LED work lights have great energy-saving potential (compared with fluorescent lamps, HIDs and other lamps, energy-saving up to 90%). But how much of this is marketing hype?
How to select products that live up to their promised cost and energy savings?
Some LEDs have indeed delivered the financial and energy savings they promised. However, LEDs are only worth the investment when they really do what they say they can do.The industry standard for LED work lights is 3%. However, many building owners and facility managers have a failure rate of 20% or higher. Because the failure rate is so high, 20 out of every 100 lamps may fail and need to be replaced. (Failed lamps may be scattered throughout the building, which increases the time required to replace them.)
There are several reasons for the high failure rate, but it can usually be attributed to several factors. The following are the four reasons why LED work lights fail and how to prevent them.
1.Use of poor-quality materials
Commercially available LEDs comprise several components; LED performance is typically a result of how these components work together. From the type of lens to the heat sink and the chips and power supplies that generate light, LED components must be built to last if the lamp is expected to function properly and provide acceptable light output.
Material quality issues; if a lamp does not have them, it is likely to fail. Take the LED driver as an example. The driver converts AC power to DC power so that the LED can work. (Incandescent lamps can use either alternating current or direct current, but the LED must get energy from the direct current.) If you use poor quality components to build the driver, the LED may fail-you need to buy a new lamp to replace the one that should be used Lamps for years (or decades). If the correct drive is not used, the heat generated by the drive may be difficult to dissipate and cause malfunction. This is why the LED flickers or flickers-this is an early sign of driver failure.
What are indicators that an LED lamp is made of quality materials?
LEDs that provide sufficient heat dissipation may be slightly heavier (and cost). Ask about chip size; larger chips provide more light and good stability against current changes, while smaller chips provide less light and poorer stability. Check the paint or powder coating of the luminaire; if it is not applied well, other components (those invisible components) may be cheap and will be integrated soon.
2.Inadequate lamp testing
Ask the manufacturer about the test procedures for LED work lights. Some manufacturers conduct a comprehensive test on the completed LED work lights before shipment.
For up to 10 days, the diligent manufacturer will put LED lights and lamps in a specially designed room, test them by repeatedly turning them on and off, and leaving them on for a long time.
As solid-state electronic devices, LEDs are similar to TVs or other consumer electronics: if they are doomed to fail, they tend to fail early. By properly testing the LEDs, manufacturers can find faults before the lamps are shipped.
3.Temperatures are too high (or too low)
When the LED is installed in a closed fixture, first check the light. Unless LEDs are approved for use in enclosed spaces, they should not be placed in tightly sealed fixtures. When the heat cannot be dissipated from the radiator, it will cause the lamp to fail prematurely.
At the same time, remember the surrounding environment. The higher the room temperature, the earlier the LED lights will degrade. Why? Because the light emitted by the LED decays exponentially with time and temperature.
Adequate thermal management is the key to ensuring continuous use of LEDs in high-temperature environments. LED lights have extremely low thermal protection, which helps them resist cracking due to low temperatures.
4.Lamps are counterfeit
The appearance of some LED lighting products is similar to that of well-known brands, sometimes even using the same marks, part numbers, logos and packaging. The development and design of these cheap imitations often do not consider patents, trademarks or security.
How is it possible to determine whether an LED work lamp is what it claims to be?
Verify its Underwriters Laboratories (UL) mark.
The UL mark means that the LED has been safety tested, inspected and verified. But just because a product has the UL mark does not mean that the mark is true. Some leds carry fake UL marks or do not belong to the UL registration number of the manufacturer or product. Verify the UL mark by visiting the free “UL Online Certification Directory”.
Confirm a Design Lights Consortium (DLC) Qualification.
DLC is a project of the Northeast Energy Efficiency Partnership, a non-profit organization created with the goal of preventing LED lighting failures. Commercial LED lamps, retrofit kits, linear replacement lamps, E39 screw bases and other LED replacement lamps have been tested and evaluated according to specific performance requirements. They are manufactured with high-quality components, adhere to such high standards, and provide a 5-year warranty for LED products as a symbol of their quality.
Follow the guidelines listed above to ensure that the lamps are durable. Reduce replacement time and cost, reduce cooling load, reduce the risk of electric shock during the replacement process, and save 50% to 90% of lighting energy, these are all high-quality LEDs can achieve.
How to calculate LED lifespan?
It is easy to calculate life span in years. If we assume that an LED light is on for an average of 7 hours a day and lasts for 365 days, then the total amount in a year is 2,555 hours. If the expected life of the LED lamp is 25,000 working hours, it will last 9.7 years!
Does the light output of LEDs decrease over time?
One thing to keep in mind when buying a lightbulb is the luminous decay. All light sources suffer from a loss of light output over their lifespan. However, among all options LEDs have a very high light output decay point, called L70. After reaching their nominal lifespan, the light output dims slowly instead of suffering an abrupt failure.
What’s the difference between LED work light life ratings and those of traditional light sources?
The life rating of an LED must be measured in a different way than traditional light sources, because its technology is very different from anything we have seen.
An important conclusion from the LED failure report of the US Department of Energy is: When buying LEDs, pay attention to streamer maintenance and L70, not just the average rated life.
We are here to make lighting easier, as we like to say. I am not trying to hit you with lighting terms. But these distinctions are important, so let’s take a moment to define what all of this means.
When to consider an extended LED work lighting warranty?
Warranties are almost always an important consideration in the buying process. Whether you’re buying a new car, new tires, or a new stereo, smart buying is knowing what kind of protection you have on your purchase should the product prematurely malfunction.
Buying lighting is no different, especially these days when more and more buildings are switching to long-life lighting. When you make that purchase, you want to know for sure that your lighting will last as long as the manufacturer says it will.
But malfunctions happen from time to time. So how can you find that security?
LED manufacturers usually provide their products with a warranty period of 3 to 5 years. But we want to point out that it is important to pay close attention to the vendors that provide the warranty. How long have they been in business? What is their brand reputation? You have to make sure that the warranty they provide is as valuable as the paper on which the warranty is written.
When listening to our customers’ expectations and concerns about LED warranties, the message is clear: they want a simple process, a single point of contact, clear expectations, and a manufacturer that supports their claims.
But for lighting warranties—just like any other warranty—details are crucial. It is absolutely critical to outline your expectations from the beginning, so that you don’t end up with a failed product, without support after a year on a major lighting project.
What if the warranty period is not long enough for your situation? If the warranty is on a pro rata basis and you want to replace it in full, what should you do? If the warranty does not cover the labor cost of replacing the failed product, what should you do?
There is now a market for LED extended warranty periods. Just like you can buy an extended warranty for your computer, car or TV, you can now also buy an extended warranty for your lighting equipment.
So, what are your lighting warranty options?
We’ve pulled together the main three solutions that we recommend for our customers:
1.Stick with the manufacturer’s LED warranty
Nowadays, the standard LED warranty period ranges from 3 to 5 years. If you choose a well-known manufacturer, you may find that their warranty terms meet your needs and time frame.
2.Extend your LED warranty beyond the manufacturer’s offering
You may find yourself in a situation where the standard warranty lasts for five years, but based on your lighting burn time and life rating, you want to make sure you cover a full 10 years. If you are looking for coverage beyond the standard manufacturer’s warranty, you can actually purchase the equivalent of an “extended warranty” for your LED lighting project.
3.Add labor coverage to your LED warrantyMost manufacturers’ warranties include defective parts, but do not include labor to replace defective products. If you need to pay for commercial lighting maintenance, or you need to compensate your employees for their time, if they have to replace products that burn out prematurely, you might consider adding a third-party labor guarantee to your project.