“Not to Be Used in Totally Enclosed Fixtures” – So Says Your LED Bulb!
You have bought a new LED bulb for your home’s light fixture. As you open the packaging, you notice an instruction printed on the box in bold:
Not to be used in totally enclosed fixtures.
What does that imply?
So, can I use it for the light fixture that I have bought it for — and if not — then for which type of lighting applications can I use the LED bulb?…
More questions start to run through your mind.
And to find the right answers to your questions, you have come to the right place.
First Things First – What Does The Printed Message Imply?
It implies that you cannot use the LED bulb in enclosed fixtures. If you do so, the bulb is likely to burn out.
What is an enclosed fixture?
An enclosed fixture is a lighting fixture that is encased in such a way that it does not allow proper air flow. Examples include but are not limited to:
- Porch light fixtures
- Light fixtures made out of Mason jars
- Lensed light fixtures
- Track lighting fixtures
- Recessed lighting fixtures (not all)
Why an LED Bulb May Burn Out If Installed In an Enclosed Fixture?
LED bulbs come fitted with electronic chips. These chips are susceptible to damage if exposed to excess heat. Your computers, laptops and some other electronic devices also contain these chips.
When you install an LED bulb in an enclosed fixture, the heat generated by the bulb has nowhere to escape—it gets trapped within the fixture. With time, it builds up and causes the temperature of the fixture to rise significantly. This damages the chip installed inside your LED bulb, causing it to burn out faster.
Are All LED Bulbs Designed For Use In Only Open Fixtures?
No. There are some brands of LED bulbs that are rated to operate in an enclosed fixture; you can also install them in open fixtures.
How would you know if the “Enclosed Fixture Rating” for an LED bulb is “Yes”?
By reading the packaging’s fine print.
What makes these LED bulbs suitable for use in enclosed lighting applications?
It’s their robust design that enables them to withstand high temperature exposure. Naturally, these LED bulbs are more expensive than their counterparts.
Can You Use an LED Bulb For Any Type of Open Lighting Application?
It depends. Some LED bulbs are designed to operate in dry conditions, some in damp and others in wet conditions. Again, the label on the packaging should help you determine the type of open lighting application an LED bulb is suitable for.