Like many individuals, if you’ve made the switch from traditional halogen bulbs to various types of LED lights, you may have encountered the abrupt occurrence of your LED bulbs burning out. While this could be attributed to the quality of the bulbs you’ve chosen, it’s essential to understand that even a well-manufactured bulb has a finite rated lifespan. This lifespan may be significantly shortened if the bulb is consistently in use for an extended duration.

burnt out led bulb

However, it’s important to recognize that there are additional factors contributing to the premature burnout of LED bulbs, which we’ll delve into and explore in greater detail.

What is the Average Lifespan of an LED bulb?

We’ll tell you yes right away is the LED bulb life span will depend primarily on how its bulb is used and what type of bulb it is.

Here, you can get a clearer picture of the average run times for most common light bulbs:

  • Incandescent Bulbs: Last between 1,000 and 2,000 hours
  • Halogen Bulbs: Have a lifespan of 2,000 to 4,000 hours
  • Compact Fluorescent (CFL) Bulbs: Can last from 8,000 up to 20,000 hours
  • LED Bulbs: Typically function for 25,000 to 50,000 hours

What Primarily Affects LED Bulb to Burn Out

LED bulbs burn out like any other light bulb, and it’s a normal thing. Many thought that switching the light on/off affects the bulb, which is not the case.

Instead, bulb burnout is commonly caused by fault circuits or use in an environment where the temperature fluctuates, which shortens bulb lifespan.

Some other factors that cause the LED light bulb to burn prematurely are the:

  • High voltage at the home
  • Poor connections 
  • High temperatures
  • Physical damage
  • Excess vibrations
  • Incompatible dimmer switches

High Voltage at The Home

High voltage in the home can be a significant factor contributing to premature burnout of LED bulbs. It is important to note that this does not necessarily mean that the entire home is high voltage, but that it can affect certain outlets or lines, often due to the presence of high voltage appliances.

When the supply voltage in your home is too high, it puts a heavy load on the LED bulb. This excessive load can result in overheating of the control board inside the bulb, eventually causing it to fail and burn out. You can estimate voltage levels with a multimeter, but caution is key as it involves working with high voltage and high current electricity. If the tester shows a voltage higher than 125 volts, it is advised to contact an electrician to investigate and fix the problem immediately.

Poor Connections

led bulb power efficiency

Ensuring proper connections is crucial when it comes to the longevity of LED bulbs. Even though you might believe you’ve installed the bulb correctly by screwing it securely into place, there are nuances to consider. Over time, the heating and cooling of the bulb can lead to slight movements. If the bulb is installed too loosely, it can result in a loss of connection, causing flickering and adding stress to the bulb’s electrical circuitry, ultimately leading to burnout.

On the flip side, overtightening the bulb can have adverse effects. It can depress the socket tabs or damage the internal wiring of the bulb, rendering it unusable and challenging or impossible to repair properly.

Finding the right balance, where the bulb is neither too tight nor too loose, is key to extending its lifespan and minimizing instances of burnt-out light bulbs.

High Temperatures and Overheating

led bulb pcb burned

As previously discussed, high voltage can indeed generate excess temperatures due to circuit board resistance, impacting the LED bulb’s performance. However, it’s worth noting that elevated temperatures, in general, can adversely affect LED bulbs.

Several issues may arise when the ambient temperature surrounding the LED bulb is high. Firstly, higher temperatures can lead to a reduction in the amount of light produced by the bulb.

Additionally, the elevated heat can cause accelerated degradation of the bulb’s circuit board components. These combined factors contribute to a shortened overall lifespan of the LED bulb.

Therefore, it’s essential to consider and manage the operating temperature of LED bulbs to ensure they perform optimally and have an extended operational life.


garage door light

You might be wondering where and how light fixtures and bulbs can be affected by vibrations. Well, it’s often the case with fixtures like ceiling fans or automatic garage door lights, as they inherently generate a certain level of vibration due to their operation. If, for instance, a ceiling fan becomes loose or imbalanced, this vibration can become more pronounced.

Vibration can lead to premature burnout of incandescent bulbs by causing the filaments to break. Furthermore, lights in such scenarios may also flicker due to weakened connections.

To address this issue effectively, transitioning to LED bulbs is a practical solution, as they don’t rely on filaments and are thus less susceptible to damage from vibrations. Additionally, there are specialized rough service bulbs designed specifically to withstand vibrations more robustly. These options can help ensure your lighting remains stable and long-lasting in environments prone to vibrations.

Dimmer Switch

wrong dimmer switch

If you find that your LED bulb has burnt out after installing it in a fixture controlled by a dimmer switch, it’s highly likely that the dimmer switch is incompatible with the LED bulb. It’s important to be aware that older dimmer switches were originally designed to be used exclusively with standard incandescent bulbs. If you screw an LED bulb into such an older dimmer switch, it can quickly lead to damage to the circuitry within the LED bulb, ultimately resulting in burnout. Another scenario is when a non-dimmable LED bulb is used with a dimmed light fixture, which can also cause problems.

If you encounter this issue, the solution is relatively straightforward. Replacing the incompatible dimmer switch with one that is specifically designed for use with LED bulbs generally resolves the problem, ensuring both the proper functioning of the bulb and an extended lifespan.

How to Extend LED Bulb Life Span

While various factors can contribute to the burnout of light bulbs, there are practical steps you can take to increase their longevity and maximize their performance.

Choose High-Quality Bulbs

One of the most effective ways to extend the life of your light bulbs is to invest in and use high-quality LED bulbs designed for durability. These premium bulbs are crafted with superior build quality, and their circuit boards are more robust and well-protected compared to cheaper alternatives.

Utilize Bulbs for Their Intended Purpose

It's crucial to adhere to the recommended applications for light bulbs. Different bulbs are designed for specific tasks, and using them appropriately ensures optimal performance. Some brands even manufacture specialized LED bulbs, rigorously tested for specific conditions such as garage door use and other demanding environments.

LED bulbs are particularly well-suited for fixtures that experience frequent activation, like motion sensors or bathrooms, where lights are frequently cycled on and off.

Ensure you do not exceed the recommended wattage for your light fixtures, as this can be hazardous. Overloading a fixture with excessive wattage generates excess heat, which can compromise the insulation on fixture wiring, potentially leading to a fire hazard.

Turn Off Lights When You Don’t Need Them

To prevent premature burnout of LED bulbs, make it a habit to switch off lights when they are not needed. This practice reduces the frequency of heating and cooling cycles that the filament experiences, ultimately prolonging the bulb's lifespan.

Guard Against Temperature and Voltage Fluctuations

Additionally, take precautions to shield your bulbs from extreme temperatures and voltage fluctuations, as these factors can contribute to premature burnout.

In North American homes, standard electrical outlets typically operate at 120 volts. If you have concerns about your home's voltage supply, it's advisable to engage a licensed electrician to conduct a thorough electrical safety inspection for peace of mind.