If you have read anything on LED lighting from sites like this or anywhere else on the internet, then you will be fairly familiar with the myriad benefits that LED lighting brings compared to its traditional couterparts.
From the environmental benefits that come from its lower energy usage, and its higher lifespan that lowers the overall waste production, to its weather resistance, there are seemingly endless reasons as to why the switch to LED is the most sensible and logical.
On top of the environmental advantages, LED lighting is subsequently saving households and businesses hundreds in lower utility costs, so it’s also naturally the best economical choice.
However, no product – regardless of how much it has transformed the market – is flawless. It’s also easy to forget that LED lighting is in its technological infancy compared to older forms of lighting, and so there are bound to be vulnerabilities and imperfections that pop up the more that they penetrate the lighting market.
In this Cube blog post, we’re going to look at some of the ways in which you may find issue with your LED lighting, why that may be the case, and how to avoid or solve them.
LED lights not working
As you may know, LED lighting lasts around 25x longer than its traditional incandescent or halogen counterparts, at an average of 50,000 hours. After a quick Google search, you’ll see that that equates to nearly six years!
Now, you may read this and buy a set of LED lighting expecting it to last you 6 years and…they stop working long before. How could this be? LEDs were meant to be this revolutionary technology that was hailed to save folks like you and me hundreds in utility bills and the hassle of replacing lights.
Unfortunately, because LED technology is so sophisticated it can be difficult to pinpoint where the problem lies when it comes to a fault LED lighting fixture.
Unlike traditional fixtures that have components that literally burn out over time and from overuse, LEDs have electronic parts that more so fade out and become obsolete over time or from faulty wiring.
High voltage is a common factor in faulty LEDs, this is because they consume much less voltage compared to the home grid that it is attached to.
Therefore, LEDs come with drivers which are responsible for converting the power source from alternating current to direct current to have the right voltage for it to operate. If your LEDs burn out quickly, it could be due to a sudden surge in voltage which fails to allow this driver to adjust in time.
Despite all this, the truth of the matter is that LEDs, despite their revolutionary impact on the market, are a relatively new technology and so determining the lifespan of an LED bulb accurately and in a real life scenario has not been a viable option thus far.
LEDs tested in market labs under perfect conditions with the correct fixtures, temperatures and currents don’t necessarily reflect domestic or commercial scenarios.
LED lights overheating
Another major advantage that LEDs have over traditional light bulbs is their resistance to external forces such as cold temperatures and heavy rainfall. This is why LEDs are the number one choice for any outdoor event or fixture – especially in notoriously miserable countries like the UK – as well as commercial freezer units.
However, like most electronic equipment, letting LEDs overheat will lead them to an early grave. An easy thing to remember when it comes to maximising your LEDs’ lifespan is to keep it on the cooler side where possible. A common occurrence that many people encounter is their LEDs overheating when put in close proximity with other bulbs.
As discussed extensively on this blog, traditional light bulbs generate more heat energy than light energy and this excess heat generated by surrounding bulbs can cause premature failure.
Therefore, it is important to consider where to install an LED in relation to other bulbs so as to keep it cool and functional. An LEDs positioning is important to consider too: if it is placed upwards or downwards and left uncovered then any of the miniscule amount of hot air emitted from the LED will have the space to dissipate comfortably.
What about if you want to position your LEDs in a sideways position? These are popular in kitchens where they are used to punctuate the countertops and create a welcoming atmosphere. However, these LED setups are likelier to be near a warm environment created by a stove, and in this case can be affected negatively over time. In this instance, a heat sink will be necessary to negate the effects of the warmer climate brought onto the LED.
LEDs not as bright as preferred
LEDs are notably brighter than traditional lights, but this doesn’t mean they’re not susceptible to periods of dimming. This can be due to several reasons:
Firstly, if an LED isn’t working within its designated voltage and current, then it is obvious that the LED will not reach its maximum brightness or lumen potential. This is why it’s important to ensure you know the specifications of the equipment surrounding your LED so that you know the exact power, voltage and current input. If these specs don’t match, the LEDs will not operate as brightly as they could, and they may even burn out over time.
Next, if LEDs aren’t as bright as they maybe once were, it’s possible that they are simply a victim of time (such is life) and that they have been used for long periods of time. Again, just like most other electrical equipment, the electronics inside an LED begin to deteriorate over time, stopping it from being able to produce the full lumen quality that it once could.
Fret not, though. As we mentioned at the top, you may be waiting for over five years before this starts to happen. One good way of getting a decent idea of how long your LED will last is by looking at its maintenance rating. If a LED light is rated as 60,000 hours at L80, the lumen output will drop to 80% of the original output after 60,000 hours.
So now you know the basic issues that come with LEDs, you should also know what to do (and not do!) to ensure that you avoid these problems when you do invest in the what is otherwise a life-improving investment of lighting and illumination.
And if you’re ready to take the step into the future of lighting, Contact Cube Lighting & Design here to see if you qualify for free LED lighting!
Want to keep reading? Check out our latest blog post here: An in-depth look into LED security lighting