissipation, in this case, the temperature of the strip light will go up to 50℃.
Normally, the led strip light install where people do not easily touch it. That will avoid scald, avoid short circuits. And it will protect not only people but also the led strip light long life.
2.2 Can hot will damage led PCB or components?
Quality PCB can bear a lot of heat. During our SMT process, the reflow soldering process temperature will up to 250℃. Although it is a short time, will know that PCB is not easy to damage by heat.
And the LED components including resistance, IC, etc. These components are also not easily damaged by heat.
So we know that LED strips will not be damaged by high heat. Unless you are using cheap quality led strip lights. So you do not need to worry about the heat will damage your led strip light.
2.3 Is a led strip light possible to catch fire?
We still need to find an answer, is a led strip light possible to catch fire?
If you are buying a quality led strip light, It is not easy to catch fire. The quality LED strip light factory has a strict quality control process. From design, they will think about any possible. During production, they need to use high-quality PCB, LED, resistance,3M tape.
Good quality LED strip light not only for less heat but also for long life. We need to think about the quality of the led strip light.
2.4 Is it safe to put on the led strip light all day long?
When designing the LED light, engineers already think about the long time to use the LEDs. We know that the led light will not reach a high temperature. Therefore, you don’t need to worry about a long time use the LED light. You just turn on the LED light if it is really necessary.
2.5 Can LED strip light to overheat?
If we use high power and high density led strip lights, It can overheat. But after an overheat, the led strip light lifetime will be shorter. So we have to use a heat sink to prevent led strips from overheating.
3. How many other fire-related risks with LED strips?
LED strip light is really harmless. We need to think about if some factor can catch fire. We have to find them out and handle them carefully. Then we can use the led light better and not need to worry about anything.
Here are some factors you need to avoid.
3.1 Used low quality LED strips
You need to do some reach before buying LED strip light. You can buy some samples from different suppliers. Good quality products will be a higher price. Don’t choose the cheap quality led strips because of price.
3.2 Used poor and cheap power supply
Power drivers are very important for led strips. A good power supply can match LED strip lights. We always suggest our client use good quality led power supply. You can use the brand LED driver just like Philips, Osram, Meanwell.
3.3 Wire size unmatched to strip light wattage
Before installing or wiring the led strip, you must think about a wire that is suitable for the rated current value of the circuit.
The higher power of the led strip light, to avoid the fire caused by overheating and melting of the wire, the larger the wire is required. The size of the ampere is determined by a variety of factors, including the number and length of strip lights. Therefore, before installation, it is necessary to calculate the maximum current on the circuit and confirm the required wire size.
The following chart will let you know the relationship between the current rating and wire size:
3.4 Poor Installation
When you install the led strip lights
1, You need to use a bigger power supply. Approx 20% bigger than the LED strip light wattage.
2, You need to use quality cable, don’t use very small size wires.
3, You need to check detail to avoid short circuits.
4, When you install in the metal surface, just like aluminum, iron, stainless steel, you need to carefully handle the wires inside. Don’t let the wire connect the metal directly.
4. How to reduce the heat of LED strips?
LED strip lights don’t like heat. Following methods can dissipate the heat of led strips.
4.1 Use LED aluminum profiles
After you install led strip lights in the aluminum channel, it can help you protect the led strips from dust, water, and any other outside elements that damage strips. And the LED aluminum profile is a very good heat sink for strip light. It can lower the temperature of the strip light by more than 5℃. That is good for long-life-led strips.
4.2 Use Dimmers
Many lighting projects install dimmer. The LED dimmer allows you to adjust the light brightness. It can reduce the power supply output. In this way, the led strip light will lower output wattage. That means the led strip light will cause less heat.
4.3 Use branded strips
Brand LED strips always have better design, better material, and high efficiency. It does not only produce less heat but also gives a quality experience. Brand-led strips are safer than cheap one.
4.4 Professional Installation
Not everyone knows LED strips, so you have to find a professional worker to install the led strip light. If you don’t know more about led strip lights, you have to ask your led supplier to give you some tips. They are happy to let you know which one you HAVE to do, and which one you DON’T do.
LED strip lights are a popular lighting material. It is very good lighting efficiency. From above, we know LED strip lights do not easily catch fire. We have to use brand-led strip lights and install the strips follow professional advice. There is fire when we are used correctly.
Founder of Lightstec.Engineering degree.More than 13 years working experience in led lighting business.Familiar with producing led lighting products.This blog share you knowledge and solution in led lighting.Welcome sourcing led lights from China.