Why Can't I Use Any LED Bulb In An Enclosed Fixture?

Why Can't I Use Any LED Bulb In An Enclosed Fixture?

By Leah • Aug 22nd 2022

If you have ever reached over to turn off the light before going to bed and accidentally grazed your arm on a flaming hot incandescent light bulb, you’ll know it’s the stuff of (minor) nightmares. 

One of the key reasons LED lighting is today's lighting technology is it’s energy efficiency. Being so energy efficient has a benefit of giving off less wasteful heat. This is not to say that LED lighting gives off no heat, because of course the laws of physics still apply. Eliminating the potential problem of heat from LEDs is addressed by avoiding use in enclosed fixtures. 

What Are Enclosed Fixtures? 

“Enclosed fixture” is a general term for many of the lighting fixtures we  see on a daily basis, They may be chosen for many reasons, whether practical, aesthetic or both. Using an "open fixture" as an alternative, you'll find there is room for the light to breathe, improving the longevity of your new LED investment. 

Enclosed fixtures are lighting fixtures which keep a tight seal around the light source. This could be for many reasons, such as keeping water out or simply to protect the circuitry underneath. However, even with LEDs, like high intensity discharge and incandescent lamps, the lighting is a heat source, and in enclosed fixtures the heat cannot dissipate easily. 

When the heat doesn’t spread out, it stays within the enclosed fixture and results in more heat being passed along the LED bulb itself. The LED is unlikely to be hot enough to fail immediately, but it can eventually overheat which can lead to failure over a period of time. This means LEDs do not last as long as expected, losing some of the cost savings properties, which influenced you to buy LEDs in the first place.

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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 in them. 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 get ready for a shortened life span of your LED and the potential for premature dimming. This is the case for most industrial lighting as well as home fixtures, and may raise other safety problems. 

This doesn’t mean there is no solution. There are many LED lamps 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 old enclosed fixture with an LED light fixture. Sometimes you get longer life and not use as much power in the process.

If you have any questions about your specific LED lighting needs, please reach out to our team of lighting experts at (800) 553-2112 or email [email protected].