What happened to the 100,000-hour LED bulbs?

Early adopters of LED lighting will remember 50,000 hour or even 100,000 hour lifetime ratings printed on the box. But during a recent trip to the hardware store the longest advertised lifetime I found was 25,000 hours. Others claimed only 7,500 or 15,000 hours. And yes, these are brand-name bulbs from Cree and GE.

So, what happened to those 100,000 hour residential LED bulbs? Were the initial estimates just over-optimistic? Was it all marketing hype? Or, did we not know enough about LED aging to predict the true useful life of a bulb?

I put these questions to the test. Join me after the break for some background on the light bulb cartel from the days of incandescent bulbs (not a joke, a cartel controlled the life of your bulbs), and for the destruction of some modern LED bulbs to see why the lifetimes are clocking in a lot lower than the original wave of LED replacements.

Just a good, fun, but also depressing read.

10 Comments

  1. 2019-02-08 1:23 am
  2. 2019-02-08 6:20 am
    • 2019-02-08 8:23 am
    • 2019-02-08 8:32 am
  3. 2019-02-08 12:04 pm
  4. 2019-02-09 10:48 pm
  5. 2019-02-10 7:26 am
  6. 2019-02-12 5:33 pm
    • 2019-02-13 4:45 pm
      • 2019-02-13 7:42 pm

Leave a Reply