How To Clean and Care for LED Light Fixtures
If you use LED lighting in your home, you probably know it has a very long life cycle. Our products, for instance, can last for 15 to 20 years depending on usage before requiring replacements. To see all the benefits of that naturally extensive life cycle, you’ll need to take proper care of your light fixtures.
Cleaning your LED light fixtures is relatively straightforward and shouldn’t take too much time if you maintain a regular schedule. In the guide below, we’ll discuss how to clean lighting fixtures safely and provide some tips and tricks for doing so quickly and effectively.
Jump to Sections:
- Why You Should Clean Light Fixtures
- Tools and Supplies to Clean Your Light Fixtures
- How to Clean LED Light Fixtures
- How Often Should You Clean Light Fixtures?
- Tips and Tricks for Cleaning LED Light Fixtures
- Choose WAC — Your Lighting Solution Experts
Why You Should Clean Light Fixtures
What’s the importance of cleaning light fixtures? Here are a few good reasons for keeping them bright and sparkling:
1. Ensuring Optimal Performance
Clean lights work better. Lights covered with dust and debris are likely to be dull, but clean and streak-free lights will shine brighter and clearer. To get the most out of your LED light fixtures and see the advantages of their optimal performance, be sure to keep them clean so they can work as designed.
2. Enhancing Safety
Dirty lights can present a safety hazard because they don’t allow people to see their surroundings clearly. Guests or family members may trip, fall and seriously injure themselves if they are trying to make their way by the faint glow of dusty LED light fixtures.
3. Boosting Efficiency
Cleaning your LED lights can help you boost your home or building’s efficiency as well. LED lights are already highly efficient because they give off less heat than traditional incandescent lights. You can make your lights even more efficient by making sure they’re free from dirt, streaks and debris. They’ll shine brighter, and you’ll need to turn on fewer lights to see clearly and keep your property safe.
4. Making Maintenance Easier
Keeping your lights clean helps reduce your maintenance burden over time. If you maintain a regular cleaning schedule, wiping small amounts of dust from your light fixtures should be easy. But if you neglect to clean your light fixtures, dirt and grime will build up and cake on. Grit may even infiltrate your LEDs’ inner workings and cause mechanical issues. When you do finally clean your fixtures, the accumulated dirt will be a much more significant challenge to deal with.
5. Extending Your Lights’ Life Spans
If dirt and debris begin to adhere to your LED light fixtures, they can interfere with the fixtures’ performance and cause mechanical and electrical issues. Ultimately, failing to clean your light fixtures can cause them to break down sooner than they otherwise would have. In contrast, maintaining a regular cleaning schedule can extend your light fixtures’ life spans and help you get the most out of them.
6. Improving Indoor Air Quality
Keeping your light fixtures clean also helps you improve the air quality in your home. The dust that collects on light fixtures can reduce your indoor air quality, cause nose and throat irritation and exacerbate the symptoms of respiratory conditions such as asthma. Inferior indoor air quality can also cause symptoms like headaches, fatigue and dizziness. Ensuring that your light fixtures remain free from dust can help you keep everyone in your home feeling well.
7. Reducing Allergies
Many people deal with allergies. In fact, allergies rank as the sixth most common chronic illness among Americans. When you’re thinking about how to prevent allergies in the home, cleaning your LED light fixtures is a vital step. Dust and dust mites are some of the most common indoor allergens. Cleaning your light fixtures helps ensure visitors and family members can spend time in your home without coughing, sneezing or experiencing congestion.
8. Enhancing Ambiance
Apart from the practical benefits, cleaning your light fixtures also bolsters the inviting ambiance of your home. Dull lights can make your home feel gloomy, but warm, bright LED lights create a relaxing, cozy ambiance that boosts the mood.
Tools and Supplies to Clean Your Light Fixtures
When you’re cleaning your light fixtures, it’s important to have the right tools and supplies to get the job done right. Here are a few critical items to have on hand:
- Soft cloths: Soft cloths like microfiber towels are essential for cleaning your light fixtures without scratching them. Use a soft cloth to wipe away dust and leave your LED fixtures clean and shiny.
- Warm water: If your light fixtures are only lightly soiled, a damp cloth will likely be enough to get them clean. You can dip your cloth in warm water and gently wring them out to avoid saturating the fixtures as you wipe them down.
- Soap or mild detergent: If your light fixtures are more heavily soiled, you’ll probably want to add soap or detergent to the water for extra cleaning power. Some cleaners can damage glass, though, so be sure you choose a gentle, glass-safe variety. You can also test the detergent on a small patch of glass and assess its effect before proceeding further.
- Towels: When you’re done wiping down your light fixtures, you can dry them with towels to prevent water spots and dullness. As with your cloth, be sure your towels are soft and gentle and won’t scratch your fixtures.
- Polish or varnish: If your light fixtures have wood or metal hardware, consider polishing them with something like lemon oil to give them extra sparkle and luster.
- Vacuum: A vacuum can be helpful to have on hand, especially if you have any beaded or fabric-covered light fixtures. You can use the hose extension to remove debris from softer surfaces, or you can use it as a first step to clear cobwebs from harder surfaces before polishing them with detergent and cloth.
How to Clean LED Light Fixtures
When you’re cleaning your light fixtures, you’ll want to take time to make sure you hit all the essential steps, even with hard-to-reach fixtures like ceiling lights and chandeliers.
How to Clean Ceiling Lights
Cleaning ceiling lights can present a particular challenge because these overhead lights can be hard to reach. When you’re tasked with cleaning ceiling lights, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Use a stable surface: You’ll need to stand on something steady to protect yourself from accidents. If you’re cleaning a light fixture attached to a ceiling fan, it might be tempting to hold on to the blades to steady yourself. Try to avoid this, though, as the blades can easily swing and cause you to fall.
- Remove covers and components: Some ceiling lights have protective covers you can remove. You can typically soak these in water for easier cleaning. For recessed ceiling lights, if it’s possible with the style you have, remove the LED components from their recesses so you can access their surfaces more easily.
- Remember the housings: If your ceiling lights have recessed mounts, remember to clean the housings. Their surfaces can easily collect dust and debris, but a few quick swipes with a damp cloth should be enough to get them clean.
How to Clean a Chandelier
Cleaning a chandelier or an indoor pendant fixture may require a bit more finesse because of its many moving, suspended parts. When you’re cleaning a chandelier, here are a few helpful tips to keep in mind:
- Use an extension rod or ladder: Chandeliers can take some time to clean. If you don’t plan to disassemble your chandelier and clean it at floor level, you’ll likely need to use a ladder or extension rod to help you reach all its surfaces and crevices. Be sure to get down and move your ladder as you need to so you don’t reach too far and risk a fall.
- Dust every few months: For routine cleaning, you likely won’t need to take your chandelier down. A quick dusting with a rag or damp cloth will usually be enough to get your chandelier shiny and clean again and extend the length of time you can go between deep cleanings.
- Prepare for disassembly: If your chandelier has components that come apart, you may want to disassemble them and clean them separately a couple of times a year, even soaking them in a soapy solution if they are safe to immerse in water. Doing this helps make sure you get all the pieces clean and can save you some time stretching overhead and trying to reach all the moving parts.
- Wipe parts down thoroughly: If your chandelier pieces are not safe to submerge in water, you may still want to take them apart and wipe each one down. If your chandelier has many moving pieces, you may miss some dirt as they twist and turn. But taking them apart to wipe them down can help you be more thorough.
How Often Should You Clean Light Fixtures?
How often you should clean your light fixtures depends on a few different factors. Here are a few considerations to keep in mind when you’re determining the frequency of your cleaning schedule:
- Frequency of use: Some of your light fixtures may get more use and handling than others. If you have wall or floor LED lamps that people constantly turn on and off, you’ll probably want to wipe them down weekly to remove dirt, skin oils and accumulated dust or debris.
- Proximity: If ceiling lights get dirty, they may not affect your allergies or breathing as much, since you probably don’t spend much of your time near the ceiling. But if the wall sconces over your bed accumulate dust, they may affect your throat and sinuses right away. With low-set wall sconces or vanity lighting, you’ll probably want to give a quick wipe down at least once a month to keep your household members breathing freely.
- How challenging cleaning is: Though suspended light fixtures can be a hassle to reach and clean, you should still clean them frequently. Cleaning your overhead light fixtures every couple of months can prevent the accumulation of caked-on grime and make cleaning much more convenient. It’s much easier to stand on a ladder and make a few quick swipes with a rag than to scrub at dirt that refuses to come off.
Tips and Tricks for Cleaning LED Light Fixtures
You’ll want to figure out the best tricks and techniques to make cleaning your light fixtures safer and more thorough. Here are some of the tips and tricks we recommend for your cleaning routine:
1. Wait Before Cleaning
If your lights have been on recently, you’ll want to wait several minutes before you begin work. LED lights don’t get nearly as hot as traditional incandescent lights, but you still don’t want to risk burning yourself by starting to clean too soon.
2. Kill the Power
When you’re cleaning your light fixtures, you’ll definitely want to turn the lights off while you work. If you’re performing a deep clean, you may need to turn off the power to the room as well. If some water came into contact with your electrical circuitry, you could risk severe electrical shock, so turning off the power is an excellent way to keep yourself safe.
3. Make a Map
When you’re cleaning a chandelier, you’ll need to remember how it fits together so you can assemble it again when it’s clean. For especially intricate pieces, refer to your assembly instructions. It may also help to make a diagram or take photographs to help you figure out how the pieces go back together.
4. Use Alternatives to Harsh Detergent
If your detergent is too strong to clean your light fixtures safely, try using glass-friendly alternatives. Consider putting just a few drops of detergent in a spray bottle of water or using a diluted vinegar solution to wipe down your fixtures instead.
5. Remember Light Switches and Remotes
These smaller pieces of equipment experience much more handling than your light fixtures, so you’ll want to wipe them down regularly to keep them clean and functional and reduce germ transmission. This is especially true in the bathroom, where a light switch can contain a substantial amount of bacteria. How often you should clean lighting switches depends on their frequency of use — in high-traffic areas, you’ll probably want to wipe them down every week or two.
Wondering how to clean light switches and remotes? Just give them a few quick swipes with whatever cleaning solution you use for your light fixtures.
Choose WAC — Your Lighting Solution Experts
To see the benefits of efficient, long-lasting, cool and beautiful LED lights in your home, make WAC your go-to guru for all your lighting needs. We provide functional and decorative lighting for your home, from ceiling fixtures to wall lighting to landscape enhancements. Our high-quality lighting has an extensive life span.
When you work with us, you’ll gain peace of mind knowing you’re partnering with a zero-landfill company and getting products that generate much less waste than traditional bulbs. Our convenient smart products have tech built right into them to allow for an extensive array of configurations, so you can get the layout that works best for your home. Our friendly, knowledgeable support professionals will be there for you when you have questions, and they are easy to work with when you need help with your home’s LED lighting.
Contact us today to learn more.