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By Ginger Rucker, P.E., LEED-AP
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Many manufacturers claim that LEDs require no maintenance, but some portion of the LED eventually will need replacement. Asking questions about LED and driver life, and the availability of replacement parts, will pay dividends when the time comes.
Life. Some manufacturers claim LEDs last 25,000-100,000 hours and more. Ensure the product literature clearly indicates LED life and the hours are backed by reputable standards, such as IES LM-80-08 or the U.S. Department of Energy's Lighting Facts label. Ask about driver life, as this will often need replacement before the LEDs.
Replacement options. LED fixtures might allow replacement of parts or modules, or they might require replacement of the entire fixture. Complete fixture replacement costs more and might hurt life-cycle costs. Reputable manufacturers who intend to support their products generally provide for long-term availability of their products, as well as replaceable modules on the fixture, and they will offer the steps to obtain replacement parts. While managers might replace the modules due to failure, they are more likely to replace them to capture more energy savings, due to increased performance and energy reductions provided by future-generation LEDs.
Ginger Rucker, P.E., LEED©AP BD+C, LC is a senior designer for Impact Illumination, a division of Henderson Engineers.
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