Ever wondered about the lifespan of your led strip lights? Understanding their longevity is not just a trivial pursuit, but a crucial aspect that can influence your lighting decisions. LED light strips are more than just luminous decor; they invest in sustainable and efficient lighting applications.
Typically, LED strip lights have a lifespan ranging from 4 to 6 years. However, if you check the product packaging, many makers indicate the expected life duration in hours instead. Most LED items in the industry boast a standard life expectancy of around 50,000 hours.
Factors such as usage patterns, quality from the led strip supplier, and environmental conditions can significantly impact the lifespan of these led products. This blog post aims to provide insightful information on what affects led strip light’s lifetime and how you can maximize it.
So, if you’re interested in getting the most out of your led strip lights or simply curious about the world of LED lighting, this post promises to shed some light on your queries. Stick around for illuminating insights!
The Structure Of The LED Strip
The main components of LED strips are LEDs, FPCB(Flexible Printed Circuit Boards), resistors or other components. LED strips are manufactured by using a process called Surface Mount Technology (SMT) Assembly Process to mount LEDs, resistors and other components onto the FPCB.
Some outdoor or underwater LED strips will be wrapped with silicone or PU glue.
Please note that LED strips with high IP ratings will have a shorter lifetime than IP20 led strips because high IP ratings led strip cannot dissipate the heat faster. In general, the cooler the environment, the higher an LED’s light output will be. Higher temperatures generally reduce light output. Please check here, How are LEDs affected by heat?
The most critical component of the LED strip is the SMD LED. The life of the SMD LED essentially determines the life of the LED strip. Then, how to calculate the lifetime of LEDs?
LED Lifetime And The 70% Rule (L70)
Unlike incandescent bulbs that burn out and fluorescent bulbs that start to flicker, LEDs behave differently over time, slowly and gradually losing light output. So unless there is a “catastrophic” failure caused by a power surge or mechanical damage, you can expect the LEDs on your LED strip to work until they are deemed too dim to use.
But what does “too dim to use” mean? Well, different lighting applications have different answers. However, the industry has somewhat arbitrarily decided that a 30% loss of light, or the remaining 70% of light, should be the standard. This is often referred to as the L70 metric and is defined as how many hours it takes for an LED to reduce to 70% of its original light output.
Sometimes, you can see the symbol LxByCz (h) describe the lifetime of LED.
It means the number of hours after which, from a group of LED luminaires:
• the luminous flux has dropped to x (%),
• y (%) of luminaires in the same group have dropped below the specified luminous flux,
• z (%) of luminaires in the same group have experienced total LED failure
Example: L70B10C0.1 (50,000 h)
• after 50,000 hours, the group of LED luminaires in question must still provide
• at least 70% of the initial luminous flux,
• whereby 10% of the luminaires are permitted to provide less than 70% of the initial luminous flux,
• and in 0.1% of the luminaires, all LEDs may have failed.
How Is L70 Calculated?
Since the choice of LED material varies widely between different types and manufacturers, a test method called LM-80 was developed to specify the primary standard for light lifetime testing. LM80 specifies that the sample is tested at a predetermined temperature and driving current. The time interval for measuring the light output change is 1000 hours, up to a maximum of 10000 hours.
LM-80 testing is usually performed at a third-party laboratory to ensure objective results, and the results are published in a report format. All reputable manufacturers perform this test for their LED lamps, and reputable LED strip suppliers should all be able to provide LM80 test reports, especially if you are buying in large quantities.
The difficulty with LED life testing is that it takes a long time. Even if the led lights are on 24/7, a 10,000 hour test takes about 14 months. This is an eternity for fast-moving industries such as LED lighting. Testing a product for the complete 50,000 hour requirement, in turn, requires nearly six years of continuous testing.
For this purpose, the TM-21 extrapolation algorithm is proposed. This algorithm considers the performance of the LM80 sample for the first few thousand hours and outputs an estimated lifetime.
TM-21-11 report: Projecting long term lumen maintenance of LED light source
Please check the full LM80 test report here.
LM80 test reports generally give the lifetime of L70. However, sometimes we need to know the lifetime of L80 or L90. Don’t worry, and I have prepared an excel tool for you. This tool can convert L70 lifetime to L80 or L90 lifetime. Please click here to download it.
Factors Impacting LED Strip Lights Longevity
1. FPCB(Flexible Printed Circuit Board)
High-quality, 2-4 oz double-layer pure copper flexible PCBs ensure the smooth passage of significant current, reduce heat generation and help the heat to dissipate more quickly. Heat can affect shortening the life of LEDs, so we need to find ways to dissipate it. By attaching the LED strip to the aluminum profile, we can dissipate as much heat as possible and reduce the working temperature. For more information about FPCB, you can read Everything You Should Know About FPCB.
2. Double-sided Tape
At LEDYi, we use 3M brand VHB tape. But, many suppliers offer no-name or, worse, fake brand name adhesives. The key to a long-lasting installation and thermal conductivity is a great quality tape. For information about Double-sided Tape, you can read How to Choose The Right Adhesive Tapes For LED Strip.
The resistors are used to regulate the forward current through the LEDs so that the LEDs operate at the designed brightness. The value of the resistor may change from batch to batch. Use a reputable company for resistors.
Please ensure that you use high-quality resistors. Low-quality resistors may shorten the life of the LED strip or even damage it.
Do not overpower your LEDs! They will appear brighter at first but will fail fast. We know a few of our competitors that do this. The excess heat may also be dangerous if installed on flammable materials.
4. Power Supply
The power supply is also a crucial part. You must make sure to use a brand-name, quality-assured power supply. A bad quality power supply may output an unstable voltage that may be higher than the working voltage of the LED strip, thus burning the LED strip.
And make sure that the power of the LED strip does not exceed the rated maximum capacity of the power supply. To ensure that the voltage can work more stable for a more extended period, we generally recommend that the power of the LED strip should not exceed 80% of the rated maximum capacity of the power supply. For more information about power supply, you can read How To Choose the Right LED Power Supply.
5. Heat Dissipation
The heat will significantly shorten the lifetime of the LED. So when we use LED strips, we have to find a way to dissipate the heat in time. Try to install the LED strip in a well-ventilated place. The LED strip sticks to the aluminum profile if the budget allows it. Aluminum is an excellent heat dissipation metal that can be timely LED strip heat dissipation out to extend the life of the LED strip. For information about LED heat sink, you can read LED Heat Sink: What Is It and Why It’s Important?
6. Daily Usage and Durability
Now let’s talk about daily usage. It’s simple math: The more you use something, the quicker it wears out.
- Picture this: You have two pairs of sneakers. One pair you wear every day for jogging, while the other one only sees daylight during weekend hikes.
- Which one do you think will wear out first? Exactly! The same principle applies with LEDs as well.
So if you plan to have those LED strip lights on 24/7 – maybe think again?
7. Electrical Currents’ Impact
Lastly but certainly not leastly (I know that’s not a word but hey) – electrical currents. These invisible forces can play quite a role in determining how long your LED strip lights last. Higher current levels mean brighter light output from your LEDs – great right? Not so fast! While brighter may seem better initially; over time higher currents can lead to faster degradation of LED components – sorta like running at full speed all the time – sooner or later you’re gonna burn out!
So there ya have it folks! Just remember these factors next time you wonder “how long do led strip lights last?” And always remember – treat ‘em right and they’ll light up your life for quite some time!
Role of Power Supply in LED’s Lifespan
Stable Power and LEDs
LED strip lights are like the marathon runners of the lighting world. They can keep going and going, but only if they have a steady supply of energy. The power supply is their lifeline, their secret sauce to longevity.
A stable power supply is not just important for LEDs, it’s crucial. It’s like bread to butter or wheels to a car. Without it, things just don’t work right. You see, LEDs thrive on consistency. Feed them with a steady diet of stable power supply and they’ll shine bright for years.
But what happens when that power supply starts fluctuating? Imagine trying to run a marathon while someone keeps changing the gravity level. One moment you’re light as a feather; the next you’re heavy as lead. That’s what an unstable power supply does to an LED strip light.
Fluctuating Power: A Light’s Worst Nightmare
Fluctuating power supplies are like kryptonite to LED lights. They wreak havoc on their life expectancy, chopping it down faster than a lumberjack with an axe.
The correlation here is simple: quality power supplies equal longer lifespans for your LEDs. It’s like comparing fresh organic produce with fast food – one clearly leads to better health outcomes than the other.
Overdriving the LEDs with high voltage is another way we often unintentionally damage them. Think about it like this: your LED light is a small boat in calm waters (stable voltage). Suddenly, a huge wave (high voltage) comes crashing in from nowhere! This overdrive can cause serious damage leading to reduced lifespan or even immediate failure!
Here are some tips:
- Always use quality power supplies designed for LED lights.
- Avoid exposing your LEDs to high-voltage surges.
- Regularly check your lighting setup for any signs of instability or fluctuations.
So if you’ve been wondering “how long do led strip lights last?”, look no further than your power supply situation! Remember folks, treat those LED strip lights right and they’ll return the favor by lasting longer and performing better!
Effect of Heat on LED Strip Lights
LEDs, like any electronic device, generate heat. But don’t mistake them for your old incandescent bulbs that could double up as mini heaters! LEDs are much cooler. However, they’re not entirely immune to the laws of physics. Let’s dive into how heat impacts these little light wonders.
The Heat Generation in LEDs
LEDs produce light by a process called electroluminescence. It’s a fancy term for saying that when electricity passes through a material (in this case, a semiconductor), it emits light. As cool as it sounds, this process isn’t 100% efficient. Some energy inevitably gets lost as heat.
Now, you might think, “So what? All electronics get hot.” Well, here’s the kicker – unlike other electronics where heat is just an inconvenient byproduct; in LEDs, it can directly affect their performance and lifespan.
Heat: A Light Dimmer and Color Changer
Excessive heat negatively impacts an LED strip light’s output and color quality. It’s like running a marathon in scorching weather – you’ll tire out faster and probably won’t perform at your best.
Too much heat can cause an LED to dim prematurely or alter its color rendering index (CRI). Over time, you might notice your bright white lights turning yellowish or even reddish – not exactly what you signed up for!
The Lifesaver: Proper Heat Dissipation
The key to extending the lifespan of your LED strip lights lies in proper thermal management or more specifically – effective use of a heat sink. Think of it as the AC unit for your LEDs.
A good heat sink absorbs excess thermal energy from the LED chips and dissipates it into the surrounding environment. This keeps operating temperatures low and ensures consistent light output and color quality over time.
Here are some popular types of heat sinks:
- Aluminum extrusion
- Stamped metal
- Cast metal
Each has its pros and cons but remember – anything beats letting your LEDs cook themselves to death!
High Temperatures = Shorter Lifespans
The relationship between higher operating temperatures and shorter lifespans is straightforward – hotter equals shorter lifespan. Just imagine leaving ice cream out in summer; we all know how that ends!
In fact, for every 10°C increase in temperature at the junction (the part where electricity enters), an LED’s life expectancy drops by about half! So if you want those strip lights to last longer than your latest diet plan did, keep ’em cool!
The Influence of Daily Usage on Lifespan
Ever wondered about the exact lifespan of your LED strip lights? It’s a common question, and one that doesn’t have a simple answer. Several factors come into play, but let’s focus on the influence of daily usage.
Hours Used Per Day
Imagine you’ve got a high-quality LED strip light. Most lifetime claims for such lights hover around 50,000 hours. But here’s the kicker – if you keep it on 24/7, that’s just over five years! On the other hand, use it for an hour every day, which could last more than a century!
So, there’s a direct correlation between hours used per day and overall lifespan. More exposure to power shortens their useful life. And less time spent glowing means they’ll stick around for a long time.
Now think about this – how often do you flip your lights on and off? Continuous testing has shown that frequent switching can affect longevity as well. It might seem trivial, but every time you flick that switch, there’s an instant power surge which puts stress on the internal components of LED strip lights.
That said, LEDs are pretty resilient compared to traditional bulbs. Still, if you’re turning them on and off like a disco strobe light all day long – expect some impact on their lifespan.
Prolonged Use Without Breaks
Letting your LED strip lights run continuously for extended periods is another factor to consider. Just like us humans need breaks from work to function optimally, so do these lights! Extended period of usage without any break can cause overheating issues which can shorten their life expectancy.
It might be tempting to leave them running all night for that cool ambient effect or because you’re too lazy to turn them off (guilty as charged!). But remember – moderation is key!
Usage Patterns: Continuous vs Intermittent
Lastly, different usage patterns also influence how long LED strip lights last. Continuous use vs intermittent use – each has its own implications.
Continuous use can lead to faster wear-out due to constant exposure to electricity and heat generation whereas intermittent use allows for cooling down periods which may extend their lifespan.
However, don’t take this as gospel truth! Other factors like quality of the product and operating conditions (like exposure to sunlight) also matter big time in determining how many years these lights will serve you faithfully!
So yes – how long do led strip lights last? Well…it depends! But now at least we know what it depends upon.
Understanding Electrical Currents in LEDs
LED strip lights are a popular choice for many, thanks to their energy efficiency and long lifespan. But ever wondered what’s going on under the hood? It’s all about electrical currents.
Picture an LED as a one-way street. The electrical current, like traffic, flows from the positive end (anode) to the negative end (cathode). A semiconducting element within each LED bulb regulate this flow. When voltage is applied, electrons move through this semiconductor, creating light in the process.
But here’s where things get interesting. The brightness of an LED isn’t just about how much electricity you’re putting into it – it’s also about how that electricity is managed.
Drive Currents: A Balancing Act
Drive currents play a vital role in determining both brightness and longevity of your LEDs. High drive currents can make your LEDs brighter but at the same time, they generate more heat. And as we know, heat and electronics don’t mix well.
Running your LEDs at high drive currents without proper heat management can lead to premature failure of the bulbs or even complete system breakdowns. So while cranking up that remote control might give you more light now, it could mean less light down the line.
Importance of Optimal Current Levels
Maintaining optimal current levels is crucial for maximizing the lifespan of LED strip lights. It’s like taking care of a car – sure you can redline it on every trip but doing so will wear out your engine quicker than if you drove at moderate speeds.
So how do you maintain these optimal current levels? That’s where resistors come into play. These little components help regulate current flow within an LED system, ensuring it doesn’t go overboard.
Risks Associated with Max Rated Current
While running LEDs at their max rated current may seem like a good idea for maximum brightness, remember there’s no such thing as free lunch in physics! Doing so increases temperature within each bulb which can shorten its life expectancy significantly.
Tips to Extend LED Light Strip Lifespan
Proper Installation Techniques
First off, let’s talk about the installation process. It’s a no-brainer that proper installation techniques can make or break your LED strip lights’ lifespan. You might be thinking, “How hard can it be? I just stick them on and plug them in!” Well, there’s a tad more to it than that.
- Clean the surface: Before you slap on those strips, make sure the surface is clean and dry. Any dust or moisture can mess with the adhesive and cause early failure.
- Avoid twisting and bending: LED strips are flexible but not invincible! Over-bending or twisting can damage the circuits and shorten their life.
- Use clips for support: If you’re installing long strips, use mounting clips every few feet to relieve tension and prevent sagging.
Next up is regular maintenance. Yeah yeah, I know what you’re thinking – “Maintenance? For lights?” But hear me out:
- Dusting: Over time, dust accumulates on the strip which can cause overheating and reduce brightness. A quick wipe down every month goes a long way!
- Check connections: Loose connectors are an LED strip’s worst enemy. Make sure all connections are tight and secure.
Appropriate Power Supplies
A third crucial point is using appropriate power supplies. It’s like feeding your pet – give ’em too much or too little food, they won’t last long!
- Voltage matching: Always check that your power supply matches your LED strip’s voltage requirements.
- Overload prevention: Don’t overload your power supply by connecting too many strips together.
Lastly, we’ve got temperature control – an often overlooked aspect of prolonging LED lifespan.
- Heat dissipation: LEDs produce heat; if not managed correctly this can lead to premature failure. Consider using aluminium profiles for better heat dissipation.
- Room temperature: Try to keep room temperatures below 25°C (77°F). Higher temperatures increase wear-and-tear on LEDs.
So there you go! Four simple yet effective tips to extend your LED light strip lifespan. Remember folks – treat ’em right, they’ll light up your life longer!
So, you’ve made it this far! You’re now a pro on the lifespan of LED strip lights. You know what affects their longevity, from power supply to heat and daily usage. Remember, keeping them cool and not overdoing the electrical current can really make ’em last longer.
LEDYi manufactures high-quality LED strips and LED neon flex. All of our products go through high-tech laboratories to ensure the utmost quality. Besides, we offer customizable options on our LED strips and neon flex. So, for premium LED strip and LED neon flex, contact LEDYi ASAP!