How Long Do LED Lights Last?

How Long Do LED Lights Last?

Since its invention and use in 1962, LED (Light-Emitting Diode) technology has been a low-cost lighting product. It is a very efficient way to light any and everything. It is more dependable than traditional light bulbs. However, its most popular feature is that it lasts longer than any other type of light bulb.

LED technology now means that it will light your home, office, or anywhere you need lighting with long-lasting light without your bulb burning hot. LED requires very little energy. With this advancement, using LED bulbs means that it will light up quickly with bright illumination, but without a lot of money each month in purchasing new light bulbs.

How Long Do LED Light Bulbs Last?

Even though LED manufacturing companies give LED bulbs brilliant lighting lumens numbers, there are varying circumstances that make this question hard to answer. Granted that the lifespan of LED light bulbs is longer than traditional bulbs, there are several key factors that help to give you an idea of its lifespan.

LED bulbs are known for their reputation as lasting up to 10 years. This means they can keep lighting somewhere between 10,000 to 50,000 hours. Wow, this a huge lighting range! Yes, LED bulbs have long lives, but remember that they are not impervious to eventual failure.

LED bulbs that last up to 50,000 hours means that it lasts up to 25 times longer than a halogen light bulb. LEDs last up to 10 times longer than other traditional bulbs. This includes a compact fluorescent light or CFL, fluorescent lighting, and high-intensity discharge lights (HID).

LED light bulbs also feature a longer life than high-pressure sodium (HIPS) lights (gas inspired), Incandescent lights, or low-pressure sodium lights or LPS lights. An LED bulb with a large lifespan still outlasts a 50-watt bulb that gives between 1,000 to 2,000 hours of light or 3 months.

Wow, LED – what an illuminating feat. The number of hours that an LED light bulb remains lit determines where it is used and how many hours you use it for lighting. Okay, another vast technology viewpoint for using a 25,000-hour LED bulb is this.

If you left a LED light on for 12 hours each day, this LED bulb would continue to work for around 6 years. If you left a 25,000-hour LED bulb on for only 8 hours every day, it would still last a long time – 17 years.

Types of LED Bulbs

LED manufacturers can make these bulbs into any type of light fixture or hue you need. LED bulbs are now used for decorative or accent lighting, track lighting, holiday lighting, outdoor lighting, i.e., floodlights, and in replacing traditional bulbs in certain light fixtures.

What Helps LED Bulbs Last So Long?

There is no secret that LED bulbs are more expensive to purchase. But their lighting longevity saves your pocketbook more money. They are an efficient and long-term investment for homes and businesses. LED technology is what helps these bulbs last longer than our human energy can.

LED light bulbs contain a somewhat complicated structure that gives it its long lifetime existence. Not to be so technical, the basic components of a LED bulb consists of capacitors, resistors, and inductors:

  • Capacitor: capacitors are a key component within the LED bulb structure Capacitors help the bulb from overheating, avoid flickering, and helps to ensure the longevity of the LED light bulb.
  • Resistors: An LED-resistor slows down its ever-flowing current. Thus, limiting how much current flows through the LED bulb helps to prevent it from burning too hot.
  • Inductor: To produce white light, there are different color LEDs inductors (red, green, amber, blue). The bulb is covered with a coated phosphor material. The coating converts the varying hue colors of the light to the traditional white light that we use in our homes.

Another factor in how long LEDs can last is whether you are operating them on higher currents than what is required. Higher currents will shorten the lifespan of any size LED bulb.

Is Your LED Bulb Dimming?

If LED bulbs begin to dim, it is the above components that will keep it lit but with lower illumination. These components are the weak link in an LED circuitry, but your bulb will not go out. In other words, if any of these components in the LED fails, your bulb will continue to provide light.

Interestingly, LED bulbs do not burn out. They do weaken and become dim over time, but LED bulbs will continue to burn for hours and days on end. Please note that the dimming of an LED bulb is nothing like a 50-watt bulb. There is still plenty of illumination emanating from a dimmed LED bulb.

There is another continued benefit in dimming LED bulbs. They become more efficient. Thus, this low energy illumination helps to increase its lifespan. Dimming LED bulbs continue to operate more efficiently at this lower illuminating power. LED bulbs and traditional light bulbs are two very different technological animals.

Oh yes, another well-known feature of regular bulbs is its filaments. Traditional bulbs are heated through filaments that got very hot. Filaments would become so overheated that they would burn out and in some instances, the filament would break. LEDs do not get hot but continue to burn brightly.

Wattage vs Lumens

As consumers, we understand that wattage means how bright our traditional bulb will burn. LED lighting is different. Since LEDs are purposefully designed to use less energy, they will naturally feature a lower wattage rating.

To differentiate LED bulb illumination, “lumens” is the new brightness spectrum. Lumens is not a new measuring stick for brightness. The US Federal Trade Commission used these manufacturing terms over 9 years ago. Its term usage fits perfectly in the LED environment.

When you go shopping for LED bulbs you will not be sacrificing brightness because presently, they are the more energy-efficient light bulb. For the LED bulb brightness, look at its lumens per watt ratio. The larger the lumen number the more illumination you will receive and the more energy-efficient it becomes.

10-Year Life Span for LED – Really?

As you see when you are looking for LED bulbs, there are different price differences. Less expensive LED light bulbs state that they too have a 10-year life.

Do you know what the saying is “read the fine print.” If you read the label closely you will see that in the least priced LED bulbs, a 10-year claim means that you should not burn the bulb for more than 2 or 3 hours each day.

If you factor in using a less costly bulb for this number of hours each day, then the number of years that your LED bulb will last is close to three years. Actually, even a lower-end LED bulb that lasts this number of years is still better than a traditional bulb.

Benefits of LED Lighting

  • The LED lighting environment is non-toxic e.g., no mercury. LED bulbs are eco-friendly and are totally recyclable. Homeowners and businesses save on buying bulbs that burn out.
  • LED bulbs are made with user-friendly materials. They have been proven to withstand varying temperatures, if you drop them, they don’t instantly shatter, and they hold up under varying vibrations and shocks.
  • LED bulbs do not lose their shelf life. You can stock up on LED bulbs and keep them in storage for lengthy time periods, even in varying temperatures.
  • LED bulbs can be used when the outdoor temperature or season is cold or hot. Other bulbs like fluorescent or incandescent lighting are greatly affected by the change of weather.
  • LED bulbs are highly illuminated from the time you turn them on until they are turned off. LED light bulbs also light up instantly unlike low-energy bulbs like halogens which take several seconds to achieve their highest brilliant output.

Not only are the components LED lighting intricate, but LED light bulbs are used everywhere. Thank you, Thomas Edison, for the invention of the light bulb. But modern technology has changed its operating principles. LEDs are used in varying industries like NASA and the medical field.

The use of LED light therapy is helping millions. Blue light LED bulbs are helping to cure infections and heal wounds faster via a specialized bandage. This type of LED lighting is known as “high brightness” LEDs (HBLEDs).

These higher-power emitting LEDs provide a higher level of light output than LED light bulbs used to light homes and most businesses. Already, LED power is gaining a more advanced reputation. Yet, their output remains a greater efficiency system than any other type of lighting technology along with a longer lighting lifespan.


Like all things, technology will continue to march on. LED brightness and efficiency will get better, more advanced, and even reach the 100,000-hour illumination years. But for now, there are certain things we can do to answer the question of how long do LED lights last.

This includes using LED bulbs in the appropriate light fixtures. Please do not mix or mingle LED bulbs with the remaining incandescent or fluoride bulbs you have leftover in a socket. The heat that your older bulbs generate can and will lessen the illumination of an LED bulb environment.

Remember, to turn off your lights when you leave each room. After all, the longer you leave any light bulb on, the more you are spending its efficiency, life, and more of your money.