Ask Your Question

Angie's List Answers is the trusted spot to ask home improvement and health questions and get answers from service companies, health providers and consumers. For ratings and reviews on companies in your area, search Angie's List.

Top 30 Days Experts
Rank Leader Points*
1 kstreett 240
2 Guest_9020487 110
3 Guest_9190926 105
4 GoldenKid 100
5 ahowell 95
6 KnowledgeBase 95
7 skbloom 80
8 Guest_98024861 70
9 Guest_9311297 70
10 Guest_9400529 70

*Updates every 4 hours

Browse Projects By Category

Question DetailsAsked on 1/19/2017

LED lights (philips hue and lifx bulbs) used in enclosed light fixture

Can you use LED color changing bulbs such as lifx bulbs or philips hue bulbs in an enclosed ceiling light fixture? If not is it more of an issue with the bulb buring out early or can it be a potential fire/safety hazard?

Do you have the same question? Follow this Question

1 Answer


Generally speaking - almost all LED and CFL bulbs (and most other ones too) are NOT rated for enclosed fixture use, and commonly not for inverted (base-up) configuration either.

I know that for the past few years I have been testing various brands of both to find a brand that comes anywhere close to the rated life (no luck there yet except with GE's in continuous-on service applications), and I have had several literally blow up or shoot out sparks and a shot of flame in open-faced-down can type fixtures - including ones with 3-4 air holes in the top. In one case a Phillips LED reflector type bulb shot borken glass and burning material onto my hand and desk right under it - so yes, it can be a fire hazard as well as cause premature failure of the bulb. My recommendation - in general, never use CFL bulbs in inverted position, and with LED's try one out for an hour or so, then turn off and carefully (use glove) remove bulb immediately to feel if it is getting hot in the base area. Too hot to touch without getting burned is definitely too hot - my criteria is if I can't hold it for a second or two without getting burned (with LED/CFL bulbs only) then the base is getting too hot.

So - check technical spec sheet from manufacturer - and also note that even if rated for inverted or enclosed fixture use, you generally need about 1/4" air space all around the bulb minimum to avoid overheating, because while the bulb itself does not normally get real hot in LED/CFL bulbs, the electronics in the base commonly do - to the point of totally smoking the ceramic commonly if used in inverted (base-up) configuration or enclosed fixtures. I have returned a LOT of CFL and LED bulbs to the manufacturer under warranty for premature failure - far more CFL's than LED ones, but generally the LED ones were the ones that caught fire or dropped molten plastic - CFL bulbs are pretty much all ceramic and glass on the exgterior, so they just drop broken glass and spits of sparks on you - FUN. Of course, the lower the wattage the less chance there is of that happening.

Course, in a totally enclosed can the fire hazard in the can is low (rated for hot incandescent bulbs) - but that does not avoid fire and personal hazard from pieces dropping out of the fixture when it fails.

BTW - my personal experience - Phillips CFL and LED bulbs are among the worst for short life - commonly less than equivalent incandescent bulbs. My recommendation - Cree, G7 Power, GE in that order for LED bulbs - I don't think Cree or G7 make CFL's so GE tops for CFL's.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

Related Questions

Terms Of Use
Privacy Policy