Can contain light in a box

LED lifespan: how long do LED lights last?

How long do LED lights last?

An answer to the question of how long the service life of LED lamps is can usually be found with the manufacturers of the LEDs: They give an average service life of the LED lamps or the so-called average nominal service life.

The service life is often given in hours, then you will find, for example, information that can vary from 15,000 to over 50,000 hours. Some manufacturers also specify the service life in years: In this case, however, an average daily use of just under 3 hours is assumed. If LED lights with such a specification are in use for longer, the specified service life can also be shortened.

Can LED lamps break?

In addition, you should know that the technical value of the lamp life only states that the luminosity of the lamp will decrease, but does not mean that the LED lamp will break. Because LEDs have no wearing parts like ballasts or filaments made of tungsten wire, which one day will break.

In principle, LED lamps cannot break. If a problem occurs, it can usually be solved by getting a new LED driver (transformer, ballast). The electronic component is essential for the functional operation of the LED and is connected upstream of it. It is invisible in the housing of the LED lights. Commercially available LED drivers are inexpensive, readily available, and easy to replace. So you can enjoy your LED light for a long time.

What does degradation mean?

When asked how many hours LED lamps can light up, manufacturers often use the technical term of degradation. This term describes the fact that the LEDs lose some of their brightness over time. Further information on the subject can be found in our article on the average nominal service life.

Can you replace LED lamps?

One often hears: “LED lamps cannot be exchanged.” In fact, in many contemporary LED lamps, the lamps are permanently installed and built-in LED lamps cannot simply be exchanged. If individual diodes no longer work and the light output of the lamp decreases too much, you could have the light source of the LED lamp replaced by a specialist, but this is often an expensive matter compared to the price of a new lamp.

Does this mean that a new luminaire has to be disposed of after a few years?

As a rule, you can enjoy luminaires with built-in LEDs for many years. Of course, when it comes to luminaires too, quality has its price. Numerous manufacturers of high-quality LED lights offer the service of replacing the component free of charge for their customers in the event of a problem and even cover the shipping costs for this. It can happen that goods from the Far East from the lowest price segment actually have to be disposed of after a few years, but this is the exception.

LED lamps are particularly durable © Shutterstock.com/ludinko

Exchangeable LED lamps: retrofit LEDs for all common sockets

There is now a wide selection of so-called “retrofits”, i.e. LED lamps that are suitable for classic lamp sockets such as E27 and G9 and that have been provided with the appropriate base. These can be replaced just as easily as incandescent lamps and energy-saving lamps.

They offer decisive advantages over their "predecessors":

  • significantly lower power consumption
  • much longer shelf life
  • low heat development
  • instant full luminosity
  • easy disposal

In the case of cheap products, however, it should be noted that these often have a less diversified frequency spectrum and their light can therefore be perceived as unpleasant compared to incandescent lamps.

How to dispose of LED lamps?

If LED lamps no longer emit enough brightness and should therefore be disposed of, they must be handed in at special collection points. Since LED lamps contain electronic components, they are classified as electrical waste and regular disposal with household waste is not permitted.

Often in retail stores, such as drugstores and hardware stores, you can find collection boxes from Lightcycle Retourlogistik und Service GmbH, in which the LED lamps can be disposed of free of charge. Further information on the disposal of lamps can also be found in the Lampe.de magazine.

By the way: If you need new LED lamps for your lights at home, you will find a wide selection of LED lamps for all common sockets in our lampe.de online shop.