Perfectly Imperfect, Vintage

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Can LED Tube Cause A Fire?

Luckily, I was home.

We've replaced every light bulb in our home with new LED bulbs. They are brighter, use less wattage and yes, I have seen my electric bill it's a lot lower.

We have a basement full of 4-foot fluorescent tubes and were waiting for the prices to drop. Last week Lowes had a sale - so we replaced every tube. I still don't like the look but it's a dropped ceiling in the basement and I don't want to replace the entire ceiling. As to lighting the way they are great, it's a whole lot brighter.

I had just come home from work and went to the basement to throw a load of clothes in the washer when I heard a crackling sound - kinda' like when you slowly open a bottle of soda you dropped. I'm standing there with my head spinning -WTH is that?  I look up and see a small amount of smoke emitting from the glass panel covering the tubes and then I smell it. Electrical fire! No panic, I call my son down because I'm not sure exactly what happened. Then it starts again. Just a puff but enough to send me running and shut the lights off. We do a little investigating and are happy there is no fire - just a really bad smell and we can see the burnt plastic tube. The tube is all plastic, not glass.

Around this time my husband comes home and investigates - he removes the tube. And is quite angry. They are brand new tubes, he replaced all himself. Since this just happened we will be returning that tube back to Lowes. The tubes themselves do not get hot as the CFL, halogen or incandescent bulbs. High quality LED bulbs produce light at significantly lower running temperatures than traditional or “previous generation” bulbs. Traditional 'tungsten' bulbs use a filament to heat up, which loses lots of power through heat emissions. Furthermore, LEDs do not generate heat as infrared radiation like incandescent bulbs. But they can still potentially cause an electrical fire and totally fry the ballast.

The outcome could have been worse had I not been standing directly under that light fixture. We have a rule now - don't leave the lights on in the basement unless someone is down there.


No comments

Post a Comment

Blog Layout Designed by pipdig