Shining diode strip. LED lights tape.

How Long do LED Strip Lights Last?

Are you ever wondered, how long do LED strip lights last? Well, the average lifespan can range from 20,000 hours to 50,000 hours. But, the quality of your LED strips, their installation, the surrounding environment, and a few other factors can affect the longevity of your light strips. 50,000 hours means you can use the light for almost 17 years (8 hours per day).

LED strip lights have become a popular choice for residential, industrial, and commercial lighting purposes. The space-saving design, availability of a variety of lengths, and affordable cost are major reasons for choosing these lights for decorative needs. You can also use LED bulbs for task lighting. Advancements in technologies ensure the longer life of strip lights.

Understand the L70 Rule to Identify the LED Lifetime

Fluorescent lamps show flickering problems due to regular use, whereas incandescent lights have a risk of burning out with time. However, LEDs are different from them. While using LED strips, you will find how they gradually lose the light output. In a few cases, power surges and mechanical problems can cause damage to your light strips. But, normally, LEDs do not dim out until they have become unusable. When your LED has lost 30% of its original brightness, you cannot use it for your regular needs. It is known as the L70 metric. Now, how do you calculate this metric?

High drive currents and high temperatures are the biggest factors causing a decline in the output of your LED lights. You can find a difference in the material selection based on the brand and type of LED strips.

The primary standard for checking the strip lights’ longevity is the LM-80 test methodology. Strips are analyzed at a preset temperature and drive current. It enables you to identify fluctuation in the light output. It is generally measured in a 1,000-hour interval. The overall testing process is very time-consuming. To solve this problem, manufacturers have created an algorithm known as TM-21. It collects data from sample tests while calculating the lifetime mark.

Types of Smart LED Light Strips

Nowadays, there is a trend of using smart LED light strips. However, as these lights are of different types, you will notice a difference in their longevity.

  • Single-color lights

These strip lights have a basic design and emit a single color (blue, green, red). Their average lifespan is about 50,000 hours.

  • Addressable Strip Lights

These lights have a highly complicated design and include separately controlled LEDs. You can modify the pattern, brightness, and color of every LED. You can use these lights for about 25,000 hours.

  • RGB Strip Lights

RGB LED light strip on white table plate background

With an intricate design, RGB strip lights provide 3 color options. These colors can also be combined to produce a range of other shades. The average lifespan of these lights is around 30,000 hours.

But, how do you understand that your smart LED light strips are almost near the end of their longevity? In some cases, the intensity of the color can vary with the light you have chosen. Damage to a part of the LED strip or a single LED makes your light unusable. Your LED strips get accidentally damaged in different ways-

  • You have stepped on the lights.
  • You have done too much twisting of the light at the time of installing it.
  • There is an incorrect connection.

Several Factors Can Affect the Longevity of Your Light Strips

Installation Technique

Installation of LED tape in cabinet furniture

The way you have installed your LED lights can make a difference in your light strip’s longevity. Without basic electrical knowledge, there is a risk of making mistakes.

A proper distance needs to be maintained while installing the LED. It lets you minimize the amount of heat emitted from your strips. But, when strips are placed very close to each other, the generated heat affects the longevity. Make sure that there are no defective connections in the circuit board. It can cause accidents and fire hazards at any time.

In some cases, you may need to attach more than one strip. Buy strip connectors and prevent an increase in the overall voltage.

Quality of your LED Light Strips

Do not buy cheap, low-quality LED strip lights. Investing in branded light strips is safe to get a long-lasting value. The cheaper ones get damaged within a short time.

To ensure the higher quality of your smart LED products, you need to check the number of diodes used for every strip. Some manufacturers have added a heat sink to smart LED lights for heat dissipation. This special feature makes your light long-lasting. You can notice a difference in the design of LED lights. Thus, it is important to be careful while picking the right one for your needs.

Resistors

Resistors play an important role in controlling the forward flow of the current through LEDs. They enable your LEDs to maintain the right level of brightness. The resistor’s value is not stable, and you must choose a resistor of a good brand. Make sure that you have not overpowered your LED. Although it emits brighter light, you will not be able to use it for a longer period.

Screw Terminal and Solderless

Solderless connections are not found in some LED lighting strips. Thus, they need screws for proper connections. You need to use a screwdriver to make the installation process successful. But, screws may shorten the lifespan because of regular connection and disconnection.

Power Supply

You must ensure a high-quality, branded power supply that provides consistent output. However, higher voltage can result in the burnout of the LED strips.

Contact with Heat and Moisture

LEDs are highly sensitive to moisture and temperature. Constant contact with moisture damages your LED strips. That is why you have to place these lighting strips in dry conditions.

As heat will shorten the LED lifetime, you have to find a way for heat dissipation. Choose a ventilated place to install the LED lighting strips. Aluminum is used for the best LED strips, as this metal is capable of dissipating heat and makes your light long-lasting. A double-layer pure copper PCB also helps with the smooth flow of current.

Electrical Wire Connections

It is another relevant factor affecting the LED strip light’s longevity. Ensure that you have used the right gauge to establish a connection between the power source and the strip. The smaller wire results in the reduction of voltage and a shorter lifespan.

Usage Frequency and Purpose

How long do LED strip lights last? The way you use LEDs can make a difference in the longevity of the lighting strips. Occasionally used lighting strips can last long. But, when LEDs are used in direct sunlight and as task lighting, they can shorten their longevity.

Environmental Protection

Environmental elements also influence the lifespan of LED strips. The best manufacturers have used a protective shell for encasing the lights. The sealed cover ensures no dirt and moisture can get into the lights.

Frequency of Use

led strip

How often do you use your LED strip lights? Frequently used lights have a comparatively shorter lifespan. The lifespan is generally measured in hours. For instance, if you turn on your smart LED strips for 12 hours every day, then the lifespan of these lights may be about 50,000 hours. But, when used for 24 hours, their lifespan will be around 25,000 hours.

Warranty

The most reputable LED brand offers a warranty for its products. The standard LED strips have a warranty of around 36 months.

How to Make Your LED Strips’ Lifespan Longer?

One of the major aspects of LED lighting strips is their lifespan. Manufacturers ensure a longer lifespan of LED lights in different ways. Encapsulation technology is used for the latest LED lighting strips. There is a need for quality materials for designing LED lamps and strip lights.

Encapsulation technology plays an important role in maintaining the quality of strip lights. Moreover, the frame temperature should be below 45-degree Celsius to ensure a good lifespan of your LED strips. Small LED lamp beads generate temperature, while the frame temperature needs to be low.

LED strips’ junction temperature should also be kept minimal. Due to the reduced junction temperature, there is a radiation of heat. However, while choosing strips, you have to ensure that there is a large gap (within 25mm) present between lamp beads. Another trick is to place a fan near your LED to dissipate heat.

Is the LED Strip Length Related to Longevity?

Yes, the longevity of your LED lights has a relationship with the strip length. 5m strips are best for 12V LED lights. Similarly, a 10m strip is safe for 24V LEDs. But, for 240V LEDs, reputable manufacturers use special technologies. They need a strip of around 100m. It is safe not to make your light strips longer without following manufacturers’ instructions.

Conclusion

Several factors affect how long your LED light strips will last. Remember to buy high-quality LED strips to enjoy lasting value. It is better to turn the lights off when they are not in use to increase the lifespan of your lights. The temperature of the surroundings should also be favorable for your LED light strip kit.

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