How long do LED strip lights last? [The Basics 2024]

How Long Do LED Strip Lights Last: Top Best Guide & Benefits

LED lighting was once an innovation, but now LED strips are widely used because they are compact and energy efficient. However, it is important to consider the economics of purchasing an LED strip and how long do LED strip lights last.

This article discusses the service life of LED strip lights, which is of interest to anyone considering switching from traditional light bulbs to LEDs.

howtolightguide 7
Image credit:

How long do LED strip lights last in general?

First, it’s worth determining what is considered the lifespan of an LED and how long LED strip lights can stay on continuously.

Unlike traditional lighting, in which this parameter is calculated by how many hours elapsed from the moment of plugging into the socket until the contacts burn out, the life of LED lights is determined differently because LEDs behave differently. The reason lies in their structure.

The LED lamp emits light thanks to the crystal it is based on. Although the crystal degrades over time, its brightness only decreases by 2% per thousand hours of operation.

Thus, the lifetime of an LED strip is determined by the time it takes for the original light output to dim by 30% of its original brightness. What does that time equal?

LED strip lights last from 25,000 to 50,000 hours, which depends on the quality of the components and other factors.

What is the structure of this LED lighting, and how color affects life expectancy, let’s further explore in more detail.

LED structure and operating principle

The LED strip is a circuit board consisting of conductive layers, LEDs (light-emitting diodes), and resistors mounted on its surface. The latter provides the required operating mode. Both analog and digital LEDs can be used in LED strip lights.

LEDs require a high-quality electrical power supply. In a diode lighting scheme, a driver (or power supply) is used to stabilize the output current regardless of the load level and following the permissible light output.

The power supply unit can be either a pulse or a transformer. The latter includes a step-down transformer (from 220 V to 12 or 24 V) or an autotransformer. The switching power supply is based on an inverter system, which rectifies the input voltage.

The following elements are available as part of the tape:

  1. Current limiting resistors;
  2. Flexible printed circuit board;
  3. Adhesive-treated base.

The 12-volt model includes sections with 3 diodes or LED chips and resistors. Each section requires just over 3V to power one diode, which adds up to 10V.

The remaining 2 volts of the 12-volt supply are extinguished by a resistor that regulates the desired current.

Colored LED lights

The color emitted by an LED lamp depends on the type of crystal at its core. Currently, scientists can grow four main types of LED cores:

  • red;
  • blue;
  • green;
  • yellow.

LED bulbs do not emit the white light we are accustomed to directly. Instead, researchers use phosphor in the bulbs to achieve this shade. It covers the LED’s blue color, resulting in white rays. This principle is the same as that of daylight bulbs.

However, due to the phosphor, white LED bulbs have a shorter lifespan.

Over time, the phosphor burns out, dead lamps go out, light rays increasingly turn blue, and white LEDs will darken significantly after a year.

When purchasing LEDs, it is crucial to note that the crystal’s quality is also a significant factor. Therefore, ensure that the LED strip supplier can guarantee the crystal’s quality.

LED bulbs and other bulbs

LED bulbs differ from traditional incandescent bulbs in their use of a metal spiral. They have replaced fluorescent bulbs and neon lamps due to their many advantages.

  • Unlike incandescent bulbs and fluorescent lamps, no harmful substances are used in the LED lights.
  • LEDs are energy-efficient and can save on energy costs. They achieve this by not using heat to create light.
  • The most important advantage is LED lifespan. LED lifespan is up to 50,000 hours.

Incandescent lights have the following disadvantages compared to LED lighting:

  • a light bulb has a short operating time, functioning for only about 1,000 hours, while an LED has a long lifespan of 50,000 hours;
  • energy efficiency – only 10% of the energy gives light emission. LED works the other way around.

Although fluorescent fixtures use less electricity and can last up to 20,000 hours, they have their drawbacks:

  • flickering – in case of voltage fluctuations, the bulb flickers slightly, which creates discomfort;
  • burnout – over time, the phosphor is produced, resulting in a decrease in light output;

Halogen lamps work up to 4000 hours. But they have a drawback – they excessively generate heat, which can lead to a fire hazard.

LED bulb vs energy-saving bulb

Energy-saving traditional bulbs and LEDs are two different lighting fixtures.

The latter has started to displace the former due to better energy efficiency.

Energy-saving traditional bulbs are less energy-consuming than traditional incandescent bulbs, but have some peculiarities of operation:

  • appearance – a spiral or pear of large size often simply does not fit in the light fixture, which looks ugly;
  • warming up – immediately after switching on the “housekeeper” shines weakly, because it needs time to fully warm up;
  • flicker – barely perceptible light fluctuation can cause headaches and eye strain.

Unlike its main competitor, ‘economy’, the LED does not have the disadvantages mentioned earlier such as flickering, which can cause headaches and eye strain.

Benefits of LEDs

LED luminaires can be installed in various locations such as homes, gyms, businesses, sports fields, and roads. There is always a different type of lamp available for each purpose, with the necessary power and shape.

LED lamps are economical and can work steadily for up to 5 years. They are resistant to negative environmental influences such as sun, frost, or rain. The reliable housing of LEDs protects against shocks and falls.

Although they may be more costly, their benefits more than makeup for the added expense.

Causes of LED strip light burnout

Unfortunately, LED strip lights are not immune from burnout. The quality of LEDs is important in their service life, as the brightness of the diodes may decrease over time.

Many manufacturers often use low-quality materials to reduce the cost of LED strip lights, which can result in rapidpremature failure of the tapes.

In particular, failure is often caused by low-quality crystals in the LEDs, the use of single-layer tape, as well as thin conductive tracks with low copper content. Using resistors with lower resistance than required by standards can result in higher luminance, but the LEDs will burn out much faster than normal due to excessive current.

However, purchasing an expensive tape does not guarantee long-term operation if the operating conditions do not meet the standards.

For instance, not all consumers consider the current strength and power of the power supply. Additionally, many disregard the temperature requirements and use outdoor tape indoors.

Installation errors can cause LEDs to burn out

Connecting or extending the LED strip lights in series beyond five meters can cause overheating and lower brightness at the initial part of the strip due to excessive current. To avoid this, use separate cables for each five-meter tape.

In addition, ensure proper protection from moisture and avoid exposure to aggressive chemicals on the LED strip lights. Also, avoid prolonged exposure to direct sunlight or high temperatures on the wires.

How to properly operate LED strips to extend service life expectancy?

If you do not want to burn out the LED light bulbs, you should follow several rules that will significantly increase the operation of the LED light fixture.

In no case should not be connected to a series of LED strip lights, the length of which exceeds five meters. In this case, only a parallel connection of segments is allowed. Otherwise, do not avoid significant voltage fluctuations and increasing current on the tracks. This, in turn, will cause serious damage to the tape, up to its failure.

Do not operate LED strip lights at ambient temperatures above +40°C. Also, under no circumstances should LEDs be immersed in water, even partially.

When connecting, particularly close attention should be paid to compliance with polarity. This is especially important if you do not want the LED strip to stop burning after a couple of months.

If the LED equipment is installed on a conductive surface, it must be insulated, otherwise, a short circuit cannot be avoided, which can lead to the most tragic consequences.

It is also important to use high-quality double-sided tape since if the LED strip falls off from its installation site, this can lead to damage.

Never allow even the slightest damage to the tape track during installation. The tape may only be cut between the special soldering areas. LED light bulbs often burn out because users plug them directly into household AC power supply, which is completely unacceptable. The LED strip is designed to work only from DC 12 volts or 24 volts.

The voltage is usually indicated along the entire length of the tape. To convert the voltage, a switching power supply unit is required. This device is responsible for converting the AC mains voltage of 220 V into a direct current of the required value.

Accordingly, when choosing a power supply is very important not only what DC voltage output, but also how much it can deliver to the load. Do not make a mistake with the choice, you need to make careful calculations of the total amount of current consumed by the installed LED lights. And depending on the result choose a power supply.

howtolightguide 8
Image credit:


LED lights have been widely used in many fields in recent years. And every consumer is interested in making it last, without causing problems, as long as possible. For LED strip lights and their power supplies to function well over a long period, it is crucial to prioritize quality and purchase products only from a reliable manufacturer and not make mistakes when installing and operating the equipment.

When purchasing an LED, start from a brand that values its reputation and does not risk problems with lighting or fire hazards. It is important to note that choosing low-quality LED strip lights can lead to shorter service life, frequent replacement, and increased energy bills.

Topics & Questions

Below you can find a list of the most common topics and questions about how long do LED strip lights last.

Do LED strip lights burn out?

LED strips do not usually burn out, but they can start to flicker. Note that only high-quality LED strips are recommended.

Can I leave LED strip lights on all night?

Yes, the LED strip can be left on overnight. They are energy efficient and produce less heat than conventional incandescent bulbs, and therefore they are safe and can be kept on all night.

Do LED light strips run out?

The lifespan of LED strips typically ranges from 4 to 6 years (50,000 hours). Various factors, such as supplier quality, and environmental conditions, can affect the lifespan of these LED products and potentially shorten it.

How often do you replace LED lights?

As the manufacturers say, their service life ranges from 7 to 22 years when used for 6 hours a day, that is, it turns out that LEDs can not be changed for a long time.

Leave a Reply