Understanding LED lifetime
If you’re in the market for LED lighting, chances are you’re looking for a cost-effective solution as an alternative to traditional options. Not only does LED lighting cost lest to purchase and run, it lasts far longer than fluorescent and incandescent lights, but with some big claims of LED lifetime, it can be hard to know which product to choose.
LED lifetime is only one part of the equation
Because LEDs depreciate over time, it is impractical to test up to the point of practical failure. As a result, the International Electrotechnical Commission developed a process to validate the lifetime of LEDs. Known as TM-21, this process allows manufacturers to project LED lifetime up to six times the duration of the testing completed. So, a 10,000-hour TM-21 test results in a LED lifetime of 60,000 hours.
If the LED lifetime is shown as a single number, it is not the best comparison, as it doesn’t disclose the environment that the LEDs were tested under. With heat being the biggest killer of LEDs, the temperature of testing can significantly impact the LED lifetime. For example, a product tested at 40 degrees will have a shorter LED lifetime than at 25 degrees.
What about lumen depreciation?
It is also important to consider lumen depreciation. This means comparing the light output when it was new with its performance at the end of the reported lifetime.
On a product, lumen depreciation is denoted by L, followed by a number. This number represents the lumen output at the end of the LED’s reported lifetime. L70 indicates 70% of its initial output and 30% lumen depreciation.
The B rating defines the average LED failures after the reported lifetime. This is the percentage of LEDs which fall below the L value. A value of B10 refers to 10% failure and a value of B50 refers to 50% failure at the projected lifetime.
LED lifetime does not equal product life
It is important to note that LED lifetime does not equal product life. A product with 50,000 hours L70B10 may live beyond the claimed 50,000 hours. The product will likely continue to operate for some time (at reduced intensity).
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View LED lifetime information for the range of Ektor LED lighting and emergency exit signs.
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