My LED Bulbs Are Burning Out Too Fast

One thing that was not discussed in this article is whether Tony was using an enclosed fixture. If so, you need to buy LED’s made for an enclosed fixture or it will shorten their life. Here is one article on the subject:

I had problems with LED bulbs several years back. But for the ones I’ve purchased and installed since 2020 they seem to work well and haven’t gone out.

For exterior lights I especially like the ones that are dusk-to-dawn and those with built-in motion detectors.

Enclosed fixtures or not, they don’t last anywhere nearly as long as advertised. It’s the same scam manufacturers pulled with CFLs: claim a ridiculously long life so that the economics would work early on (i.e., bulbs were initially quite expensive, but if the bulb would last ten years, a small savings per year offsets the bulb cost). We’re now at the point where the economics work even with the actual life, yet the fake lifespan claims persist.

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I wonder if the reason for premature CFL and LED bulbs is power surges. Incandescent bilbs were only a filament wire which would heat up and emit light. The newer bulbs have electronics in them and electroncics ned good power conditioning which is not really cost-effective in cheap electronics. I can only speak for my state but we often have power outages, surges (when power swirches off and on multiple times, and so on.

I used to work with large mainframe computers. We installed a building UPS (Uninterruptable Power Supply) which insulated us from peak, sags, dropouts and noise on the power lines. We noticed a dramatic drop in unexplained computer crashes once the power was clean. These mainframes had good filtering to start with but still, the change was dramatic.

I finally bought “enclosure rated” LEDs for my four chandeliers. [20 bulbs] That was two years ago, and not a single failure. so far

Can someone give an example of wattage and the bulb? Most of my fixtures are 60 watts. So what should the maximum wattage of an LED bulb be? For instance one rated at 42 watts should be ok right?

It is not the wattage that you should be looking at. Rather it is the lumens. Many places such as Lowes or Home Depot have a display with various LED bulbs and their lumen output. Lumens are measurments of light output. Wattage is irrevelavent. A hair drier can use 1400 watts yet produce no useable light.

Here’s a quick conversion for common wattages:

150 w = 2600 lm
100 w = 1600 lm
75 w = 1100 lm
60 w = 800 lm
40 w = 450 lm

Also both old light bulbs and LEDs can have soft white, daylight or various levels of light that may influence your decision, based upon whether you are reading or using the bulbs for ambience.

Lavarock is correct, however I think you were looking for a little more explanation.

Old fixtures were rated for incandescent bulbs. So a 60W incandescent lamp drew about 60watts of power (about 1/2 amp @120volts) and gave off a certain amount of heat. Your fixtures are rated for this lamp and this current and heat. However, LEDs use much less power (and thus lower current) and give off much less heat for the same amount of light output (lumens). As you can see from the chart below, a 150watt equivalent LED uses about half as much energy as a 60watt incandescent. So you can safely use a 150watt equivalent LED (2600 lm) in a 60 watt fixture.

  1. 40-watt incandescent bulbs can be replaced with 4-5 watt LEDs
  2. 60-watt incandescent bulbs can be replaced with 6-8 watt LEDs
  3. 75-100 watt incandescent bulbs can be replaced with 9-13 watt LEDs
  4. 100-watt incandescent bulbs can be replaced with 16-20 watt LEDs
  5. 150-watt incandescent bulbs can be replaced with 25-28 watt LEDs
    How to Buy Equivalent Wattage LED Lights? - Superior Lighting

Thanks to you both!

As an aside, I have some track lights I converted from halogen to LED. When I had an extra bulb, I opened the base because I knew there was a power conversion from 120 volt to that which the LEDs use. That is some of the extra power the whole bulb uses to downshift the 120 volts AC to the DC for the bulbs.

I was able to take the LEDs and directly power them from a 9 volt battery with one small dropping resistor. That is a lot more efficient than 120 volts. You know, if our houses worked off something like 12 volts DC, imagine all the ‘wall wart’ (power supplies) we could throw away.

I think the problems with LEDs b reaking is that the transformer or conversion electronics is the cause. I would love to start conveting to 12 VDC LEDs (like the ones in cars) to use all over the house. I recommended my Sisters to do that in their cottage as they will be having DC directly from the solar panels charging their car batteries, so 12 volts available!

Aside from of some obvious design and manufacturing flaws, supply-side AC voltage power surges are most likely the cause of most LED bulb failures. It’s expensive to build an AC-to-DC converter that reliably handles power surges from incoming AC. And power surges are inherent in the design of our power distribution systems, you can’t avoid them.

I think there’s already a big difference between present LEDs and some of the early ones. Eventually they’ll work it out

I’ve recently noticed that some of the colour LEDs on full colour smart bulbs burn out sooner than others. These are outside bulbs, and it’s the shades of blue and green that stop working.