Why LED Lamps won't last 50,000 Hours, or Probably Even 20,000....

We all know the advantages of LED lighting over incandescent and CFL light bulbs.
A 60W incandescent lamp can be replaced by a 14W CFL, or a 7W LED lamp.

An incandescent lamp is something like only 10% efficient, with 90% of their power going into wasted heat.  CFL's fare better a little better, being about 4 times as efficient.  A standard  incandescent light bulb might last an average of 1 or 2 years.  CFL's will last longer, but I never had one last as long as touted.  So with LED's, they promise us 20-50,000 hours, but they should come with a disclaimer something like this: Hours estimate based on everything operating perfectly.

So why is their life limited?
Look at the pictures above, what do you see?  You see A LOT of electronic stuff on those printed circuit boards.  So what's the problem with that, you ask?  Electronics fail.  We have all seen truck lights, car lights, and traffic lights that have missing segments due to LED's being out.  Anything running off of 120V will have some sort of electronic circuit driving the LED, because they are low voltage devices (think flashlights and batteries), and need a way to convert the high voltage AC into a low voltage DC to operate the LED's.  12VDC lighting may or may not use electronics to drive the LED's.  CFL's also need electronics to operate what is basically a miniature fluorescent light, for they operate using high voltage AC.  So yes, while the LED's themselves should last up to 50,000 hours, the electronics driving probably will not last that long.  I date all my lamps when I put them in, including the "non-replaceable" type lighting fixtures that utilize LED's, and none have lasted longer than THREE YEARS - especially those expensive $100-$190+ outside floodlights!!!  At least LED light bulbs are now pretty cheap.....

Bienvenue.  Pour tous ceux qui sont en train de visiter mon site.  Je suis désole, mais je ne maîtrise pas la langue Française pour pouvoir traduire mes pages en Français.  Mais il existe un excellent site sur la signalisation canadienne et américaine par Martin Lévesque à: http://regle105.quebectrain.com/


  Semaphore Signals   Searchlight Signals
  Colorlight Signals   Trilight Signals
  B&O CPL Signals   Unusual, One-of-a-Kind, etc
  Pennsy PL Signals   Signal Aspects from Various Railroads
  N&W CPL Signals   Everything Else
  Amtrak PCL Signals   Festivals, Faires, and Fests



  All Railfan Guides Index Page   Baltimore Railfan Guide
  Light Rail Systems   Heavy Rail, Subway, and Metro Systems

The Ringling Brothers 2017 Blue Train, Car by Car

RIP ROBIN  --- June 13th, 1954 - September 4th, 2015 --- Farewell My Dearest Sis
My best buddy Jim Southern RIP
A tribute to Allan Melvin!

            Last revised 04/30/2021