LED Luminaries

LED news and insight from our technology editor Steve Bush, who has been messing with LED lighting for more years than he would care to remember.

LED Life Expectancy

LEDs have a general life expectancy of 50 000 hrs. If you use your lights for 10 hours a day, this should be 13.7 yrs. If this is correct, then LED’s are definitely an investment, even the top of the range bulb would work out to cost 2.55GBP per year. Add that to the saving you would make on energy and you’ve got a very cost effective bulb!

However, there are times when, even high quality, LED products can last as little as a year. The problem with these can be attributed to a large number of things, here are a few main causes:

Heatsink – Designing a heatsink is a fine science. Some heatsinks do not have the correct amount of surface area, some do not take into consideration about the gaps between fins to enable air flow. Some have horizontal fins, when they are positioned vertically. The main design fault with the latter, being that heat rises. Rather than dispersing the heat away from the bulb, the heat coming from the lower fins heat the upper fins even more.

Capacitors – Most, standard, electronic capacitors are made from a plastic. These have an average life time of around 1 year, if used regularly. Capacitors are part of the circuit in every LED driver. Now a number of companies are making their capacitors from ceramics, giving them a much longer life expectancy.

Environment – LEDs are usually designed to work in our country, and in our climate. If they are used in a hot country, or enclosed area, the heat around them can easily surpass the heat they were designed to withstand, shortening their life time.

To get LEDs to their full potential, these factors, among other considerations, must be taken into account.

Related posts

5 Comments

  1. Henry
    April 04, 2014 15:23

    @James
    Actually James, Atlas is correct on his life-span of a 9V battery. His only mistake was writing 600Ah and not 600mAh. The average 9V battery has about 550 mAh, thats milliamp hours, or just above one half of a single amp hour. Thus, with an LED running at 20 milliamps (to stay consistant with Atlas’ example), the average 9V battery should be able to power it consistantly for about 27-30 hours.

  2. steve bush
    January 08, 2014 16:15

    I wouldnt like to have to lift a 600Ah battery? It would be huge :-)

  3. James
    December 17, 2013 11:26

    @Atlas
    Actually you are wrong. the average 3mm type white led has a max safe current draw of about 20 milliamps. this would mean that a 9v battery with a 600ah capacity would let a single led last for: 600/0.02 = 30,000 hrs of use. if you used it for 13 hrs a night it would last for ~6.3 years. i rest my case.

  4. Atlas
    November 19, 2013 16:18

    @Rafael

    I come from the future bringing you news.

    Battery + LED = crap lifespan. In my opinion.

    A 9V battery is average 600ah and with a typical LED having a draw of 20amp it would only last about 30 hours.

  5. Rafael Gomez
    June 04, 2010 01:24

    how long is the usual life span of a good battery for a led light what is the best battery out there that i can us that is small a durable but that will last quite some time and if there is such thing how many hours or years can this battery last if i use it for 13 hrs a night