Why Won't My LEDs Last?

An exterior shot of a home

Why are my LED lights not lasting 10-20 years, as they were advertised? You may be like me, where you upgraded the “can lights” or recessed lights in your home from incandescent to LEDs, expecting these new lights to last a lifetime, only to have them start burning out within 2-3 years. In this series of posts, we begin discussing why LEDs, whether landscape or in the interior of your home, burn out long before they should.

LEDs and Heat

LEDs, or Light Emitting Diodes, are popular for lighting due to their energy efficiency and long lifespan. However, one issue that must be addressed when using LEDs is the issue of heat. LEDs generate heat as a byproduct of their operation, and if this heat is not properly dissipated, it will cause the LED to fail prematurely.

Heat must be drawn away from LEDs because it can affect the performance of the LED. Heat can cause the LED to produce less light, and in some cases, it can cause the LED to emit light of a different color than intended. This color shifting is prominent as LEDs overheat. In addition, heat can cause the LED to degrade more quickly, reducing its lifespan.

Heat must be drawn away from the LED to prevent these issues as quickly as possible. This can be done through a process called thermal management. Thermal management involves using materials and design techniques that help to dissipate heat away from the LED.

How Can Heat Be Removed From My LEDs?

One common way to dissipate heat is to use a heat sink. A heat sink is a metal or other material designed to absorb and dissipate heat. The heat sink is usually attached to the LED, which helps draw heat away from the LED by increasing the surface area that is in contact with the surrounding air. This increase in surface area allows more heat to be dissipated and prevents the LED from overheating.

It's also important to note that the material of the LED itself plays a role in thermal management. Some materials, like brass, aluminum, and copper, are better at dissipating heat than others. Additionally, the design of the LED, such as its shape and size, can also affect heat dissipation.

Seeking Outdoor Lighting Help In The Greater D.C. Area

In conclusion, heat must be drawn away from LEDs to prevent the LED from failing prematurely or emitting light of a different color. Thermal management is essential to ensure that the LED performs optimally and has a long lifespan. This can be done by using heat sinks and cooling systems and choosing the right materials and design for the LED.

For all of your outdoor lighting needs and questions, contact Enlightened Lighting at (703) 215-9089!


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