With LEDs replacing traditional light sources in so many applications, it can be hard to discern one LED from the next. The lifetime of the LED is often thrown around as a selling point of the product. To ensure you know what you’re getting, it’s important to understand what this lifetime value actually is, and how it will affect your application.
Typical LED lifetimes are given as the lumen maintenance. Lumen maintenance is a projection of the average brightness of the LED as a percentage of the original brightness after the stated lifetime. This is an agreed level of depreciation defined by the US Alliance for Solid State Illumination Systems and Technologies (ASSIST) where L70 is most commonly used. L70 is shorthand for the projection that the average lumen output will be 70% of the original after the stated lifetime.
How LEDs Depreciate
As a solid state product, LEDs depreciate differently to other light sources which typically have a definitive end of life. Unlike these traditional sources, LEDs gradually deteriorate over time as they’re being used. Heat is the main factor, so it’s important to ensure there’s adequate heat dissipation such as a heatsink.
Our Pixalux® White LEDs are sourced from OSRAM who specify a lumen maintenance of L70. We ensure this lifespan by mounting our LED strips on aluminium heatsinks inside aluminium channels which help to dissipate the heat and ensure product longevity.
When purchasing LEDs, always check the lumen maintenance value, and ensure proper heat management which can affect the lumen maintenance significantly. That being said, if you were to run your L70 LEDs at 12hrs a day for 365 days a year, it would still take 11.5 years before you hit the project L70 value... And by then, your LEDs would be very obsolete!