LED lighting has grown in popularity and usage over the past ten years. They used to be a specialty item only available in a few colors, but now you can find them in everything from Christmas tree lights to house lights. LED lights are popular for their energy efficiency, but do they get as warm as traditional light bulbs?

LED strip lights don’t get hot. Their light comes from tiny semiconductors that don’t produce much heat. From there, heat sinks disperse the light, and the lights themselves don’t get hot. It’ll remain cool to the touch even after they’ve been on for hours at a time.

So, let’s discuss how LED light strips work and get to the bottom of whether they get hot or not. I’ll also answer some of your questions about these lights, exploring their longevity and how safe it is to use them. So, let’s get into it!

How Do LED Lights Work?

LED lights create light when an electrical current passes through a tiny semiconductor that emits photons. This process is called electroluminescence, and it makes a dim light that later intensifies as a heat sink reflects it. 

LED (which stands for Light Emitting Diode) lights have gained popularity because they’re extremely energy efficient. They can last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent lighting and use 90% less energy. This efficiency can lead to considerable savings in energy costs, especially when you want to leave your lights on for long periods.

Although small, LED lights are a mighty source of lightning. The original LED lights were known for only emitting cool light colors, but now they can emit light in any color, including color gradients.

In addition to colored lights, LEDs can create white light by using either phosphor conversions that convert colored lights to white or by mixing multiple monochromatic lights to create white.

How Long Do LED Lights Last?

One of the most impressive qualities of LED lighting is how long they last compared to traditional incandescent bulbs, compact fluorescent bulbs, or linear fluorescent lamps.

LED lights last between 30,000 to 50,000 hours, and some LED lights can last even longer. By comparison, incandescent bulbs last around 1,000 hours, and compact fluorescent lights last 8,000 to 10,000 hours.

Eventually, LED lights will die, typically due to electrical failure over time.

Before they die entirely, the colors they emit may begin to change and weaken as the electrical power wanes. Energy.gov says that LED lights are functional until they emit less than 70% of their original light.

Since LED lights last longer, they’re also better for the environment because they create less waste. They don’t burn out as frequently as traditional incandescent or even fluorescent light bulbs, which keeps them out of the landfill for longer. When they die, you can’t recycle LED light strips, and you’ll need to place them in the regular trash.

Do LED Lights Cause Fires?

LED lights don’t cause fires. Since they don’t get hot, they don’t create the same fire hazards as incandescent light bulbs do. They’re safe to enclose in plastic, and you can safely use them around children who may touch the lights.

Since LED lights don’t get hot, they also don’t heat a room when they’re used. Incandescent light bulbs release 90% of their energy as heat, and compact fluorescent lights lose about 80% of their power.

This extra heat means that rooms would heat up quickly when people used these older light sources. LED lights emit such a small amount of heat that they don’t impact the temperature.

As with any electrical appliance, care still needs to be taken to ensure that you plug the LED strips into a working outlet (or battery unit) and that that electrical circuit isn’t overwhelmed with too many appliances.

You should also inspect your LED light strips to ensure that there are no unexpected tears or other damage that could interfere with the integrity of the electrical wires inside.

Can You Leave LED Strips on All Night?

You can leave LED strips on all night. Since they don’t emit heat and aren’t a fire hazard, leaving them on over long periods is safe. LED light strips will provide a consistent glow that doesn’t fade, even when left on for a long time.

Although the LED strips themselves are safe to leave on all night, you should still take care with plugging too many strips into a single electrical outlet. You can technically string them together, but many electrical cords can cause a tripping hazard.

If you have lots of LED strips in one area, use a power strip to plug individual strips into instead, and be sure to tape down cords so that they don’t cause a tripping hazard.

What Are the Top LED Strips Available?

How do you know which one is right for you with so many different LED light strips available? Here are our five favorite LED light strips available on Amazon.com that each offer something a little different, so keep reading to learn which one you need:

Govee LED White Light Strip

This is the perfect LED light strip if you’re looking for plain white lights. It stretches over 16 feet long and has 300 LEDs. This product comes with an adhesive pre-attached to the back of the strip, so it’s ready to hang straight out of the box. It also comes with a remote control that can dim the lights through six brightness levels, providing the ultimate control when lighting a room.

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Letianpai Smart LED Light Strip

This LED light strip lets you create the party wherever you are by syncing the lights up with your music! It’s 82 feet in length, making it perfect for hanging wherever you need a long and uninterrupted stretch of light, like at the top of your walls or draped behind your desk.

It can emit light in 16 million colors and has 29 dynamic modes. This product comes with two different remotes and a smartphone app that easily adjusts colors and brightness. When synced with music, the colors will change based on the rhythms it hears or even the sound of your voice.

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HitLights Weatherproof Light Strips

This LED light kit comes with four pre-cut strips that you can use wherever you’re looking to add a little color to your home. It includes a wireless remote controller so you can control your lights from up to 66 feet away, even if there are obstacles between the remote and the lights.

All four strips are pre-backed with an adhesive that’ll keep them secured anywhere you want to adhere them. Using pre-cut strips makes it easy to mount the light strips straight out of the box without doing additional subdividing yourself.

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Philips Hue Smart Lightstrip

This LED light strip is more expensive than many other brands, but it’s one of the most versatile and perfect products for the home tech enthusiast. You can choose the color and brightness using the Philips Hue app on a smartphone, Amazon Alexa, Apple Homekit, and Google Home.

Each light strip is Bluetooth enabled, and you can control up to 50 strips (and other lights) through a single Philips Hue Bridge. The base kit comes with six feet of LED strip, but extension kits are also available.

This strip is an excellent choice if you’re already using other Philips Hue products in your home. Philips Hue utilizes cloud control, so you can also control your LED light strips from anywhere as long as you’re connected to the internet.

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Orahon USB Battery Light Strip

Cut the cord with this USB battery light strip from Orahon. This light strip takes 4 AA batteries to power the small battery box connected to the lights via USB. It comes with the adhesive already installed on the back of the strip, so it’s easy to hang straight out of the box.

It also includes music sync functionality so your lights can change with the rhythm and sound of the music it hears. This strip also comes with a wireless remote control to change the color and brightness from across the room.

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LED light strips are a fantastic way to add beautiful lights to your home or office. Since they don’t get hot, they’re a safe and reliable lighting option that you can use for hours at a time without creating a fire hazard.

They’re also a safe option to use in areas where children might touch the light strips, such as in a bedroom or playroom. They’re ultra-energy-efficient, so you can use them as much as you want without worrying about running up your power bill.

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