Earlier this week the scientists behind LED light bulbs were awarded the 2014 Nobel prize for physics. Unfortunately, you’ve shared stories of LEDs burning out too soon. Are LED bulbs getting any better?
We lit up your frustrations when we last spoke about LED light bulbs. More than 300 comments were made, most of them about their poor performance and your dissatisfaction with them not living up to their lifespan claims.
I’ve had many problems in the past with LED light bulbs blowing too quickly. Only this morning I noticed another bulb in my kitchen had gone – I’d only replaced it three months ago. Ivan was also blown away by the short lifespan of his bulbs:
‘I bought six LED SES candle light bulbs from Homebase. Two failed within two weeks.’
While Raj had slightly better luck, his bulbs still weren’t up to scratch:
‘I bought 24 off Aurora 6W LED lamps at £11 each. After two years I’ve had to replace four of these. Not
Who turned out the lights?
As LED bulbs continue to improve, there have been ideas as to what else could cause their underwhelming performance. Brian started to wonder whether maybe it was the fittings in his kitchen, rather than a problem with his bulbs:
‘After only six weeks regular use four have failed. Swapping round has got one back working, but only temporarily. Not sure the lamp holders are 100% either as two went off together. Tried all the connections and they seem fine so at a loss as to what is really the problem.’
The light at the end of the tunnel
We do have some good news for you though. Our research shows LED light bulbs are getting better. The failure rate in newer bulbs is much lower than for those produced a year or two before.
We’ve tested 410 LED light bulb samples for 10,000 hours or more, and 75 of those (18%) failed within 10,000 hours, even though they all claim to last much longer. And 69 out of the 185 bulbs (37%) we examined at the 15,000 hour mark had failed by that point. Again, almost all of them claim to last longer than this. So, although there are advances, there’s still room for improvement.
What’s wrong with incandescent bulbs?
Some of our commenters are still longing for the good old days. John Ward pined after the 60s:
‘I’ve never had a better kitchen light than the long fluorescent tube that I had in my first flat in 1968!’
While Derrick said:
‘Glad I stocked up with “old fashioned” bulbs before they disappeared!’
But it’s not all doom and gloom, Nick C has seen the light:
‘I too have replaced almost all the lamps throughout the house (and outside) with LED with great results. I struggle to understand why people are determined to be so negative and backward-looking about any progress that is made’
Are you still having problems with LED light bulbs? Or have you seen similar improvements as in our new test results?