Author Topic: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?  (Read 2894 times)

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Offline cdev

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Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« on: November 26, 2018, 06:20:58 am »
I'm soo sick of buying LED bulbs that burn out in just a few months or years time, that I would really like to know of some that last many years, reliably. Do any such bulbs exist?

Sometimes I just want to put a bulb where its going and forget it, and know its not going to burn out for a long time. Seems like the claims of bulb durability mean less and less, and now are more than a bit hyperbole.

Suppose I was willing to pay more, and sacrifice some brightness, to get a truly durable LED bulb with its driver? 

When a bulb absolutely must not burn out, because say its somewhere its a real PITA to replace, which ones would you buy?
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Offline SeanB

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #1 on: November 26, 2018, 07:00:16 am »
The ones they shove on top of transmitter masts come to mind, though they generally only come in red.
 

Offline Red Squirrel

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #2 on: November 26, 2018, 01:34:26 pm »
The ones they shove on top of transmitter masts come to mind, though they generally only come in red.

TBH even those go out every year or so.  I work at a NOC and see tower light alarms regularly enough.  Though a lot of them are still incandescent I think.  I assume the reason is that you actually want them to get hot, so that they can prevent snow accumulation.

Most of the issue with LED lights is the cheap crappy drivers that are built down to a cost.  It's a shame too since the actual LED modules themselves rarely fail, but most of the time the bulbs arn't repairable (can't open without breaking) so you end up throwing out the whole bulb.
 

Offline Cyberdragon

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #3 on: November 26, 2018, 08:08:34 pm »
It's a shame too since the actual LED modules themselves rarely fail, but most of the time the bulbs arn't repairable (can't open without breaking) so you end up throwing out the whole bulb.

Yeah they do, they are shitty and Chinese too (at least the higher power ones), just watch Bigclive's channel. You can fix them by bypassing the blown chip/chipset but it might not last long after.

This is why I rant against this whole "go LED, it's so much greener!" crap. No, it's not entirely, it's polluting manufacturing to generate e-waste crap! If my bulbs are gonna blow anyway, I'd rather not have bangs and acrid smoke. :rant: Granted, haven't had any of the 50 cent LED bulbs blow up which is amazing, but I'm not sure if that's just luck.
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Online dzseki

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #4 on: November 26, 2018, 08:16:17 pm »
My very first LED buld was a „filament type” aka Chip-On-Glass type, it freaked out in about 1000 hours of usage. Sometimes it comes on, but it is practicall unusable, there I can see one of the LED chip is dying, and since all of them are in series one kills all... :--
 

Online nctnico

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2018, 08:31:08 pm »
When a bulb absolutely must not burn out, because say its somewhere its a real PITA to replace, which ones would you buy?
An A-brand like Philips. IIRC you can buy long-life LED lamps from Philips. These may be less efficient or use more expensive LEDs.
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Offline SiliconWizard

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2018, 05:03:00 am »
I would either go for Philips or Osram.
 
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Offline jmelson

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2018, 08:13:53 am »
I'm soo sick of buying LED bulbs that burn out in just a few months or years time, that I would really like to know of some that last many years, reliably. Do any such bulbs exist?
Well, I have been slowly converting over to LED, as the CFLs expire.  I write the install date on my CFLs and LEDs when I put them in, so I can keep track of the lifetime.  I got 3 - 5 years on the CFLs.  I have yet to have a SINGLE LED lamp go out.  I buy the "store brand" at our local hardware store, I don't know who actually makes them.    These are all exposed bulbs, not trapped in some thermally-insulating enclosure, and I have some that must be well into their second year of use.

Jon
 

Offline f4eru

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #8 on: November 29, 2018, 06:35:13 am »
Quote
I'm soo sick of buying LED bulbs that burn out in just a few months or years time,
The problem lies in the "bulb" part !

Don't use led bulbs.
A sphere is optimal to keep the heat inside. It's exactly the totally wrong shape for a led lamp.

The right thing to do is not to use bulbs, which overheat, but to use lamps with the LEDs integrated, that are designed to run cool with a lot of surface for the leds and drivers to have a chance to keep cool.

Avoid led replacement "bulbs" like the plague, use led lamps.
You can often retrofit existing closed lamps with led strips, and put a 12V PSU in the ceiling.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #9 on: November 29, 2018, 06:46:10 am »
Yes, but that power supply needs to be accessible for servicing/replacement too. Maybe somebody should integrate a good quality, compact power supply into an affordable, bulb-sized case, with more than adequate heatsinking, with terminals on its bottom for the actual LED device(s). I would buy one.

Quote
I'm soo sick of buying LED bulbs that burn out in just a few months or years time,
The problem lies in the "bulb" part !

Don't use led bulbs.
A sphere is optimal to keep the heat inside. It's exactly the totally wrong shape for a led lamp.

The right thing to do is not to use bulbs, which overheat, but to use lamps with the LEDs integrated, that are designed to run cool with a lot of surface for the leds and drivers to have a chance to keep cool.

Avoid led replacement "bulbs" like the plague, use led lamps.
You can often retrofit existing closed lamps with led strips, and put a 12V PSU in the ceiling.
« Last Edit: November 29, 2018, 06:50:17 am by cdev »
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Offline floobydust

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #10 on: November 29, 2018, 07:48:47 am »
The problem is LED bulb manufacturers are full of patent litigation. Over heatsinking, power supply, adhesives, phosphors, LED's etc.
It's so bad the past 10 years nobody can make a reliable, low cost LED bulb without going through hoops to not infringe on someone else's patents. So the bulbs are not the best designs, many compromises.

And now I see LED manufacturers suing the retailers now, Lowe's getting sued by Epistar, Nichia suing Bed Bath and Beyond or Feit Electric, LG, Lowe's, Meridian, Everlight etc.

Ikea store lighting section and see a handful of LED fixtures flickering and cutting in and out.

Cree LED bulbs, I had about 25% of them fail within a year. You have to ship them back to Cree at your expense to claim warranty. So I ditched Cree and Home Depot also dumped them.
 
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Offline cdev

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #11 on: November 29, 2018, 01:32:07 pm »
Almost all the defective bulbs I have I think are Feit bulbs.

The problem is LED bulb manufacturers are full of patent litigation. Over heatsinking, power supply, adhesives, phosphors, LED's etc.
It's so bad the past 10 years nobody can make a reliable, low cost LED bulb without going through hoops to not infringe on someone else's patents. So the bulbs are not the best designs, many compromises.

And now I see LED manufacturers suing the retailers now, Lowe's getting sued by Epistar, Nichia suing Bed Bath and Beyond or Feit Electric, LG, Lowe's, Meridian, Everlight etc.

Ikea store lighting section and see a handful of LED fixtures flickering and cutting in and out.

Cree LED bulbs, I had about 25% of them fail within a year. You have to ship them back to Cree at your expense to claim warranty. So I ditched Cree and Home Depot also dumped them.
"What the large print giveth, the small print taketh away."
 

Offline DougSpindler

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #12 on: December 05, 2018, 03:29:17 am »
Costco.  I purchased 30-45 LEDs from Costco about 4 years ago and replaced every bulb in my house.  That was 4 maybe 5 years ago.  I have yest to have one fail.  And the color looks good too.
 

Offline james_s

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #13 on: December 05, 2018, 06:06:29 pm »
I have a bunch of the Philips remote phosphor LED bulbs, they'd the odd looking tri-lobe things, one of the first good LED bulbs on the market. I bought them in 2011-2012 and while they're not as efficient as the latest generation, I can't even comment on the lifespan because not a single one of them has failed yet.

My mom's house has a lot of recessed can lights, something around 25 of them. Over a period of several years starting around 2012 I retrofitted them with Cree recessed retrofit modules, these are a bit more efficient and have a 90+ CRI, again not a single failure.

Philips and Cree both have made some very good bulbs, the key is to buy good quality ones, not the cheapest. Look for stuff that is rated for 25,000-50,000 hours, a lot of the low cost lamps skimp on the heatsinking and are only rated for 15,000 hours. Also be mindful of the application, many LED bulbs are not intended to be used in fully enclosed fixtures and doing so will lead to early failure, bulbs rated for fully enclosed use are available.
 

Offline cdev

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2018, 12:20:27 am »
I wonder what the best LED bulbs are for outdoor use in extreme low temps?

Florescent bulbs really don't like cold weather! (Many just refuse to work at all!)
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Online OwO

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2018, 03:05:00 am »
Pretty much all light fixtures in China now use LED strips plus a power brick, mounted into a large rectangular thing on the ceiling. There is an aluminum backing which dissipates the heat. The LED strips run cool and rarely fail, and if they do fail it's trivial to replace (just unscrew the strip from the aluminum plate and disconnect it). I have never seen anyone use a LED "bulb" in a standard lightbulb holder.
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Offline DougSpindler

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2018, 07:10:09 am »
I wonder about LED efficiency.  I have purchased (and returned) some LEDs where the base gets really hot.  Almost as hot as the glass of an incandescent bulb.  While others remain cool.  Anyone found something similar?

The big gripe I had about LEDs few years ago was with the color.  But looks like that issue has been solved.
LEDs are pretty much a commodity right now.  Doesn't matter what brand you buy, they are all about the same.  And they all claim to have the same "Will Last 40 years" BS warranty.  These things are only a few dollars (US).  In 3 - 4 months will pay for itself.  Yes a few from all brands will statically fail prematurely, but that's the way it goes.  I've noticed at the big box stores they have clarance sales and one can buy LEDs for less than $1,00.



 

Offline james_s

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #17 on: December 07, 2018, 09:44:44 am »
The efficiency is easy to find out, just measure the power draw and compare the light output, you can find independent test results of many of the lamps out there where someone has measured them in an integrating sphere.

I suspect the temperature has more to do with the efficacy of the heatsink, a major challenge with LEDs has been that while they produce relatively little heat, they radiate almost none as IR and instead it all ends up in the tiny die and has to be extracted somehow to prevent very high temperatures. Heatsinks are one of the most expensive components in a retrofit bulb so they're what tends to be sacrificed to get the cost down. Some of the low cost bulbs can hold up well under ideal thermal circumstances, but use one in a fixture that traps the heat or a hot climate and the temperature of the bulb can skyrocket. 
 

Online OwO

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #18 on: December 07, 2018, 08:18:00 pm »
The problem lies in the "bulb" part !

Don't use led bulbs.
A sphere is optimal to keep the heat inside. It's exactly the totally wrong shape for a led lamp.

This. Even with the best heat sinking you will not get decent thermal conductivity in that form factor, at least with passive cooling. I have looked at all of the A-brand LED bulbs and none keep package temperature below 50 degrees C. If you look up the LED lifetime vs temperature graphs, you will see that 50 degrees **junction** temperature is the absolute maximum you should go to before lifetime is severely degraded (50% brightness in just a few years), and same for efficiency. The only two solutions therefore are (1) a fan or (2) a large surface area fixture, like those mounted flat on the ceiling. Since no one wants a noisy lamp (2) is the only option left.
« Last Edit: December 07, 2018, 08:22:54 pm by OwO »
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Offline james_s

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #19 on: December 08, 2018, 05:02:48 am »
Well like I said, I've had LED bulbs going in my house since 2011. There is a Philips 8W bulb in the porch light which is on a timer that runs it from dusk till dawn, and it was installed October 2011. I removed it recently and put it side by side with an identical bulb that I never ended up using and the brightness was identical to my eyes. I calculate that out to around 30,000 hours it has on it and it still looks identical to a brand new one.

Previously I used CFLs and I was doing well to get 1.5 years out of one in that light. They lasted a lot longer in that application, started once per day and run for a long period than elsewhere in the house where lights get switched on and off a lot but still not nearly as long as LED.
 

Offline IanMacdonald

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #20 on: December 11, 2018, 04:38:51 am »
Some time back I made up a couple of retrofits for wall uplighters using COBs, heatsinks and good quality drivers. They worked well. I changed them a while back for shop-bought LED bulbs because I was looking at selling the place and I wasn't sure what a buyer would make of my obviously homebrew (but perfectly safe) arrangements. Well, I started getting some nasty headaches working in that room. Turns out the shop-bought LEDs flicker really badly, at a frequency just outside of the visible range. (100Hz) So badly that if you wave your hand in front of your face you would think you were in a disco with a strobe going.

I did a few tests with a scope and photodiode, and found that flicker is a really widespread problem with commercial bulb-style LEDs. The worst type are the ones that look like a filament bulb, but any bulb-type LED may flicker. Meanwhile, CFLs got a lot of bad press for allegedly causing headaches, but a similar test shows that most CFLs don't flicker to anything like the same extent.

This was a surprise finding, and it really brings questions on whether we should be replacing CFLs with LEDs. Thing is, before purchase we have no way of knowing if a given brand of LED does flicker, and it isn't always the cheap ones that do.

One workaround is to use DC PSUs and LED strips, which are not going to flicker if the PSU is any good. I've done that in the kitchen. For some of the others I've put the CFLs I had in storage back in.
 

Offline DougSpindler

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #21 on: December 11, 2018, 05:43:45 am »
Some time back I made up a couple of retrofits for wall uplighters using COBs, heatsinks and good quality drivers. They worked well. I changed them a while back for shop-bought LED bulbs because I was looking at selling the place and I wasn't sure what a buyer would make of my obviously homebrew (but perfectly safe) arrangements. Well, I started getting some nasty headaches working in that room. Turns out the shop-bought LEDs flicker really badly, at a frequency just outside of the visible range. (100Hz) So badly that if you wave your hand in front of your face you would think you were in a disco with a strobe going.

I did a few tests with a scope and photodiode, and found that flicker is a really widespread problem with commercial bulb-style LEDs. The worst type are the ones that look like a filament bulb, but any bulb-type LED may flicker. Meanwhile, CFLs got a lot of bad press for allegedly causing headaches, but a similar test shows that most CFLs don't flicker to anything like the same extent.

This was a surprise finding, and it really brings questions on whether we should be replacing CFLs with LEDs. Thing is, before purchase we have no way of knowing if a given brand of LED does flicker, and it isn't always the cheap ones that do.

One workaround is to use DC PSUs and LED strips, which are not going to flicker if the PSU is any good. I've done that in the kitchen. For some of the others I've put the CFLs I had in storage back in.

I have noticed the flicker too.  Some are really bad, while others aren’t as bad.  All of the LEDs I purchased from Costco, HomeDepot and Lowes have not caused headaches for anyone in my family.

This is going to sound crazy...  There’s a TED talk about light flicker curning Alzheimer’s disease in rats.  The talki was given by a women with a Chinese accent.  I can’t find her TED talk, bout here’s a YouTube about the research she’s doing at MIT.  Her research is only in rats, but that’s not stopping from companies trying to make a profit and making unsubstanted claims of being able to cure Altzheimer’s.  It’s a 40 he flicker.  Interesting story of how she figured this this out.

https://youtu.be/O_p4QWkE2Ls


 
 

Offline DougSpindler

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Offline jmelson

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #23 on: December 11, 2018, 07:17:59 am »
Well, I started getting some nasty headaches working in that room. Turns out the shop-bought LEDs flicker really badly, at a frequency just outside of the visible range. (100Hz)
A quick way to tell is if the LED lamps go black instantly when you turn them off, they likely have minimal to no capacitors in them.  If they fade slowly to black over a second or so, they must have some really decent caps in them.  The ones we have here seem to fade out, so I guess that is good.

Jon
 

Offline schmitt trigger

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Re: Longest lived standard fixture (retrofit) LED light bulbs?
« Reply #24 on: December 11, 2018, 07:42:30 am »
Phoebus cartel, anyone?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoebus_cartel

Now seriously, I don't think there is a similar cartel for LED lamps. Rather, as one has explained, the culprits are the sh!itty drive electronics and/or poor thermal management.

Like James_s, I also write the installation date on the body. I have a few installed outside with an automated photocell turn on/off, and so far have worked reliably every night for close to 8 years. They were made by Toshiba.

Also.........My living room ceiling is tall (18 feet) with several ceiling-recessed lights that would be an incredible pain in the anode to replace.
In the long and sweltering summers down here, even with the extra insulation, the ceiling on its own becomes quite warm. 

I know that heat is an effective electronics killer, therefore for those lights I wired a dimmer which is permanently set at 80% level. (The bulbs are dimmable), in an effort to run them cooler.
I don't have enough data to claim that my theory will provide a longer life, but I strongly suspect it does.
« Last Edit: December 11, 2018, 07:44:31 am by schmitt trigger »
 
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