Battery-powered fairy lights are all the rage, but are they right for you?
Can You Leave Battery Powered Fairy Lights On All Night?
Battery-powered fairy lights are not connected to wall outlets or extension cords. And even though a wire connects these bulbs, the LEDs are low-voltage. People don’t associate fairy lights with sparks. Therefore, leaving them on all night isn’t dangerous.
If it is connected to the wall outlet, it can start fires all the time.
Check the video showing a fire that started because fairy lights sparked. Eventually, the fire consumed the entire room.
This concerns homeowners because, unlike conventional lighting, fairy lights will cover your entire house during the holidays. Therefore, you can’t restrict the fire to one room if things go wrong. Don’t be surprised if your home burns down.
But does that risk apply to battery-powered fairy lights? Not necessarily. Consider the following:
1). Hight Voltage Light Can Start A Fire
The voltage matters. High-voltage lighting is more likely to start a fire because the bulbs can overheat. Overheating is dangerous because the bulbs will ignite the combustible objects in the vicinity. This is how many fires start.
A bulb comes into contact with a newspaper, and hours later, your house burns to the ground. But battery-powered fairy lights are low-voltage devices. Therefore, overheating is less of a risk.
2). Beware Of Damaged Cables
LED lighting is popular because LED technology radiates a lot of light but very little heat. In other words, LED lights don’t have a reputation for overheating. But that won’t stop the wired version from starting fires.
Wires and cables are susceptible to damage, and damaged cables can generate sparks that start fires. Sometimes, the line isn’t at fault. A malfunction in the wall outlet or extension cord can lead to arcing, which, in turn, leads to fires.
3). Use Certified Bulbs
Where did you find your lights? Are they certified? Do they adhere to the rules set by your country’s regulatory body? High-quality lights can stay on all night without starting fires. But the same cannot be said for their low-quality counterparts.
I warn you against overvolted and undercooled LEDs from China that prioritize brightness over safety. They pour too much power into the chips while paying little or no attention to their cooling technology.
The wires are thin and unlikely to survive rigorous testing. It doesn’t take much to melt them; a melting wire is a fire hazard. If a low-quality LED strip falls into combustible materials such as clothing and magazines, a fire may start while you sleep because of prolonged exposure to excess heat.
Some products have factory defects that make the LEDs susceptible to overheating and arcing. You can’t predict factory defects, which is why it is so important to test your fairy lights before leaving them on all night.
4). Use The Correct Bulb For Each Location
Are your lights rated for indoor or outdoor use? Outdoor lights are stronger. They have mechanisms that protect against extreme conditions like the weather. Indoor lights are more likely to malfunction outside.
If you want to avoid accidents, use the correct light bulb for each location. Indoor fairy lights may survive the night outside, but they will wear out. The next time you deploy them indoors, they may start a fire because of the damage they sustained.
How Long Do Battery Powered Fairy Lights Last?
|Battery Type||Battery Capacity||Load||Battery Voltage||Battery Life|
|AA||2.5||3 W||1.5 V||1.25 hrs|
|AAA||1.2||3 W||1.5 V||0.60 hrs|
LED fairy lights can work for 50,000 hours or more, which amounts to six years. That is six years of continuous use. Although, they will dim over time. But you can’t expect battery-powered fairy lights to manifest the same longevity.
Why? Because their longevity is tied to the battery life. In other words, you can keep the lights on for as long as it takes the batteries to deplete.
Considering a battery capacity of 2.5 Ah with a led light load of 3W and battery voltage of 1.5V, an AA battery last for 1.25 hrs while an AAA battery with 1.2 Ah lasts for 0.60 hrs.
Read How Long Do Batteries (AA, AAA) Last In LED Lights?
Won’t The LED Fairy Lights Get Hot If Used All Night?
People only worry about overheating because they are accustomed to incandescent lights. Incandescent fairy lights are dangerous. LED technology turns 90 percent of the energy it uses into heat.
Incandescent bulbs are far less efficient because they produce light by passing a current through a metal filament. The current makes the filament so hot that it glows, delivering the light you need.
If you place those bulbs against combustible material overnight, they will catch fire. LEDs don’t present that challenge, which is why you won’t see anything wrong with hanging LEDs near fabrics.
Additionally, LED fairy lights last longer, even though they require less maintenance. Most of them feel cool to the touch. You can take precautions by keeping these items away from locations where someone may knock them down.
You can also keep the items away from flammable material if the risk of overheating concerns you. But even in the absence of these precautions, fairy lights are not dangerous. Your utility bill is a more significant concern.
After all, the longer these lights remain in use, the more electricity they use. If yours are overheating and starting fires, something has gone wrong. Check the brand. Does it have a solid reputation, or are previous consumers complaining about overheating and arcing?
If you’ve noticed disturbing signs, such as scorch marks and dead bulbs, get a replacement strip of lights. Otherwise, you shouldn’t worry.