can LED strip lights cause a fire

If you’re wondering “can LED strip lights cause a fire?”, just like many other users, this guide is designed for you.

We all know that on touch, the LEDs are never hot, not even close to being the start of the fire.

However, there are rare scenarios in which bulbs can malfunction, produce sparks and light something on fire. Even if those cases are really rare, it’s always safe to be prepared.

The LED strip lights are not cold on touch but they produce a lot of heat in their enclosure, where the actual bulb is. Even though they are designed, following a safety protocol, cheaper units are poorly constructed and the chances of fire are never 0%.

Let’s begin with learning more about the LED strips, how hot they get and can they actually cause a fire.

Do LED Lights Strip Get Hot?

can LED strip lights get hot

LED strips can cause a fire if no precautions were taken beforehand. In general, LED lights reach temperatures in their enclosure, which if exposed, could produce heat and eventually catch on fire.

There are many occasions in which there is a danger of the strips producing sparks and overheating which is essentially the fire starter.

The bulb filament would be the main heat conductor that could reach up to 220 degrees C, but in proportions so small, that is not enough to cause a spark.

The filament is protected by a glass cover, which on its own can reach up to 120 degrees C even after a few minutes of working. The entire temperature is enclosed so there is not much that could go wrong.

However, if not treated properly, the LED strip lights can be the reason for a fire in your household. Let’s now learn more about how your LED strip can be a fire-starter.

Note: In most of the cases in which a LED strip caused a fire, the reason was poor installation.

Can LED Strip Lights Catch On Fire?

led lights catch fire

This is the big question you’re probably here for. Yes, on rare occasions, your LED Lights strip could be a fire-starter.

It really depends on how the strip is installed, what are the surrounding objects and how well the device is designed.

Most people wonder if it’s safe to leave the LED strip lights on 24/7.

If that’s the case and you intend to leave your lights on for a longer period of time, even permanently, there are a few things to consider.

How Can LED Lights Start A Fire?

Here are some of the circumstances where the LED strip lights can actually catch on fire:

Physical Contact with Flammable Objects

Positioning your LEDs really close or even in contact with easily flammable objects can and will produce heat.

Flammable objects could be (wallpaper, alcohol, nail polish, dry cloths, and many more).

Power Outage

After a power outage, whenever the electricity comes back, there is a larger than usual flow of electricity, which can make contact with the LED lights and supposedly cause a fire.

Electricity Short-Circuits

A power interference is your main enemy here. Although it’s unlikely to happen in the first place, a short-circuit can also cause your LED strip lights to catch on fire.

A Hardware Fault With The Unit

Overheating can also be caused due to malfunctioning bulbs or loose wires. If working for too long, the LED strip lights can become faulty and increase the chance of catching on fire.

Tip: Best place to install LED strips is on aluminum profiles and other heat sinker surfaces which will decrease temperature and lower the risk of fire.

How To Prevent Fire Hazard From The LED Lights?

prevent fire led strips

Now that it’s clear how can LED strips lights cause a fire you’re probably wondering how you can prevent this from happening.

Even though there are quite a few possibilities in which your LEDs will cause a fire, there are twice as many ways to prevent this.

Upon buying LED strip lights from a proven source, the safety book that comes along has it all covered on how to prevent the strips from catching on fire.

Since not many users actually reads those safety books, here is everything but simplified:

1. Use Only Compatible Components

Checking the manufacturer’s manual will let you know of all supported third-party components and electricity requirements of the LED strips.

2. Unplug Whenever Away

You definitely do not want your LED strips plugged into the power source if you’re away on a vacation.

Make sure to detach the strip’s power adapter if you’re going away for more than 3-4 days and reconnect them once you come back. Although they aren’t turned on, power issues can still occur.

3. Do NOT Cover The LEDs

The biggest mistake users make is to cover the LED strips, especially with something like a blanket which is extremely flammable.

4. Move LEDs Away from Heating Sources

Users shared that even having a bulb or a lamp close to the LED lights is what could produce the most heat.

It’s recommended to have any light/heat sources at least 5-10 meters away from the lights, so the heat can get dispersed as it travels.

5. Remove Heat-Conductors

how led strips catch fire

Do not position your LEDs near any sort of heat generator such as heaters.

In addition, you should inspect the LED strip for any damage on its body that could cause a malfunction, hence, producing sparks.

6. Always Buy Quality LEDs

You will be amazed by how badly designed the cheaper LED light strips are. The best recommendation we can give you is to only purchase proven LED strip products.

Since if the product is easily catchable on fire, this can even escalate to life-threatening situations.

Let’s now answer some frequently asked questions that LED light strip users often ask!

Tip: It’s always safer to turn the LED strip OFF when you’re away for a longer period.

So, can LED Strip Lights Cause a Fire? – Final Verdict!

Yes, LED Strip Lights can cause a fire if they are in close proximity to easily-flammable objects or if the strip is malfunctioning. Such scenarios occur during and after a power outage or simply because of a bad installation.

Also, cheaper LED strips always come with a poor design and a higher chance of causing a fire.

Read Next: Why Are My LED Strip Lights Not Bright?

Bottom Line:

Now that you know how can LED strips lights cause a fire and how to prevent this scenario from happening you can have peace of mind.

Of course, you cannot predict when there will be a power surge or whenever the power outlet will fail, so the conclusion would be to turn OFF all electrical devices when you’re not at home!

If you find this post helpful, continue reading other “how-to” guides to maximize your smart home devices’ performance and prevent bad scenarios.

Nicole B