If the value is “no,” the bulb should not be used in enclosed fixtures. Using an LED bulb in an enclosed fixture when it isn’t designed for that may cause the bulb to overheat, potentially causing damage to the light bulb and fixture。
Heat is the enemy of LED light bulbs. Though the LED bulbs may have a similar shape to incandescent or fluorescent light bulbs, the LED chips inside the bulb aren’t that different to the chips in your laptop or other electronics.
For this reason they can’t be used in microwaves or ovens, and some of the larger LED bulbs may utilize a passive heat sink or internal fan to keep the electronics from overheating.
Enclosed fixtures that don’t allow for proper ventilation can drastically affect the temperature of the LED bulb, causing it to overheat and shortening the lifespan of the bulb.
That’s why some bulbs will tell you not to use it in an enclosed ceiling fan or fully enclosed porch light fixture. Today we’d like to address some frequently asked questions about enclosed fixtures or enclosed fixture rated bulbs to help you get the most light out of your light bulbs.
What is an Enclosed Fixture?
An enclosed fixture is any fixture or application where the light bulb is encased in a way that does not allow for proper airflow or ventilation. This includes but is not limited to porch lights where the bottom is glass or plastic instead of open air, enclosed Mason jar light fixtures, and lensed recessed light fixtures.
Does this Mean Incandescents and Florescent Lighting are Better?
While LED lighting used in enclosed fixtures may bring up some potential heating problems, this is nothing compared to the energy inefficiency of CFLs and incandescent light bulbs. The use of ballasts and other energy restrictors stop these types of bulbs from overheating, but they are necessary as without them they would explode. LED lighting needs to regulate current like any fixture, it just manages to use less to get better results.
Can Any LED Bulb be Used in an Enclosed Fixture?
Unfortunately, due to the heat entrapment of enclosed fixtures, not all LED light bulbs can be used. Or perhaps it is better to say that they should not be used. It may still be possible to use your regular LED bulb in the enclosed fixture, but with a shortened life span and the potential for premature dimming. This is the case for most home fixtures, but industrial lighting will be different and may raise other safety problems.
However, this doesn’t mean there is no solution. There are many LED light fixtures which are perfectly fine to be used in enclosed fixtures.
These LED light bulbs are specially designed to be used in tightly fixed encasements and housings without overheating the bulb. They will better regulate the temperature by regulating the current, prolong the life of the LED and provide a better LED experience. There are also LED alternatives which can replace the whole enclosed fixture with an LED light fixture which will last longer and not use as much power in the process.
LEDS AND HEAT
LEDs deal with heat much differently than other bulbs. They use a heat sink to draw heat away from the diodes, as excessive heat can cause the bulb to fail. This problem is exacerbated when an LED light is installed in a ventless enclosed fixture. The heat sink may be pulling heat away from the diode, but it is then releasing it into an enclosed area surrounding the entire bulb. But, are all LEDs a no-go when it comes to enclosed fixtures?
ENCLOSED FIXTURE SUITABLE LEDS
If you are looking to replace your bulbs with LEDs in an enclosed fixture, be sure to look for bulbs that are rated for such an application. However, these bulbs can be hard to come by and may require more research.
The way enclosed fixture suitable LEDs differ from regular LEDs is they are designed to be used in these light fixtures without overheating, by regulating the current and therefore the temperature. You may also choose to replace your totally enclosed fixture for a partially enclosed fixture suitable for all LEDs.