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How to Compare the Lifespan of LED Lights.

A major benefit of LED lighting, apart from the massive energy saving, is its long lifespan.

How long?

A high quality LED high bay, batten light or floodlight has zero maintenance costs for the term of its working life, and this has major implications for maintenance planning in production facilities.

When you buy LED lighting you need to know how long it’s effective life is, and this is where the L70 standard comes in.

All aspects of a building must meet the standards set by authorities, and lighting is no exception.

If a workspace isn’t sufficiently lit, it could be hazardous to those inside it. So the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) establishes standards to promote safety and quality in the lighting industry.

An LEDs’ efficiency can be measured by lumen maintenance and L70 is one of the standards set by the IES.

Here’s what the L70 rating means.

Lumen maintenance measures the light produced by a light source when it’s brand new. It compares it with its light output at a specific time in the future. So a light source which emits 1,000 lumens when new and 700 lumens after 50,000 hours of use at an average ambient temperature, has a lumen maintenance of 70% at 50,000 hours.

In other words, it has an L70 of 50,000 hours. While other lumen maintenance ratings exist, L70 is now the most widely used.

Why? Because the human eye generally can’t detect the difference in a light’s output until it’s got down to around 70% of the original brightness.

So how many years will they last in the average warehouse or production facility?

To put it in perspective, if your L70-rated warehouse lighting is used for

10 hours a day, for

5 days a week, for

50 weeks in a year, it will last 20 years; that’s 50,000 hours to decay to 70% of its as-new performance.

At that point the lights may still be working, but their output is only 70% of the light they emitted when new! That’s what an L70 rating tells you.

This highlights just how energy-efficient LEDs are, and next time you’re planning a lighting upgrade or facility extension, make sure you check the L70 ratings (and luminaire warranty), to maximise your building’s energy efficiency and minimise your maintenance workload!

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