Do LED Lights offer a high life time of 50,000 Hrs as in manufacturer's catalogs? There are some factors causing LED Luminaries ending their life in an unexpected way before the actual life time offered by the manufacturer.
Integral parts of an LED lights are LED chip, LED Driver, and Heat Sink (which is generally LED fixture body), wires and harness.Another important material is the thermal compound which is applied as an interfacing material between LED chip thermal exchange pad and heat sink.
There are certain criteria in selecting above components and integrating them to a product resulting in a high performance and highly reliable product.
Why do LED luminaries fail early
Power supply variations:
LED lights are sensitive to fluctuations and surges in power supply which will cause LED driver failure. The best thing to prevent this to enable surge protection for LED drivers while manufacturing them.Also external surge protection devices can be installed to ensure higher protection. LED drivers also should operate in a wide range of input voltages say 85-320VAc. Before purchasing the LED drivers, read the manufacturer's product manual to ensure that basic protection is enabled.
This is an important factor which should be given proper attention while assembling LED luminaries. Thermal interfacing material used should be adequate to conduct the heat from LED junction to the surface of heat sink so that the junction temperature of the LED chip specified by the manufacturer should be with in the permissible limit. Thermal characteristics of the thermal compound should be inline with the LED chip manufacturer's specifications, following the same will give a good life time. If a manufacturer is failing to use a thermal compound with adequate thermal conductivity, causing early burn out of LED chips so that the luminary life will be drastically lowered.
An adequate hear sink with area of dissipation designed according to the LED chip manufacturer's specification is also mandatory.
Manufacturing: ESD sensitive devices
LEDs are sensitive to electrostatic charges. LED luminaries should be manufactured in ESD proof environments. Proper measures should be provided to handle the luminaries to protect them from static charge this will ensure a high life to luminaries. Improper assembling setups will cause permanent ESD damages to luminaries. Always refer the ESD guidelines before handling LED components.