Why are LED Lights not suitable for enclosed fixtures? One of the main reason of this is, LED light bulbs don’t work well when it’s hot. Even though LED bulbs look like incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, the LED chips inside are not that different from the chips in your computer or other electronics. Because of this, they can’t be used in enclosed fixtures like microwaves or ovens.
Some larger LED bulbs may have a passive heat sink or an internal fan to keep the electronics from getting too hot. Fixtures that don’t let in enough air can significantly affect the temperature of an LED bulb, causing it to heat up and shorten its life.
Because of this, some bulbs will tell you not to use them in a ceiling fan or porch light fixture that is completely enclosed. Today, we’ll answer some of the most common questions about enclosed fixtures and enclosed fixture-rated bulbs to help you maximize the light out of your light bulbs.
What are enclosed fixtures?
“Enclosed fixture” is a broad term for many types of lighting we see daily. Different light fixtures serve different purposes, whether useful, pretty, or both. With open fixtures, the light has room to move.
Light fixtures that keep a tight seal around the light source are called “closed fixtures.” This could be done for several reasons, like keeping water out or protecting the wiring underneath. But lighting, even LED lighting, is also a source of heat, and in fixtures that are closed off, the light has less room to spread out.
When the heat doesn’t move out, it has to go somewhere, so it goes back in. This causes the LED bulb itself to give off more heat. The LED is probably not hot enough to blow up, but it can get too hot over time. This means they don’t last as long, which means they aren’t as useful and don’t save us as much money as they should.
Why are LED Lights not suitable for enclosed fixtures?
LED Light bulbs create heat. This heat has much less room to move around in a small space. Older incandescent, HID, and fluorescent lamps didn’t have a problem with this, but heat is the worst thing for an LED.
Most LED bulbs are made, so this heat gets into the air around them. This is hard to do with an enclosed fixture, which can also cause it to get too hot.
Using an LED bulb above its recommended temperature will last much less time and cost you more money because you will have to replace it sooner.
This doesn’t mean you have to eliminate your enclosed fixtures, though. There are LED bulbs on the market that were made to be used in fixtures with a cover. These bulbs can control how much electricity flows through them, so they don’t get too hot.
Can a bulb rated for enclosed fixtures be put into open fixtures?
Just because a light bulb qualifies for enclosed fixtures doesn’t imply it needs one. To be used in an enclosed fixture, a bulb must be built to withstand the heat of the enclosed space. It isn’t an issue in the open air.
Utilizing enclosed fixture-rated lights outside is another reason to purchase them. You may have garden lights or fully enclosed street lamps requiring a certified bulb for enclosed fixtures.
Because the bulbs are completely shielded from rain and other elements, they do not need to be rated for wet or damp situations when used in an outdoor enclosed fixture.
What kind of LED Lights can be used in enclosed fixtures?
The first step in establishing whether an LED bulb is suitable with an enclosed fixture is to look at the bulb’s box or spec sheet. The manufacturer should state if the bulb is rated for enclosed fixtures.
Look for the Energy Star logo as well. Energy Star qualification requires high heat testing for bulbs sold for use in enclosed fixtures. However, certain Energy Star-certified bulbs are unsuited for covered installations, so double-check.
The Energy Star site has a light bulb guideline where you may search for specs for your particular brand and type of light bulb to determine if it suits enclosed fixtures.
Remember that LED bulbs rated for enclosed fittings do not have to be used in enclosed fixtures. They can be used in open fixtures like any other bulb.
Check if your LED bulbs are rated for usage in enclosed installations. Otherwise, you will not reap the full benefits of their use. If you’re having difficulties locating the proper bulb, talk to the pros at Batteries Plus Bulbs.
They will gladly answer your questions and find a solution that works for you. You can also shop online at our huge assortment of lighting supplies, including ballasts, fixtures, and bulbs for your house, vehicle, or business.