Original Post: In Hot Pursuit of 'Enclosed Fixture Suitable' LED Bulbs
The rumors are true: LED light bulbs do get hot, which is why most have ornate heat sinks to dissipate the high temperatures. As the technology gets better, the heat sinks get smaller, and the energy used more efficient.
What is a Fully Enclosed Fixture? Raise your hand if you grew up in a home built sometime between 1930 and 1955... your bathroom or kitchen most likely featured a glass bowl or jar that encompassed an incandescent bulb inside. From the '50s onward, you may have had recessed cans in your ceiling that nearly entirely enclosed around the bulb, or its base. Either of these examples describe a Fully Enclosed Fixture.
Nowadays, Fully Enclosed Fixtures are more rare-- perhaps because in recent years, CFLs and LEDs have been designed too hot to work in a fixture without increasing fire risks-- but they do still exist. In addition to some high design lighting, the DIY movement of re-purposing vintage or antique fixtures keeps the risks associated with LED heat distribution very relevant. If you are looking to use a Fully Enclosed Fixture, then you MUST use a bulb, such as Euri Lighting's A19-2000e-2 bulb, that is labeled "Enclosed Fixture Suitable."
"The electronics inside the LED may fail if they are subjected to very high temperatures. LED reflector lamps are specially designed to withstand the high temperature environments found inside recessed cans, the downlights or circles in your ceiling. If you put an LED [not labeled as "Enclosed Fixture Suitable"] into an enclosed fixture, it may shorten its lifetime. Look for those that are labeled as being suitable for use in enclosed fixtures." --NPR
Quality depreciation occurs rapidly when using a bulb in an application it wasn't suited for. Precious energy is wasted-- that's the heat building up in the fixture-- and eventually the bulb will malfunction, typically by burning out several years premature. When that happens, consumer dollars also go to waste.
"The problem is that in an open application, like a table lamp, the LED bulb is already at 85C. When you enclose it in something, like a globe or ceiling fixture, it will get hotter - a lot hotter. This isn't probably a safety issue - houses won't burn down - because a lot of light fixtures have built in thermal cutouts that will shut off electricity if they get too hot, or the electronics that operates the LED (LEDs operate at around 1.8 volts) will fail." --Daily Kos
Additionally, as temperatures surrounding the LED bulb increase, the lifespan of the bulb decreases, so the LED light bulb that is supposed to last you tens of thousands of hours would most likely burn out before the temperatures get hot enough for fire risk-- perhaps within a few days, a few months, or a few years, depending on the amount of heat trapped within the fixture. To be safe though, we recommend using LED bulbs that are suited for Fully Enclosed Fixtures, so that the quality of the bulb isn't depreciated and the risks for fire are non-existent.
Use LED bulbs that are Suitable for Fully Enclosed Fixtures, such as Euri Lighting's A19-2000e-2. These bulbs from our LED A Series line-up are perfectly equipped to handle the heat of a Fully Enclosed Fixture, without depreciating the quality of our product! They are guaranteed to last.
Looking to retrofit your recessed downlights? Euri Lighting now offers LED Recessed Downlight Fixtures that are Title 24-JA8 Compliant, saving you on energy costs, no separate bulb required. Click here for more info!