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How Long Do LED Lights Last?

March 03, 2021 4 min read

The 'LED' in LED lighting stands for light-emitting diode. LEDs can emit the same amount of light as incandescent or fluorescent bulbs, but have a longer lifespan and are up to 90% more efficient than incandescent bulbs. So how long do LED lights last?

The life expectancy of LED light bulbs is anywhere from 25,000 hours to 50,000 hours, lasting more than 20 years for most. In comparison, the life expectancy for incandescent bulbs is 750-2000 hours. There are now LED bulbs that are made with an even longer life span, so a lot depends upon the types of LED lighting options you're looking at. But what exactly is the technology?


What Is LED Technology?

With LED bulbs, an electric current passes through a microchip and illuminates a luminaire. The word diode actually means a semiconductor device with two terminals, allowing an electric current to flow (in one direction) through to the luminaire - thus; we are 'enlightened'. 

Today, LED lights have pretty much taken over, primarily because they are so much more efficient than an incandescent bulb or even halogen bulbs overall, using much less power. But in reality, how long they last depend on a couple of variables. 

Variable Factors

The lifespan of LED lights, or how long it will last, depends on various factors. For example, the quality of the luminaire that's emitting the light plays a significant role in how long you can expect your LEDs to last. The better the quality or the design, the more effective and optimized the LED light output, thus maximizing the life span. The other thing you need to know when purchasing LED lights is how they are measured, and what to look for regarding lifespan. 

Lumens, Lumen Maintenance & Illumination

Lumens = Illumination

Lumens are a specific measurement of LED light that relates to brightness, similar to watts in old incandescent light bulbs. Lumens measure the amount of illumination or brightness an LED bulb puts out. For example, a 60-watt bulb would be equal to about 800 lumens, and a 100-watt bulb equal to about 1600 lumens.

Lumen Maintenance = Life Span

Lumen maintenance is the process manufacturers use to measure the life span of LEDs, also known as the manufacturers' rated life expectancy. LEDs will continue to emit light throughout their long lifespans but will slowly dim over time, whereas incandescent bulbs may suddenly fail or burn out such as when a filament breaks.  Since LED light output depreciates slowly overtime, lumen maintenance measures the LED lifespan by comparing the percentage of light still produced after running continuously for 30,000 hours.

Commonly there are ratings of L-50 or L-70, with L-70 being the higher quality or longer-lasting of the two, representing a 70% output at 30,000 hours as opposed to a 50% output by the L-50 for the same amount of time. The U.S. Department of Energy is responsible for these kinds of measurements and ratings and has determined an LED light can be considered past its useful life when its output is under 70% of the original output. 

Energy Efficient

LED lights are highly efficient and consume less energy than fluorescent or incandescent light bulbs. To ensure the longevity of your LED lights, do not overload them or put a different lumens/wattage bulb in a fixture that is set up for another output amount. Always use LED lighting in a power-conscious and energy-saving cognizance.

Safe For Continuous Use

LEDs are safe and recommended for areas which require more or even constant use. When left on for a long period of time, there is minimal risk of electrical fire or damage to fixtures from heat as LED emits minimal amounts of heat. Thus, they are safer than a fluorescent or incandescent bulb. You will even save money on your energy bills, due to the energy-saving efficacy of LED lighting and light bulbs. 

Lumens or Lux?

You're likely to run into a measurement called lux, in addition to lumens. While a lumen is a measure of luminous flux or luminosity, a lux is a measure of illumination. Lux is how we measure the illumination levels for our Sunrise Sensations Light Therapy Lamps.


Lux illumination levels are important when selecting the best light therapy lamp, so make sure to only go for lamps with at least 10,000 lux.

Halogen or LED?

LED lights emit brightness equal to halogen bulbs while using 85% less power. The energy-efficiency of LED technology is superior to every other type of artificial light source to date. If you want to know the unit of measurement of any other type of light bulb as compared to LEDs, there are many conversion charts online. 10,000 lux, however, is the physician recommended amount that is best for light therapy that simulates sunlight.

Sunrise Sensations Light Therapy LED Lamps 

If you've ever experienced the "winter blues", or are familiar with the condition called "SAD" (seasonal affective disorder), you may be wondering about light therapy lamps with LEDs. Sunrise Sensations light boxes integrate an advanced and fully adjustable UV-free light panel that easily reaches up to 10,000 lux. Not only are the settings adjustable with a remote control, but the frame is made of solid wood from sustainable sources. We love the idea of bringing a bit of nature right into your home, and can't wait for you to try out our lamps to see the difference!
If you are interested in light therapy, learn how does light therapy work today!