Because consumers have been told that LED lamps are cool to the touch, it is a common question to ask Do LED lights burn out? The answer to this question is yes, of course they do, but in a very different way. All lights will eventually burn out; however, the rate at which this happens is the real issue. The question that people should be asking is how long it takes for this to happen. LED lights have a life of approximately 25,000 to 100,000 hours which means is that if an LED light were to be left on 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, it would take them as long as 10 years to dim and go out. Assuming that LED lights are left on for the normal duration of about 8 to 10 hours a day, the lights could theoretically last longer than 30 years!
How Do LED Lights Burn Out?
In order to answer the question, Do LED lights burn out? it is necessary to first understand how they work. A common misconception is that LED lights do not produce heat. Actually, they do produce heat, but this is not infrared heat which can be radiated. What is really happening is that moving electrons are transferred from on material to another through a semiconductor. However, the second material cannot accept them when they are energized so they must release their energy. When this energy is dispelled it is in the form of photons (light rays) and that is what causes visible light and heat. Over time, the semiconductor will lose its capacity to transfer these electrons and that is what causes LED lights to dim and go out. So, while it is not actually burning out in the way that we have come to associate with other forms of artificial light, the do, indeed, burn out. It just takes a very, very long time to do so.
LEDs Vs. Incandescent Light Bulbs
The occasion in which it becomes necessary to change an incandescent light bulb happens much more often than people would like. These light bulbs have a very short life span of approximately 2,000 hours. Essentially, using the same formula seen above for LED lights, if left on all the time an incandescent light wouldnt last a year. This doesnt even take into account the fact that unlike LED lights, incandescent lights generate a great deal of heat and would probably never withstand being left on for an entire year! In addition to heating issues, filaments that are in incandescent bulbs do not seem to tolerate sudden voltage surges that are generated by being turned on and off frequently. These are the main reasons these lights blow more often than LED lights.
LEDs Vs. Fluorescent Light Bulbs
In recent years, people have been switching to fluorescent lighting because of the energy conserving properties that are associated with their use. Unfortunately, many people are unaware of a few aspects involved with fluorescent light bulbs. Firstly, they do not do well when they are cycled often which means that when used in a home where lights are turned on and off, they have a higher tendency to burn out. LED lights do not need any time to adjust to being turned on and this is one thing that sets them apart from fluorescent light bulbs and gives them such a long life expectancy. In addition, fluorescent light bulbs contain very harmful gasses and chemicals such as mercury that can be quite detrimental to the environment.
Do Led lights burn out? In time they will lose the capacity to transfer electrons, but that is actually more a case of wearing out as opposed to burning out. However, the good news is it may take as long as three decades for that to happen.