/ Home & Energy

Are your LED light bulbs burning out too soon?

LED light bulb

LED light bulbs have a tendency to make grand claims about their lifespan – it’s common to see manufacturers promise bulbs will last 25,000 or even 50,000 hours. But we’ve found many failing well before this.

One of the attractions of LED light bulbs is that they’re supposed to last a long time. And so if you’re shelling out for these bulbs – typically more expensive than other types of light bulb – you’ll want to be sure that they’ll live up to those claims.

But our tests show that not only do many LED light bulbs stop working before the end of their promised lifespan, some don’t even reach the soon-to-be-implemented EU minimum lifespan of 6,000 hours. We discovered bulbs from both Ikea and TCP that failed to reach the 6,000 hour mark for the majority of samples we tested.

Ikea bulb among failures

In the tests – which were carried out by Which? and our European partner organisations – we took five samples each of 46 different bulbs. The bulbs were switched on for two hours and 45 minutes, then switched off for 15 minutes, in a continuous cycle until they burned out.

Five different bulbs stopped working before the 6,000 hour mark for the majority of samples we tested, though the TCP and Ikea bulbs were the only ones which were sold in the UK. Both have since been discontinued.

New EU regulations which will come in from 1 March 2014 say that 90% of any batch of LED light bulbs should last at least 6,000 hours.

Another five bulbs stopped working before the 10,000 hour mark for the majority of samples we tested, despite claiming lifespans of at least 25,000 hours. None of these bulbs were sold in the UK.

In total, 66 of the 230 samples we tested failed before the 10,000 hour mark, though they all claimed they would last at least 15,000 hours.

Has your bulb burned out early?

Ikea said the bulb had passed its own tests and those in a third-party lab. It’s looking into why the bulb failed our test and has removed it from sale in countries where it was still available.

TCP said it was already aware of the problem with this bulb and withdrew it from sale when they discovered the problem. TCP added that it no longer deals with the supplier of that particular bulb and now make their LED bulbs in-house.

We’re in the process of testing the life span of many more LED bulbs, and we’ll update you if we find others that burn out prematurely. But we also want to hear from you – have you bought bulbs that haven’t lasted as long as they should?

Comments
Guest
Graham King says:
3 October 2016

Aldi LED light ‘bulbs’ bought 2 years ago packaging claims good for 50K hours.

Stopped working this morning after being used in an avergae domestic kitchen enviroment. Cost nearly £6 each, rip-off won’t but again

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Guest

Did you take back the bulbs, Graham?

Guest
JamesR says:
13 November 2016

I have made a point of installing led bulbs in hard to reach places to save having to replace them so often. However they have often failed early. I have seen the argument that the more complex circuits they contain mean that their curve of failure probability against time has a different shapes, i. e. the proportion that fails early is higher even though the average life is so much greater. When does Which plan to publish detailed test results?

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Guest

Long lasting low energy lamps may have saved many accidents. Anyone with elderly parents could help by replacing old incandescent or halogen lamps.

I am disappointed that Which? has not done more to investigate the widely reported problems of premature failure and radio interference caused by some LED lamps. The only failure I have encountered was when I tested a dimmable LED lamp that had been working fine on a circuit with an old dimmer designed for incandescent bulbs. It worked fine for half an hour and then failed. It is the only one of about 40 LED lamps that has failed so far. That is hardly a scientific test but I will carry on installing dimmers designed for LED lighting.

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Guest

To save me going into theoretical +practical circuit detail of a circuit for dimming LED bulbs as opposed to an incandescence circuit Wavechange go to the US Government of Energy website- apps1.eere.energy.gov/buildings/publications/pdfs/ssl/dimming_webcast_12-10-2012.pdf

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Guest

Thanks Duncan. This does mention that premature failure can result if the dimmer and lamp are not compatible. Where people are experiencing multiple failures of LEDs then it might be worth establishing if they are using a dimmer and if so, whether this is one intended for use with this sort of lamp.

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Guest

And to back up what you said Wavechange -reuk.co.uk/wordpress/lighting/led-dimmer-circuit/ — where it quotes -using a dimmer with 12V MR16 LED Spotlights — the circuit described cannot be used with (those bulbs ) of the type we sell in the REUK Shop –while individual LED bulbs are completely unharmed by being turned on/off rapidly , the INTERNAL CIRCUITRY of the spotlight unit does not appear to like it at all. So its the activation circuit not the actual bulbs that are a problem.

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Guest

Though I our enjoy technical discussions, I don’t think many readers will be able to relate to circuit design. 🙁 Which? has done long-term testing of LEDs but I have not seen any reference to use of dimmers. I expect that as LEDs become more popular we will learn more about compatibility with dimmers.

Guest

I lost 14 bulbs in a kitchen over 2 years using an incadescent dimmer.

When I switched to an LED-Safe dimmer, I’ve gone 6 months without a failure yet. SEems to be working well!

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Guest

Thanks BRF. Perhaps this is the reason why others have had problems with premature failure.

As a matter of interest, was there any indication on the packets to say that the lamps should only be used with dimmers designed for LED lighting?

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Guest

The waveform from a pulsed dimmer is terrible , have you seen one ? I wouldn’t let it near any kind of audio equipment , its no wonder it blows bulbs. This is because of the use of a Triac which pulses the voltage with an electronic timing circuit . On the other hand a genuine LED dimmer maintains a near perfect sinusoidal waveform thats why they dont blow as much.

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Guest

The international safety standard for self-ballasted LED lamps (IEC62560) requires that certain information is given on the lamp, immediate wrapping, container or installation instructions, including operation on dimming circuits.

There is a borderline between the knowledge and expertise required when dealing with such things as dimming, and when the unknowledgeable person should seek knowledgeable help. Many are capable of going on the internet and finding what type of dimmer is suitable – i referred above to comprehensive information given on the Philips website about dimmer compatibility for example. It may well be best to seek professional advice and employ an electrician if dimmers need changing to ensure it is done correctly and safely.

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Guest

Duncan – I’ve not only seen them but made a couple of them from circuits in magazines and checked the waveform on a scope. I’ve still got one that I used on incandescent bulbs for over 30 years. Despite my efforts they did cause radio/audio interference but that was not a problem because I rarely used the ceiling lights they controlled.

Dimmers used to be simple ‘leading edge’ dimmers using a triac. My understanding is that dimmers sold for use with LED lamps are ‘trailing edge’ ones, obviously not using a triac. The ones I have fitted have not caused any interference problems. I have not seen sinewave dimmers advertised for household use.

Malcolm – LED bulbs are widely sold as replacements for incandescent lamps. It would make sense to warn potential purchasers that fitting them into a circuit with an existing dimmer could cause premature failure. The fault lies with the manufacturer for not providing this information on the packet. All that Philips has provided with the lamps I have purchased is whether or not they are dimmable. It’s not good enough.

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Of course the manufacturers are, as always, at fault. 🙂 Or maybe it is the International Standards Organisation for not making this a requirement on the instructions / packaging. A more positive approach would be to suggest the the ISO, through either BSI or Which? that it would be useful if this information were included.

But how many people who have an “existing dimmer” would know what to do about retrofitting a lamp – is their dimmer suitable, or is it not, is what matters. They probably don’t even know anything about dimmers. Back to knowledge or, if you haven’t got it, don’t just blunder on but find someone who has,

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I have posted on this Convo – which is relevant to the topic – and I will be contacting Philips to see what they have to say.

The packaging of CFL lamps generally indicates that they are unsuitable for dimming. In the case of dimple LED lamps I would suggest that they carry the message ‘Use with LED-compatible dimmers’. Unless manufacturers or retailers with sufficient information about how to use their products correctly then yes, they are at fault. Pity there is no British or international standard for common sense. 🙁

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Guest

I wrote to Philips and told them of my experience of one of their GU10 LED lamps failing after a short time when used with a dimmer. I explained that I had taken one of my lamps that had been working fine and put it in one of the fixtures in a friend’s kitchen. She had wanted to compare it with the halogen lamps already in use. The Philips LED performed fine but failed after about 30 minutes. I suggested that if there was a requirement to use a LED-compatible dimmer, this should be shown on the packaging. Here is the reply I received:

Customer Support [2017-02-08 11:35:26.533]
Dear **************

Thank you for contacting Philips Lighting
I would like to kindly inform you that we are more than willing to replace your GU10
if you can identify it for us by providing more info about it like any numbers you see on it.
About your question , indeed , the dimmer must be compatible. Please see below the dimmers
compatibility lists :
Consumer :
http://download.p4c.philips.com/files/8/8718696509722/8718696509722_dmc_deuat.pdf

Professional:
http://images.philips.com/is/content/PhilipsConsumer/PDFDownloads/Global/ODLI20160205_001-UPD-en-AA-161006-Professional-LEDlamps-Dimmer-MV-2016-02-A02.pdf

Additionally you must also calculate the required wattage needed by adding the wattage of the bulbs dimmed with one dimmer plus 10%.

I hope I have informed you sufficiently, we are always at your disposal for anything further you may require.

Kind regards,

********
Philips Lighting

I will contact Philips Lighting again and ask for the packaging to provide a simple message that such as ‘Use with a dimmer compatible with LED lighting’ or something more specific if it is necessary to choose one of the recommended dimmers.

Incidentally, I had already provided full details of the failed lamp in the space provided on the web form.

I have received a prompt and polite response, which is usually the case when I contact companies but as often happens, a reasonable suggestion has been ignored.

Companies should be able to predict that their LED lamps are likely to be used on circuits controlled by existing dimmers. Packaging shows clearly which lamps are dimmable and which are not, but surely the general public are not expected to know that they will need to replace existing dimmers when moving from halogen to LED bulbs.

Guest
Susan Brown says:
21 November 2016

I replaced most of the bulbs in my home less than a year ago and I have had two of them fail so far, one of which will have had much less than 300 hours use. Most purchased from Aldi – Muller brand.

Guest
da aky says:
22 January 2017

Susan

Don’t buy anything from Aldi You get what you pay for ie not much at Aldi

Guest
Ahson says:
22 November 2016

Nice share.

Question: How long can I “continuously” light the LED bulb? For example: Straight 12 hours, 24 hours, 48 hours, 72 hours???

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks,

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Guest

No reason for a decent quality LED not to have it on continuously.

Guest
Ahson says:
22 November 2016

Thanks.

So can I presume that it would be O.K. if I turn ON a LED bulb for 3-6 days or even 15 days CONTINUOUSLY?

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Guest

Yes, Ahson. We’ve had a small one on continuously for over a year with no problems. LED’s are now being installed widely in places like public subways where continuous lighting is essential. They should operate for the same number of hours but obviously over a shorter period of time so could need replacing every year if left on all the time [but ours still works].

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Guest

Manufacturers often quote very long lifetimes for LED lamps, for example 15 years. That usually refers to use for 2.7 hours per day, which helps no-one and is misleading. It would be far better to quote lifetime in hours of continuous use. In this example, the expected life would be less than two years.

‘Lumen maintenance’ is a measure of the percentage of the initial light output that remains after a period of time and it would be interesting to compare lamps that have been running continuously for a couple of years with new ones.

Non-domestic LED lighting can be better designed than the direct replacements for incandescent bulbs, where the LEDs and control electronics are close together and can run too hot to operate reliably.

Guest
Kathleen Fothergill says:
24 November 2016

Diall Halogen eco 370 lumens lightbulbs (B22) bought from B & Q claim to last 2000 hours but in reality fail after a paltry 500. I thought they weren’t lasting long but as it is easy to forget which bulbs have failed so I made a note when I replaced a bulb on 12 August 2016. The replacement bulb failed on 24 November. If you allow for 5 hours us a day that is still only a quarter of their advertised lifespan.

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Guest

I have found B&Q happy to replace goods that are unsatisfactory. Halogen bulbs are very wasteful of energy and anything but ‘eco’, and I suggest going for LED lamps instead. If you use a dimmer it may need to be replaced with one designed for use with LED lamps.

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Guest

Kathleen – I endorse what Wavechange has said. Halogen lamps have the most expensive overall cost profile notwithstanding the high initial purchase price of LED lamps which are in fact coming down in price as demand and competition increase. LED lamps use a fraction of the electricity that halogen lamps use and give off very little wasteful [and, in some situations, uncomfortable] heat. Compatible LED’s for most applications are now widely available. Not having a high opinion of B&Q’s Diall low-energy [CFC] lamps I have avoided their LED versions but there have been some good reviews. I prefer Philips lamps for reliability and performance and have installed a large number with no problems. I have also found Tesco’s own-label LED lamps to be very good value and they perform well [if you can get them out of the packet easily!].

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There is no question that LEDs are substantially more energy saving than any filament – eco Halogen or otherwise – and better than CFLs. However, they can be substantially more expensive so we need confidence in their working life; many here and on other Convos have had poor lifetimes. We also need freedom from radio interference, again reported by many. What Which? could do to help would be to collate the early failure rates of different brands to see if there is any link to manufacturer, see what results the industry itself might have gleaned (sorry, I know this will upset some who only see industry as rogues), and collect, and undertake, routine checks on interference under industry standard test conditions. and advise which dimmers to use.

Most homeowners are notoriously mean when it comes to lighting – whether lamps or light fittings. Persuading them to change to both more efficient and better lighting warrants suitable advice. A collaboration with the Lighting Association (sorry, sceptics), might prove fruitful.

Guest
Perigrine says:
27 December 2016

I bought 3 led bulbs and fitted them at the same time onto the same switch circuit, thus they were all on or off for exactly the same time. After a little over a year of use, they all failed within two weeks. This leads me to suspect that manufacturers are deliberately designing in a “burn-out time” so they can get replacement bulb business.

Guest
Rob Handley says:
29 December 2016

Replaced a set of GU10 CFL’s with the long 74mm GU10 led’s from Megaman of 10 most had failed inside 3-4 months I got free replacements in warranty of a newer model seemed to do a bit better, then had a spate of failures about 6 in a couple of weeks so didn’t make 6 months. So I’ve swapped them all for Sylvania’s version now, see how they go less than a month so far but all working still.

Guest
Jules says:
4 January 2017

We are having the same problem with our megaman bulbs we must have gone through 15 in 7 months. Have you had any better luck with that other brand? Thanks

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Guest

The long-life spans quoted appear to be based on the bulbs being upright and not enclosed. Not real-life you may well say .

I have quoted from EDN [electronic design network] that essentially once they have restricted ventilation they are not likely to last.

If anyone else wants to post how the bulbs fail prematurely please can they include how they were installed.

The French consumer association are testing them upside down and bulb-up but apparently not in a confined area. There testing also does not seem to address the DAB effect.

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Guest

If bulbs are to be used in a particular orientation or not used in enclosed or semi-enclosed fixtures, this should be shown on the packaging, so that the public can select suitable lamps. The packaging should also mention if a dimmer suitable for LED lamps should be used because the majority of the public will not be aware of this.

I agree that it would be useful for posters to give details of how lamps are installed, Patrick.

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In the normal coarse of events LED,s as used in electronic equipment should last for decades , I have added them into all sorts of equipment since they first appeared on the scene replacing small indicator bulbs NOT ONE of those have failed and we are talking many decades ago , While it is possible POWER LED,s can be less reliable this has not been the case in the USA where they were introduced early in their evolution for use in traffic lights there they state that -quote- they have proven to be very reliable . I have read a highly technical scientific theory+practice on the making of industrial LED,s goes into great detail with coloured graphs with hours /temperature of lifespan and other details , even there minimums of 20,000 hours up to over 50,000 hours are common without failure . like all man-made components some do fail prematurely but it was emphasized they were the exception to the rule . Then we come to SMPS , something I do know about but knowing the comments here I went to several manufacturers in the States , again very technical BUT -reliable ?? not so a very long list of failures can and do occur ,and yes heat plays a very large part .While capacitors can fail , it is normal for an over stressed mos-fet to fail prematurely due to excess heat , normally those devices are pretty rugged and are specially made to avoid thermal runaway as in bipolar semiconductors but given cheap quality /design and constant overheating they do fail . I have burned out several mos-fets in in power amps but ALL those that burned out were SMALL die all the large obsolete large die Toshiba etc turned black but survived and thats in class A with many constant amps going through them . Due to miniaturization the design quality and build quality are vital in LED lights unless a means of dispersing the heat is found ( heatsink /access to ventilation) therefore my own conclusion is that 9 times out of 10 its the failure of miniature SMPS,s NOT the LED,s themselves .

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Today’s puzzle:

For some years now all new houses have had to have a number of ceiling light fittings installed with BC3 [three-pronged bayonet cap] lamp-holders containing Compact Fluorescent Lamps [CFL’s]. This measure was designed to ensure that low energy lamps were used in at least some of the light fittings. Our house had five of these, in the hall and on the two landings. The BC3 CFL’s provided were in a particularly harsh cold colour and not easy to find attractive fittings for. Over time three have been replaced with other pendant light fittings and are fitted with LED [Light Emitting Diode] lamps. These are even more energy-saving than the original CFL’s so the original purpose of such installations prevails. The two remaining BC3 lamps are now starting to decline in performance with slower start-up and lower output. Being adjacent to the staircase they tend to be on for long periods in order to light the middle of the house. This would be an ideal application for LED lamps, but it seems to be impossible to find LED’s with BC3 caps, which seems irrational given the energy-saving purpose of such fittings. The alternative is either to replace the existing pendants with new ceiling lights [which we do not wish to do] or to replace the existing BC3 lamp-holders with standard BC or ES lamp-holders, which I can do but would prefer a simpler solution. New BC3 CFL’s are available but not on the high-street and are as expensive as ordinary LED lamps but without the lower running costs.

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Guest

The simplest solution is simply to replace the lampholders with standard ones. I question whether the introduction of BC3 lampholders was a good idea and I think it would have been better to encourage use of low energy lighting on the basis of energy saving. Another questionable tactic was for the energy companies to provide free CFLs to householders without thinking about the cap type. Many of these are still gathering dust on shelves and others will have been disposed of.

An alternative solution would be to install fixtures that keep the electronics and the LEDs separate, giving more chance of longevity.

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Guest

I’d just replace them all with 2-pin BC or Edison Screw – then you can fit whatever bulbs you like and not just those expensive ones with BC3 caps. It was all done to comply with the building regs where a certain proportion of the lighting had to be above a certain efficiency.

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Guest

Thank you, Wavechange. I shall probably just do that unless a source of BC3 LED’s emerges. My reluctance is because the lights are in a dark part of the house and I shall need to rig up a floodlight when I come to change the lamp-holders after switching the circuit out. It also means dismantling the rather delicate ‘crystal’ shades which were a bother to put up in the first place.

I took all my unwanted screw-cap lamps supplied by power companies to a charity shop who said they were inundated with them and few of their customers had compatible fittings. I think the energy suppliers were so fed up with being kicked by the government of the day that they thought it was time for a futile gesture.

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Thanks, Malcolm. There are only two BC3 lamp-holders left now so, as I have said in response to Wavechange, I shall probably just replace them.

Given that is now difficult to get high-wattage incandescent lamps, and halogen lamps will be phased out in due course, I see no sense in this regulation persisting.

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John – Sometimes it is easier to disconnect the flexible cable at the ceiling rose, assemble the lampholder and shade, and then install the pendant. If only detachable pendants were standard it would make the job much easier.

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Yes, I might do it that way, Wavechange. I can see myself falling over the banisters whatever way I do it so I shall have to do it when the head of domestic arrangements is available to support me. She likes the shades so much I might ask her to refit them to the new lamp-holders before I return them to the ceiling.

I have a feeling previous generations never had to put up with this kind of interference in the simple life!

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” Short cycle testing
We sometimes put lightbulbs through a short cycle test. This involves switching them on and off rapidly so that they are on for 270 seconds and off for 30 seconds, for several hundred hours. We mainly did this back when we were testing CFLs, as they are particularly susceptible to failure under very frequent switching. Our tests have shown that LEDs are much less susceptible so we generally don’t do this test for LEDs.
Long-term testing
The LED lighting market is evolving, and often after 3000 hours of testing – or about one year of elapsed time – the lightbulbs in the rig are no longer available in stores and it’s time to test new models. But we keep a few of each model from past tests in the rig so we can see how LED lightbulbs perform over several years. The longest-running model, the original Philips Master LEDbulb 12W first tested in 2011, has been going for over 13,000 hours (the equivalent of more than seven years at five hours per day) and still looks as bright as ever.”

From another consumer body. It is interesting even in their testing some LED’s lamps fail early despite reasonable airflow.

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Guest

There are good reasons why switching CFLs and other fluorescent lamps on and off can lead to premature failure. It is still worth doing with LEDs because the heating and cooling cycle causes expansion and contraction of internal connections in electronic circuits, which can lead to failure. Some Philips lamps do fine and other types have been reported to be less durable. It’s interesting to look through the reviews of LED lamps on Amazon. Which? does include switching on and off many times in its tests.

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You are right Wavechange the testing is exhausive and I suspect a joint effort for some consumer groups.

One thing I have not see mentioned was this regarding eye damage.

” Some pose risks to the view. In the current state of the market, “Choose” does not recommend the spots and bulbs with transparent glass with the diodes exposed. The national Agency of sanitary security (Anses) has put consumers on guard as early as 2010, pointing to the health risks related to their high proportion of blue light. To obtain white LEDS, it also adds a layer of powder of yellow phosphor to blue LEDS. This blue light is phototoxic for the eye, causing stress that is harmful to the retina. The risk is particularly high for children. Their lens is in development, it can not effectively filter out the blue light. Anses also emphasised the risk of glare and visual discomfort. Since then, the research continues and the study of the Inserm published in 2015 confirms the risks.
Note
When the LED’s do not have diodes visible, nor the light beam of the directional, they do not present a risk to the eyes. On the models “retrofit” (glass filament), the phosphor layer plays a protective role.”

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When halogen desk lamps were introduced there were warnings that some models were not fitted with a glass cover that was sufficiently effective at removing UV, putting users’ eyes at risk. It does not surprise me that high intensity LED light is also harmful.

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LED performance is covered by IEC 62612. A temperature cycling test (at -10 and +40C ambient) for 1000h requires the lamp to be switched during each 4h test period. There is, in addition, a supply switching test where the lamp is switched on and off for 30 secs, the number of times is numerically equal to 1/2 its rated life. So for a 20 000h life, 10 000 switchings would be required.

BS EN standards provide the details of test conditions and procedure, and for producing meaningful results these should be followed.

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A report I have read about the Spanish research on retinal damage says the energy density involved – 5mW/sq cm – was equivalent to looking at a 100W bulb from 4″ away for 12 hours. If that is the case I wouldn’t worry. It would be rather silly to stare directly at any light source directly for any length of time, and rather pointless. UV from any blue light source – can be damaging in large doses. The phosphor in “white” LEDs converts most of the blue light from the LED chip to yellowish to give a white light source, as in fluorescent lamps.

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mr- Does that research include cumulative doses and I am curious how you manage damage on a child’s eye without resorting to unethical behaviour. Perhaps you could contact me.

Me – I am cautious by nature and I found this off-topic result as an interesting indicator how mankind can be careless of overdosing:
http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)32399-6/fulltext

You will note that they do not include working in a high-density area in their research though I would imagine the effects are the same.

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Guest

I could not get the link to work, Patrick, but I think you are right to be cautious. The inverse square law applies, so as you get closer to a light source, the intensity of radiation increases greatly.

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Guest

That is curious the link does not work as it does in another forum. I see Radio 4 is mentioning it.

http://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(16)32399-6/fulltext

Living near major roads and the incidence of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis: a population-based cohort study

Background
Emerging evidence suggests that living near major roads might adversely affect cognition. However, little is known about its relationship with the incidence of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis. We aimed to investigate the association between residential proximity to major roadways and the incidence of these three neurological diseases in Ontario, Canada.

From news report AFP:
“Our study is the first in Canada to suggest that pollutants from heavy, day-to-day traffic are linked to dementia. This study suggests air pollutants that can get into the brain via the blood stream can lead to neurological problems,” says Dr. Ray Copes, chief of environmental and occupational health at PHO, and an author of the paper.
The lead scientist in the study, Hong Chen from Public Health Ontario, told AFP the study suggests that busy roads “could be a source of environmental stressors that could give rise to the onset of dementia.”
“Increasing population growth and urbanization has placed many people close to heavy traffic, and with widespread exposure to traffic and growing rates of dementia, even a modest effect from near-road exposure could pose a large public health burden,” he added.
Dementia is a wide range of brain diseases that cause problems with memory, thinking, behavior, and the ability to perform everyday activities, according to data from the World Health Organization. Alzheimer’s disease is the most common type of dementia, as it constitutes up to 70 percent of the cases.
Around 47.5 million people worldwide have dementia, “with just over half (58 percent) living in low- and middle-income countries, and there are 7.7 million new cases every year,” according to WHO.
“The total number of people with dementia is projected to 75.6 million in 2030 and almost triple by 2050 to 135.5 million,” the organization says.”

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Guest

I couldnt get the link to work either , but as most of UK informational government or related servers are in the USA that is not surprising. Not even Tor got to it but I do have another “search engine ” that did but I was presented with a long list to choose from when using the Lancet search engine under the URL you presented Patrick T –pages long -I would need a heading to narrow it down. All US servers are open to US government intervention , why is the British government info kept there and not on British or even more secure European countries servers who block interference from— not helping the UK public , but then the EU sanctioned all our info to be transferred to the US under new regulations approx 6 months ago and its not secure on the web-page either try : http://www.thelancet.com then : action/doSearch?searchType=qi ( input journals-PIIS-0140-6736)

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Guest

The link only led to an error message but just going straight onto The Lancet website [no need to input the full uniform resource locator (or URL)] produced the item on the home page.

The Lancet is an independent international publication, led from London and owned ultimately by a large Netherlands publishing company. I cannot understand why The Lancet should have an American server. I suspect the problem is just a glitch.

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Guest

The Lancet is published by Elsevier, the largest science publisher. Only some of the articles are open access, though a couple of The Lancet journals are entirely open access. I suspect that the problem is that not all URLs posted on W?C do work. The title of an article would be useful, or the doi (a unique searchable code that will not become outdated).

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The intensity is constant, it is the power density – W/m2 that is dependent upon the inverse square law. The blue LED results power density of approximately 5mW/cm2 (50W/m2) is of the same order as that provided by UV in full sunlight. I don’t know of a routine situation where one would expose an unprotected eye to this kind of UV level for any length of time.

I can only assume, Patrick, that the effect of “normal” doses does not result in cumulative damage otherwise our eyes would be quickly (relative to our lifetime) damaged by sunlight.

Guest
Ray Moreno says:
5 January 2017

Hi everyone

I am from the US. I have had several of these bulbs burn out after like 3500 hours. Big disappointment. To get my money back one must register their bulbs with Philips. Who registers every bulb with a company?

Off topic (The link only works if you cut and paste (cntrl-C/cntrl-V)):
“Living near major roads and the incidence of dementia, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis: a population-based cohort study”
I hate to point out the obvious, but people with significant health issues, tend to want to move away from rural areas and closer to major highways. Also many people who have Essential tremor, are being mis-diagnosed as having Parkinson.

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Guest

Hi Ray – It’s good to have some input from abroad. We often share the same problems but different legislation.

Looking at the packaging for some Philips LEDs there is no mention of the manufacturer’s guarantee period and the shop where I bought them gave no information. 28 languages feature. There is reference to 15 years 15,000 hours. These LEDs will differ from those sold in the US because the operating voltage (220-240V) is different.

So far, my LEDs purchased in the last 8 months have survived though one Philips LEDs failed soon after I transferred it to a circuit fed by a dimmer intended for a incandescent lamps. This might be coincidence, but there is no indication that the lamps should be used with suitable dimmers, though this information is on the website. I believe that Philips and other manufacturers could do a lot more to help us get the best from LEDs.

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I don’t think it will be possible to take any effective action against the premature failure of LED lamps, unless it happens very soon after installation. It would require the retention of all the receipts and the packaging [or a photocopy of it] annotated with the location of each lamp and an estimate of the likely average hours of use per day. Most LED lamps now come in packaging which has to be virtually destroyed in order to extract the contents. When I buy LED’s at Tesco or Sainsbury’s they are listed on the till roll with all the groceries so unlikely to be kept – those lamps have turned out to be as good as any other so far but it’s still early days for all LED’s relative to their forecast lifespan.

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Blue LED light hazard: The safety standard for LED lamps (IEC 62560) has a requirement that they meet the Blue Light Hazard (as excessive density of blue light on the retina can cause damage). The basic standard is IEC 62471 which is assessed according to IEC TR 62788 applicable to light sources and luminaires. So “high intensity LED light is also harmful” is dealt with in these safety standards. They should be observed by anyone putting LED lamps on the European market. Another reason to buy reputable brands perhaps?

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I hope nobody is under the illusion that 230V AC OR 115 V AC LED are connected DIRECTLY to the mains electricity without any components unless they use some complicated series/parallel type of input . It has to be CC and like Christmas tree lights reduce in value the voltage so that the correct current is applied , and LED,s can only stand about 6V reverse voltage. There are many circuits for AC use but those lights will still blow because of defective additional components. 115 V AC- US will give a brighter glow , its down to the power formula for LED,s .

Guest

The biggest problem is heat. The safer enclosed cob bulbs will overheat if placed in a fitting with a shade or facing down. I have been through three bulbs in two weeks facing downwards and the up facing ones lost only one in two months. There are vent holes in the top which must face upwards to disipate the heat. If the bulbs are enclosed in a glass shade the leds will burn out, justvafew but they are wired in series which will cause the lamp to fail.

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Jerry says:
15 January 2017

I have three wall lights in a galley kitchen and have several Osram ES bulbs (60w equivalwnt) fail in less than a year. I am not using a dimner. Typically they go through a period of working and not working – sometimes flashing on and off – before failing completely. I wonder if this is temperature related as the bulb will typically work for a while when first turned on even when it is in its flashing phase. Note that the kitchen can get warm but the light nearest the oven doesn’t seem more prone to failure than the other two.

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I have read about this behaviour, Jerry, but only seen it once and that was a few years ago. The cause is likely to be disconnection within the LED due to thermal stress but could be due to failure of another component. If you still have your receipt or any proof of purchase it’s worth asking the retailer to replace the failed bulbs. If they are like the one I bought, Osram guarantees them for four years.

Guest
Tony Globe says:
17 January 2017

In late 2015 I bought 10 x G9 Lohas 5W LED bulbs (via Amazon). Claimed lifetime is 50k hours. Of these 10, 1 failed immediately after installation, and one was unusable because of a protruding braided wire at the base. These were replaced promptly and at no charge (I was advised that there was a possible issue with the batch). I had no further early issues, and by end of 2015 I replaced around 40 G9 Halogen bulbs with LEDs. In the last 3 weeks I have had 3 failures, all from the original order, and one spare that I used to replace one of the fled bulbs failed immediately. The 3 failed bulbs were all in a single 5-lamp fitting (which has been checked and is not defective in any way); total “on” hours for each of the three bulbs was no more than 3000 hours, and typically only one on-off cycle per day.

I contacted Lohas via Amzon and detailed my experience; their first response was that they have a 1-year warranty. I then stated that my issue was their gross mis-representation of the product, and that I wasn’t interested in their warranty. They offered to replace 2 bulbs at a discount. I pointed out that if this was the typical performance of their product I would need to replace each of the 40 bulbs 8 times to get to the claimed lifetime, which would wipe out the energy cost-saving that was the basis for the purchase in the first place, and actually also wipe out the claimed energy saving itself due to the manufacturing and transportation energy overhead.

They have now sent me 20 x G9 bulbs, so I will continue my unplanned test programme and see whether the replacement products perform any better. Alternatively, if they were a bit worse they’d fail in just under a year and I’d be able to get free replacement bulbs for life 🙂

Guest
gilbert black says:
23 January 2017

i have bought 4 sensor floodlight 3 have stopped 1lasted 2 weeks which i recieved a replacement this was better it lasted 5 weeks not replaced and the first 1 stopped after 4months so much for the 30,000 hours life span is there something wrong with all the units sorry that i threw out the old ones could have just replaced the halogine tube they on average lasted for a few years which works out to be cheaper and less hassle, just spouting of.

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You have me on your side Gilbert no amount of “saving the World ” talk will convince me, manufacturers are having a “field day ” in profit from rubbish LED,s

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David Stone says:
30 January 2017

Have only just found this site, I was looking for somewhere to share my problems with GU10 LED replacements.
As the previous contributors says, there are a lot of “rubbish ” LED lamps out there. Unfortunately they all seem to emanate from far-eastern sources, irrespective of the apparent manufacturer’s name.
I tried to put off using them for as long as possible, as I am a semi-retired electronics engineer with particular interests in R.F., audio & video, and I had seen other have interference problems.
I had seen too many of my neighbours suffer with RFI problems from GU10 LED, so I waited until 2014 before using any in my own property.
The first batch that I tried were Lumilife 4.5w with a 120 degree light distribution pattern.
I checked these for RFI with a spectrum analyser, & was pleased to find that they were really ‘quiet’, RF -wise. They have been in use now for around 18 months, but are gradually failing. It’s not the LEDs themselves that are failing, but the internal drivers. I have also had this with other makes. It’s usually capacitors that fail, going high esr. This is usually due to heat drying out the electrolyte.
I’m now seeing many of these fail, irrespective off manufacturer or supplier. They are just not standing up to their rated life claim.

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Nice to hear from you David and you back up what I have been saying about cheap drivers for the LED bulbs , yes high ESR would do it , that and the localised heat . It surprised me that people were complaining of LED,s failing as I have very rarely encountered this is well designed equipment over many decades . I am also happy you agree with me that most of them come from the country of “built to a price ” -IE – I don’t blame the country but the greed of the importers. Audio looms large in my life as a follower of JLH and WW/Electronic World. I hope you become a regular here as you input would be valuable.

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Hi David – It is good to have some input from those who have the facilities to carry out tests on the products we discuss. I have always assumed that electrolytic capacitors are the weakest link in electronic circuitry that is running too hot to be reliable, but this is the first time I have seen this mentioned in the context of LED bulbs.

Rather than claim fabulous lifetimes for their products, I would find it more convincing if the manufacturers would offer a minimum of a five year guarantee on their products.

We have a couple of Conversations about radio interference by LED bulbs and most comments have been posted in this one: https://conversation.which.co.uk/technology/led-bulb-radio-interference-dab-test/

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Long guarantees would be good, but who keeps proof of purchase and can relate to specific lamps for 5 years?
Which? could have – and could still – through Connect ask members to log the make of LED bulb and approximate burning hours or months of use to see if any pattern emerges. So much of the information we have is anecdotal. If we want to pin down some facts we need to be a bit more structured in the investigation.

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I have kept the receipts and packaging for all the LED lamps I bought after I moved home last year.

I agree that it is important to collect meaningful data but I don’t think we can discount reports of failure within days or months of purchase. I would like to know if some of these failures can be attributed to use with existing but unsuitable dimmers.

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Should we ask Which? then to do a properly-organised investigation of members LED failures over the next 12-18 months through Connect?

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It might be a useful way of engaging with members but it is no substitute for proper trials under standard conditions. For example, using LEDs on a circuit with an unsuitable dimmer could result in premature failure. On the other hand, a survey could be a good way of identifying LEDs that cause radio interference and producing a shortlist for proper investigation.

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As we are on this subject and I am sure somebody is going to point out – Which cant do it –too dear for equipment then they aren’t up to speed with modern computer data possibilities. While many (most apps) for Spectrum Analyzers only covers the audio band i have found at least on German one that covers RF including the interference range of LED bulbs –for free . All you need is a RF pick up device (receiver ) that will input it into the computer. No need to pay £15,000 upwards for a Professional unit. Why can Germany provide so much free help for its citizens ? I an using other “German help ” for free.

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Which?, as far as I know, no longer has its own test facilities so will use specialist labs when appropriate (I would hope) who will have the relevant equipment.

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In general I am finding the LED light bulbs we have installed have just as short a life expectancy as incandescent bulbs. I bought a set of four R63 spots for my study and all but one failed within the year and were probably used less than 1000 hours. These were bought off the Internet. I didn’t return them. I have had poor results too with bulbs bought from local shops. HomeBase and B&Q have both sold me LED bulbs that failed to last a year. How are these lifespan figures calculated and how can suppliers make these grossly inaccurate claims?

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Are you using them with a dimmer, David? If so, I suggest you replace the dimmer with one designed for LED lighting.

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When buying LED lamps I have found the similarity of the packaging between plain LED’s and dimmable LED’s potentially confusing, especially when the products have been put back in the wrong place in the shop. In Sainsbury’s the dimmable ones are considerably more expensive than the plain ones so if there is no need for a dimmable version make sure you pick the undimmable sort [for a ’40 W equivalent’ SES Sainsbury’s own-label lamp the prices are £4 and £6]. In Wilko their own-label dimmable lamps have “suitable for use with an LED dimmer” printed on the packaging which is helpful and should be stated by other brands.

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Hopefully the large manufacturers will follow Wilko and put similar useful advice on their packaging. I was impressed when Tesco packaging stated that their CFL spirals should not be used in enclosed fixtures and that use in semi-enclosed fixtures could shorten their lifetime. I did not find this on other brands at the time.

Guest
Ralph Indigo says:
9 February 2017

I have been buying led light bulbs for over 10 years. It has only been the last couple of years and only with the 1600 lumens 100 watt equivalent bulbs that I have been having any problems. Every one of the bulbs I have bought previously to two years ago are still working fine. But I have had three or four failures of the newer, larger bulbs. This seems to coincide with the change in the design of the bulbs as they are trying to make them look more like incandescent bulbs. The older bulbs, which all still work fine, have heat sinks on them while the new ones do not. I have always thought that this was the problem. They get too hot, then fail.

Guest
Stephen Murnane says:
15 February 2017

I have bought various light bulbs at B&Q recently and they are all burning out within a matter of weeks of being fitted. Don’t buy your bulbs from them.

Guest
Mark Rand says:
19 February 2017

Our ‘new-build’ house conversion (Settle Station water tower as seen on Restoration Man) was fitted with Kosnic GU10 LEDs which began failing from the very start (2012). The electrical contractor replaced them every time I popped in with a bag of failures, saying they must have been a bad batch. Eventually we just gave up as it was becoming a tedious chore. We replaced the Kosnics with cheap (ish) and cheerful mainly unbranded multi-buys from e-bay. These are doing comparatively well.

Guest
Roger says:
26 February 2017

Bought 6 G9 (small 240v package) and 1 failed after about 2 years. To LEDLAM’s credit it was replaced. Just had Lidl purchased GU10 fail, probably about 18months old. Nether are on dimmed circuits. Former probably has average use, latter has low use.

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I’m encouraged to see that Ledlam offers a five year warranty instead of the fabulous lifetimes claimed by many companies. Ledlam is a British company based in Manchester. I have not heard the name and have no idea of where their products are made.

Hopefully Lidl will offer a replacement or a refund.

Guest
Geoff says:
7 March 2017

Hi.
I have purchased, over the last 2 years or so LED lamps to replace many of the general household standard and Halogen bulbs here at home. Non of them in any lamp is the original unit. The last one to fail lasted about 3 weeks and was in my wife’s bedside lamp, so over 3 weeks was in use for a max of 1 hour per night so equating to about 21 hours….Lets give them the benefit of doubt and double the possible usage! Still 1/500th of the advertised life! (Muller Licht international German made. 7W Non-dimmable)
Previous to this I purchased 15 units from an online supplier.. The whole lot were in the bin within 4 weeks!
I’ve asked friends about this and it seems that there is a problem generally with lifespan. Particularly with regard to the cheaper brands and the more physically compact type of unit.
I cannot see that given the failure rate that there is any real carbon saving when wastage of resources, recycling, re-manufacture and disposal costs are accounted for never mind the energy used in the manufacture!
As far as I am concerned LEDs are in the last chance saloon. Any more premature failures and we will be moving back the good old incandescent/halogen.

Guest
Roger Beaumont says:
9 March 2017

Have been using Knightsbridge GU10 LED lamps for my outside lighting 240v 1w, coloured (green) and the life span is unacceptably low, they are switched on for 6 hours a day at nighttime and have had 2 blow within 12 months and at £7.50 each it’s an expensive replacement. The claim of 50,000 operations hours is quite frankly misrepresentation, my local lighting shop replaced the first one FOC but wasn’t interested in replacing the next (not the same fitting). Advice on a more reliable manufacturer would be appreciated.

Guest
John Firth says:
18 March 2017

I have been using GU10 LED ‘s for neary 10 years now (When they were over £15/Bulb) in my kitchen to get rid of 5 x 50w Incandescent GU10’s. As the wattage/Lumen output increased through 3;4;5 then 6 and now 7, I have followed the output trend to get the biggest output/watt I could. There have been some limited failures along the way with the smaller wattages, and as these lamps were advertised as 30,000/50,000 hour lifetimes, I decided to see if it was the electroncs or the LED chip that was respomsible for the failure. I removed the chip and tried them on a Contant Current LED driver unit. In every case the LED chip worked so it would seem that it was the fault of the electronic driver circuit that had caused the failure, however some 12 months ago I purchased some 7w GU10’s branded as INTERLUX (from . These were exceptional in brightness and output, and I was very pleased with them. Some 6 months into use there was a failure follwed shortly after by a second. The same test re the LED chip was carried out, and as before the LED chip was working perfectly. Now a further 4 have failed, and each one has been tested with the same result. So – it would seem to me that the life predicted by the LED chip is possily correct, but it seems likely to me that the electronics are not up to the task because of driver efficiency/heat sink shortcomings. I am still hoping that the 7w LED GU10 can be made a success as they seem to be perfect for our use in the Kitchen were we demand a lot of light.

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You are right about the electronics being the principal cause of failure. Commercial LED applications often separate the LED chips from the driver electronics – better quality components, better circuits and much-reduced thermal problems. Nevertheless, if LEDs with integral electronics are used correctly – in lights that do not overheat the electronics – the manufacturers warranties would apply. But I wonder how many people bother to return failures?

It would be useful if when Which? tested LEDs they measured the temperature on the electronics when the bulbs are used in typical fittings.They could then warn us off the poor quality ones.

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John was it the active devices that failed or the caps in the driver section ?