LED Light Fire Hazard: Can It Be A Real Threat?


In the past few years, LED lights have become increasingly popular. They use less energy and last longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, making them a more cost-effective option in the long run. But are they safe? Many people have raised concerns about the LED light fire hazard. Let’s take a closer look at the issue to see if there’s any cause for concern and if they differ from traditional lights.

The Various Reasons Why Lights Start Fires

Electrical fires are more common than you might think – and they can be caused by something as simple as a light bulb. Here are three reasons why lights may start a fire:

Excessive heat

The heat radiating from a lightbulb mainly depends on how the bulb produces light. For example, traditional incandescent lights work by running an electric current through a thin wire(filament).

This process produces a lot of light but also generates a lot of heat. These bulbs are so hot that they’re most likely to cause fires if they come into contact with a flammable object.

On the other hand, newer LED bulbs produce light completely differently. Instead of using a filament, they pass electricity through a semiconductor to produce light. This electric process generates very little heat, making LED bulbs much safer than incandescent bulbs.

Loose wires

Decorative lights can be a great way to get into the holiday spirit, but they can also be a potential fire hazard. They are often plugged in for long periods and have exposed wires that can easily ignite a fire.

Loose wires present a fire hazard

Loose wires present a fire hazard

So It’s important to check the lights for any damage to the cord and to monitor them while they’re in use. If you notice any flickering or dimming, it’s best to unplug the lights. When you finish using the festive lights, be sure to pack them away carefully so that rodents can’t chew through the cords.

Brittle wiring

Over time, exposure to excess heat and humidity can cause the insulation around electrical wires to break down, making them more susceptible to sparking. If your light fixtures have worn or brittle wiring, they must be repaired or replaced as soon as possible to avoid the risk of a fire.

Is It Possible For An LED Light To Become Hot Enough To Start A Fire?

LEDs are much cooler to the touch than other types of light bulbs. They give off very little heat at all. So no, you don’t have to worry about them starting a fire. However, the risk relies on the installation. Improper wiring or a bulb with too high wattage can easily start a fire. So if you’re using LEDs in your home, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.

LED Strip Lights

These lights are versatile, and you can use them in a variety of ways. While they won’t get hot enough to ignite anything, it’s still best to do a test before using them in an area where there is potential for flammable materials. The strip lights will be warm, yet not hot enough to make you uncomfortable.

A roll of LED strip light

A roll of LED strip light

String LED Lights

LED string lights are a much safer option than traditional incandescent string lights. It is because LED bulbs don’t produce excessive heat as incandescent bulbs do, meaning fire is less likely to start.

String LED light in a jar

String LED light in a jar

Christmas Lights

Christmas lights are another type of LED light that can be dangerous if not checked before use. Frayed wires can cause sparks which can lead to a fire. The tree might also be a fire hazard as it is made of flammable materials.

Not to mention, overloading circuits by adding too many lights can also cause short circuits that lead to a fire. So it would be best to keep a total load of lights below 15 amps to avoid any problems.

Christmas Lights

Christmas Lights

Grow Lights

Modern grow lights are an essential tool for anyone who wants to grow plants indoors. However, due to how they’re set up, they can also pose a serious fire hazard. Most grow lights are put near fertilizers, which can fuel flames in the event of a fire.

Additionally, grow rooms are usually small, causing the fire to spread quickly. For this reason, it is important to have a fire extinguisher in an emergency.

Plants under LED grow light

Plants under LED grow light

Is It Unsafe To Leave A LED light On?

Unlike traditional bulbs, which can get very hot, LEDs emit very little heat, making them safe to leave on overnight. You’re likelier to start a fire by leaving a candle burning than by leaving an LED light on.

What Are The Signs of An LED Bulb Catching Fire?

If you’re worried that your LED lightbulb might be at risk of catching fire, there are a few things you can look for, including:

  • The bulb is unusually hot to the touch
  •  Flickering or flashing
  • An abnormal smell coming from the bulb 

If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to err on caution and replace the bulb as soon as possible. While LED bulbs are generally very safe, it’s always better to be safe than sorry.

Ways To Decrease The Risk of Your LED Lights Causing A Fire

Buy Quality Lights

The first step to preventing a LED light fire is to buy quality lights. There are a lot of cheap knock-offs on the market, and these lights are more likely to have faulty wiring that could spark and start a fire. So, buying a decent LED light from a reputable source is essential.

Check the Voltage Limits

Another way to reduce the fire risk is to ensure you’re not overloading your outlet with too many lights. Most outlets can handle 15 amps, so ensure you’re not plugging in more than that.


Is Your LED Light Bulb Smoking? Here’s Why.

The smoke might be a sign that the material is deteriorating or that there is damage to the packaging. In either case, it’s important to turn off the light and unplug it from the power source. Once it has cooled down, inspect the light for damage.

Is It Possible For LED Lights To Explode In Enclosed Light Fixtures?

Though LED lights have a slim chance of exploding, this can happen if they are subject to voltage surges or poor heat management. And this is usually only a problem with enclosed fixtures, as the heat has nowhere to dissipate. If you’re concerned about your LEDs exploding, check that they’re compatible with your fixtures and that you’re not overloading them with voltage.

Bursting incandescent light bulb

Bursting incandescent light bulb

How Long Can You Keep LED lights On Safely?

LED lights are very energy efficient and can be left on for extended periods without causing any damage. Most LED lights have a lifespan of about 50,000 hours, which is about 6 years of continuous use.


Well, as you can see, LED lights are pretty safe overall. Still, it would help if you kept a few things in mind to avoid the risk of starting a fire. It’s always a good idea to buy quality lights and to check the voltage limits on your outlet. Also, inspect your lights for any damage or abnormal signs.

We hope this article helped to alleviate any concerns you had and if you still have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Need custom LED services?