Are you looking for the best type of bulb for your hood vent?
A range hood is arguably one of the most important appliances in a modern kitchen. It works to capture and eliminate contaminated air from cooking and cleaning. Plus, it gets rid of grease, moisture, and other toxins that can cover your cabinets and countertops.
Besides improving your kitchen’s air quality and making cleaning a breeze, a range hood lights up your cooking area.
The only downside is range hood requires a unique type of bulb that can hold its end against high temperatures and deterioration. That means you can’t use just any light bulb.
So, what kind of bulb goes into a range hood? Find the answer to this question and many more in this comprehensive guide.
Do Range Hoods Require Special Bulbs?
The short answer is yes. Like ovens, a stove range hood needs special bulbs to light up your cooking area. Since they sit on top of kitchen stoves, range hood bulbs deal with a lot on a daily, including:
- Grease/ Grime
A standard household light bulb rarely gets exposed to these extreme friction areas. Furthermore, they burn up quickly. For this reason, you cannot use them as a range hood bulb.
Most range hoods use incandescent or halogen bulbs. The unique structure and the gas that fills the halogen lamp allow it to withstand extreme temperatures. The same applies to incandescent bulbs.
But heat is not your only concern. The steam that rises up the range hood contains moisture that can corrode the metal fixtures on the bulb.
In addition, small oil particles that rise with steam (grime) can land up on range hood bulbs. If this happens, the particles can become a point of heat, causing some bulbs to break suddenly.
Let’s not forget the vibrations caused by the mechanical fan inside the stove range hood. These vibrations can shutter the components inside certain bulbs, preventing them from working. So, you want to find a bulb that’s shatterproof, vibration-resistant, and durable.
Range Hood Bulb Wattage
Range hood light bulbs often come in different watts. Those that use incandescent or halogen lights can support bulbs from 15 to 40 watts. You can increase the wattage for these bulbs since they can tolerate extreme heat.
However, incandescent and halogen range hoods are slowly phasing out of the market and getting replaced with LED hood vents.
The only catch with LED lights is that they cannot withstand heat. That’s why most LED bulbs only in range hoods come with 1.5 watts. Remember, more wattage levels can damage your hood vent. If you desire more watts, consult your range hood manufacture first.
Before replacing any old bulb in your range hood, confirm the wattage by reading the info printed on the sticker or side of the bulb’s box.
Do LED Bulbs Work for Stove Range Hoods?
Over the years, we’ve seen countries getting rid of inefficient light sources like incandescent and halogen lamps. This move has given rise to range hoods compatible with LED lights. In fact, 75% of range hoods today are equipped with LEDs.
Compared to halogen lights, LED lights use less energy, reduce energy costs, and are more durable and environmentally friendly. In addition, LEDs are an instant start, meaning it glows the moment you switch up the light. These bulbs are also cool to the touch.
Nevertheless, you can’t just use any LED light for your range hood. As said earlier, stoves release lots of smoke, heat, steam, and fumes. Therefore, your ideal LED bulb should meet some requirements, such as:
- Heat resistance
- Water resistance
- Shatter resistance
- Grease resistance
If you have an old range hood designed for halogen light, stick to halogen bulbs. It’s paramount to follow the owner’s manual to avoid damage to your stove hood.
Can You Replace Halogen Lights with LEDs on The Range Hood?
Yes, you can replace your range hood lights with LEDs. But that’s only possible if your range hood is compatible with LED lights.
Even if you enjoy the brilliance and clarity offered by LED lights, it’s wise to stick to the recommended lights by the manufacturer. Otherwise, you risk voiding your warranty or damaging your range hood.
Also, there’s no guarantee that the LED light will work for the range hood. There are several reasons why this might happen, including:
1. Retail or Online LEDs Perform Poorly in Elevated Temperatures
These LED replacement bulbs usually come with an ambient air temperature limit of 45° C or lower. When you’re cooking, the temperature in the hood vent can rise to 70 to 80° C.
Excessive heat can cause degradation of the replacement, compromising the LED’s lifespan. Ultimately, the light bulb will fail, usually within two weeks.
2. Not LEDs Can Work with Stove Hoods
Aside from that, LED bulbs sold in your nearby hardware store might not be designed to work well with a hood with mechanical controls and multiple light levels.
If installed, you might have to deal with flickering lights or low light levels. In other cases, the LED bulb might not go off or stay at low-level light even after switching it off.
3. Voltage Differences
You also need to factor in that range hoods use transformers and drives to balance the flow of electricity. Transformers are more effective for halogen bulbs, while drivers work best with LED lights.
The transformer converts the 120 V current from your typical outlet to a lower voltage to power the halogen bulbs.
On the other hand, the LED driver converts the dangerous alternating current (AC) to the low-voltage direct current (DC), usually 2 to 3 volts, which is enough to power the most commonly used bulbs.
You cannot use LEDs with halogen transformers because of compatibility issues. The 12 volts AC transformers will transmit too much electricity into the LED bulbs. This will send the bulbs into overdrive, causing them to flicker and eventually burn out.
However, some LEDs come with built-in drivers, which come in handy when your range hood lacks a driver or transformer. This makes replacing the halogen bulbs with LED quite easier.
How to Replace a Range Hood Light
Once you have identified the appropriate light for your range hood, you can safely replace the bulbs through the steps below:
Step 1: Disconnect the Power
Switch off the vent and disconnect it from the power source. If the hood lights are still lit, wait for them to cool down before touching them. By doing this, you will protect yourself and your range hood.
Step 2: Remove the Filler and Cover Plate
Find masking tape or painter’s tape and stick the ends together to form a small circle. Ensure the stick side faces outwards. Next, attach the tape to the lens of the stove hood lamp and pinch its opposite side together to form a handle-like overhang for easy grasping. Alternatively, you can buy a suction cup from your nearby retail store for this role.
Step 3: Remove Old Bulb
Using the masking tape or suction cup, push up on the hood bulb and rotate it counter-clockwise until it’s out of the socket. Avoid applying too much pressure since the lamp might shutter.
If the range hood features covered fixtures, you will need to get rid of the plastic covers first before removing the bulb. And if it comes with removable starters, remove the starters by turning them counterclockwise.
Step 4: Install New Bulb
Place the suction cup or circular tape on the new light bulb. Insert the bulb into the socket gently and rotate it clockwise to tighten it. Finally, test if the new lights work.
Considerations to Keep in Mind Before Replacing Your Range Hood Lights
Before changing or replacing your range hood lights, there are a few things you need to check.
- Test if your existing range hood lights are not functioning properly.
- Ensure all your range hood connections are secure.
- Double-check if the light fixture is secured in the hood–Any loose connection means electricity will have to travel further, causing significant heat generation and sometimes a fire.
- For range hoods with LED drivers, confirm if all the wires in the circuit board and other electric components are secure.
- It’s crucial to power off and unplug the range hood before replacing the bulbs.
- Don’t forget to check if the Rheostat dial controls work, especially if the lights are flickering.
Most range hoods use halogen and incandescent lights. But lately, LED-compatible range hoods have taken center stage because they’re more energy-efficient and environmentally friendly.
While you can replace halogen bulbs with LEDs, it’s wise to stick to what the range hood manufacturer recommends. That holds, especially if your existing stove hood doesn’t work with LED lights.
That said, we hope you find the tips and tricks above helpful.
If you have any questions, leave a comment below.