You heard it all the time when you were younger, “Turn the lights off before you leave the room!”, but life moves quickly and so does technology which has brought us to the Light Emitting Diode, or LED. LEDs last longer and cost less to operate. So, is it that bad to leave those LED lights on all the time?
As a general rule, you can leave LED lights on 24/7. They are a very safe and cost-efficient method of lighting. But that does not mean you should, as several consequences come along with keeping them on for that long.
Keep reading to dive deeper into the world of LED lights and learn about why you can (but probably shouldn’t) keep them on all the time.
Is It OK to Leave LED Lights On All The Time?
Well-manufactured LED lights are long-lasting and can be left on all day and every day. But that's not necessarily true of cheaper, and poorly-manufactured LED lights.
Unlike traditional types of light, LEDs produce minimal amounts of heat, so they aren’t a risk for starting any fires. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean you should leave them on all day.
Can You Sleep With LED Lights On?
Technically yes, but it’s probably not a great idea. All artificial light, including LEDs, can interrupt normal sleep patterns.
When artificial light is added into the mix, the body's natural rhythms become confused. This rhythm is referred to as our circadian rhythm. And it can be aggressively interrupted by artificial lights.
In addition to this, LED lights produce blue light. Research has found that exposure to blue light suppresses the body’s production of melatonin (the stuff that makes you sleepy).
So even though your LED lights aren’t going to be hurt by staying on all night, your sleep schedule most certainly might be.
What Are the Reasons Not To Leave LED Lights On All The Time?
Here are the two main reasons to consider when it comes to why you shouldn’t leave these lights on 24/7:
Your energy bill- The longer you leave the lights on, the higher your electric bill will be
Being a good citizen- Wasted energy adds up fast, and it has an extremely harmful impact on our planet. If you don’t need them on, then it's always best to turn them off.
Are LED Lights the Best Choice?
Most of the time, yes. There are several reasons LED lights are superior to other options. Here are a few of our top reasons to switch to LED:
Lifespan-The average LED lasts 50,000 operating hours to 100,000 operating hours or more. That is 2-4 times as long as fluorescent lights.
Energy consumption- LEDs generally consume very low amounts of power.
Safety-The number one hazard when it comes to lighting is the emission of heat. LEDs emit almost no forward heat.
Size-The actual LED device is very small. This makes them extremely adaptable.
Dimming-LEDs can operate at virtually any percentage of their rated power, so you can enjoy them at 10%, 40%, or 100%.
Voltage-In many cases LEDs operate on very low voltages. This makes them suitable for use in outdoor lighting appliances where another type of lighting might not meet the code.
How Much More Does It Actually Cost To Leave Lights on 24/7?
It depends on what household you’re in. Individual light bulbs won’t use a lot of energy, but the costs can quickly add up. an average U.S. household has 45 light bulbs.
The good news is, keeping an LED bulb on overnight will cost much less than keeping a traditional bulb on all night.
Are LED Strip Lights Also Safe To Leave On?
In most cases, LED strip lights can be left on 24/7. But, make sure you’re buying high-quality strip lights. Unfortunately, many of the cheap LED strip lights that are on the market are poorly manufactured. They are often under-cooled and poorly wired which is extremely dangerous.
Make sure the light that you buy adheres to the safety standards (UL, IEC, etc.) put in place for LED bulbs.
High-quality LED strips may cost more money, but they are much safer and will be better in the long run.
Are Grow Lights Also Safe To Leave On?
Yes! But again, there’s no need to keep them on. And although they are safe, they may not be good for your plant as most plants need a period of darkness to grow correctly.
You can always make sure your plants are getting the right amount of light by setting up a timer on the lights over your garden.
Are Christmas Lights Also Safe To Keep On?
Yes. But at risk of sounding like a broken record, it’s still not the best idea.
Though the risks are extremely low, it's always a good idea to turn off your LED lights at night so the transformer has time to cool down so you can avoid the risk of overheating.
Can LED lights catch on fire?
It’s extremely unlikely. LED lights are solid-state lights, which means they do not contain an actual “bulb” the way other light sources do. Because of this, they produce much less heat than other light bulbs. And less heat equals less of a fire risk.
So even though an LED light might feel warm to the touch, it isn’t likely that it would catch on fire.
Is it Dangerous For LED Lights to Glow When Off?
No, not dangerous at all. Though it might drive you a little crazy. If it does here are some quick solutions-
Replace the bulb with a higher quality LED bulb.
Install a Zener Diode
Install a Bypass Capacitor
Purchase an LED Dimmer
What Else Do I Need To Know About LED's?
There are a few other things you may want to know about LED’s. Here are three things to know.
First, there are many different types of LED’s. These include flashing LED’s, and High Power LED’s.
Second, they are becoming more and more common. As the world begins to understand the effects of global warming, we are going to switch more often to LED lighting solutions as opposed to other lighting solutions.
Third, the cost over time is something to consider. When you switch to LED, the initial cost will be higher. But don’t worry, you won’t be in the negative for long. Because of the lifespan of an LED and its energy-saving capabilities, you’ll end up saving a lot of money in the long run.
So yes, you can keep LED lights on 24/7. Whether it’s Christmas lights or strip lights, LED lights are the best option for prolonged usage.
That being said, there are several reasons why it’s not a great idea to keep them on all day every day unless you absolutely have to, so keep that in mind as well.
Thankfully, when it comes to safety, efficiency, and cost- you’re in a much better position to leave an LED light running 24/7 rather than any other type of light.
Anything can happen at any moment in time. Being prepared can make a major difference in how safe you remain during an emergency. It’s recommended that everyone has an emergency kit ready so that they are prepared anytime that the unthinkable happens.