Are you hosting a themed party and needing inspiration to cheaply transform your home into a spooky witch’s lair?

Or are you a keen photographer thinking about how you can give your next photoshoot a creative edge?

In either case, modifying your lighting is a great place to start.

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LEDs are safe and easy to paint as long as it’s done correctly. Use heat resistant glass paint and avoid flammable substances such as oil paint or nail varnish. For a diffused effect, sand the bulb before applying the paint.

While colored LEDs have gradually become more accessible, there’s still a notable price difference between white LEDs and their colored counterparts.

So I don’t blame you for researching how to take matters into your own hands.

If you search online, you’ll be presented with all sorts of contradicting answers – yes? No? Maybe? Only with certain types of paint? In this article, I’m going to settle the debate once and for all.

Keep reading for a handy guide on how to paint LEDs, including the type of paint you should use and its effect on light output.

Is It Safe To Paint LED Light Bulbs?

The most common cause for concern in this area is safety. Just how safe is it to paint an LED bulb?

When applied to a light bulb, paint acts as a coat of insulation. That is, it makes it difficult for heat to escape.

Why is this a problem?

The surface of a bulb typically serves as a heat dissipation device – excess heat is released through the glass. So adding a layer of paint causes heat to build up inside the bulb.

With conventional bulbs, such as incandescents and fluorescents, this can be extremely dangerous. If they get too hot, the inside filament will snap, and the bulb will blow.

At the extreme end of the scale, the glass itself may even shatter or explode.

However, with LEDs, it’s not that big of a deal. LEDs still produce heat, but nowhere near as much as conventional bulbs.

Nevertheless, please bear in mind that heat is the enemy of LEDs. By painting your bulbs and allowing excess heat to build up, your LEDs will gradually dim. This is called lumen degradation.

So to put it simply: yes, it is safe to paint LEDs, but it will shorten their lifespan.

Even if the paint you apply causes your LEDs to reach an extreme temperature, there is no safety hazard since most LEDs are connected to a transformer that regulates the supply of electricity.

What’s more, most modern diodes are surrounded by shatterproof epoxy resin, rather than fragile glass.

If you’re apprehensive, always air on the side of safety when it comes to electricals. Remember to unplug your LEDs before you begin painting and ensure that the paint is fully dry before you plug them back in.

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Can You Paint LED Bulbs With Acrylic Paint?


Happy Holidays all!We bought strings of replaceable C9 LED lights for our house for Christmas this year. They are “warm white”, but very bright, much more that we expected or intended. Before spending $40+ for some ‘yellow’ or ‘gold’ bulbs to try and see if they are more to our liking, I was wondering if there were some alternatives and landed here. Good info. I’m wondering if I could try a heat resistant paint but water it down a little so as to lessen it’s coverage of the bulbs.