LED life and performance

The lifespan of an LED can range from 80,000 to about 120,000 hours depending upon the materials and method of manufacture. Generally these estimates are made based on perfect conditions, rather like the claims of fuel consumption in the motor vehicle industry, however, in reality the more harsh the use the less the expectancy of the life of the LED. 80,000 hours equates to a little more than 25 years if you were to operate a device for 8 hours each day, most items would usually be obsolete by the time a complete or catastrophic failure occurs.

As the trend or demand for brighter LEDs continues this also plays a part in life reduction. More and more we see a drive for daylight visibility in certain ranges of parts, products and their components and if there is one thing that has a direct impact on an LED’s life expectancy it is the current it draws, should we operate an LED at reduced current, we can extend its life even further. At significantly reduced levels, it can last almost indefinitely, however, should we allow it to see current above the nominal rating its life will ultimately be much shorter. Unfortunately, the relationship between LED life and current is not linear unlike the relationship between current and brightness.

LED lighting can last a very long time, however, that does not mean that you should keep the lighting as long as there is not a catastrophic failure with the lamp. The light output will degrade over time, both the light output and the colour of the lamp will change, the application will generally determine level of acceptance.

LED technology has developed rapidly in recent years and there is no reason to believe this will not continue. Innovations and improvements occur continuously, good design and careful manufacturing techniques will help ensure that life expectancy will also continue to increase the life and general performance of lamps for some time to come.

CMLs latest lamp products are available with full data sheets that accurately reflect life and performance and can be requested directly from our customer services team or by contacting our extensive list of authorised distributors.

Contact: Roger Neal
Commercial Manager
CML Innovative Technologies Ltd