Cooker Hood Lighting
Cooker hood lights are probably the most common of all things to fail on a cooker hood but in this article we have to start with a bit of solid advice or a warning if you like, please pay attention to the following.
Cooker hood lights are not meant to be left on all the time, they are intended for use whilst cooking and then to be switched off.
They are not intended for use for lighting effect as you might see in glossy adverts, sales brochures and so on.
If you leave them on for extended periods of time you run the risk of burning out the cooker hood control switch, the bulbs or even the lamp holders and lamp covers.
Now that’s off our chest we’ll get on with the stuff you probably wanted to read.
Good news is that cooker hood bulb, the covers for the bulbs or lams and lampholders are usually easy enough to change yourself.
There are three basic sections that we will divide this article into and deal with each one separately, the cooker hood lamp or bulb, the lamp holder and the lamp covers. With that, the different types of lighting that are used.
Before working on a cooker hood lighting system, other than chasing the bulb which is largely like changing the bulb in a normal light fitting, an oven os such, please ensure that the power is off to eliminate any risk of electrocution.
Standard Incandescent Lighting
By far the most common type of lighting used in a cooker hood is normal, standard incandescent lighting. These are traditional bulbs usually mounted behind a plastic lamp cover or diffuser in plastic lamp holders.
The reason these are so popular are the cost of them is low, they are reliable and well proven along with perfectly adequate for most people’s needs when it comes to cooker hood lighting.
Of course when it comes to the actual bulbs there are a few variations on the theme but, almost universally, you will find elongated 25 or 40 Watt screw in bulbs used that have an E14 or SES (Small Edison Screw) type fitting.
Or, you will find small halogen G4 capsule type bulbs being used.
You can get cooker hood light bulbs of all manners in our store and these standard types are really very cheap as they are almost universal in use as a spare part.
Cooker Hood Lights Keep Blowing
There are several reasons that this can happen with the most common one being, cheap bulbs.
Cheap bulbs are just that, cheap bulbs and any irregularity in the power be that from the mains of the cooker hood switch, can cause them to go again. And again. And again.
The only way to eliminate this as a cause is to avoid cheap bulbs in the first place as, it’s usually a false saving.
Next check that the lamp holder is in good condition as any loose, misshaped or dirty terminals can cause arcing and this can lead to the bulbs blowing repeatedly. On screw in types this is fairly obvious to most DIY enthusiasts with a bit of electrical knowledge but on capsule types it’s much harder to see.
Any pitting or such on the contacts in the holder and, the best thing to do is replace it.
In rare cases, the cooker hood switch can also have a dodgy connection that leads to arcing and this also can cause the bulbs to blow.
Very often because you are getting live and neutral coming together when this happens, in modern homes the RCD may trip with the bulb pops.
Lamp holders & Light Cover Spare Parts
With either standard type bulbs or halogen lamps there is a build up of heat and this is completely unavoidable. But, it gives rise to a couple of minor issues.
The first is that, regardless of what you do, over time the lamp holder (just like light fittings in your home lighting) will heat up, cool down and ultimately go brittle and break up. This is simple wear and tear however the process can be made far worse and have those holders fail far faster by leaving the lights on for long periods, see the note above.
If it all goes completely wrong and shorts, it can also blow the cooker hood switch as well so, this can be a costly error.
On hoods that have a plastic cover or light diffuser in from of the bulbs to protect them and give a “glow” type effect that can also heat up and in some cases to the point where it can melt.
Both of these, where you need spare parts, are often model specific and very often they are not interchangeable from one cooker hood to another.
With lamp holders there can be different sizes, wiring and so on making it imperative that you know in advance that the ones ordered will suit your cooker hood.
The same applies to lamp covers as there are different shapes, sizes and fittings that are often unique to a cooker hood model or range, they are almost never interchangeable. You cannot, for example, simply look for one that looks like the correct part, is about the same size and hope it will fit as, it probably won’t if you try to get parts that way.
More modern hoods can have LED lighting.
LED lighting is a bit different in that you need an LED driver, which his like a small transformer, to drive the correct voltage and current to the LED lights. This can be a separate spare part or, it can be built into a control module.
Replacement LED lamps or bulbs are model specific and you must order these for the specific cooker hood that you own and, this applies to the driver or board as well as the lamp holders as well.
Way back in the mists of time, fluorescent lighting was used on some cooker hoods, essentially a tube and starter type arrangement as most people are familiar with but these have largely fallen out of favour and we’ve not seen one like that in many years.
Many spares for such will be obsolete now.
Converting Cooker Hood Lights To LED
We’ve been asked a few times about conversion of standard lights or bulbs to LED ones and, we’ve tried it ourselves.
There are a lot of upsides to this we know, lower temperatures in the lamp is assumed, lower power use and the effects can be better tailored to suit your tastes.
However it would invalidate any warranty as, you’re modifying the appliance and the effects (especially long term) on the cooker hood control switch or control module are a complete unknown.
Where you use LED bulbs that have a driver incorporated into it we don’t know and, can’t tell you what the effect will be, what power it will draw, if it will affect the switch or much of anything else really.
What we’ve tried is to use G4 type LED units in a cooker hood or two and whilst they work fine off the standard transformer intended for normal G4 halogen capsule type bulbs, the LEDs do run hot. Now, this could be because they are getting too much voltage or current or, it could just be that the LED’s don’t like being enclosed as they should be on a cooker hoods with no or little airflow but, they can burn out pretty fast.
If you’re replacing them every few months, any savings you thought you might be making on electricity use quickly evaporate.
Replacement of normal E14 bulbs is liable to prove more successful but, again, what the effect will be on the rest of the cooker hood is largely unknown.
If you decide to try this yourself please do be very aware that it is done entirely at your own risk. If you fry the control board or the switch unit on your hood, don’t say we didn’t warn you.