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Is It Safe To Leave Lights On For A Week? | Vacations & Home Security

Summer is the most popular month for break-ins because windows and doors are left open more frequently. It’s also vacation season, leaving houses empty and vulnerable.

Is it safe to leave lights on for a week or so while you’re away? Depending on the bulb, leaving lights on carries a risk of fire, and ultimately is not the best way to prevent a home invasion.

Keep reading to learn what the most effective burglar deterrents are for when you’re going on vacation.

Is it OK to Leave a Light On For a Week?

Modern lights are safe to leave on for a week, though it isn’t advisable. If you forgot to turn them off, LED bulbs are unlikely to overheat, trip electrics, or start a fire.

If you want to leave the lights on for a week, it’s safer to install a security timer on a lamp. When configured properly, the lamp will turn on at pre-set times, like when the sun sets, to make it look like someone is home.

Should You Leave Lights On While On Vacation?

It’s not a good idea to leave lights on while on vacation. In addition to potential fire risks, leaving lights on for 1-2 weeks will waste energy and increase electricity bills significantly.

Does Leaving Lights on Deter Burglars

Security cameras are better burglar deterrents simply because no burglar wants their face recorded.

How Much Does It Cost to Leave a Light On for a Week?

Curious about how much it costs to leave lights on for a week? Check out the table below to discover the average cost per light bulb.

Type of BulbCost Per 1,000 Hours
LEDs$1 or less

Any type of light, when left on for a week, shouldn’t cost more than a few dollars. LEDs are the only light safe to leave on for extended periods, and also the cheapest.

Leaving security cameras on 24/7 uses around 4-5 watts of electricity per hour, compared to 6-22 watts per hour used by lights. This means that security cameras cost significantly less to run than lights.

Can Leaving a Light On for a Week Cause a Fire?

Leaving most types of light on for a week risks causing a fire as a result of overheating. However, modern lights are much safer. Compare the risks of fire below. 

Type of BulbAre They Safe to Leave On for a Week?Can They Cause Fires If Left On 24/7?
FluorescentNoNo(unless fitted incorrectly)
LEDsYesNo(unless fitted incorrectly)

Is it Safe to Have Outside Lights On at Night?

Outside lights are designed for night time use, so they are perfectly safe to use at night. However, leaving outdoor lights on all night contributes to light pollution and an unnecessarily high electricity bill. 


LEDs are the safest, most energy efficient lights, so consider switching all lighting in your home to LED. At the very least, you’ll notice the difference in your bills.

If you’re heading on vacation, security cameras are much more valuable for home security than leaving lights on for a week. It’s also worth withholding bragging rights until after you’ve returned. Bon voyage!