Do LED Bulbs Burnout?

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How Long Do LED Bulbs Really Last?

You know LED bulbs last a long time, but how realistic are the claims on the bulb box? Many people believe the higher price of these bulbs is worth it because of their long life. Let’s look at how long they last in the real world.

What Does the Label Say?

Many LED bulbs claim they can last up to 10 years with regular use. If you look at the manufacturer’s definition of regular use, however, you might see it’s different from yours.

For instance, some labels list 10,000 hours as the lifespan. If you only use the bulb for 2 or 3 hours a day, it will last 10 years. If you use it 6 to 8 hours a day, however, it will last about 3 to 4 years. If that sounds disappointing, remember that it’s still much longer than the average fluorescent or incandescent bulb.

Here’s another way to look at it. A bulb with a 25,000-hour lifespan will last more than three years, even if you leave it on 24-7. The bottom line is that you’re still getting a great lifespan out of the average LED bulb. Most of them will last 4 to 6 years.

They Don’t Burn Out

LED bulbs don’t burn out like regular bulbs, which simply stop working abruptly when they run out of power. Instead, LED bulbs slowly degrade over time. After several years, their brightness dims. This is known as “luminous decay.” When they emit faint light, it’s time to change them.

Temperature Affects Their Lifespan

The temperature can affect how long they last.

Heat can damage the circuitry of LED bulbs and cause them to wear out. Encasing an LED in a tight fixture doesn’t allow the heat to escape, and this can speed the process.

If you’re using LED bulbs in a fixture or a hot environment, it’s smart to buy bulbs with a heat sink. A heat sink is the same element that helps computers and cellphones stay cool, and it can help prolong the life of your LED bulbs.

Contrary to what many people believe, extreme cold doesn’t harm LED bulbs. Most LED bulbs work best in environments where it doesn’t get hotter than 75 degrees.

How Long Do Outdoor LED Bulbs Last?

Like indoor LED bulbs, outdoor lights will last a long time. These bulbs may be exposed to more extreme weather conditions that can affect their longevity.

If your outdoor bulbs are rated to last 25,000 hours, for instance, you can expect them to last 2 to 3 years if you leave them on all the time. To preserve their lifespan, turn them off when they’re not needed. If you’re using LED bulbs for security lighting, use motion sensors. They can help you conserve energy and preserve the life of your bulbs.

What About String Lights?

The holiday season will be here soon. If you’re planning to put string LED lights up, how long can you expect them to last?

Professional holiday light designers say you can expect them to last about 3 years if you use them seasonally. If you use hanging lights year-round, they will last 1 to 2 years.

Get Lighting Help from the Experts

If you need help with any lighting questions, call the experts at SESCOS. We can design lighting plans, install outdoor illumination and put up your holiday lights. Call us for all your electrical needs.