50000 hours is very big amount of time. Does each led light stand to this standard? Almost all manufacturers write those big figures in product description. But what is the reality?
Reality is not always same as promising in all LED lights. Forget the warranty; one or two years are just 10% of the total working hours. What is the life after the warranty period? What if you are commercial user?
Customer is not always getting what they expect from cheap products. So what to consider when choosing between low and high quality LED lights?
This might be weird but this is true, You can’t get good quality in very low weight product. As all LED lights require good heat dispassion, It can’t be accomplished without good amount of aluminum. Thin heat sink can provide more area in less weight, but it can’t transfer enough heat for the removal. Only active (fan based) cooling provides solution to this. Some china based producers provide 12-20W lights in very low weight that feels like plastic body. These products won’t perform well even in small span of time.
LED chips are manufactured by various big and small enterprises in the world. Japan and USA based suppliers make highest quality for longer life and more reliability. All is the matter of materials used in making chip. Larger chip provide more lights, good stability against current variations, but it costs more. Cheap and small led chip provides less light and stability. Ceramic COB lights are totally different in terms of size, they use multiple small chips to provide more lights and stability.
This is the heart of LED lightings. LEDs are kind of semiconductor that needs to be driven with carefully and according to ratings. Led needs to be driven with constant current DC supply for longer life. It is technical stuffs, but if you want to know here is the link: http://www.maximintegrated.com/app-notes/index.mvp/id/3256
What makes LED driver unreliable? Low quality components and low life capacitors makes them unreliable. Non-branded Chinese LED driver use regular capacitors which work for only 1000 hours at elevated temperature. We at Charlston Lights always calculate life of capacitors to work for more than 10 years.
Another costly thing in LED lights is rare earth phosphor. Cheap producer use low quality phosphor to lower the cost. If you see spot light with little different colors of white, it might be sign of low quality. Maintaining same colors in white is challenging task for LED producers. Color rendering is also point to be considered. Cheap LED lights generally don’t have good CRI, As good CRI also requires high quality phosphor.
Many people choose LED lights as a new trend in interiors. They really don’t consider what kind of lights they need. Most of the cheap LED lights have same optics for multiple requirements. A spot light can’t make enough illumination in drawing room. Opaque cover is not always for good lighting. It might be used to hide cheap components in Lights.
Finally all together, how they construct LED lights is also important. Design, look, feel and strength need to be checked at time of choosing LED. If paint or powder coating is not applied well, there might be good chance that inside construction are also cheap. Chinese manufacturer produce large amount of products to compete price. Fast & careless production might not last longer.