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LED Lighting and Lumen Depreciation


It’s no secret that LED lighting is the way to go for a long-lasting and energy efficient lighting source, especially when compared to older or more traditional lighting methods such as Metal Halide, HID, and Fluorescent lighting.

With that, exactly how long do LED lights last? Since these are more efficient, there is the misconception that they should never fail or lose light quality over time, and that is simply untrue.

Going back a bit, Lumens are a unit of measurement to determine the brightness of a particular light source, where higher lumen output means the light is brighter. This should not be confused with Wattage, which is a unit of measuring the power needed to light a fixture. For a more in-depth explanation on the differences between these, please feel free to click HERE for more information.

Like with any light source, there is a limit on how long a light can maintain a certain level of brightness. The brightest lumen output when a fixture is still new is referred to as the Initial Lumens. Over time, the lumens will depreciate, meaning the fixture is shining less brightly with time and use.

Around 70% of the initial lumen output, the difference will be considered quite noticeable and the fixture will need to be swapped out. This LED lights lifespan can actually be gauged using a simple formula to determine the current depreciation:

Current Lumens / Initial Lumens = Light Loss Factor

For example, a fixture putting out 10,000 Lumens reaches 70% once only 7,000 Lumens are being produced.

So how long is a fixture good for when it comes to lighting depreciation? The Lumen Maintenance Lifetime or L70 is typically marked at around 50,000 Hours of use for most LED products with some exceptions.

This means if being used 8 hours daily, or roughly 17 years with little to no noticeable difference in the quality of light! Compare that to Fluorescent lighting with 10,000 hours or Incandescent lighting with only 1,000 hours, and you will see why LED lighting is considered to have such a long lifespan!

While not perfect, LED is the pinnacle of lighting with an efficient and long lifespan. Feel free to read up on The Benefits of Measuring Light with Footcandles or feel free to reach out to us regarding any of our many LED products! For any questions, assistance, or feedback, please feel free to contact us by phone at +1 (813) 649-8899 or via email at

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  • Michael Tomas