LED lighting systems generally require less maintenance than other commercial or industrial lighting, largely because of their durability and efficiency. Regardless, an LED system’s lifespan can be extended and the system’s function and operation can be improved with periodic lighting maintenance.
Facilities or operations managers can select LED lighting systems on the basis of how much maintenance they are willing to include in a budget. At a minimum, like other forms of lighting, all LED lighting systems will benefit from regular cleaning to clear out dirt, dust, and grime that accumulates in the fixture, particularly if it is in a high-stress industrial environment. An LED system should also be tested periodically to assess the level of its light output in comparison to the quantity of light it generated when it was first installed.
Beyond this basic maintenance, LEDs will generally not be repaired in the same manner as a traditional luminaire. Instead, individual components in an LED fixture are usually removed and replaced when they experience a failure. A facility that is operating with a lower maintenance budget or that needs faster repairs will therefore benefit from an LED system that simplifies removal and replacement, for example, with fixture access panels that allow quick and easy access to different components.
LED lighting systems are comprised of several different components, each of which can require replacement after an extended period of operations. These components include the LED drivers, light engines, casings, protective elements, and control systems. The semiconductor circuitry in LED drivers will be more apt to fail if they are exposed to consistent high temperatures without the proper engineering and thermal management technology to withstand and dissipate the heat.
Light fixtures and casings can be damaged by collisions and other physical shocks from equipment in different operating environments. If a facility expects a high level of physical stress on its lighting fixtures, it should select fixtures that can withstand those stresses. If those stresses are caused by humid, caustic, or corrosive environments, like those high-humidity indoor growing facilities, chemical plants, or oil-drilling platforms, a facility can further reduce its repair and replacement needs by selecting an LED system that is rated to withstand those environments.
Apart from component failure, the quality of light from an LED light source will degrade over a long period of time. LED lights are often replaced when the amount of light they generate is less than 70% of their initial light output. A well-engineered LED lighting system will not drop to that level until after 50,000 hours, and in many cases up to 100,000 hours of continuous use.