LED Rated Life – 25,000 Hours or 50,000 Hours?

LED light bulbs

Light Emitting Diode (“LED”) are light bulbs of the new era. The technology has existed in different forms for several decades now; however, recently enacted regulations directed at conserving energy have ensured the phasing out of traditional varieties of bulbs to make room for energy-efficient alternatives.

The big winner has been LED light blubs. In the past couple of years, steadily declining costs has seen an influx of myriad types and manufacturers of LED lamps come into the market.

Although LED lamps offer multiple benefits over other varieties of traditional bulbs, its energy efficiency and incredibly long life are what make it the future of the home lighting industry. However, given the multitude of available varieties of LED lamps and the differences in their rating systems, it can be a little difficult and tricky for consumers to understand the differences prior to purchasing the correct bulb for their application.

Let’s look at why similar LED bulbs can be rated with significantly different life spans, such as 25,000 hours and 50,000 hours, and what is the ideal choice for you.

First of all, one should take a close look at the LED’s ‘Lumen Maintenance’ to understand how slowly or quickly the brightness of the bulb will deteriorate. This is determined by taking into account a presumptive number of hours and expected room temperature, at which the bulb will be expected to emit light. According to industry standards, often merely after 4,000-5,000 hours of use, the brightness can decline to 92% of the original output and expect that the bulb’s brightness will continue to decline steadily over time.

Often, the lifespan is based on the L70 value of the bulb: this is the point at which the brightness of the bulb is at 70% of its original output and will now need to be replaced. The bulb could have reached the ‘L70’ much earlier than the indicated lifespan of 25,000 hours since variables such as optimum room temperature can significantly impact its actual lifespan.

Secondly, an LED bulb to be labelled as ‘Energy Star Qualified‘ needs to be have been actually tested to emit more than 70% of its original brightness/output after being used for 25,000 or 35,000 hours, depending on the anticipated lifespan of the bulbs.

Therefore, it is pertinent to note that only bulbs that measure up to Energy Star’s robust guidelines and demonstrate long life, are afforded this rating: and a consumer can feel secure in relying upon it before making their final choice.

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Dave Burtner

Dave has been active in the lighting industry since 1994. Formerly a member of the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America and certified by the National Council On Qualifications for Lighting Professionals, Dave now writes blog posts, lighting tips and provides lighting product assistance for the Topbulb website.
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