LED grow lights have revolutionized indoor planting. These lights have gained favor due to their energy efficiency, durability, environmental benefits, and variable spectrum. For indoor gardening enthusiasts, comprehending the lifespan of LED grow lights holds paramount importance. In this piece, we will delve into the lifespan of LED grow lights and provide some tips to extend their service life.
How Long Do LED Grow Lights Last?
The lifespan of LED grow lights is a key factor motivating cultivators to opt for them over other lighting options. Typically, these lights can work for several years. Depending on factors like the brand, technology, and quality, LED grow lights last anywhere from 50,000 to 100,000 hours. In contrast, alternative grow light fixtures might have a lifespan of around 15,000 to 24,000 hours.
What Affects the Lifespan of LED Grow Lights?
Modern LED lights feature a compact design, which presents a challenge in identifying the precise cause of malfunction since the tiny components and connections are not visible to the naked eye. Adding to this complexity, LED lights lack independently moving parts that can be damaged individually. As a result, these lights tend to gradually dim over time rather than experiencing an abrupt complete shutdown.
Here are the main factors leading to the deterioration of LED lights.
Material and Manufacturing Defects
This issue is widespread and challenging to evade, especially in large-scale production settings. LED lights are designed with a critical array of components that hold significant importance in their functioning. The active segment of an LED light comprises various components operating simultaneously to generate light.
When defects in material or manufacturing arise within these components, LED lights are prone to experiencing a quicker onset of failure than anticipated. Even if the defect permits the LED light to initially illuminate, these components are highly susceptible to deterioration due to heat and electrical stress. Consequently, the LED’s overall longevity is compromised.
Reputable LED manufacturers often address these concerns by opting for high-quality, resilient materials during the LED’s construction. Moreover, eliminating obstacles during the manufacturing process can prevent these issues and extend the overall operational life of LED lights.
The frequency of use and the way you use the light can impact the longevity of the bulb. Thus, while manufacturers often supply an estimated lifespan on the packaging, this value should not be regarded as an absolute measurement.
The longevity of LED grow lights is also influenced by the surrounding environment in which they are installed. Elements like moisture, dust, and contact with chemicals can have an effect on the lights’ operational effectiveness as time progresses.
In horticulture, a diverse range of chemicals is introduced into the cultivation environment through fertilizers. Skilled cultivators frequently employ sulfur evaporation within their greenhouses to safeguard plants from fungal ailments. In this case, LEDs often fall short of achieving their specified lifespans. The provided image portrays a segment of an LED light that has been subjected to harsh indoor conditions for over a year. Regular sulfur evaporation was conducted to combat fungal diseases. Upon closer examination, signs of oxidation are evident on the LED’s reflector in the form of black spots. The light emission has declined by 25%.
The longevity of your LED lights is influenced by the heat conditions in its vicinity, much like any other electronic device. Similar to electronic components, when subjected to heat, the internal components—particularly the heat-conducting element—will also become warmer. This can expedite the deterioration process of the light-emitting diodes, ultimately shortening the lifespan of LED grow lights. Contrary to common belief, extremely cold temperatures do not decrease the lifespan of an LED. In fact, colder temperatures assist in maintaining the semiconducting element at a moderate level, which contributes to prolonging the LED’s lifespan. This attribute makes LED lights a desirable option for colder climates.
Similar to the impact of external heat exposure, higher currents contribute to increasing the temperature of an LED’s heat-conducting component, consequently shortening its operational life. Rapid voltage surges exceeding 10% are likely to inflict harm on the internal electronic components of the LED, thus diminishing its overall longevity.
Various factors can lead to electrical over-stress, including human error, impaired power supply units, damage to the onboard PCB of LED lights, and material flaws. The abrupt passage of excessive electric current through the light-emitting diode results in accelerated burnout. This phenomenon is manifested as a sudden and intensified luminance in the LED lights prior to their impairment.
Electrical overload is an external variable that can be averted by the simple installation of a stabilizer in your setting. LED manufacturers also incorporate static suppressors in their LED devices, which mitigate incoming power fluctuations and reduce the risk to the LED light’s functionality.
How to Extend the Lifespan of LED Grow Lights?
Follow The Manufacturer’s Guidelines
Ensure that you use the LEDs under the manufacturer’s instructions. Take the time to review any accompanying documentation that was included with your setup, and verify that all aspects of the installation align with the provided guidelines.
Limit the Frequency of Switching Your Lights on and off
It is advisable to minimize the frequency of switching LED lights on and off. The lifespan of Incandescent and HID lights is not affected by repeated on-off cycles. However, each instance of turning on an LED light involves a minor power surge. Over a period, these surges accumulate and contribute to gradual wear and tear on the light, ultimately diminishing its longevity.
Regular Cleaning and Maintenance
Don’t overlook the importance of maintenance! Regularly cleaning your lights can significantly extend their operational life. Accumulated dust and dirt on the surface of the light can lead to reduced brightness and increased strain on the light’s functioning, ultimately hampering its performance.
It’s a good practice to occasionally wipe down your LED lights. There’s no need for specialized cleaners – a soft, dry cloth is sufficient. However, ensure that you turn off and disconnect the light before cleaning.
Adequate Heat Dissipation
Guarantee adequate ventilation and cooling mechanisms to disperse the excess heat produced by the LED grow lights.
When Should you Replace your LED Grow Lights?
Here are several typical signals that could suggest the need for replacing your LED grow lights.
Reduced Light Output
If you find a notable reduction in light intensity despite adhering to proper maintenance, it could be an indication that it’s time to consider replacing your LED grow lights.
A change in the emitted light’s color can be indicative of the degradation of LED chips, which can impact the efficiency of the light.
Flickering or flashing lights could signal problems with the power supply or the LED driver, implying that a replacement might be necessary.
Visible physical harm, like cracks or dents, has the potential to impact the performance of the grow lights and could necessitate their replacement.
The Lifespan of LED Grow Lights: Final Thoughts
Typically, LED grow lights are said to have a lifespan of 50,000 to 100,000 hours. This estimate is nearly accurate for trustworthy brands. Many of the lowest-priced brands may assert the same lifespan, these claims are often untrue. Such lights tend to deteriorate much sooner, potentially leading to issues like flickering LED diodes or even instances where half of the diodes cease functioning.
Opting for the cheapest lights available is generally not advisable. It’s wise to explore budget-friendly brands that offer higher quality, even if they are slightly more expensive than the absolute cheapest options. This investment proves to be worthwhile.
MokoLight stands out as a top-budget brand in this regard. We design, manufacture, and distribute LEDs by ourselves. We have partnered with some famous brands such as Samsung, Osram, Philips, MEAN WELL, etc. This indicates that we boast high-quality source materials to provide you with cheap and nice LEDs. Further details about LED grow lights can be found on our website. please feel free to reach out to us.