How long do LED bulbs last?

November 29, 2017 by Ellen Evans

How long do LED bulbs last?

Some LED bulbs can work for as many as 50,000 hours (20 – 25 years longer than a typical halogen bulb). You can expect a good LED bulb to last around 10 years. But why do they eventually break?

Why do LED bulbs stop working?

All light bulbs break eventually due to prolonged exposure to heat, and LEDs are no different in this respect. But with LEDs, it’s a gradual thing, unlike with incandescent bulbs. These older types of bulb work by passing an electric current through a fragile filament, which glows white due to the heat, giving off light as a result. The bulb breaks when the filament burns through, after months of being exposed to very high temperatures.

LED technology is completely different to that of incandescent bulbs. They do not have a filament, and they last longer as a result. While older types of light bulb give off most of their energy as heat, not light, LEDs do the opposite. One LED bulb is made up of hundreds of tiny individual light emitting diodes. This is much more efficient, but still not 100% – not all electrons turn into light, and the heat they produce collects in the neck of the bulb. This heat intensifies in such a small space and raises the temperature of the air inside the bulb, putting strain on the electronic components within.

One by one, the single LEDs making up the bulb fail, meaning that (although the bulb won’t suddenly break), it will eventually not produce enough light to be useful any more. You can decide when the bulb is no longer fit for purpose, and replace it.

Should I buy LEDs?

Yes, it’s a no-brainer, especially as the new halogen ban now means you don’t have much choice in the matter! LED bulbs will save you a considerable amount on your energy bills, and you’ll reduce your carbon footprint too. Also, replacing a bulb once every 10 years is obviously less hassle than having to do it once a year or more! One more thing – it’s worth buying good quality LED bulbs, because anything else is a false economy – well-made bulbs will last longer. The price of LEDs has dropped hugely over the past few years, so it won’t break the bank replacing your current bulbs.

If you need any help choosing which bulbs are right for your home, give us a shout and we’ll be happy to help!

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