The TP-Link Tapo range includes a few different smart bulb models. One thing I experienced when using the standard-sized bulbs that fit into common lamps and light fittings is that they get hot…sometimes very hot! Is this safe?
I was using a Tapo bulb in the ceiling light fitting and the lampshade, while not touching the bulb, was feeling a bit warmer with the bulb turned on. I was worried this could result in a fire. So I tried to make some sense of it and to see if I could reduce the problem.
Old Fashioned Bulbs Got a LOT Hotter
It has been a long time since I have used an old-fashioned bulb in my home. Before we had LED bulbs, there were still plenty of energy saver bulbs. The fact is, back in the days when we had 60-watt and sometimes even 100-watt bulbs, these things got incredibly hot! Lamp shades were not regularly catching fire back when these lights were in use, so chances are the Tapo bulbs are not going to get hot enough to cause a problem like this.
Although it is reassuring that the heat may not really be that big of an issue, it is still concerning that they are getting this hot. Surely the wifi chip and other electrical components inside this bulb are not going to live long with this kind of heat burning them up.
100% Brightness Is Bad News
One thing that I noticed from other bulbs in the house that I would normally keep at around 50% brightness is that they never get quite as hot. I spent some time testing this out and the bulbs will only start to get worryingly hot when the brightness level is above 90%.
When pushing the brightness above 90%, you have to consider whether this is really needed. Can you get by with below 90%? If so, dim the bulb. It will save you some electricity and it will also mean that you no longer have to worry about the excessive heat that appears when the brightness goes to 100%