A time-honored saying states, “a man’s home is his castle.” This references the fact that our home is our place of security, tranquility, and safety. However, new information has been released that may very well be putting the safety of your “castle” at risk.
So, you are probably thinking to yourself—precisely what is it that could potentially put my home at such risk? I am glad you asked! The answer is those harmless-looking lights in the closets of your home. Those closet lights that do not have an enclosure surrounding them are more prone to pose a fire and safety risk than those with such an enclosure.
According to experts and inspectors, a 60-watt light bulb temperature will never reach more than 175 degrees Fahrenheit. However, under select circumstances, that same wattage bulb is capable of reaching temperatures of anywhere between 290-500 degrees Fahrenheit. To keep this in perspective, those temperatures are high enough to ignite a multitude of items, including table tennis balls.
Experts recommend that homeowners inspect their homes closet lights and if necessary, make the required adjustments. A light bulb, such as the 60-watt mentioned above, should be moved farther away from any PVC piping. If that is not possible, then they are to be replaced with a LED or CFL bulb. Both of these bulb types operate at a significantly cooler temperature.
Building codes at one time considered the 60-watt closet lights as acceptable, as long as the bulb itself was a minimum of 18 inches from the closest shelf. However, when it comes to incandescent lights, they are no longer permitted to be installed in closets—period.
To minimize and prevent a possible fire hazard, it is recommended that you install an LED light, one UL rated is best. Make sure that it comes with the parts that make it possible to be hardwired, or you can use one that is engineered to be screwed into your existing light bulb socket.