How Hot Are LED Light Bulbs?

How hot are LED light bulbs? Is it okay to touch them, even when they are not turned on? Find out here, just to be safe.

There are many types of light bulbs, from regular, fluorescent, to LED. LED (light emitting diode) has been known to be more energy-efficient. Still, how hot are LED light bulbs? Are they the same as other light bulbs in the store? Is it even dangerous to touch any light bulbs?

I. The Heat from LED Light Bulbs.

If you have never touched any light bulbs – especially with your bare hands – then good. For LED light bulbs, here is the thing: they are hot. However, they are not as hot as other light bulbs like halogen, CFL, or incandescent.

Still, that does not mean you can be reckless by touching them.

Since LED is more energy-efficient than other bulbs, a light bulb’s temperature is affected by two (2) things:

– The room temperature.

– The fixture where the bulb is placed.

To be more precise, it is often half the temperature from a bright incandescent or a halogen bulb. An LED light bulb is also 20% cooler than a CFL light bulb.

II. To Touch or Not to Touch.

Surely this is just a light bulb, but this Hamlet-type of question is necessary. Is it okay to touch an LED light bulb when it is on? Is it safe?

The answer is, you need a diffuser for that. A diffuser is a plastic dome where the light shines right out of. When the power is on or if the temperature is hot, never touch the light bulb with your bare hands or even gloved ones – especially by the heat sink.

That is why LED light bulb is the most energy-efficient. The heat sink works to draw the heat out of the LED before transferring it into the air. Because of it, the LED power supply and electronics are kept as cool as possible.

III. More Comparisons Between LED Light Bulbs and Other Light Bulbs.

In details, we need to know how hot LED light bulbs are compared to other ones. In average, LED light bulbs can be around 60 to 100 C. Then again, it depends on the model of the light bulb, the make, the room temperature, and the flow of the air.

If you use a thermal camera to take a closer look at each LED light bulbs, you can see that there are different types of them – heat-wise:

1. 9 W LED.

For starters, there are two (2) types of 9 W LEDs. The first one of the two is a compact LED light bulb that has 600 lumens for an output. The temperature is 45 C.

Another one has an unspecified output, but it can be 600 lumens and more. The temperature is 49 C.

2. 13 W LED.

This compact LED light bulb has 1055 lumens for an output. The temperature is 43 C.

3. LIFX A21.

With A21-size, LED light bulb, it has a full-color range. It is also set to a maximum power white, which means its output is more than 1000 lumens. The temperature is also 43 C.

The 9 W LED is the hottest of all. Even though their compact bulbs are lower in power and light output, the heat sink area is so small, and the airflow management is nonexistent. With the sealed, heat sink of 86 C, the power supply electronics are sitting right inside it.

The 13 W LED is much cooler than the first, but 30% much brighter. The heat sink area is larger here. It can get the LED heat out into the open air in the room.

Last but not least, the LIFX A21 is the brightest. It is also the coolest and owns an airflow management design that uses convection. The convection of airflow is blown through the body, in and out of the heat sink. Because of this, the power supply and electronics sections remain cool.

Then what happens if the room temperature is also hot, which is 28 C or more? The LIFX A21 can still keep the power supply and electronics sections as cool as possible.

Since anything hotter than 50 C is dangerous, you must never touch any LED light bulbs – not even when your hands are gloved.

IIII. Other Things To Pay Attention To When It Comes To LED Light Bulbs.

With plenty of LED light bulbs, it is impossible to decide which one is the best. However, the good quality designs have a power supply and driver components that rate 125 C.

Positioning the LED light bulb will also affect how it will spread its heat around the room. The safest ways are either straight up or straight down. Sideways are still okay, but you need to have that bulb tested for safety first. The room temperature where the light bulb is should also be at most 28 C.

So, how hot are LED light bulbs usually? Now you know the answer. You also know that it is dangerous to touch the bulbs, even when they are more energy-efficient than other bulbs.


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