Himalayan Salt Lamp Warnings: Are There Any Salt Lamp Dangers?
Salt lamps are beautiful to look at, clean the air in your home and can provide some surprising benefits.
There are, however, a few Himalayan salt lamp warnings to be aware of and precautions to take if you have one in your home to make sure they are safe.
Read ahead to find out why salt lamps can be dangerous to young children and pets like cats, fire hazards with faulty lamp dimmer switches and plugs, and whether there are any Himalayan salt lamps negative side effects.
Can Salt Lamps Catch on Fire?
The most concerning of these salt lamp dangers is an electrical fault and potential fire hazard from faulty cable wiring to dimmer switches, power plugs or light bulb fittings.
In 2017, home décor store Michaels recalled around 80,000 Lumière brand salt lamps due to safety concerns. The affected models for this Himalayan salt lamp recall were:
- Rock of Gibraltar Lamp — SKU 495144 — UPC 00886946056253
- Carnival of Lights — SKU 495433 — UPC 00886946058325
- Basket of Rocks — SKU 495146 — UPC 00886946056277
The U.S. Consumer Protection Safety Commission (CPSC) reported that ‘the dimmer switch and/or outlet plug could overheat and ignite, posing shock and fire hazards’ in these particular lamps.
No injuries were reported before the recall and it’s important to remember, it’s not that salt lamps can catch on fire. Rather, inferior electrical equipment that was the danger here.
This Himalayan salt lamp warning was an important reminder though to only ever consider buying a salt lamp the comes with the UL certified cord, and particularly dimmer switch if it has one.
This beautiful range of fair trade and certified authentic Himalayan salt lamps from specialists SoWell all come with UL approved light fittings and are of the highest quality and safety.
Check the Dimmer Switch on Older Salt Lamps To Be Safe
The faulty part in the Lumière salt lamp recall was a dimmer switch, reported and pictured in online reviews as an older ZE–04 model number, purchased in 2016 up to early 2017. Newer versions of this dimmer switch appear to be UL certified.
If you have an older Lumière Himalayan salt lamp, and, according to unconfirmed reports, possibly Himalayan Glow and WBM salt lamps, it’s worth checking the lamp’s dimmer switch for this number.
If you find it then it would be wise to contact the manufacturer to see if your salt lamp should be recalled to be safe.
Importantly, the dimmer switch in all of these brands has being replaced since the salt lamp recall in early 2017. There are no reports I could find of any of these salt lamps being a safety issue now.
I’d still recommend avoiding cheap pink salt lamp brands that may cut corners with inferior and potentially dangerous electrical wiring and dimmer switches.
Light Bulbs Should Never Touch the Lamp Itself
You also don’t want lamp bulbs too close to or actually touching the crystal salt itself. This can lead to moisture dripping onto the light fitting and potentially shorting out the wiring.
This salt lamp warning would only apply to poorly made models, usually from China. Authentic Himalayan salt lamps from Pakistan should always be made with a hollowed out middle and come with a UL approved cord (or another country equivalent).
A well-made Himalayan salt lamp should last a lifetime. Saving a few dollars, yet risking overheating wiring, electrical shorts and even a potential fire hazard, just doesn’t make sense.
When it does come time to swap out a blown bulb make sure you use the right kind and follow this salt lamp light bulb replacement guide carefully.
Himalayan Salt Lamp Warning for Small Children
One of the potential dangers of salt rock lamps is their weight, particularly if poorly positioned in a home with young children.
Salt lamps are surprisingly heavy and kids do seem to love to knock things over. Take care if you have a small child in your home, or even regular visits from one, to position your lamp on a sturdy table and well out of the reach of children.
This is especially important if you choose an extra large Himalayan salt lamp, like one of these stunning feature lamps to illuminate an entire room. Weighing up to 20 pounds, they could clearly be dangerous if a child could topple them over.
Properly made salt lamps will be fitted with a sturdy base, particularly for oversize and unusual Himalayan salt lamp shapes, so you only need to worry about positioning them out of reach of young children.
Cheap and poorly made salt lights, however, can have too small bases, be cut asymmetrically to make them unstable and, most dangerously, be improperly fixed to their base so they could eventually break and fall off.
Are Salt Lamps Toxic?
Himalayan salt lamps clean the air in your home of pollutants and, while there is nothing toxic in the salt block itself, they can get a thin coating of dust and other indoor pollution over time so it’s best to clean them every few weeks.
In fact, after cleaning your salt lamp, you can even lick it if you want to. If you are ever out of salt in your kitchen you could also scrape off a little to using in cooking as well. So yes, you can eat your Himalayan salt lamp if you really want to — it’s that non-toxic.
While licking a Himalayan salt lamp is safe for humans, the same can’t be said for pets, especially cats.
Special Warning for Salt Lamps and Cats
If you are a cat owner then you should take extra precautions when positioning your lamp in your home. Cats are curious and many salt lamp owners report that their cats are attracted to the lamp and like to lick it.
Too much salt is poisonous to cats and can cause negative side effects like vomiting, extreme thirst and diarrhea. More serious symptoms include severe dehydration, seizures, kidney disorders, blindness and even death.
Cats do need some salt in their diet but you definitely don’t want your cat licking a Himalayan salt lamp all day.
If you suspect your cat has ingested too much salt and has symptoms like lethargy, difficulty walking, vomiting and diarrhea then take them to a veterinarian immediately.
These same salt lamp dangers are relevant to dogs as well. Though they are less likely to have access to salt lamps to lick them as cats who can jump up onto furniture.
As you would with young children, make sure you consider cats, dogs and other pets in your home when you position your salt lamp and ensure they don’t have the opportunity to lick it to be safe.
Himalayan Salt Lamp Warning Summary
- Avoid cheap salt lamps that may use inferior and potentially dangerous electrical wiring and dimmer switches.
- Check the dimmer switch and light fitting on older salt lamps for signs of overheating. This is especially important after the Lumière salt lamp recall.
- Ensure the light bulb inside the lamp never touches the salt as this can lead to sweating and even short out the light switch.
- Position your Himalayan salt lamp out of reach of young children and pets like cats as too much Himalayan salt can be toxic to them.
Are Salt Lamps Safe to Leave On?
The longer you leave your Himalayan salt lamp on, the better the air cleaning effect will be.
Low wattage light bulbs used in these lamps don’t use much electricity and, in fact, if you turn them off you can have problems with your salt lamp leaking water.
So yes, salt lamps are safe to leave on at all times as long as they are fitted with approved electrical fittings and properly positioned in your home.
Are There Any Himalayan Salt Lamp Negative Side Effects?
Salt lamps do work to clean the air and can provide surprising benefits in your home. For best results, they should be left on at all times to prevent sweating and maintain their hygroscopic air purifying effect.
Some people ask ‘can salt lamps cause headaches and migraines?’ Quite the opposite in fact.
By cleaning the air of allergens and providing a gentle amber colored glow, as opposed to harsh blue light which affects melatonin production, these lamps actually combat two common causes of headaches.
In reviews in online forums, many owners report fewer headaches and migraines since they began using a Himalayan salt lamp in their home. I haven’t seen any scientific studies to back this up, though there is little incentive for this expensive research to be done.
Another strange question of people ask is ‘can salt lamps make you sick?’ Aside from licking your lamp like a cat and ingesting too much sodium, there’s no reason why a salt rock lamp should make you sick.
There’s a valid argument to be made that salt lamps aren’t nearly as effective at cleaning the air as a true negative ion generator, like one of these highly recommended ionic air purifiers.
However, in many years of researching Himalayan salt lamps, I’ve never seen any valid reports of negative side effects, only health benefits and an increased sense of peace and tranquility in people’s homes.
So Are Salt Lamp Safe?
There are two main salt lamp dangers to be aware of. The first is faulty electrical wiring, potentially overheating and causing a fire hazard.
This isn’t really a salt lamp specific danger though. Rather, a safety issue with any lamp or electrical equipment with a poorly made and uncertified power cord.
And secondly, badly positioned salt lamps that could be knocked over by young children or licked by cats and other pets. Awareness of this issue when you choose a spot for your lamp guards against any future problems.
These Himalayan salt lamp warnings really shouldn’t prevent anyone from owning and benefiting from one of these beautiful natural lamps in their home.
I’ve reviewed the best Himalayan salt lamps here in detail, with different sizes, shapes and designs for every budget and room size.
Used properly, salt lamps are completely safe and make a stunning addition to any living space. You can read about how Himalayan salt lamps work and the surprising ways they can affect you here.