Are Grow Lights A Fire Hazard?


Many people are not aware of the dangers associated with grow lights, but it is important to know that they can become a fire hazard in your home. Grow lights emit high levels of heat which could easily start a fire if not properly handled and positioned. There are different technologies in grow lights, and some pose more of a fire hazard than others. 

Grow lights can be a fire hazard if they are not properly installed. When installing grow lights, make sure you use approved fixtures and wiring and don’t overload your electrical circuits. Install them at an appropriate distance from any combustible materials and allow airflow around them to dissipate any heat.

There are many varieties of grow lights that use different technology to emit different forms of light. The different technologies have different side effects when converting the electrical energy into light, and in some cases, this side effect is heat. Heat in an enclosed space such as a grow tent can build up to the point that it could cause a fire in your grow room. We will discuss some of the grow light types and their potential to cause a fire.

HID Grow Light
Photo 64392100 © Eric Limon | Dreamstime.com

Can Grow Lights Cause A Fire?

Grow lights are a necessity for those who wish to grow plants indoors, but this indoor grow lighting equipment could also become a fire hazard. How could something such as a grow light result in such a disastrous situation? 

Grow lights are often high powered energy consumers that draw a lot of current from your electrical panel. If your circuits, wiring and electrical devices are’t rated to deal with the power draw you could create a fire hazard. 

With some grow light types, a by-product of the conversion of electrical energy to light is the generation of heat. While most grow lights do not produce as much heat as incandescent lamps do, some types of grow lights can produce sufficient heat to cause a fire in your grow room.

Are LED Grow Lights A Fire Hazard?

LED grow lights are probably the safest forms of grow lights to use because of the low heat output of these lights. The heat that they produce is not sufficient on their own to cause a fire.

LEDs are also less prone to breaking or shattering and creating sparks because they operate on solid state electronics rather than a hot filament.

However, if LED grow lights are left on for an extended period of time, they can conceivably become a fire hazard. This is more due to the type of fittings that the LED lamp is housed in and the quality of the wiring of the LED lamp. 

LEDs emit very little heat, so they’re safe to use in close proximity to flammable materials like grow tents, paper, or cardboard.

Because of the lower energy consumption and low heat emission, LED grow lights are a cost-effective and energy-efficient way to grow plants indoors. 

Their low energy consumption coupled with their low heat output and lower fire risk has made LED grow lights a popular and safer choice for growing plants indoors and in grow tents.

Sale
Barrina Plant Grow Light, 252W(6 x 42W, 1400W Equivalent), Full Spectrum,...
  • Full Spectrum - Barrina LED grow lights 4ft provide indoor plants with full-spectrum sunlight...
  • Super Bright and Hight PPFD - Consuming only 252W with 1152 LEDS totally, replace 1400w general...
  • Easy Installation - With included tape, clips and cable ties, you could install the lights by...

The most energy efficient and easiest way to grow fruit and vegetables indoors is using the Tower Garden vertical aeroponic system. Using only 200 watts of LED lighting I’m able to grow 20+ plants in my home office. The system is quick to set up and simple to use indoors or outside.

Tower Garden Aeroponics System

Can HID Grow Lights Cause A Fire?

HID or High Intensity Discharge grow lamps have been used in growing systems for many years. They are a common tried and tested method for growing plants indoors which is why they still have popularity among indoor growers today.

HID lights emit infrared light (above 800 nm), which plants cannot use, but the infrared emissions generate heat. This is why HIDs feel warm on your skin, while LEDs do not!

HID grow lamps can be a fire hazard. The heat and UV light that they emit means when they’re being used near combustible materials such as fabrics or certain plastics, there is an increased risk that it could cause the material to catch on fire.

HID grow lights are not just potentially hazardous; they also have some benefits too! HIDs require significantly less electricity than incandescent bulbs, so they typically use half the energy per hour in comparison (although this varies depending on the type).

Another benefit that attracts growers to continue using these lights is because they produce very bright white light at around 350-400 lux. They also put out plenty of red and far-red spectrum for your plants’ needs thanks to their low Kelvin rating between 3000K – 5000K temperature range.

HID lamps are a tried and tested method for growing plants indoors. These types of lights have been used in grow systems for many years, but they do not provide the best results when it comes to efficiency and poses the greatest fire risk of the grow lights that we are discussing.

5 HID Grow Lights
Photo 135804691 © Eric Limon | Dreamstime.com

Can HPS Grow Lights Cause A Fire?

High Pressure Sodium or HPS grow lights are another favorite among the indoor growing community. One of the main contributors to this is that HPS bulbs emit light that is great for growing plants. 

They have a higher concentration of the red spectrum than many other lights. This means they promote blooming and fruiting, which are important factors in indoor plant growing.

HPS grow light fixtures are not only energy efficient in turning electricity into a bright light that promotes better flowering for your flora, but they also come with many other benefits, such as greater longevity than HID lights. The best part about HPS grow lights is that they don’t emit any heat!

The fact that they emit low heat levels greatly reduces the risk of fire when using HPS grow lights in your indoor grow room or grow tents.

Grow Light Combinations

Many indoor growers will use a combination of LED, HPS, and HID lights in their grow rooms in order to get the benefits of each of the lighting types during the various stages of plant growth. 

However, it is possible to stick to using safer technology lamps and still achieve great results in your grow room.

You will need to evaluate the environment of your grow room and assess the potential fire risk of the location. Then decide on the best lighting technology that will work well with your plants as well as limit the potential fire risk.

Other Causes Of Grow Room Fires

Grow lights can be a potential fire hazard in a grow room, but there are other fire risks that could be more of a risk than the type of lighting that you use.

Incorrect electrical wiring or poorly maintained electrical wiring and connections is probably a greater risk of fire in the grow room than the grow lamps.

Grow Tent Timers

Poorly maintained or damaged wiring and connectors can leave wires exposed which could come into contact with metal frameworks or even water. This poses not only the risk of electric shock to the grower, but the sparks generated by these short circuits could cause nearby combustible material to catch fire.

Make sure that all electrical equipment and fittings are not in an area where water could flow or drip onto the electrical wiring, the connectors, or the electrical equipment itself.

Always make sure that your electrical equipment in the grow room is well maintained and properly installed to minimize the risk of a fire in your grow room.

Conclusion

The first step in ensuring the safety of your indoor plants and your home is to make sure that you purchase your lighting equipment from reputable sources. 

The second step is to maintain the electrical equipment properly and to replace equipment and wiring when it deteriorates. This will help to maintain a safe grow room environment.

The third step to preventing fire in your grow room is to get rid of all unnecessary combustible material in the room. Don’t let rubbish such as dried plant material, paper, and cardboard containers, and packaging pile up in your grow room.

The lighting equipment that you use in your grow room or grow tent has the potential to be a fire hazard if the prescribed precautions around their use are not heeded. Thus, it is important to choose your grow lights carefully after an assessment of the dangers in your grow room location and to take care with their installation.

Some grow lights pose more of a risk for fire than others, so you need to make an informed choice when selecting your lights, not only based on what is good for your plants but also on which lights will be the safest choice for your environment.

Recent Posts