How long do LEDs last?
LEDs are notable for being extremely long-lasting products. Many LEDs have a rated life of up to 50,000 hours. This is approximately 50 times longer than a typical incandescent, 20-25 times longer than a typical halogen, and 8-10 times longer than a typical CFL. Used 12 hours a day, a 50,000 bulb will last more than 11 years. Used 8 hours a day, it will last 17 years!
The life of LEDs is generally not 100,000 hours, and LEDs must have a certain amount of power when they are made into lamps. The higher the power, the higher the heat dissipation requirements. The heat dissipation is not good and the life of the LED is affected. Then there is the drive power part and so on, which are related to the life of the “LED lights“. Now our LED lamp life is 30,000 hours, but you have to make it clear that 30,000 hours is not a broken lamp, not bright. We mean that after 30,000 hours, the light decay may be more than 30%. In fact, the current energy-saving lamps are also the standard life, but the people do not know it. The energy-saving lamps will quickly produce light decay at the beginning of the first use. It will reach 20~30% light decay in about 3 months. In the following time, the light decays slowly, and after 3 to 5 thousand hours, it will be greater than 40%, then the lamp will be scrapped.
When comparing different lighting options for your home or business, it’s easy to see why LEDs are fast becoming the go-to choice for many consumers. Unlike traditional incandescent lights, these models are built to be energy efficient, safer, and more environmentally friendly. Not only that, but they last a lot longer than incandescents as well.
But how much life can you expect from your LED? On average, a single bulb will work for up to a decade or more, but sometimes they may burn out in much less time. If that’s the case, then you have to look at the variables that might be cutting your bulb’s life short.
Today we’re going to discuss the most common issues that can diminish your LED’s performance, as well as what you can do to minimize its effect.
Although LED bulbs are not as susceptible to degree changes as incandescent models, that doesn’t mean that they are impervious to damage. Typically speaking, your light needs to be in a moderate temperature range of about 50-80 degrees. If it’s exposed to intense heat or cold, then that can affect its ability to illuminate.
Buying LEDs? How long can you expect them to last?
Let’s rephrase that question. How long can you expect LEDs to last, and effectively function? That’s a better way to be looking at this, and the way the DOE is steering people to look at it.
We used this example in another article to best explain the difference between looking at average rated life, and looking at L70:
If you purchase an LED PAR lamp that carries a three-year warranty and an L70 rating of 25,000 hours and you operate the lighting 18 hours per day, 365 days per year, just how long should you expect it to last?
Running your lighting on that kind of schedule gives you an annual burn time of 6,570 hours, so you should reach the L70 threshold about three-quarters of the way through your fourth year of operating the lighting, or about 45 months after installing those PAR lamps. This means that the three-year warranty would expire just a few months before the L70 mark is reached.
After you’ve hit the product’s L70 mark, application comes into play. It’s probably not a big deal for your lighting to be slightly dimmer, or slightly shift in color, if it’s in a warehouse. But if you run an art museum or chain of retail stores, a noticeable loss in light output or the slightest shift in color is more than a little problematic.
In the latter scenario, be sure to budget for new lighting around the time your existing product is scheduled to hit its L70 mark.
Usually, it’s lights that stay outside all year round that are most affected by these changes in the weather. During the bitter cold of the winter, it can take longer for the light to warm up and get bright. In the sweltering summer heat, it may shut off to cool down when it gets too hot.
Overall, putting your lights in such volatile environments is going to shorten their lifespan. Instead of lasting up to 10 years or more, they may stop working after a couple of years. However, since various models are built differently, it’s hard to figure out what to expect until it happens.
Pro Tip: If you’re going to keep lights outside permanently, then try to cover them with a glass enclosure or something similar. Putting shelter over your bulbs will protect them from the worst weather and ensure that they work better and last longer.
Inside, be sure to keep lights away from heat sources like heaters and furnaces. Also, avoid putting bulbs next to cold elements, like an A/C unit. This will also extend their lifespan and prevent you from having to replace them as often.
Whenever you get a new light bulb, you’ll notice that there is a wattage rating on the side. This number is vital to the success of your new LED as it will dictate how well it works in the fixture. For example, if it’s rated for 60 watts, but you put it somewhere that generates 100 watts, it will overload the circuit sooner rather than later.
Conversely, putting a higher watt bulb into a lower watt source is going to lead to issues as well. The light won’t produce as much light as it should, and it could drain more energy from the fixture as a result.
In the end, not paying attention the power and energy ratings of your LED bulbs can shorten their lifespan and cause them to burn out much faster.
Pro Tip: If possible, get your fixtures checked out to find out what wattage and voltage they are designed for; this will enable you to get the right kind of bulbs and prevent any damage to either the fixture or the light itself.
When a light bulb burns out, typically it happens when you flip the switch and send power into it. Rarely does it stop working while it’s still on unless it’s overheated. As such, you can imagine that turning your lights on and off excessively is going to put more wear and tear on them than keeping them on for extended periods.
At home, you’ll likely keep your lights on for a few hours at a time. For a business, they will probably be going for up to 12-24 hours, depending on their placement and the hours of operation for your storefront.
Overall, bulbs that are used more frequently are going to burn out faster than those that aren’t. So, when trying to determine how long your LED is going to last, first think about how many times it will be turned on and off throughout the day, as well as how long it will stay on in a typical setting.
Pro Tip: Buy light bulbs that are designed for the kind of use you want to put them in. For example, don’t get consumer-grade lights if you plan on installing them in your business. Shop around and find the best model, not necessarily the most cost-effective.
When it comes to maximizing your LED bulbs, you want to pay close attention to how they are crafted and how they are used. Too often, we think of lights as a constant, rather than something that has an expiration date.
Rather than treating your lights as if they are indestructible, start imagining them as if they are small electronics instead. This will help you take care of them and treat them right.
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