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How to buy LED Lighting…………………….. LED Lifetime Related to Room Temperature

When buying LED lighting there are so many new considerations.  If you aren’t informed you can waste money on products that just aren’t going to work for you.  You’ll be frustrated you wasted money and you’ll likely blame it on the brand or the store you bought it from when in fact it likely didn’t hold up because it was the wrong LED for the application.

LED’s are all purpose built.  Meaning, built with a specific purpose, use or application in mind.  Energyficient manufactures an LED designed specifically for the harsh environment found in hog confinement buildings.  It can be used almost everywhere because the environment we built it for is more severe than most any other environment.  If you bought an LED designed to be used in your home for 2-3 hours a day and put it into a fixture in a hog confinement building, do you think it would hold up? Those two environments are ENTIRELY different aren’t they?

Let me explain some of this for you.  I’ll try to simplify what you need to know and what you need to look for.

  1.  LED Lifetime:  Look for the rated life of the LED described in terms of L70.  Typically you will find ratings like 50,000 hours to L70.  Do not trust any rating that is based on years.  The fine print will always tell you that claim is based on some low actual usage per year.  I’m noticing that consumer products lifetime ratings are dropping dramatically.  Manufacturers found out that us consumers don’t really need or want a light bulb that will last the rest of our lives!  We do want it to last for a couple years.  So for a home, you typically only need to see a rating of 15,000 hours to L70.
  2. LED Temperature:  The fine print of nearly all life ratings include a temperature to go with the life rating.  Something like 15,000 hours to L70 at 25C for example.  You want to match that temperature with the typical temperature you see in your space or room.  In your home 25C or 77F is a pretty typical temperature for your home or office.  You probably won’t see temperatures much higher or lower than that on a regular basis.   But lets say you are buying a light bulb to put into a light fixture in your kitchen that is totally enclosed.  The air temperature inside that glass bowl is going to be significantly higher than the rest of the room.  In that case, you’ll want to buy a special bulb that is rated for “Enclosed Fixtures”.    When you read the fine print, you’ll find out it was built to hold up to higher temperatures.

My recommendation is this.  Be prepared to buy different types of LED light bulbs to replace the same incandescent lamp you may have used in the past.  Pay attention to where you want to put the new LED bulb.  Read the fine print on the box to determine if it was designed to work in your application.

In the past, you could buy the same 60W incandescent light bulb and put it anywhere you had a socket it would screw into and you knew what you would get.  If it didn’t hold up, not a big deal.  It only cost 25 cents!