Most people install LED lighting as they believe it will save them money. They advertise these lighting solutions as lasting up to 50,000 hours which if true can save hundreds of dollars in the lifetime of a bulb.
This is great if the LED light you install does what it is advertised to do. Unfortunately, because of their popularity it’s common to encounter poorly running, cheap or faulty LEDs. Many of whom fall well short of the long-term benefits they claim to offer.
Despite what you might think, LED technology is still relatively new and as a result it is constantly developing. Many of the problems people encounter with LED lighting occur when they choose the cheapest options available.
Lights that have been fully certified and rigorously tested when they are used correctly, may well serve you a long time and you will end up getting what you pay for.
It’s important to understand that LEDs are far more carefully calibrated than any standard filament light bulb. They need to be treated with care. But above all else poor ventilation and overheating cause the primary issues that result in a decreased lifespan for LED bulbs.
In this article we’re going to detail some common problems with LED lighting and how to prevent them.
Using the wrong current
Fluctuations in current and directly impact the lifetime of an LED bulb. LEDs are dependent on constant and consistent current and as a consequence in Rush current can be extremely damaging. For example chugging an LED light in while it is still switched on can blow the bulbs semiconductors.
This can happen if your LED light is switched on and off too often we have designed any sudden spike in a current beyond the parameters that the light to deal with can impact its semiconductor.
Because of this higher quality bulbs have been fitted with what’s called a soft start and this is designed to prevent damage from a current spike.
If the current running in your circuit is higher than what your LED light has been rated to deal with this will eventually cause it to fail
LED bulbs overheat
Letting LED bulbs overheat will lead them to prematurely fail. The one rule you can never ignore and maintain your LEDs is that they need to be kept cool.
Many people encounter issues with LEDs when they put them in proximity to other bulbs. The heat generated by these other bulbs will cause your LEDs to fail. Even the highest parties LEDs with built-in heat sinks are not designed to deal with unexpected excessive heat.
For you ever installed an LED you need to consider its position and how it will help keep it cool if you place the bulb either downwards or upwards, this will allow the hot air to comfortably escape. it’s also important to remember if you are placing an LED light facing downwards you need to leave the top of the fixture uncovered which will allow any excess heat to escape
If you intend to place the LED sideways, you need to purchase a light bulb that has a larger heat sink design otherwise expect many of your bulbs to simply burn out
Using LED bulbs in warm climates near kitchen stoves in on ventilated garages and in any spot that doesn’t allow for adequate ventilation will cause LED bulbs frying
Low quality Solder and wire bonds
When you purchase an LED bulb from a trusted manufacturer they should already have been put through a series of rigorous tests. And it’s safe to assume that any of the solder wires are other components in the bottle are of a high enough quality. Without this testing its unlikely that the bulb will last as long as it states and this is true of inexpensive LED bulbs
She’s regulation is one of the biggest issues that arise with cheaper bulbs in their internal heat and sometimes get much higher than is ideal in this directly affects the soldered joints as they dry out and fell apart
Improper use of LED lighting
Chasing LED lights in enclosed fixtures are incandescent fixtures that have inefficient heat management systems will just lead to the LED bulbs failing as they’re not designed to withstand the higher temperatures
The trapped air common in old-fashioned are enclosed fixtures allows your LED Bill bulb and its components to warm up quickly and as there’s nowhere for the heat to escape the ball will eventually fail
These issues are far more common in cheaper LED lights as their heat sink has been poorly designed and cannot be more sensitive. They have not designed incandescent fixtures to take LED bulbs as there’s no way to help the heat dissipate; they design traditional bulbs to radiate heat outwards; they don’t need specifically designed sockets. As a result installing LED bulbs in an older socket can cause the bulb frying wire sorting out than the worst-case scenario fires. .
Issues with color rendering
Incandescent bulbs produce light similar to sunlight, making spaces vibrant and bright and keeping colors authentic. They refer this to as 100% CRI (color render index). LED lights however produce a 65 to 95 CRI which directly affects how we perceive green and red colors and how Asian and Caucasians skin tones appear. Well, this may not be an issue for most people, it is something that in certain industries you need to remain aware of especially if specific objects look natural.
Existing fittings and fixtures are incomparable
Another issue that arises with LED technology is that existing dimming circuitry in offices and homes may not be compatible. Traditional bulbs could be dimmed by changing the voltage, and older circuits could easily make this change.
Unfortunately LED bulbs have their own built-in circuitry designed to run on a lower power, and as a result these additional components need their own dimmers to run efficiently.
Light Emitting Efficacy
This issue is a little more complicated, but LED lighting is measured differently to that of traditional incandescent. The alternative way of measuring brightness of these lights has led to a level of confusion, especially when people are looking to compare them to their pre-existing lighting setups.
They measure LED bulbs in lumens per watt. To measure the performance of a bulb, you need to know how efficiently it will convert watts (energy) into lumens(light).
This will give you what’s known as the luminous efficacy of your bulb. Low efficacy bulbs either are using older technology or just cheaply built.
When you’re looking to purchase an efficient high quality LED bulb you should look for one that has the highest number of lumens and that uses the least amount of energy or watts to generate these. Lumens good/Watts bad.
Overly complicated circuits
Despite our recent advances in the lighting industry of which the LED evolution has been central. Despite the lighting options available to people are getting better and better, the circuits that these lights run on including their emitters, semiconductors, capacitors and drivers do not appear to be keeping up with the advances in technology. Especially when usage and heat are not managed appropriately.
When issues arise with lighting, experts will tell you that six times out of 10 we will find the problem in the circuit board. This isn’t really being helped by LED technology. As the bulbs have become increasingly complicated, they are causing more and more problems with the older, more antiquated circuits they’re expected to run on.
Lighting is becoming more and more advanced, offering extra features designed to connect to Wi-Fi, increase its dimming effect, and offer more control over the current. As a result, LED lighting is now the driving behind the evolution in circuitry.
They don’t last as long as the manufacturers state
The biggest issue with LED lighting is that it doesn’t last as long as you would expect. This is because of a combination of all the reasons listed above. Because of this and the fact that the technology is still relatively new, determining the accurate lifespan of an LED bulb in real-life settings is more theoretical than anything else.
Perfectly created lab conditions using compatible dimmers, the best fixtures, ideal temperatures and a perfectly stable current do not really reflect real-life conditions.
As a result, it’s difficult to truly know how long an LED bulb will last. The combination of incompatible fixtures and dimmers, excessive temperatures and having to deal with inconsistent power surges are all going to test your LED bulbs specifications.
Given the popularity of this technology, perhaps it’s time the industry address the common problems with LED lighting. Spend less time and effort on extra features of LED bulbs. Spend more money on testing and regulation to decrease these potential points of failure.
Forcing companies to offer their customers better warranties and free replacements as standard will instantly increase the quality of the LED bulbs on sale. Customers have a right to get what they pay for. They want well tested high-quality products that they can trust.