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I'm building a wooden range hood and I'd like to know if my lighting setup is safe. I have two recessed fixtures with 5 watt LED bulbs. I know that LED bulbs don't really get too hot, but is it a bad idea to make the hood as I did? Should I use some sort of heat shield? The bulb is about 1/2" away from the wood, which is 1/4" plywood. Also, is it a bad idea to have bare wires lying on the wood? Pics are below.

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  • No one's likely to be able to answer that with confidence. This is the reason UL Laboratories exist. I will say that any connection is supposed to be in a listed (typically metal or plastic) housing. – isherwood Jul 23 at 17:10
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    Without touching on any safety issues, I would suggest that you trade out the bulb-style LED for a spotlight-style LED. Right now, a bunch of light goes to illuminating the interior of the range hood. – user3757614 Jul 23 at 17:10
  • Good idea, thanks. – user3080392 Jul 24 at 11:47
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You need a heat shield if your fixture is capable of taking an incandescent bulb.

It is an immutable law of nature that if your fixture has an Edison or halogen socket that an old style light bulb could possibly screw into, someone will try that.

If you want to engineer that concept out of it, then look at IKEA or other LED lighting, particularly low voltage lighting, which is socketless and cannot possibly be accidentally swapped for an incandescent. Given the unbelievable versatility allowed in LED lighting, there's no reason to stay with rather sad omnidirectional "acts like an incandescent" screw-in replacements. LED light is the first kind of light that is not omnidirectional, it's conic, and that's awesome because most applications actually want a cone of light, not a sphere. You might as well make the most of that feature - for even more efficiency and cool running.

Speaking of cool running, watch your temperatures. LEDs do not like being hot.

  • The GU24 socket was specifically designed not to accept incandescent bulbs, if you want to stick with a socket-based design. – user3757614 Jul 23 at 17:18
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I strongly recommend against having any flammable material (wood) anywhere in, on, or around your hood. Light bulbs are the least of your worries -- imagine a grease fire. With a "normal" all-metal hood, the risk of the fire quickly spreading beyond the pan & stovetop surface is far less than with your wooden hood.

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