LED light bulbs are becoming more and more popular these days because they are energy-efficient and long-lasting. You may find your LED light bulb is smoking if it hasn’t been professionally installed, is made from cheap materials, or if the heat sink isn’t large enough. In this article, we will explore some possible causes of LED light bulb smoking and provide some tips on how to fix the problem.
What to do if your LED light bulb starts smoking
If your LED light bulb starts smoking, it is important to take immediate action to prevent any sort of fire hazard from developing.
First, turn off the power to the fixture and then remove the bulb. If the bulb is hot to the touch, allow it to cool before grabbing it and later disposing of it.
Once the bulb has been removed, inspect the fixture for any damage. If there is no damage, you can clean the fixture and replace the bulb with a new one. However, if there is any damage to the fixture, you should contact a qualified electrician to have it repaired or replaced. By taking quick and decisive action, you can help to prevent a fire from starting and keep your home safe.
Causes of LED light bulb smoking
One of the most common questions we get asked here at Finnley Electrical is “Why is my LED light bulb smoking?” While it’s true that LEDs are generally very reliable, any type of light bulb can start to smoke if it isn’t used correctly. In most cases, smoking occurs when an LED is improperly cooled. This can happen if the heat sink isn’t large enough or if the air around the bulb isn’t able to circulate properly.
One question we like to ask customers who call us about smoking LED lights is, was the LED light bulb that is smoking a replacement for a different kind of bulb such as a 50W halogen downlight? Please keep in mind that the majority of LED light bulbs necessitate a distinct transformer to translate the power from what it is supplied at (120V in America or 240V in Australia) to where it needs to be for the LED light.
LED lights may start smoking if an incorrect light socket adapter is used, presenting a serious fire hazard. The cause of this dangerous situation typically stems from a mismatch in voltage or current between the LED light and the socket adapter, resulting in excessive heat generation. This overheating can cause the plastic and wiring insulation to begin to smoulder, leading to visible smoke and the distinct smell of burning electronics.
The “smoke phenomenon” can occur when an LED light bulb is installed directly into a pre-existing fitting without first replacing the transformer with a low-energy one that’s compatible with the new LED. This happened in Australia before people realised they needed to swap out transformers too. Whilst low voltage won’t damage LED lights, high voltage definitely will.
LEDs produce more heat than traditional incandescent bulbs, so they require more careful handling. If an LED light overheats, it can start to smoke and even catch fire.
Another common cause of smoking is poor quality control. When manufacturers cut corners, they sometimes use lower-quality materials that can break down and start to smoke when used. Here at Finnley Electrical, we’ve seen our fair share of smoking LED light bulbs over the years. After opening them up, we found that the electrolytic capacitors across the rectifier circuit were considerably underrated. Cheap LED Light bulbs that have been purposely designed for exporting, are mostly made using budget manufacturing processes before being branded for whatever the voltage is of the target market. That’s why we never supply our clients with cheap bulbs; we always purchase reputable brands that, whilst they cost more money, will actually last longer and are usually brighter than the cheaper brands, which can be particularly important if you are using your light for a study area, a kitchen or a bathroom. Not to mention, they cause considerably less electronic interference.
Finally, improper installation can also lead to smoking. If an LED isn’t screwed in tight enough, or if it comes into contact with any flammable materials, it can start to smoke. While LEDs are generally very safe and reliable, it’s important to use them properly in order to avoid any potential problems.
How to prevent LED light bulbs from smoking
One of the most frustrating things that can happen when you’re trying to enjoy a good LED light bulb is having it start smoking. Not only is this a waste of your time and money, but it can also be dangerous. Here are a few tips to help prevent your LED bulbs from smoking:
- Make sure the area around the bulb is well-ventilated. This will help to prevent the build-up of heat which can cause the bulb to smoke.
- Ensure that the bulb is screwed in tight and not loose. A loose connection can cause electrical arcing which produces heat and can cause the bulb to smoke.
- Check that the wattage of the bulb is appropriate for the fixture. Using a bulb with too high of wattage can produce too much heat and cause the bulb to smoke.
By following these simple tips, you can help prevent your LED bulbs from smoking and enjoy them for years to come.
How to properly dispose of an LED light bulb that has smoked
If an LED light bulb has smoked, it needs to be properly disposed of to avoid creating a fire hazard. Here’s how to do it:
- First, unplug the light bulb from the socket. Then, using a pair of gloves, carefully remove the bulb from the fixture. If the glass is cracked or broken, be sure to clean up any shards so they don’t pose a danger.
- Once the bulb is removed, wrap it in a bag or some other type of container. This will contain the smoke and prevent it from spreading. Take the wrapped bulb to your local recycling center that accepts electronic waste. They will be able to dispose of it for you safely.
By following these steps, you can ensure that a smoked LED light bulb is disposed of properly and doesn’t pose a danger to your home or the environment.
If you have an LED light bulb that smokes, don’t panic. Try to identify the cause and take preventive measures so it doesn’t happen again. If the problem can’t be fixed, disposal is easy – just follow your local guidelines. With a little bit of knowledge and care, you can avoid any issues with smoking LED bulbs in the future.