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How Long Should LED Bulbs Last?

How long are energy-efficient LED bulbs supposed to last? A new document from the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America helps you figure it out.


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We know LEDs are more energy efficient, but how long are these bulbs supposed to last? The Illuminating Engineering Society of North America (IES) is addressing that question with the publication of a new document that helps you project the lifespan of LED light sources.

The document, entitled Projecting Long Term Lumen Maintenance of LED Light Sources (TM-21-11), is based on procedures found in the Society’s Approved Method for Measuring Lumen Maintenance of LED Light Sources document (LM-80-08).

According to the IES, “LED light sources provide a very long usable life but light output gradually depreciates over time. TM-21-11 provides the method for determining when the ‘useful lifetime’ of an LED is reached, a point when the light emitted from an LED depreciates to a level where it is no longer considered adequate for a specific application. Lumen maintenance of LEDs can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer and between different LED package types produced by a single manufacturer.”

In other words, there are lots of variables. It’s another piece of information for integrators to use when selling lighting control.



  About the Author

Jason has covered low-voltage electronics as an editor since 1990. He joined EH Publishing in 2000, and before that served as publisher and editor of Security Sales, a leading magazine for the security industry. He served as chairman of the Security Industry Association’s Education Committee from 2000-2004 and sat on the board of that association from 1998-2002. He is also a former board member of the Alarm Industry Research and Educational Foundation. He is currently a member of the CEDIA Education Action Team for Electronic Systems Business. Jason graduated from the University of Southern California. Have a suggestion or a topic you want to read more about? Email Jason at [email protected]

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