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How Durable are LED Step Lights?

How Durable are LED Step Lights?

Posted by Chris Johnson on Sep 23rd 2015

We recently received this question on our website about the durability of our LED step lights:

Can the lights set flat on the landing and be able to withstand the removal of snow, or are they too fragile for that?

If you've considered installing step lights on an outdoor staircase or an indoor staircase that gets a lot of wear and tear, this question has probably crossed your mind. After doing some research and hearing from a few customers about their own experiences, here's what I've found:

The Hearty Light Source

For a quality outdoor step light, you couldn't do better than an LED. LEDs don't have delicate filaments or electrodes like other light sources. This lets them withstand jarring vibrations like heavy foot traffic or shoveling.

Also, LEDs love the cold - they actually last longer in lower temperatures. So, they're perfect for outdoor lighting in chilly climates. Fluorescent lights, on the other hand, don't thrive in the cold. They have difficulty starting in temperatures lower than 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

How Fragile Are The Housings?

While LEDs by themselves are downright robust, they aren't the sole component of a step light. The glass, metal, or plastic housings and covers might not hold up to vigorous scraping or pounding if installed flat on a stair. Plus, if they're not completely flush, they could be a tripping hazard.

Jim from PA. a proud owner of LED step lights, offered us his solution to this problem:

I've had these on my wooden steps for almost 2 years now and they handle the snow and shoveling just fine, but I did recess the metal flange into the wood so everything is flush, with a little dab of construction adhesive. A shovel would probably catch the flange if you don't recess them.

When installed completely flush to a surface, they shouldn't be prone to so much damage.

Alternative Installation Options?

So you still don't want to risk damaging your step lights by putting them directly on your step. Or, perhaps the step lights you like don't look right completely recessed. No problem! You don't have to install them flat on the step to have great staircase lighting.

Adam, another satisfied step light owner, side-mounted his step lights to keep them out of the line of fire. He loves the added effect. Here's what he had to say:

These are great lights, very bright and very easy to work with. As for mounting them on the stepping surface I think that might not be a good idea. They are virtually flush the face plates are only about 1mm thick. If you sweep your steps you'll be safe. I wouldn't try a shovel though. If you can, try side mounting them under the steps it looks great! I added a photo of my own set up. I side mounted mine and couldn't be happier.

Here's Adam's photo:

Customer photo of LED step light installation

How are you installing your LED step lights? We'd love to answer any of your questions!

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