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the florescent light in my stove hood range stopped working. After replacing the bulb & starter I hired a technician to diagnose the problem. Apparently the control board is not functioning correctly. The fan works, but no power gets to the light. The control board is no longer available.

The technician suggested I install light strip instead of spending over 1K replacing the hood with something similar.

The LED seem easy to install but I have no experience with them and I cannot find answers to several of my questions:

  1. Is it safe or will it cause fire hazard?
  2. If I install LED strip above the stove will the moisture or heat from cooking cause issues?
  3. Can I put a clear packing tape on top of the strip to protect it from moisture and also help it to stick to range?

If you can see another issues with this approach please let me know.

3 Answers 3

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LED lamps might be more sensitive to heat than fluorescent lamps, losing efficiency and dimming at higher temperature. That said, I have replaced screw-type (Edison-base) lamps with LED's in our stove hood with no issue.

It really depends on the temperature of the hood. If there is an ordinary kitchen range/stove underneath, LED's likely will stay cool enough. If there is an open grill, or air-flow is poor, or room-temperature is high, LED's might not be suitable.

  1. Check LED lamp specifications for maximum temperature. Mouser Electronics show that above 55°C, LED's must be derated. Many consumer electronic devices are rated for a maximum temperature of 70°C.
  2. Put an ordinary room thermometer in the range hood where the lamps sit, cook some things at a high temperature on all burners and in the oven, and wait an hour to check the temperature. If it stays below 55°C, I'd have no qualms, and even at 70°C, I'd take a chance on installing LED's.
  3. Do not cover the lamps with ordinary tape. The humidity and heat from cooking would almost certainly cause the tape to fall off, into food or onto a burner. Use a sealed LED lamp or strip, and attach firmly with screws, not just high-temp adhesive.
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If you were to search for "under cabinet LED lights" you will come up with hundreds of choices.

Will they be a fire hazard? Not any more likely that the fluorescent that you have now.

Will moisture cause issues? Maybe, it is more likely with cheaper units. The other problem will be anchoring the lights. If they can be attached with tiny screws it will solve that , but using the double sided tape may not work well. There is that gray type of tape that is used for some automotive products. it holds well even in wet conditions, but never has been tested over a boiling pot of pasta water.

Can you put clear packing tape over the lights? Yes, but not a good idea. Again the steam will probably make it fall down quickly.

I see that you have 2 choices that make sense:

1- Purchase a new hood. Pricing is not allowed here, but your quote sounds high, given that there is currently a hood there with electric available.

2-Go to a lighting store. ( NOT A BIG BOX STORE) Tell them of your situation and look at their recommendations. They most likely have encountered someone in the past with the same issue.

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  • OTOH, these things can be had pretty cheaply, so replacing them (as a consumable) if they get too damp or greasy isn't the end of the world.
    – Huesmann
    Commented Nov 16, 2023 at 18:28
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  1. It's 12-24 volts, power limited, usually, so it's not terribly hazardous.
  2. Pay extra for the wet-rated exterior light strips in this location, since it's usually steamy under hoods when cooking. Those tend to be fully encapsulated with clear silicone. No, squirting some caulking on is not the same. Just heading that one off at the pass.
  3. Tape is not the way. For moisture, follow point 2. For mounting, this is a place where using the aluminum extrusions made for mounting light strips makes sense, as the usual double-stick tape will not generally hold up under a hood. Sheet metal screws will. Pasta al LED is not very appealing.

If you have cabinets at both sides of the hood, you could also just light up their bottoms extra well and let the light spill over to the hood area.

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