Are LED Strip Lights a Potential Fire Hazard? Are they Safe? Everything You Need to Know

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Are LED Strip Lights a Potential Fire Hazard?
Are they Safe?
Everything You Need to Know


Are LED Strip Lights a Potential Fire Hazard? Are they Safe?
Everything You Need to Know

The Short Answer TL;DR:

LED strip lights are safe and generally not a fire risk. They may pose a safety risk if they are installed incorrectly, are of bad quality, overheat, or used with incompatible components.

5 Simple Steps on Installing LED Cove Lighting


1. Choosing the Best LED Strip Light for Cove Lighting
    A. How to Choose Brightness for Cove Lighting
    B. How to Choose Color Temperature for Cove Lighting
    C. Best LED Strip Lights for Cove Lighting
    D. Best Voltage Option for Cove Lighting
    E. Where to Install (Placement)
2. Choosing Your Control System
3. Choosing Your Power Supply
4. Solderless Connectors and Wires
5. Mounting and Extrusions

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Are LED strip lights safe?

LED strip lights are extremely popular due to their flexibility, energy efficiency, brightness, range of colors and dynamic output types.They are now one of the most popular lighting products in residential builds. Some people are worried about how safe LED strip lights are, especially when it comes to the possibility of a fire. We'll answer some of the most commonly asked questions about LED strip lights and fire safety.

Are LED Strip Lights a Potential Fire Hazard?

LED strip lights are not a fire hazard when installed correctly


We have sold millions of feet of LED strip light and have not had a single instance of fire in projects that are installed correctly.

However, there may be a risk of fire if:

1. They overheat next to flammable materials

2. They are overpowered or used with an incompatible power supply or dimming system.

    • Example: Using a 24V DC power supply on LED strips that use 5V DC

3. They are not purchased from a safe and reputable supplier.

    • There are many ways suppliers cut corners to make the lights appear brighter. Some suppliers "overdrive" or overload the LEDs so they are bright when they first are plugged in, but can quickly degrade in their brightness over a short amount of time. This may be dangerous. as this overloading can cause extremely high temperatures.
    • The supplier's origins are unknown and product is not UL Listed (or equivalent) for safety.
    • The product is clearly labeled on it’s power requirements and energy usage.

Tips to make sure your LED strip light installations are safe

  • Purchase quality components

  • Ensure that all your components in the installation are compatible

    • The power supply’s output voltage matches the input voltage of the light
    • You are not overloading the power supply or control system
    • You are not overloading the amperage rating on your connectors or wires
    • The dimmers you are using are compatible with the power supply

  • Do a mock installation before the final installation

    • Before peeling the tape or cutting the strip, make sure to complete a mock installation to test and turn on your lights. Connect your LEDs to your dimmer and power supply.
    • Test the temperature of your lights after leaving them on for a few hours. You should be able to touch the light without it burning your skin.

  • Use correct wire gauges to your lights, power supply, and control systems

    • Using incorrect wire gauges may not only cause excessive voltage drop, it may create excess heat, melting wires or connectors

  • Adhere the LED strip light to an aluminum heat sink like a mounting channel

    • Heat sinks like these aluminum mounting channels not only look great, they help dissipate the heat and ensure a long and cool lifespan. Remember, heat is death to an LED, causing them to loose their brightness quickly. Keeping them running cool with help them run for a long time.

  • Do not install the lighting around loose, flammable material

    • Should be an obvious note, but installing any electrical component around loose flammable material is not a good idea.

  • Do not attach DC input LED strip lights directly into an AC power source

    • Double check the input voltage on your LED strip lights and never plug them into a power source that is incompatible.
    • Plugging DC strips directly into a wall outlet is a surefire way to cause problems and ruin your LED strips. We have seen this done a few times by overzealous clients. 

  • Have an expert or professional install your system

    • It is extremely important to install your LED strip lights in accordance to local and national electric codes. In the United States, consult The National Electrical Code (NEC) or hire a professional electrician or installer.

Frequently Asked Questions:


Is it safe to use LED strip lights?

As long as they are used properly and are of high quality, LED strip lights are generally regarded as being safe. LED strip lights should generate very little heat when used properly and are not likely to catch fire. All components within an electrical system need to be of high quality, listed for safety with an independent certifier, and installed as per the manufacturer’s instructions and local electrical code.


Are LED Strip Lights a Fire Hazard?

Despite the fact that LED strip lights are generally secure, there is still a chance of a fire if the products are of lower quality and manufactured in a way that causes excessive heat. If they overheat and are installed in an area where they cannot effectively dissipate heat while surrounded by flammable materials, a fire may break out. This will not happen for products that are of high quality, inspected and certified by a 3rd party as 'safe', such as UL.


Do LED lights run the risk of overheating?

Yes, there is a chance that LED strip lights can overheat. This is due to the fact that LED lights produce heat, and if they are not ventilated properly or are left on for a long time, the heat can accumulate and cause the lights to overheat. WHen LED strip lights overheat slightly, they could cause the lifespan of the light to decrease, but typically will not be dangerous. Make sure there is an adequate heat dissipation system like a heat sink and proper ventilation to keep the LEDs cool. Additionally, make sure there are no loose flammable materials close by the LEDs, power supply, or connectors.


Can LED strip lights get hot enough to start a fire?

Some LED strip lights may indeed get hot enough to start a fire. If the lights are high-quality and used correctly, this is unlikely to occur. We recommend purchasing LED strip lights built on PCB (printed circuit boards) with over 3 oz of copper with LEDs that are not powered over their maximum capacity. Unroll the strips and do a mock installation, running them for hours before installing them in the final location to make sure that they do not overheat according to the manufacturers specifications.

Can LED strip lights be left on continuously without doing any damage?

As long as you use high quality LED strip lights and they are used properly, can be left on all the time. But it's crucial to make sure the lights are adequately ventilated and that they are not positioned in a spot where they might be knocked over or come into contact with combustible materials.


Again, it is essential to note that LED strip lights are not inherently dangerous. In fact, LED strip lights are generally safer than traditional lighting sources. LEDs do not produce heat in the same way that traditional light bulbs do. They operate at a lower temperature and consume less electricity, making them a more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly lighting solution.

However, it is important to note that there are some situations where LED strip lights can become a fire hazard. Despite the low likelihood that LED strip lights will start a fire, it's still critical to be aware of the risks and take precautions to reduce them. We see that there is no need to worry about fire when purchasing from a brand like Flexfire LEDs.


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