Regardless of what motivation is behind your decision to switch to LED lighting panels, research shows that LEDs consistently have a highly superior life-cycle of energy consumption compared to CFLs and incandescent lamps.

When it comes to the lifecycle of LED lighting – there are some key terms that you need to know before making the transition – here are the main terms to understand:

Lumen output

Typically, light bulbs are rated by their wattage. Both incandescent lamps and LEDs both come in various watts, which tells you how much energy the lamp uses. Lumens, on the other hand, tell you how bright the light will be. The more lumens a light has, the brighter the light will be, and vice versa, whereas having less watts means less energy is used by the lamp.

LED lifespan

The lifespan of LED bulbs must be looked at through lumen depreciation. If the bulb is still emitting light, and the amount of light is acceptable for its application, then the bulb’s lifespan has not yet ended, even though the light is diminished. In general, LED bulbs last about 10 times the number of hours of an incandescent lamp. This relates to about 1,000 hours for incandescent and 10,000 hours for LED.

Degradation of light

All forms of lighting eventually fade in one form or another. CFLs and incandescent lights tend to cease working immediately, whereas LEDs generally emit less and less light until their illumination is no longer valuable – hence a much slower degradation process.

Lumen failure

For LED light sources, we define failure as when the LED can no longer produce a certain percentage of the initial light-output value. For example, failure might be defined as when the light output of an LED reaches 70% or lower of the initial light output (including if the LED’s light output is zero). In other words, for a given period, if an LED produces insufficient light or no light, the LED is considered at failure.

Power & Thermal management

Power management concerns the ability of the LED to properly control and filter current. An LED that fails in this may flicker. Thermal management concerns the LED’s ability to conduct heat and either help lumen illumination or contribute to its depreciation.