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What is an acceptable failure rate for LED?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Lite4, May 30, 2014.

  1. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    Our experience has been similar to james. We have had 95% fsilure rate on led bulbs 4years old and older. Volt mr16's have been good to us, but we probably only have 500-600 out there in the last 3 years. 2 Failures. We still were using halogen over thst time, and easily replaced 250 halogen bulbs on warranty.
  2. INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting

    INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,102

    Let me clarify. I have not experienced a 95% failure rate on all LED lamps installed... This is not the case at all. I did have some experience with one particular line of lamps, one particular SKU, all with the same date code, where almost all of them failed prematurely. It was an expensive experience for both the manufacturer and myself.

    I am still an ardent fan of LED Lamp technology for a number of reasons, most of which have been discussed at great length here in this forum.
  3. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,186

    Hey everyone, Wow- I go on vacation for a week and a half and miss all the action on Lawnsite.

    I had no intention of really turning this thread into a debate on who's manufacturer is better, but rather, what is an acceptable rate of failure in the first year that we should expect to see when purchasing LED's (and could we as the installing contractors be the cause of these failures). 1%, 3%, 10%?? I know when using halogen lamps, I would encounter lamps that would be dead in the box or fail prematurely and we simply just "expected" a small rate of failures to occur due to manufacturing inconsistencies and moved on. What is everyone doing with their dead LED's? Are you tossing them in the can or are you taking them back for warranty replacement? I usually keep my dead ones in a designated box and return them when I pick up others. With halogen lamps, I didn't even bother, I just chucked em.

    I have had a few manufacturing defects on a few varied samples of lamps, but I believe most of my failures are due to power spikes from dirty incoming power and/ or harsh inductive loads from nearby lightning strikes. Most of my dead lamps have been coming from the same 4 or 5 jobs that are all in fairly close proximity to each other (a mile or so). I am wondering if I am getting dirty, primary power or surges in the lines since it seems to be so localized to one area that may be feeding off the same area transformer. I have since added surge protection to all of those jobs, and have had no issues since. Is there merit to the discussion that perhaps manufacturers might consider adding surge protection directly into their transformers or should that be left up to the contractor to install surge protection in the field? Since everything is shifting from filament to electronics, should we be rethinking our power sources accordingly?

    Again, I am not trying to start a debate on who's manufacturer can throw a rock farther than yours, I am simply just wondering everyone's thoughts on protecting and preserving the life of LED's in general. As a contractor, its a pain in the neck (and a little embarrassing) to get a phone call from a client telling you the system with the lamps they won't have to replace for many years has 3 burned out LEDs after only 6 months. What can we do as installers to create better and safer systems for our LED tech and help to mitigate premature losses?

    1) Has anyone else been experiencing failures where you will lose multiple lamps on a single system, but have no issues with other systems.

    2) Have you experienced LED failures from multiple, differing lighting systems you have installed, that are potentially on the same area power grid (perhaps dirty power or spikes?)

    3) Are any of you installing surge protection in the field and what are you using to protect your systems? Plug in surge protection or surge wired into the panel?

    4) If any manufacturer were to build a transformer that incorporated "built in" or "module replaceable" surge protection, would that interest you as an installing contractor of LED tech?

    5) Would it makes sense to install and connect a ground rod to the primary ground of the transformer?

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