Calculating The Life Of LED Lighting

- Jul 01, 2019-

An LED light will begin to degrade and it will appear less bright after extended exposure to temperature extremes, humidity, solar radiation, and multiple on-off cycles. LED’s are controlled by complex electronics that are integrated into the fixtures and bulbs themselves. When those electronics are exposed to repeated on-off cycling or multiple high/low temperature extremes, for example, they can begin to develop internal problems that affect their ability to generate the power needed to create bright illumination. Thus, if you are installing an LED system in an area that exposes the system to these extremes, you should reduce your estimate of the life of the LED lights accordingly. Alternately, you may be able to extend the life of your system by adding environmental shields or heat sinks that reduce thermal stress on the LED fixtures.

All light sources, including LED lights, will dim naturally over time even without exposure to harsh extremes. The lighting industry rates all lights according to their “lumen maintenance”, which is a measure of the relative amount of light generated by the fixture at the end of its life in relation to the beginning of its life. A fixture with an “L90” rating, for example, has a 90% light retention rating and loses only 10% of its brightness over its lifespan. LED lights with higher lumen maintenance ratings (e.g. L80 and above) will be more expensive initially, but will retain more of their luminosity over time. A site owner or operator can assume that the LED lights he installs at his location will have a longer life if they have a higher lumen maintenance rating.