LED lighting - Reliability

greenconsumerOctober 27, 2009

I am a big fan of LED lighting. Choose a bulb that fits the application (lumens and color) and you will be happy. Unfortunatly many manufacturers and vendors overstate (I'm being kind here) their products specifications.

I have purchased 45 LED bulbs and have had mixed reliability.

The good news - some are very reliable. I have five LED bulbs outside that have run dusk to dawn for two years with no problems.

The bad news - some bulbs are VERY unreliable. VERY high failure rates.

I purchased 12 of one type LED bulb and 7 have failed (8.5W product 47856 from LEDLight.com). To make matters worse they are refusing to replace them now.

Beware of LEDLight.com. This company is selling products that they know are defective. No support for failed LED bulbs. These bulbs are very expensive ($20 - $105) and in some cases last only two or three weeks. They refuse to replace defective bulbs. LEDLight.com is selling known defective products and has bad customer service.

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Working in the industry and specifying lighting products for residential, commerical and industrial applications, I have not and will not purchase ANY LED lighting fixtures for my own personal residential use.

LEDs are still new and are still being tested. In fact some of these generic manufacturers of LED products claim a life of 50K hours, yet have only manufactured them for 3 years. I would like to know how they can claim 50K hours when there are only 26K hours in three years.

LEDs still have a LONG way to come, I wouldn't recommend even thinking of buying LEDs for residential use for another three years.

The ONLY decent LED fixtures out there are commercial grade which cost more.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2009 at 10:16PM
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LEDs are technology based. We're not talking about a simple filament with a different type of gas in a bulb.
This being the case, there is a lot of opportunity to get junk out there. There's a reason an LED bulb is $10.00... it's worth that much.
There is no way a cheap bulb can give you the quality and reliability of a Cree bulb- for example.

The right LEDs can be wonderful- as your experience has shown. But you're right, you have to ignore the cheap stuff.

If you're looking to light up your home or business with LEDs, you have to make sure you talk to many different places and see which ones know their stuff. How many have displays showing options?

Also, just because a bulb is using a Cree chip doesn't mean the bulb itself is good. You have heat sinking and power supply issues which are just as important as the diode.

I think LEDs are ready to go. We've used thousands of bulbs and hundreds of feet of strip/ cabinet lighting. The failure rate is below 1% and the energy savings is fantastic.

But, we've done our homework to make sure what we're specifying is high quality, worth the price and will give the fast return on investment.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2009 at 3:48PM
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LEDs themselves are painfully reliable.

The AC to DC power supplies needed to operate them from 120 V AC power are the weak point.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2011 at 3:16PM
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