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Is It Safe To Leave Lights On for a Week?

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Sometimes, it’s easy to forget about small tasks like switching off the light. Whether there’s a need for you to leave your lights on for an extended period, it’s important you understand the risks associated with the prolonged use of your lights. So is it safe to leave lights on for a week? 

Is It Safe To Leave Lights On for a Week?

Yes, it’s safe to leave lights on for a week. However, ensure the light bulb doesn’t exceed the rated watts for your light fixture. Moreover, well-manufactured LED bulbs are durable and generate small amounts of heat, unlike traditional lighting sources. 

So high-end LED bulbs are unlikely to start a fire or overheat. To be safe, it would also be better if you installed a timer on the light switch so that the light turns on and off if you are planning to be away for a longer period.

LED light bulb beside a bookcase

How Long Can a Bulb Stay on Safely?

You have probably heard about house fires caused by lamps that were not turned off. Although it’s not easy to determine how long a bulb can be left on before it becomes unsafe, this depends on several issues like the quality and type of bulb, as well as ambient temperature.

However, conventional bulbs are more dangerous than LED lamps because they produce heat. For instance, the energy generated by incandescent lamps is 10% light and 90% heat. Since this is a lot of heat, lamps tend to get hotter if they are left on longer. 

How Dangerous Are Overheated Bulbs?

Overheated bulbs can damage or melt their internal elements and cause a fire. This risk can be greater if a higher wattage lamp is used instead of a lower wattage light fixture, the air circulation is reduced or the light lamps are in enclosed fixtures. 

Due to this reason, conventional lamps should not be left on for long periods. On the other hand, LED bulbs are safer and cooler. In fact, they are 90% efficient at converting energy into light. This means only 10% is produced as heat.

Moreover, well-designed LED lamps feature heat sinks to remove excess heat from the lamp. Again, in case an LED light bulb begins to overheat, it will dim instead of causing internal damage or melting. This shows that LED lamps are safe and perfect for prolonged use.

What Is the Average Lifespan of Different Bulbs?

The average lifespan of various bulbs varies depending on the operating hours. Below is information showing the working hours of different lighting sources.

  • Incandescent: 750 – 2,000 hours (switched off when not needed).
  • Halogen: 2,000 – 4,000 hours (switched off when not needed).
  • Fluorescent: 24,000 – 36,000 hours (switched off when you won’t be around for more than 20 minutes).
  • CFL: 35,000 – 50,000 hours (switched off when you won’t be around for more than 20 minutes).
  • LED: 35,000 – 50,000 hours (can be left on for a week).
LED light fixtures

Bear in mind that fluorescent and CFL lamps are not designed to be switched off and on frequently. Doing so can decrease their working hours. 

Is It Safe To Leave on LED Bulbs 24/7?

Yes, it’s safe to leave on your LED light bulbs 24/7. However, this can result in increased power bills, especially if you are not using the lights. In addition, leaving lights turned on causes light pollution and can disrupt the world’s ecosystems.

It’s estimated that the average home allocates 5% of its electricity usage to lighting. Unfortunately, wasted electricity adds up fast and has a negative impact on the environment. So before you develop a habit of leaving your lights on for long periods, think whether it’s necessary.

However, invest in a timer if you intend to go on a trip. It’s perfect for when you want to have lights turning off or on randomly. For example, you can set a time for your bulbs to switch on in 20 minutes intervals.

How Long Can You Leave on LED Strip Light?

LED strip lights are an easy way to decorate your home and are available in different lengths, brightness, and color. Since LEDs do not generate excessive heat, they are great for contained and small spaces like underneath kitchen counters. 

While they can be left on for a week, it’s essential to stress-test the lights before exposing them to prolonged use. Unfortunately, most LED strip lights available are not designed well. They are also wired poorly, undercooled, and overvolted, making them extremely dangerous.

That’s why you should go for high-quality LED strips. Although they are costly, they have a warranty that confirms they consist of safe elements.

People in a party discussing whether is it safe to leave lights on for a week

What About Christmas Tree Lights?

In the past, Christmas lights were designed using incandescent lamps. So when one bulb blew, the other bulbs in the strip would burn hotter, due to using its energy, causing Christmas tree fires. Nowadays, LED Christmas lights are safe because they dim over time and are cool to touch. 

If one lamp fails, the other lamps will remain the same. Moreover, pets and children that touch broken lights won’t get a shock since they work at low voltages. However, it’s still a good idea to switch off your Christmas tree in the evening so that the transformer cools down. 

This is important because the transformer reduces the voltage to the low voltage that’s ideal for your Christmas lights. Transformers also get very hot so ensure your tree is well ventilated.

Related Questions

Let’s tackle a few questions before we wrap up this article.

Is It Safe to Leave Lights on While on Vacation?

No, it is not safe to leave lights on while on vacation because it might look suspicious if your lights blaze throughout the night.

How Long Can Lights Stay on Safely?

Generally, a light bulb can stay on actively between 35,000-50,000 hours.


LED lights beat their rivals when it comes to lifespan. So if you have lights that need to stay on for extended periods, switch to LED bulbs. You will notice a decrease in your carbon footprint and electricity bills.