Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) are a more efficient way of lighting a space compared to traditional Incandescent light bulbs.
LED strip lights are a thin flexible circuit board which consist of surface mount LEDs placed in arrays along the length of the circuit strip.
LED strip lights come in varying lengths from 1M, 2M and 5M spools.
The beauty of LED light strips is that you can modify them to whatever lengths you desire as they have designated points on the circuit strip where you can cut them.
They have many applications which range from creating ambience in a room, lighting up pathways, decoration, automotive lighting and much more.
But, can you leave LED strip lights on all night? Yes, you can leave LED strip lights on all night. Your main concern for asking this question might be whether LED strip lights pose any threat to starting a fire. LED strip lights generate far less heat compared to older incandescent light bulbs, therefore it is ok to leave them on all night.
Or, your other concerns about whether you can leave LED strip lights on all night might be power consumption, and whether it will affect your sleep.
Again, compared to older light bulbs, LEDs consume far less power and are easier on their eyes.
I shall go into more detail about these three concerns in this article.
What your main concerns are when leaving LED strip lights on all night
So, you are thinking about leaving your LED strip lights on through the night, and are a little skeptical whether you can do so.
You might have one of the three (or all) concerns below;
- Will LED strip lights start a fire?
- Will LED strip lights cost a lot leaving them on all night?
- Will LED strip lights affect your sleep?
Let’s take a look at each of these concerns separately and in a bit more detail.
Why it is ok to leave LED strip lights on all night: Fire
Let’s start with the biggest concern of the three; Fire.
There are many potential risks in a home or office.
One of these risks is a fire.
While fires are deadly no matter what time they occur, they pose more risk during the night when you are sleeping.
We all lose our sense of smell when sleeping which makes it harder to be aware of fire when we are sleeping.
This is the main reason for having smoke alarms fitted in your homes.
So, it is easy to see why anyone would be worried about whether there are fire risks involved when leaving LED strip lights on all night.
If you have ever touched or placed your hand over an older light bulb, you would have felt how hot it can get.
Incandescent light bulbs use a filament to generate light. However, a lot of the energy used to power the light bulb is wasted in the form of heat.
This amount of heat is one of the threats associated when it comes to fire risks.
LEDs on the other hand are much more efficient at converting energy to light. They used a semiconductor material to generate light.
Due to their efficiency, less heat is generated in the production of light posing a lower risk of starting a fire.
So it is much safer to leave LED strip lights on all night long.
Why it is ok to leave LED strip lights on all night: Power consumption
The next concern you might have is Power consumption.
We all got a plethora of bills to pay.
Whether it be water, electricity, rent, gas, insurance etc.
So, finding ways to reduce the amount of money you need to fork out to pay these bills will help you use that money for something a bit better, like a holiday!
Electricity is one of those bills where you can make conscious decisions daily which will help you save money.
Things like putting off the lights when no one is in the room, or having shorter hot showers are just some of the many ways to save money.
But, what if you want to leave a light on all night, to provide a path in case you need to go to the bathroom?
This is where using LED strip lights instead of older light bulbs is a much better option and will save you money in the long run.
I know that the light bulb was one of the greatest inventions in our history, so forgive me for using it as the bad example in these comparisons.
LEDs use 85% less electricity than conventional light bulbs!
This is going to make a significant impact on your electricity bill, and will allow you to leave those LED strip lights on all night.
Not only are they good for saving electricity, due to their efficiency they have many other benefits;
- Reduce carbon emissions
- Reduce the amount of waste in landfills (as they have a longer lifespan)
- Stop construction of power plants
Why it is ok to leave LED strip lights on all night: Sleep
The darkness is a scary place!
That is probably why some of us prefer sleeping with the lights on.
However, studies have shown that sleeping with the lights on can make it harder to fall asleep and stay asleep as your brain will not be able to produce enough sleep inducing melatonin.
But, fear not, there is a way to work around this problem.
If you cannot go without light when sleeping, opt for red light instead. Research has shown that it can help you fall asleep.
So, if you are using LED strip lights in your room to help you sleep during the night, opt for the color Red.
Safety considerations when you leave LED strip lights on all night : Fire 00
While leaving LED strip lights on all night poses a lower risk of starting a fire, there are certain safety considerations to consider to further lower the risk of the possibility of a fire.
LED strip light power cable
Ensure that all cables that are connecting the LED strip light cables to the power outlet are not exposed.
These cables are insulated to protect you and the environment from currents that will be flowing through them.
Damaged cables can cause power surges which can cause your LED strip lights to overheat thereby increasing the risk of fire.
So, double check that all cables are not exposed or damaged.
LED strip light circuitry
Do a quality check of your LED strip light circuitry to make sure all connections are properly soldered and there aren’t any shorts.
A short could cause spark which could lead to a fire.
Cheap LED light strips
This leads to next safety consideration; cheap LED light strips.
With any electrical/electronic equipment, avoid buying low quality items.
Cheaper electronic equipment like LED strip lights use cheaper components and methods to manufacture to save money.
This ends up with equipment that has poor electrical connections, as well as material that will degrade faster increasing the chance of starting a fire.
Mounting of LED strip lights
When it comes to mounting LED strip lights, you have many options as they are very flexible.
You can mount them on the wall, under a table, around a pole etc.
But, if you are worried about LED strip lights causing a fire, you will need to think twice before mounting them in certain places, and materials as this will increase the likelihood of a fire.
Avoid mounting LED strip lights;
- Under or behind curtains,
- Near flammable items,
- Nail polish remover
- Aerosol cans
- Gasoline, Turpentine, Paint thinner
- Hand sanitizer
- Under of over rugs
- On carpets
- Near things that catch fire easy like paper, cardboard, plastics etc
Also, water and electronic circuits are not the best of friends.
So, avoid mounting LED strip lights in places like your bathroom or near water sources (even a glass of water which could get tipped onto it).
What to consider when you leave LED strip lights on all night : Power consumption
We now know that LED strip lights are a much more efficient way of lighting a space.
But in saying that if you keep them on all night long you are still adding to your overall bill compared to just running them for a couple of hours.
First you have to ask yourself, do you really need to keep them on all night?
If your answer is not really, as you only want to keep it on for a few hours into the night, you are in luck.
There are devices that allow you to plug in electrical and electronic equipment into (and then plugged into a power outlet) which can be set to turn off after a certain amount of time.
This will allow you to keep your LED strip lights on for a specific amount of time before turning off helping you save on money.
What to consider when you leave LED strip lights on all night : Sleep
When it comes to leaving the LED strip lights on for sleep, there are a couple of thing to consider;
- The colour of LED strip light
- The brightness of the LED strip light
- Placement of the LED strip light
Colour of LED strip light – Remember that Red light is the best option (as it promotes sleep as well). Avoid using blue light.
Brightness of LED strip lights – If the LED strip lights have brightness control, make sure to not have it at 100% power. Adjust the brightness to about 25% (or lower) of full power.
Placement of LED strip light – Do not place them right above your eyes, or near your head. Place it in a place that illuminates the room but doesn’t distract you while sleeping.
Can you leave LED strip lights on for a week?
Leaving LED strip lights on for a week should not be a problem as it poses a lower risk of starting a fire and they consume less power.
However, leaving any electronic equipment on for that long will increase the chances of something going wrong.
So, again first ask yourself do you really need to leave them on for so long.
If you do, take into account the safety considerations mentioned above.