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Live long and prosper: A Vulcan blessing and an LED philosophy

There’s a general agreement that the most extraordinary feature of LED lighting is its long life. At lifetimes of approximately 18+ years (based on lamp quality and usage), you can remove lamp replacement from your list of regular maintenance tasks.

It’s important to note, however, that LED lamps don’t burn out the way incandescent and fluorescent lights do.

LED semiconductor chips gradually lose the ability to generate light over many thousands of hours of use. This is called lumen depreciation—the reduction in light output over time. Currently, the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) dictates that lamp life ends when an LED reaches 30 percent lumen depreciation.

While the long lifetime of LED lamps have been lauded since the technology first hit the market, many early LED lamps actually performed poorly, losing 20% of their original output after just 200 hours of use—roughly 1 month for the average office or residential application. Some continued to lose another 20% within the first year. Based on early performance, the technology was not going to win any fans, especially not with a $40+ price tag per lamp!

The lifetime of today’s LED bulbs is much better as the technology becomes more refined. However, it is still important to investigate not only the specifications of the lamp, but the quality control and testing each lamp undergoes. Based on Leapfrog Lighting’s testing, many current products on the market today will not achieve the life spans claimed on the packages.

Do you believe the lifespan claimed by most manufacturers? Is the lifetime of a LED bulb the technology’s main advantage?

To find out more about the life span of Leapfrog Lighting’s PAR30 dimmable high-output LED spotlight, see the Leapfrog Lighting PAR30 dimmable high output spotlight datasheet. We like to say that the next time one of our lamps needs to be replaced, chances are you’ll be retired.

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