If you’re someone who’s interested in using decorative lighting fixtures, chances are you already know about LED light strips. These light strips have become the latest sensation in aesthetic lighting.
In addition to this, we see the use of LED strips for a lot of utility purposes as well. Not only are these lights super versatile and functional, they are also very durable and long lasting. You can find LED light strips with a variety of colors that also last for a very long time.
So if you’re wondering how long do LED light strips last, you should know that LED lights can last for quite a long time. However, there are a lot of aspects that can affect your LED strip’s longevity.
Being aware of these factors when using your LED strips will help your LED lights last much longer. In addition, you can take additional precautions to extend the lifespan of your strips even longer.
LED Light Strips Lifetime
In terms of LED strips’ lifespan, it can vary a lot depending on the type as well as manufacturer. Most manufacturers claim that their LED products will last a minimum of 20,000 hours to a maximum of 50,000 hours.
If you’re thinking the manufacturers’ claims are a little bold, you’d be correct.
Although your LED lights may last this long, there’s a good chance they won’t. This is because the longer you use your LED lights, the more prone they become to external issues.
The good news is, there are multiple ways for you to minimize these issues through careful measures and maintenance.
Learn About the L80, L70, and L50 Functions.
One important thing that you must know about how long do led light strips last, is that LED lights don’t burn out or stop working at the end of their expected lifespan.
Unlike traditional lights, LED lights simply lose more and more power output with time, meaning that the lights get dimmer and dimmer with use.
With the rising popularity of LED lights, we are seeing tons and tons of manufacturers entering the market. As consumers, it is difficult for us to differentiate between the qualities of all these products.
In order to enable consumers to make the best decisions, a few tests have been developed internationally to determine the quality and lifespan of lighting products. One of the commonly used tests is called the Lumen-maintenance life test.
This test basically measures the percentage of power/brightness that is lost over a particular time, and rates the bulb accordingly.
How It Is Calculated (L80, L70, and L50)
In simple words, lumen-maintenance life tells you how much lighting output your bulb is producing after a certain time compared to its original output. The rating is expressed as LX, where X is the percentage of power still being produced by the light after a certain time.
For example if the rating of a bulb is L70 at 25,000 hours, it means that after 25,000 hours of use, the bulb’s output is 70% of what it originally was.
This rating system is an internationally recognized standard that is used by many countries. In addition to L70, L80 and L50 are also used to standardize lighting products.
These ratings are developed by testing a wide range of similar lighting products under neutral conditions in a laboratory. The rating is given based on the average results for the same bulbs.
Factors that Affect the Lifespan of Your LED Light Strips
1. Quality of The Strips
The product quality of the strips is one of the most important things to consider when thinking about their lifespan.
Manufacturers who are less known and less reliable tend to use cheaper components in order to save money. Even though these components get the job done, they tend to deteriorate much faster compared to the reliable ones.
In order to ensure a good quality product, we recommend buying products of well-known manufacturers. Additionally, look at buyer reviews on the product websites in order to learn about other consumers’ experience with the products.
2. Screw Terminal vs. Solderless
LED light strips with solderless terminals allow you to just clip the two ends together without having to worry about soldering them together. Solderless connectors have the same feature.
On the other hand, screw terminals require you to connect the two terminals together by screwing them together.
Using a screw terminal may cause structural stress and damage to the strip components, which reduces lifespan.
3. Installation Process
It is extremely important that you follow the instruction manual closely while installing LED light strips. While considering how long do led light strips last, know that not only does poor installation work reduce their lifetime, but it can also void your warranty.
So be careful while installing these products. If you don’t understand a particular instruction, consult someone with knowledge and experience of dealing with electrical components.
4. Moisture or heat might cause damage
If you’re wondering whether LED lights get hot, under the right conditions the electrical components in an LED don’t generate much heat which enables them to run at a low temperature.
However if you install an LED strip very close to a heat source, naturally it will absorb a lot of the heat. The heat causes the components to run inefficiently, which decreases their lifespan.
In addition to heat, presence of moisture increases the chance of rusting as well as short circuits. So its best to not install LED strips in highly humid areas such as bathrooms.
5. Wire Connection Type
Make sure to use wires which are correctly rated for their intended use. If you use wire gauges that are not capable enough the handle the voltage required to run the light strips, the strips will run at a lower voltage, which will increase the wear and tear to its components.
6. Environmental Protection
Do your best to protect your strips from external environmental factors like heat, moisture, dust, etc. The best way to do this is to use a protective covering for your LED strips.
7. Using Method
One of the aspects that often gets overlooked when thinking about how long do LED light strips last is the frequency at which you’re using these products. Prolonged use will naturally cause your light to deteriorate faster.
If you keep your LED strips running 24 hours a day, chances are they’re not going to last very long. Use your lights at frequent intervals for added lifespan.
8. Warranty Type
Manufacturers whose products don’t last very long tend to have shorter warranty for obvious reasons. Therefore, always look for products that offer extended warranties.
In addition, take a good look at the warranty terms and conditions. Some manufacturers will void their warranty even with the slightest misuse.
9. The Quality of the Power Supply
Your power supply unit must be capable enough to handle the wattage demands of your LED strip. If you’re going to connect multiple LED strips together, make sure that you also upgrade your power supply.
How To Extend The Lifespan of LED Light Strips
Now that you know the determining factors behind the lifespan of an LED strip, here are some additional measures you can take to make sure that your lights last even longer.
By Collecting the Dust
Over time, naturally your LED strips will collect dust. A high amount of dust may interrupt the circuitry of your LED strip. So its best to frequently clean the LED strips.
Instead of wiping off the dust, consider using a vacuum cleaner or blower to get rid of the dust. This enables you to clean the components without touching them.
Keep a Cool Temperature
Try to install the strips in an area that maintain a regular room temperature. Do not install the lights in an area with extended exposure to sunlight.
In addition, keep in mind that installing LED lights close to other electrical appliances may affect this, as some appliances generate a lot of heat. This is something to consider if you’re looking to install LED lights around your computer.
Use Lower Junction
Having a lower junction temperature not only allows LED strips to maintain temperature, but it also allows them to keep their brightness for much longer.
Avoid Series Connection
Connecting LEDs in series circuits increases the voltage demands massively. In addition to putting a lot of strain on your wires and power supply, this also causes the temperatures of the strips to rise a lot more.
Therefore, you should always connect your LED strips in parallel.
As with any electrical component, regular checking and maintenance is essential for prolonging the lifespan of your products.
When people ask how long do LED strips last, one thing we always tell them is to constantly keep checking on their lighting equipment. In this way, you’ll be able to address any small issues before it gets more serious.
Do Not Bend Your Strips
Bending your LED strips puts strain and tension on the components inside them. If you need to loop or turn the direction of your strips, we recommend using back to back or 90 degree connectors to connect your LED strips around corners.
Keep in mind that bending these strips may also void their warranty.
Use A Gloves While Installing
Oil and moisture from your hands may cause the components of an LED to malfunction. To avoid this, use gloves when handling these products.
Is It Safe to Leave LED Lights On?
LED lights manufactured by well known brands are put through intense and detailed tests to evaluate their safety. As long as you purchase these brands, you shouldn’t have to worry about leaving them on for too long.
Make sure you’re installing these lights in a location where they’re not exposed to the elements.
Can Christmas Lights Stay on All Night?
It really depends on the kind of Christmas lights you’re using. If you have old school tungsten Christmas lights, we highly recommend turning them off before going to bed, as their filaments and wattage may not be capable of long runtimes.
On the other hand, LED Christmas lights should be safe enough to be left on for prolonged use.
Do Led Light Strips Burn Out?
As long as they’re installed and used correctly, LED light strips do not have the chance to heat up to abnormally high temperatures where they would burn out.
Instead of burning out, the components simply start producing less and less output causing the lights to fade over time.
Do Led Light Strips Get Hot?
Generally, LED light strips are made from ultra efficient electrical components that are really good at conserving energy. This means that most of the electrical energy is converted to light energy.
A tiny amount of energy is converted to heat energy, however it is so insignificant that most LED strips don’t even feel warm to the touch.
Do Led Strip Lights Use A Lot Of Electricity?
Depending on the functionality of the LED strips, their electricity usage may vary. Between an RGB and RGBIC LED strip, the RGBIC strip will use more electricity as it contains more components.
However as we said earlier, modern LED lights are ultra efficient, meaning that they consume a lot less electricity compared to traditional lights.
How Do I Choose The Right LED Light Strips?
This really comes down to what exactly you need the LED light strips for. If you need a single colored light for utility purposes, go for a single colored strip with high brightness. White LED light strips come with shades of varying temperatures such as 3000K and 4000K.
If you’re looking to get a strip for decorative purposes, consider purchasing an LED strip with changeable color options.
LED light strips vary based on a lot of factors such as color changeability, brightness, strip length, number of bulbs per feet, etc.
When its all said and done, purchasing the right kind of LED strip for your needs, installing it properly and performing all the maintenance measures correctly can increase the lifespan of your LED strips by almost 50% of its original lifespan.
Understand that quality always comes at a price. Therefore even though reliable brands cost more, their products are likely to last much longer which will actually save you money in the long run.
Read Also: How To Make LED Strip 90 Degree Corner
I am a fellow LED light enthusiast who has completed his Bachelor’s in Electrical Engineering and now has been doing my Master’s on the same subject. Born in 1994, I am a big fan of shiny things since I was just four years old!