Lights & lighting

The Big Questions Answered – How Long Do LED Bulbs Last

how long do LED bulbs last
You’re probably sick to death of people telling you how good LED bulbs are. But what does it all mean? Why are LED’s so great? There are lots of reasons. The main one you'll care about is economy. LED bulbs are cheaper to run and last a lot longer than traditional alternatives. But exactly how long do LED bulbs last? Let’s take a look and get some answers.

Bold Claims & What They Mean

how long do LED bulbs last So, LED manufacturers have plenty to say on this topic. Bulb packaging has been designed to sell bulbs on their big benefits. As you still typically pay a higher price for LED lamps, manufacturers want to justify that initial outlay by demonstrating the long-term savings. The industry standard is to represent lifespan in hours. The market ranges from basic models averaging around 10,000 hours, to market leaders boasting 50,000+ hours (our LED bulbs sit in the middle at around 25,000 hours). To put this in perspective, even at the lower end of the market, LED’s should last twice as long as the traditional equivalent. Say you use a bulb 5 hours a day 7 days a week, an LED (rated at a modest 10,000 hours) would last around 5 years. Same usage, and your traditional bulb bites the dust after just 2 years.

Lumen Maintenance

how long do LED bulbs last Although a little easier to predict than their traditional counterparts, LED’s lifespan is still impossible to nail down. So all the figures you see are based on estimations. Clever estimations, but estimations nonetheless. The LED industry use a combination of two metrics to measure lifespan (commonly referred to as Lumen maintenance). The LM80 and TM21 metrics predict the amount an LED module could degrade over time. All LED modules ultimately degrade, meaning a reduction in the amount of light they emit. Provided the output remains at least 70% of that originally advertised, the lamp is considered to still be functional. All sorts of algorithms and wizardry go into these projections. If you fancy a nap you can find more info here.

Yeah But, How Long Do LED Bulbs Last?

Most LED’s on the market will last between 10,000 and 50,000 hours. Just don’t assume these figures are gospel. They are only based on clever estimations and predictions. However, you can guarantee that LED’s will last longer than traditional alternatives. So, when making a decision, weigh up that initial outlay against those extra years of peace of mind.

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