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SDMCF 07-22-15 12:03 PM

LED Explosion
Anyone have any experience of LEDs exploding?

One of mine just exploded. I wasn't present but I am told there was a bang, the plastic cover blew off the face of the bulb, followed by a smell of burning. I have removed the bulb and it has a couple of holes in the base and the innards have clearly burnt badly. Now, several hours later, it still smells of burning.

How common is this? Saving a bit of electricity is not too important if I risk burning down my house.

AC_Hacker 07-22-15 01:10 PM

Portland, Oregon: House full of LEDs, no explosions to report.
Portland, Oregon: House full of LEDs, no explosions to report.


where2 07-22-15 07:44 PM

I have a large collection in my house, and only one has burned out to date. It was covered by the manufacturer warranty, since it was only 485 days old. It showed no signs of damage from the exterior. It just wouldn't light up anymore.

gtojohn 07-24-15 08:06 AM

Not led, but I've been present for a few high wattage 4kw and 12kw hmi bulb explosions. Sounds like a gun shot and they shattered the safety glass! I wouldn't be too worried about the led. Might take note of the brand and avoid it.

MN Renovator 07-24-15 07:50 PM

I have yet to lose an LED. I think my count is 6 LEDs in the house with the oldest one being around since they were $40 for an 8 watt that claims 40 watt equiv. If I remember right that was in 2010 but at the same time I'd be disappointed if I lost one already because these are rated for 50,000 hours on the box which is almost 6 years of time being on and I never leave them on continuously. Now I see them on the shelves for $4 or less, at that price I wouldn't mind if they burned out in 10,000 hours.

Can I ask which brand exploded?

Ormston 07-25-15 02:16 AM

I had several blow/fail at a customers house.

Wired their kitchen extension with 8 downlights and fitted GU10 LED lamps, the ones with 20 ish surface mount LED's.
After about a month i was called back due to the RCD tripping every time the kitchen lights were turned on.
Over the next 6 months i went back several times so all the lamps had been replaced at least once(luckily i had them all replaced under warranty from the supplier but it still cost me a lot in time to keep replacing them and getting them exchanged).

I finally gave in and replaced all the lamps with a different brand and not a single failure since.
The ones i removed were used at my parents house and worked fine there so i guess the supply must have been a bit high for them at the customers house (approaching 250v at times).

I looked at a couple of the failed lamps and it was the power board that had blown, when i hooked up the LED's directly to a 12v supply they worked fine.


Elcam84 07-25-15 01:50 PM

Out of all the ones I have installed in commercial use with many of those can lights.... Never had a power supply blow. It's possible especially with some of the really cheapie out there. If the leds are over driven to make it brighter so they can use less and cheaper leds it's more likely.

I have had a few doa units though. Usually the flood light style for the drive thru awnings.

Quest 07-26-15 01:32 AM

the power supply (regulator) board comes with filtering capacitors, film caps, etc. that would pop and "explode" mainly due to capacitor venting gas.

Consider getting some higher quality units where the capacitors may be of better reliability.

(*in this day and age where cheep LED bulbs are made in china, no such thing called "reliability" anymore*)


On the original subjet: none of my LED bulbs have exploded yet, and neither any of the CFLs that I've used/been using still....

elhigh 08-20-15 05:37 AM

I haven't had any explode, though I have had a few fail in a weird way. Instead of lighting or going dark they blink. This was a couple of heavy, bright spots with big, beautiful heat sinks out of a larger group of 12. A friendly agency loaned us an extension lift and I replaced all of them, blinkers and steadies both, with new, cheap TCP brand from Home Depot.

The brand on the old ones escapes me. I saved the ones that are still good for re-use in more accessible areas. I'll find out and post it here.

wilsonsmith 11-29-16 07:42 AM

It's no surprise that giving too much voltage to LEDs can make them explode. However, does somebody know the chemistry behind why they explode? I imagine it's due to the heat being generated by the increasing current which would break down some material in the LED causing them to go into a gaseous state. Eventually the pressure builds so much that the LED explodes. But...what exactly gets changed to gas?

I tried googling this, but it seems the internet is more interested in making LEDs (and caps) explode than explaining why they do so.

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