LED strip lights are known for their bright illumination, energy efficiency, and extended lifespan. However, what I like most about them is that they do not get too much hot. Even if you touch them, you will not feel the heat.
LED strip lights do not get hot, but it won’t be accurate to say that they don’t produce heat. Every light generates heat to some level, and LED strip lights are no exception. However, the amount of heat they make is significantly less in comparison to halogen and fluorescent.
Let’s get to know more about the heat production of LED strip lights. Also, I will discuss if they make the room hot. If yes, what are the solutions to reduce the warmth of LED lights?
Nowadays, most LED lights can convert at least 80 to 90% of their electrical energy into light energy. Still, there is an electro-optical loss of 10% to 20%. And this wasted electric energy is the culprit behind the heat; though it is significantly low in comparison to other lights.
How Much Heat LED Strip Lights Generate?
Before I discuss how much heat an LED strip light produces, let us find out why it generates warmth.
You must understand that when a light source absorbs electrical energy to produce light energy, some of the power gets converted into heat and infrared radiation. The production of this radiation is the primary reason light bulbs become warm.
Fortunately, most LED strip lights don’t generate infrared radiation.
So how do they produce heat?
LED lights do not generate radiation, but regular heat and light energy are still there to produce a certain level of warmth.
Nowadays, most LED lights can convert at least 80 to 90% of their electrical energy into light energy. It is worth mentioning that incandescent light bulbs convert more than 90% of their energy to heat.
You will be surprised to know that LED lights have a unique way of releasing heat. Unlike regular lights, LED lights feature heat sinks. A heat sink is a tiny device that draws heat away from the bulbs. You will find them as metallic fins or ceramic sections in LEDs.
Some low-powered LED strip lights lack heat sinks as LED bulbs in the strip are not big enough. Moreover, they do not use enough amount of electricity to generate heat.
Do LED Strip Lights Make a Room Hot?
I also had this question in mind when I was planning to buy LED strip lights for the first time. As I discussed above, LED lights convert the majority of the electrical energy to light. Only a tiny amount of energy gets wasted as heat.
So I can say yes, LED strip lights will make your room hot a little bit, but maybe you will not feel it. Some people think that LED strip lights heat a room like a microwave, which is not true.
The intensity of the heat depends on various factors. These include the size of your room, number of LED strip lights, quality and design of LED strip lights, and more.
Let us understand how much heat could be problematic and what are the ways to lessen it.
How Much Warmth is Safe?
As I stated above, a variety of factors influence how warm your LED strip lights could be.
Some LED strip lights can reach up to the temperature, fifty-four Fahrenheit over ambient temperatures. However, it does not mean that they will raise the temperature of your room to that level. You feel hot only when you touch them.
I do not think you will not need to touch your LED strip lights that way. However, if your profession needs you to come into contact with LED strip lights, make sure they are turned off before you touch them.
You need to understand that you feel hot only when you touch an object at 40 degrees Celsius. If the temperature goes above 50 degrees celsius, then it may cause skin burn.
Do not worry, superior quality strip lights will never exceed the temperature of 50 degrees celsius. After all, most LED strip lights have electric power underneath 20 watts. The higher watt. LED strip lights often come with an aluminum profile surface.
You don’t need to do anything extra to reduce heat if you have invested in high-quality LED strip lights and set them in the proper spot.
Below, I have put together a few ways to reduce the impact of heat. You may try them if you want.
Ways to Minimise the Impact of LED Strip Lights
Don’t Install LED Strip Lights in Packed-full Place
If you are planning to set up multiple LED strip lights in a room, make sure it has good space. So many strip lights in a compact size room can generate decent heat.
Make sure the room has ventilation. If you are placing strip lights in your bedroom, install them near windows. Thus the heat will pass through them easily.
Choose a Reputable LED Manufacturer
When you buy LED strip lights from a trustworthy manufacturer, you do not experience heat-related issues. Strip lights made out of quality material often produce less heat and do not melt or catch fire.
Remember that some low-cost LED light manufacturers cut corners on various safety regulations. So be extra careful when buying strip lights and beware of such manufacturers.
I always check the flammability rating on the circuit board when buying LED strip lights. Check for the UL 94 Standard. It ensures that the circuit board will not catch fire.
A reputable manufacturer will help you choose LED strip lights with better design, material, and effectiveness.
Choose Appropriate Design
The design of your LED strip lights plays a significant role in how much heat they are going to produce. You take your manufacturer’s suggestion on the best design as per your requirements. LED strip lights are available in different designs.
Use The Right Voltage
LED strip lights come with various voltage options. For example, you can choose between 12V or 24V LED strip lights. Low voltage LED lights, generate less heat. So you can go for low wattage strip lights if heat is your concern.
Consider Using Heat Sink
If you have LED strip lights that need more than 350 mA, you must consider using a heatsink. A thirteen mm heat sink is adequate for an eight to ten mm wide LED strip. I advise you to choose between copper or aluminum heat sinks only.
Not only do copper and aluminum channels act as excellent heat absorbers for LED strip lights, but they also protect them from dust and water. In most cases, these heat sinks can minimize the temperature to 5 degrees Celsius.
Consider Using Dimmers
Although I never used a dimmer switch, several LED lighting projects require it. LED dimmers enable you to regulate the light brightness. It means you can minimize the power supply output to some extent. Naturally, LED strip lights with lower output wattage will generate less heat.
Note: Before you invest in a dimmer, make sure that your LED lights are dimmable.
Seek Professional Help for Installation
While LED strip lights are easy to install, not everyone is perfect at it. If you are one of them, you should think about hiring a professional to install your LED strip light. If you can not, it is okay. You can read the manuals and guides from your manufacturer about the installation.
Don’t Put On LED Strip Lights All Day Long
While leaving LED strip lights on all day does not affect their performance, they will generate heat unnecessarily. If you have installed them in your room, make sure to switch them off when you leave the room or when you do not want to use them.
I use my colorful strip lights at night only to enhance the mood of my room. Otherwise, I turn them off.
Do LED Strip Lights Catch a Fire?
It is another critical point that you might be concerned about. In comparison to incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, LED strip lights use low electricity wattage to light. Therefore, the risk of catching fire with LED strip lights is significantly low.
You feel warmth when you touch LED fixtures, but they will not make enough heat to produce a fire. Furthermore, LED lights use semiconductors, not filament. Therefore, they are less likely to burst into flames.
If I talk about my personal experience, I never felt that my LED strip lights are generating heat. Even when I touch them for any reason, I feel only warmth, not heat.
Yes, LED strip lights will feel warm a little bit and might increase room temperature insignificantly. However, neither they produce noticeable heat nor do they catch fire. Always invest in branded LED strip lights that go through several quality tests.
If you have to install several LED strip lights in one single room, make sure there is enough ventilation in the room.
You may try the above-mentioned tricks and tips to reduce the impact of heat. For extra peace of mind, you can install LED strip lights where kids can’t access them. Also, avoid touching them for a longer period when they are on.