LED lights are a great and cost-effective alternative to traditional lightbulbs. They last for years and save tons of money on electricity, but there’s one big problem: they sometimes get hot.
If you’re installing LED strip lights in your home or business, it might be worth knowing why they heat up so much before deciding where or how to install them.
So why do led strip lights get hot? Here are nine common reasons why led strip lights get hot;
- Where The Led Strip Light Is Installed
- The Type Of Surface The Led Strip Light Is Installed On
- Poor Ventilation
- Using The Wrong Fixture For Your Led Strip Lights
- The Way They’re Wired
- Poor Quality Led Strip Lights Overheat
- The Wattage Of The Bulb
- Aging Of The Led Strip Light
- What The Led Strip Light Is Covered With
As you can see, there are a few things that cause led strip lights to get hot. While most of the above-mentioned are straightforward, some others need a little bit more light shedding.
So in the rest of the article, I’m going to double down on the reasons why led strip lights get hot and tips on how to prevent them. Let’s jump right in!
1. Where The Led Strip Light Is Installed
The first reason why LED strip lights get so hot is the place where you decide to install them.
There are many places in the home that can put your led strip lights at risk for overheating, but the three most common are the kitchen, garages, and bathrooms.
Not only are these the only places that when you improperly install led strip lights can lead to overheating, but also any tight places around the house.
For example, if you install Led strip lights in a tight space, such as inside a cabinet or drawer in your kitchen, they will get hotter than if you install them outside of the cabinets.
If you install them outside of cabinets, they may also be exposed to more air and dissipate heat better.
For most installations, I always recommend installing the led strip lights outside of cabinets and towards the ceiling for better heat dissipation.
2. The Type Of Surface The Led Strip Light Is Installed On
This is also another reason why led strip lights get so hot. Surfaces such as plastics and even certain types of wood can heat the led strip lights up much more than other surfaces.
This is because these types of materials reflect light much better than other surfaces like metal or drywall.
This is also why led strip lights are always best installed on ceilings since the surface is made out of drywall or other materials that are not very reflective.
One of the best surfaces for led strip lights apart from high-quality drywall is an aluminum surface. Aluminum is a very reflective material, so it dissipates led strip light heat much faster than other surfaces.
If you are looking for the best surface for led strip lights, I always recommend aluminum and this is why aluminum channels are great if you want the right heat sink material for your led strip lights.
3. Poor Ventilation
Ventilation is one of the most important things to look for when installing led strip lights. You can put up your led strip lights in open spaces and not in tight corners but if the space is not properly ventilated, it can cause the led strip light to still get hot.
This is especially true if you install led strip lights in a garage or other areas where there may not be proper ventilation.
If you do not provide enough ventilation, led strip lights will be at risk for overheating.
This is because LED strip lights are designed to dissipate heat through the top of the light strip. If there is not enough room for heat to escape, it will build up and cause damage or even a fire hazard.
So make sure to always provide enough ventilation and space around your led strip lights for proper heat dissipation.
If you’re looking for a good way to ventilate your led strip lights, I always recommend using aluminum channels.
These are very inexpensive and easy to install so you can place them anywhere around the led strip light and provide proper ventilation for your lights.
4. Using The Wrong Fixture For Your Led Strip Lights
This is also another reason why led strip lights get so hot. The fixtures you use to install your led strip lights can make a big difference in how much heat your led strip lights produce.
For example, if you use a clamp-style fixture to mount the led strip lights to a surface, they will produce more heat than if you use something like an aluminum channel.
This is because the clamp fixture has no way to dissipate the heat from your led strip light. In fact, it will trap all of that hot air underneath and cause damage.
On the other hand, an aluminum channel is designed to dissipate heat from led strip lights. This allows the air underneath your light strips to escape and not trap the hot air under your light.
So always make sure to use a fixture that is designed for led strip lights and has proper ventilation around it for heat dissipation.
This is why aluminum channels are a great choice for mounting led strip lights and many other fixtures may not be ideal for certain types of led strip lights.
5. The Way They’re Wired
This is another reason why led strip lights get so hot. The way that your led strip light is wired can also make a difference in how much heat they produce.
In fact, this is one of the biggest reasons why led strip lights get so hot and it’s also something that many people overlook.
For example, you can buy a 12 volt led strip light and it will produce much less heat than the 24-volt version of the same light. This is because the higher voltage led strip light produces more power so it has to dissipate that heat somewhere.
This often leads people to put up higher voltage led strip lights in locations that they shouldn’t because of heat. For example, you probably don’t want to install a 24-volt led strip light in the rear of your car because it will produce much more heat than a 12-volt version.
So always make sure to look at the voltage of your led strip lights and choose a lower-voltage version if you’re planning on mounting them in a hot area or where they’re exposed to the elements.
6. Poor Quality Led Strip Lights Overheat
The next possible reason why your led strip lights are overheating is that they may be cheap or poor-quality light made with low-quality materials.
This is especially true for most cheap led strip lights you can find online. Many of these are made with subpar materials that don’t dissipate heat very well.
This means that your led strip lights are at risk for overheating and you should only buy the best quality led strip lights if you want to avoid this problem.
A good way to find high-quality led strip lights is by finding reviews on them. If you can’t find any, then it may be best to avoid that brand and go with something else.
Also, make sure that you’re buying your led strip lights from a reputable brand and they’re not counterfeit or knock-off versions of the light.
For example, there are many counterfeits out on the market that look just like real led strip lights but they aren’t designed very well and don’t produce the same quality of light.
So always do your research and get reviews before you buy led strip lights so that you can avoid any potential counterfeits.
7. The Wattage Of The Bulb
This is another reason why led strip lights get so hot. The wattage of the bulb in your light strips can also have a big impact on how hot they get.
For example, if you buy a 12-volt led strip light with 50-watt bulbs in it, then those bulbs will produce a lot more heat than if you used 25-watt bulbs.
This is because higher wattage led strip lights to produce much more power and dissipate that heat.
So always make sure to choose a lower-wattage version of your light strips if you’re planning on putting them in a hot area. This will help you reduce the risk of overheating and it’s also more efficient for your led strip lights.
8. Aging Of The Led Strip Light
Another possible reason why your led strip lights are overheating is that they’re just old and have stopped working correctly.
This is especially true if your led strip lights have been working fine for a while before they started to overheat.
For example, when you buy led strip lights they come with some sort of warranty. So if you buy a 12-volt light that is guaranteed for 50,000 hours then you know that you could run it for at least 50,000 hours before the warranty runs out.
After this many hours of use, your led strip lights will start to age and the quality of their light output with decrease. So if you run them for too long, they can cause problems like overheating or becoming hot.
This means that you should replace your led strip lights every so often to keep them working well and avoid overheating issues.
This can be a common problem with cheap led strip lights because they don’t last as long as more expensive options.
In fact, many of these types of light strips only last for 30,000 hours before they expire.
So always make sure to look at the warranty of your led strip lights and replace them according to their expected lifespan for optimal performance and to avoid overheating and other problems.
9. What The Led Strip Light Is Covered With
This is another reason why your led strip lights are overheating. The material covering the bulb can also have a big impact on how hot they get.
Some led strip light installations are often covered with diffusers that are made of plastic.
This is because plastic is a very poor insulator, so it doesn’t transfer heat well, and this can cause your led strip lights to get hot.
This means that the light produced by your led strip lights will be diffused and won’t allow as much heat to escape.
So if you buy led strip lights that are covered with something like plastic, then they’re more likely to get hot than other types of light strips without any covering.
So always make sure that you look at the material covering your led strip lights and try to find one with a different kind of material like paper or acrylic.
These materials are much better at transferring heat so they can help your led strip lights produce a consistent quality of light without getting too hot.
How To Prevent Led Strip Lights From Getting Hot
So what can you do to prevent led strip lights from getting too hot or overheating?
Well, there are a few tips and tricks that can help you keep your led strip lights cool and reduce the chances of them overheating.
Some of these tips have been pretty much been stated above but let me reiterate them here in case you missed anything.
- The first thing to do is make sure that your led strip lights are the right wattage for your installation. This will help you avoid overheating and make them more efficient because they won’t be using too much power.
- Another thing to do is make sure that you always buy high-quality led strip lights. This will ensure that they last as long as possible before starting to get hot or stop working correctly.
- Another helpful thing that you can do is make sure that the material covering your led light strips doesn’t get in the way of how hot they can become. So if you have plastic diffusers, try to find led strip lights with paper or acrylic diffusers.
- It’s also a good idea to replace your led strip lights when they reach their expected lifespan. This will ensure that you get the best performance and don’t have to deal with them overheating or getting too hot.
Well, hopefully, this article helps you understand what causes your led strip lights to get hot and how to prevent them from overheating.
It’s important to always be aware of these issues and take measures to prevent them from happening.
Q: What is the normal lifespan of a led strip light?
A: The expected lifespan of an LED Strip Light varies depending on what type you have. Cheap options usually only last below 30,000 hours while more expensive ones can be expected to last for around 50,000-100,000.
Q: Do led strip lights get hot?
A: Yes, all LED Strip Lights will become warmer to touch as they are used. This is because they convert electricity into light and heat. This becomes more apparent the brighter you use them, or if they are concentrated in one area which makes it harder for the heat to dissipate.