Do Incandescent Bulbs Get Hot? Simple & Quick Answer [2023]

This article is intended for anyone who is wondering do incandescent bulbs get hot.

It is common knowledge that incandescent bulbs do emit heat in order to function properly, but it is questionable how much they heat up and whether it affects you or your home in a bad way.

For the purpose of understanding more about this topic, let’s get to know the facts.

Do incandescent bulbs get hot?

Incandescent bulbs do get hot and that is because it is their principle of operating.

The light produced by an incandescent bulb exists thanks to the filament inside the bulb. The heat is what allows the filament to work, it allows it to create light. When the filament is heated to around 2,900 degrees C, it glows white-hot.

Approximately 90% of the energy consumed by incandescent bulbs is for the purpose of generating heat.

The not-so-positive side to it is that this might be a notably inefficient way of creating light, just because most of the energy is wasted on producing heat.

The end result, i.e. light, is satisfactory and indispensable, but today it can also be achieved with light bulbs that do not emit as much heat or they barely produce any heat at all.

Now that we’ve answered the question “do incandescent bulbs get hot” let’s talk about the heat itself.

Incandescent bulbs get hot very quickly and the heat thus generated is capable of reaching very high temperatures. Most of the materials or fabrics that are in direct contact with the bulb can cause a fire as a result, so we can conclude that it is a high degree of heat that we are talking about.

In case of negligence, the consequences can be catastrophic and the ideal scenario would be to prevent those events from happening. Such cases are not common, but should not be excluded.

However, incandescent bulbs are often used because of:

  • optimal results,
  • good prices
  • availability (they can be purchased almost anywhere)

How hot can incandescent bulbs get?

Some incandescent light bulbs can get as hot as 270 degrees F, while others are around 150 degrees if we’re talking about the surface temperature.

Incandescent bulbs are pretty inefficient which leads us to the conclusion that they can get significantly hot. The higher the wattage of the bulb, the higher heat is produced as an outcome, and vice versa.

A 100-watt incandescent light bulb will heat up to a temperature of about 4,600 degrees Fahrenheit.

Is incandescent hotter than LED?

Incandescent is much hotter than LED. 

Even compact fluorescent bulbs emit less heat than standard incandescent bulbs, so it is unquestionable how LED bulbs produce even less heat.

A LED bulb is the best option in terms of various factors, ranging from energy efficiency and effectiveness to your own safety and the safety of your home. LED consumes much less energy and produces a low amount of heat, and all that for the same light quality output.

Another plus on the side of LED bulbs is that they have a longer lifespan. Namely, they will supply you with light 25 times longer and they won’t stop working suddenly like incandescent bulbs. The light of the LED bulb will first fade and lose intensity so you will know in advance it is time to replace the old one and buy a new one.


We are sure that this article gave you a clear and correct answer to the question do incandescent bulbs get hot. This way we can come to the conclusion that incandescent bulbs heat up considerably and unnecessarily given that today we can come across more efficient and safer options.

Incandescent bulbs will do their job, but LED is the way to go if you want to avoid the heat and keep it safe.

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