In today’s world, LED lights are becoming increasingly popular and trusted by many people due to their superiority in quality and design. However, there are still concerns surrounding the quality of the product and whether LED lights lead to any serious risk. This article will answer the question: Can LED lights catch on fire?
What is led light?
LED (which stands for Light – Emitting – Diode) is a semiconductor device that emits visible light when an electric current passes through. You can understand it as a semiconductor device that works in contrast to a solar cell.
Therefore, Led light can be understood as lighting products that apply LED technology for lighting. Depending on the structure of the semiconductors, this device will emit light with different wavelengths. It means that the light sources can have different colors depending on the semiconductor structure.
Structure of led lights
#1. LED light-emitting diode
The essence of the led chip is a diode containing a semiconductor chip doped to form a P-N junction. Meanwhile, the N channel contains electrons and the P channel contains holes. When electrons fill the vacancy, light radiation will be produced. The emitted light has different colors depending on the impurities in the semiconductor chip.
#2. Printed circuit board
The quality of the printed circuit and the solder between the LED and the printed circuit dramatically affect the durability of the lamp. In some tropical climates, the bad quality of the printed circuit and the solder joint can result in an oxygen-printed circuit break.
In practice, one can use plain, aluminum, or ceramic printed circuits allowing for fast heat dissipation for medium and large-power LEDs.
#3. Power supply
The power supply for LED lights must ensure to provide a stable current and voltage for the type of LEDs. For small-power lamps, the power supply is simply a voltage source with a current-limiting resistor for the LED. However, for medium and large-power LEDs, it is more necessary to create a current source for the LED.
The LED radiator is designed to bring the light-emitting crystal to low temperatures as quickly as possible, which is especially important when designing high-power LEDs. In this case, the LED element will witness quick aging, and the luminous efficiency will decrease significantly.
#5. Radiator cover
To ensure stable and durable operation, the lamp housing is made to be highly waterproof, while ensuring rapid heat dissipation.
Therefore, we can focus on these main factors to make the right purchasing decision.
Specifications of led lights
#1. The optical efficiency of LEDs
Optical efficiency (also known as luminescence efficiency) is a key indicator to compare brightness between different types of LEDs. If your lamp has high optical efficiency, then with the same power, the lamp will give more luminous flux and better light. Therefore, the higher the optical efficiency index, the more energy-efficient the lamp is.
The optical efficiency of the lamp depends on the optical efficiency of the LED chip. Normally, the Epistar chip line will have optical efficiency from 100-120 Lm/w. As for the Bridgelux, Osram,… LED chips, the optical efficiency is from 110 – 130 Lm/w.
#2. Luminance of LEDs
To measure the luminous flux of a lamp, you need 2 indicators: optical efficiency and lamp power. This is the quantity used to measure the radiant power of light. The luminous flux indicates how bright the light source is. Therefore, when designing lighting or buying LED lights, you need to pay special attention to this quantity. The higher the luminous flux index, the brighter the lamp will be.
#3. Dimensions of LED light
For LED ceiling lights, panel lights, the size of the lights is very important. Because when designing lighting, the experts will arrange the appropriate light, thus giving the lamp capacity and designing the hole for the lamp. Therefore, when choosing a lamp, you need to pay attention to the size of the lamp, especially the hole size of the lamp to choose the right product.
#4. LED color rendering index
The higher the color rendering index, the more realistic the light, closer to natural light. According to European standards, lamps with color rendering index Ra> 80 will give true light and eye protection. Lamps with an index of Ra<80 can cause myopia and other eye-related hazards. Currently, standard LED lights on the market usually ensure the color rendering index Ra > 85.
#5. Light color
Light color temperature is one of the important parameters of LEDs and is shown in the lamp’s specifications.
- Warm (yellow) color: the color temperature from 2700K – 3500K is equivalent to the light of an incandescent lamp, good for the eyes.
- Natural light: color temperature from 4000K – 4500K. This is an average color temperature range, LED lights to emit a moderate, harmonious light.
- White light: color temperature from 5000K – 7000K, super bright LED, equivalent to midday sunlight. This type is very suitable for lighting for office space, indoor sports areas…
#6. Operating voltage range
The operating voltage range of the lamp is the voltage at which the lamp can operate stably, demonstrating no flickering or explosion. Therefore, the wider the voltage range, the more stable the lamp will be if the current changes are not stable.
Features of led lights
- LEDs have a much longer lifespan and efficiency than incandescent lamps and are more efficient than most fluorescent lamps. Some chips are capable of emitting more than 300 lumens/watt.
- Unlike most fluorescent bulbs (compact fluorescent or CFL), LEDs light up completely without warm-up time. Therefore, their lifespan is significantly longer than that of fluorescent lamps. The initial cost to purchase LED lights is often higher than others, but in terms of energy savings and longevity, they are considered more cost-effective.
- Currently, most LED products are designed with standard holders that can directly replace incandescent or fluorescent lamps. They do not emit light in all directions, and their directional features impact the design, although in today’s world there are many designs with a 360-degree light angle.
- Like other lighting equipment, LEDs are affected by high temperatures. Although they emit just a within little heat while operating, this temperature is enough to cause some damage such as reduced lumens and lifespan. Therefore, in the design of the product, there are often additional heat sinks and coolers. The lifespan of LEDs greatly depends on the quality of the heatsink.
- To function, the LED chip requires the conversion of alternating current to direct current by a transformer and converter device that is called a driver. The LED light comes with a quality driver that can guarantee a long service life and provide lighting control features. It can be placed inside the bulb (integrated type) or placed outside (standalone type). Depending on the lighting application, different drivers are applied (e.g. outdoor drivers for street lighting, point drivers for indoor lighting, and linear drivers for advertising lights).
– Longer lifespan => help to save maintenance costs.
– More efficient and have less heat than incandescent lamps.
– Produces little or no infrared and ultraviolet light, which minimizes the risk of fire.
– The possibility of damage due to continuous on/off is much lower.
– LED lights usually have more rigid construction, which is more difficult to break than other lamps.
– Various light colors.
– LED technology products are usually more expensive to buy, however, the demand for these devices is significantly increasing, so their prices are falling every year.
– CRI is not always as good as incandescent or halogen lamps, but this problem is gradually getting better.
– Brightness and color quality can degrade over the lifespan of the lamp.
Operation principles of LED lights
The operating principle of LEDs is mainly based on semiconductor technology. P-type semiconductor block contains kinds of free holes carrying a positive charge, so when coupled with N semiconductor block (contains free electrons), these holes tend to move diffusely to N block. At the same time, block P receives more electrons (negative charge) from block N. As a result, the P block is negatively charged (hole shortage and electron excess) while the N block is positively charged (electron deficiency and hole excess). At the border of the junction, some electrons are attracted to the holes, and they tend to combine to form neutral atoms. This process can release energy in the form of light (or electromagnetic radiation of nearby wavelengths).
The energy level and color of LEDs depend on the energy structure of the semiconductor atoms. Therefore, the level of energy will affect the wavelength of the emitted light, which means that the color of the LED will be different.
LEDs typically have a higher forward bias than conventional diodes, in the range of 1.5 to 3V. However, the reverse bias voltage at LED is not elevated. Therefore LEDs are very susceptible to damage caused by reverse voltage.
The color of the LED’s light is determined by the material of the PN semiconductor. The larger gap between the PN bond with different materials creates greater light energy.
Power of LEDs
When choosing to buy LED lights, you need to determine your specific lighting needs to choose the right lamp power. The higher the power, the larger the light emitted. Each type of lamp usually has different wattages:
- LED bulbs usually have capacities: 3w, 5w 6w, 7w, 8w, 9w, 10w, 12w, 15w, 20w, 30w, 50w,…
- LED ceiling lights have capacities: 5w, 6w, 7w, 8w, 9w, 10w, 12w, 14w,…
- LED ceiling lights to have capacities: 6w, 12w, 18w, 24w, 30w, 60w, …
- LED tube lights to have capacities: 10w, 18w, 27w, …
- LED headlights with capacities: 10w, 20w, 50w, 100w, 150w, 200w,…
- LED track lights have capacities: 10w, 20w, 30w, …
Applications of LED lights
#1. Lighting in daily life
LED lights are commonly used in household lighting. Popular civil lights such as LED tube lights, led panel lights, led ceiling lights,…
***Refer to more: Best recessed lighting for basement: Top 7 Expert Picks 
#2. Decorative lighting
- Led string lights, led lights, RGB led lights,… are applied in home decoration; cafe decoration.
- LED lights with shimmering colors enhance the beauty of the space; create eye-catching accents that attract the viewer.
#3. Industrial lighting
- Types of lights such as explosion-proof led lights, panel lights, tube lights, led factory lights, etc. are specialized for industrial factory lighting.
- LED lights with a long lifespan help save electricity, hence, optimize investment costs for businesses.
#4. Public lighting
- LED street lights and headlights applied in lighting public spaces: streets, parks, walkways outside urban areas, etc.
- LED lighting contributes to public safety.
#5. Illumination in medicine
- Some special types of LED lights are used to illuminate hospital clean rooms.
- In addition, LED lights also have medical effects: skin rejuvenation, acne treatment, and jaundice.
And Agricultural lighting: LED lighting contributes to promoting plant growth and increasing yield.
Can LED lights catch on fire?
Whether LED lights are safe or not is a concern of many people before deciding to buy. When purchasing LED lights at a price significantly higher than others on the market, the customers have the right to expect superior safety quality.
So can LED lights catch on fire? The answer is NO.
First of all, we need to understand that the main reason why a light catches on fire is overheating. Most existing lamps (e.g. incandescents which reach a temperature of up to 200℃ after just a few minutes of operation) generate a great deal of heat, making them easy to catch on fire.
Meanwhile, the principle of operation of LED lights is to use most of the energy sources to create light. In comparison, an LED light heats up to a running temperature of just 30℃ after 3 minutes of operation.
As a result, LEDs cannot generate enough heat to catch fire.
But it does not mean that LEDs are completely free of the risk of catching fire. About you, also within overheating is not the only cause of fire hazards. The ignition of LEDs comes from many different reasons.
The reason behind the fire risks in using LED lights
#1. Excessive Ambient Temperature
When the lights with bad quality work, the heat sinks will not work well, causing the temperature inside the lights to be unable to escape. Over time, the accumulated heat will cause the lamp to burn out. Besides, ambient temperature is also a factor affecting the durability of this lighting device.
In this case, you need to pay special attention to the ambient temperature before installing the device.
#2. Poor-quality power cord
Poor quality wiring or connectors can cause voltage spikes, therefore, burn out light bulbs in a matter of days.
In this case, turn off the power and remove the bulb from the installation position to check the electrical connections in the junction box. Hire a professional electrician to facilitate this troubleshooting.
#3. Improper installation
In many cases, the LED light is screwed too tightly, leading to the wrong electrical connection, causing fire and explosion.
To avoid similar situations from happening, you need to keep a few things in mind when installing the bulb: Don’t screw the bulb too tight, don’t screw it too fast, just turn it until the bulb lights up, then stop.
***Refer to more: 6 Common Problems With LED Lighting & How To Fix Them
Notes when buying and using LED lights
#1. Suitable for your demands
Of course, the purpose of LEDs is for lighting, but it is much better to choose a lamp that is suitable for the use of each space. When buying LED lights, you should choose a light with sufficient capacity for the place you need to light to save money.
For spaces that need a large amount of light such as offices, schools, supermarkets, factories…, you should choose light bulbs with large capacity, simple design. In contrast, households or places such as private offices should choose lamps with a small capacity to save electricity and initial costs.
#2. Good materials
The material used to make the light is undoubtedly important. Stainless materials, good electrical insulation will make you feel more secure when using them. The protective cover material used is a flexible plastic that will give better quality than other types of plastic. If the bulb uses unsatisfactory materials, during use it may cause dangerous accidents for users such as electrical openings, fires, explosions,…
#3. Suitable light color
For different environments, use different types of LED lights for different colors. For example, in places that require seriousness such as offices, classrooms, you should not choose brightly colored light bulbs. Yellow light is more suitable for spaces that need to be quiet and cozy such as bedrooms, family dining rooms, reading rooms. In contrast, comfortable spaces such as amusement parks and karaoke rooms are suitable for light bulbs with fresh colors.
#4. Don’t look directly at the light
Not only LED lights, when using any type of light bulb, but you also should not let the bulb shine directly into your eyes. The energy emitted from the light bulb will negatively affect the eyes. When installing LED bulbs, pay attention to the direction of the lamp and the distance of the lamp, to avoid direct light into the eyes.
#5. Stop using the lamp when it is broken
If the structure of the bulb has a problem, or if there is any external impact that breaks the lamp, you should stop using it to repair it.
Frequently asked questions
Lamp life is also one of the factors to evaluate the quality of the lamp. LED lights usually have a lifespan of more than 30,000 hours of light, while incandescent lamps just have a lifespan of 1,000 hours.
If all of the light bulbs in your house burn out very quickly, the cause may be a sudden surge in voltage. The reason is that in some countries/regions, the standard voltage will be 220V. However, in the US and European countries, the voltage will usually be lower. This will help reduce the risk of fire in the LEDs.
NO. LED lights use less energy than incandescent bulbs and produce comparable brightness. When buying an LED bulb, keep in mind that wattage does not indicate its brightness. A 5W LED bulb is as bright as a 50W incandescent bulb.
A bulb’s Ingress Protection (IP) rating will tell you if it’s suitable for wet environments. Be sure to look at the product packaging to make sure you choose a suitable IP-rated waterproof light for your needs.
No. LED lights have been designed to retrofit existing accessories. However, check the dimensions of the new lights carefully to ensure that the new product will be a suitable size for your existing accessories.
LEDs are green technology because they require a small amount of electricity compared to traditional lights to emit the same amount of light. LED bulbs also don’t use the harmful chemicals that CFLs use.
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) are the first generation of energy-saving lights. They are a good alternative to wasteful incandescent lights, however, they do take time to warm up. LED lights, on the other hand, reach full light output immediately. In addition, LEDs are more energy-efficient than CFL bulbs, they can be recycled and they have a much longer lifespan.
LED light is a modern type of light and it has superior quality compared to most types of lamps on the market. However, the dangers of using LED lights are unavoidable. Therefore, we need to be careful when buying, installing, and using LED lights to minimize any risks. Hope this article can help you also answer your questions about the problem: Can LED lights catch on fire.