14 votes

Crapcan LED Bulbs!

I've been trying to save a bit of money on electricity so I've tried many of the newer LED bulbs. Before the LED's I tried the CFL's and found they are lacking in life span. They try to say you can get 5 years out of a CFL but I've found them to last closer to 1 year (and I've bought at least 100 of these over the past 5 years). This last year I started buying the LED bulbs that screw into a standard socket and look like (sorta) a standard light bulb. Of course it's hard to get one powerful enough to replace a 100w bulb. Most of the LED versions only have enough power to equal a 60w or 75w bulb. I did find some bright ones on eBay that claim to put out 100w of light. I always look for the daylight color temp as I don't like the yellow lights.

Here's my experience so far. Of about 20 LED bulbs I have bought in the last year 2 have failed already. That's hardly the life they are claiming for LED's. It's heat that's killing them. If you put one of these bulbs in a recessed fixture or an outdoor fixture with a glass enclosure they get REALLY hot. We've been told how cool LED bulbs are and I imagine that's true for the LED itself but there's a lot of electronics that go into the base of the bulb to drive those LED's. Those circuits generate heat and in an enclosure that does not have air circulation they get too hot and die. I'm sure the actual LED's in the bulb are fine but the electronics are cooked. When I reached up to unscrew one of these bulbs that had been lit for hours I found out how hot they can get the hard way...

I'd like to point out that not all of my LED bulbs were purchased on eBay. Some of them carry the GE brand and were bought at the local mega hardware store and one of the failures was the GE 800 lumen bulb.

Ok, so CFL's are crap, the LED's are crap and now they are making the only kind of bulb that will perform in a hot environment illegal. GOVERNMENT SUCKS !!

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The LEDs themselves generate

The LEDs themselves generate heat, not so much the driving circuit. The driving circuit is just a switching power supply. It's a lie that LEDs don't generate heat. To make that claim would be claiming 100% efficiency. I tend to look for Cree LEDs when buying LEDs. The problem with putting them in fixtures like you're describing is that there is no way to cool things. We need to wait until specialized fixtures come along that are designed to spread the heat away from the bulb.

Please come join my forum if you're not a trendy and agree with my points of view.

>70% of household energy is used to heat the house!

If you have a light you're going to leave on all the time, it might make sense. Otherwise read this:


If you're trying to conserve energy, build a rocket mass heater:


The most efficient means to heat things is through conduction, then radiation then lastly through convection (American forced-air method).

Light bulbs don't make a pile of beans in the big picture.

Another little addition to your story...

I bought 30 of these...for the perimeter of my house in Warm White...DO NOT BUY the bright white...way bright.
Then I bought one of these...
Match all of this with a plug in timer and my house now is the best looking on the block.
Here is what it looks like..This is the first 8 installed.
With all 30 done...it is amazing.

Nice house!

But as for lights to be used indoors... wa-h. I want incandescent's back. It's the only light that lights a room the way I like. I H-A-T-E fluorescent bulbs!

When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir

I have been using the ones from Costco for quite a while

and I will not play their game. I did this little trick with the CFL's ones too...all you do is put the packaging and receipt aside and as soon as you have 3 bad ones...just take it back and get a new package. I always shop at Costco....I have not had ONE go bad yet...and I am using over 50 of them. It has been nearly 2-3 years. I have the packages ready for returns if needed. But $8.99 for 3 LED Bulbs seemed like a great deal and they are working great. I just looked at Costco online to see if they have anything priced as such...Yikes...Nope. Portland Oregon 3 pack of nice LED bulbs $8.99

Bad enclosure design or bad manufacturing?


The most likely cause of most diode failures is Poor Die Attach Soldering! Thus, Solder Voids Are Created Which Prevent Heat Dissipation, Causes Hot Spots, Die Solder Reflow, and Ultimate Diode FAILURE.

LEDs are being using in car lighting (tail lights, etc), what are the failure rates?

Thanks for the product review CA!

Free includes debt-free!

Auto LEDs

The answer for you Paul is they stand up pretty well but when one Diode does go out several other good ones go out with it. They are wired in series on the board to make them handle the full 14 volts.

A tailight might have 3 different series circuits of 3-4 Diodes, For big truck taillights double that. So when just one Diode fails you lose 1/3 of the "Bulb" and has to be replaced because they WILL write you a ticket for it.

If I disappear from a discussion please forgive me. My 24-7 business requires me to split mid-sentence to serve them. I am not ducking out, I will be back later to catch up.

ChristianAnarchist's picture

Update: Now I've lost 3 more

Update: Now I've lost 3 more of these crapcan LED's. Two of these lights are used 24 hours a day in a recessed can light fixture. Less than a year of age puts that at less than 8700 hours of use. This is a far cry from the 50k hours they claim you can get from them. I've taken one of them apart and the LED array looks fine. I've removed the board with the little transformer and electronics and see no visible indication of burned components. I can only assume without someone testing the board that one of the components that is heat sensitive has died. The all-in-one LED replacement lightbulb is too ineffective at radiating heat to be reliable (yes, there's still heat from these bulbs)...

Beware the cult of "government"...

I have had the idea

for a while now to do a local 12 volt system for lighting. Lots of things run off of 12 volts. I would be easy to wire in a system where your lighting and other small accessories run on 12v and your bigger stuff off of 110. With this setup your LED light wouldnt need all that electronics (if my understanding is correct, they would need some but not near what it takes to go from 110).

ChristianAnarchist's picture

Update: I now have 2 more of

Update: I now have 2 more of the 20 or so LED bulbs that have crapped out. If anyone is planning to spend some $12-$20 for these bulbs you'd better only use them in an open lamp type environment. Any kind of enclosed fixture or even the ceiling cans restrict air flowing over the bulb and will likely result in overheating and the end of life of your expensive bulb...

Beware the cult of "government"...

The kind that the marketeers want you to purchase are flawed

And the providers of them use the flaw to guarantee or at least hope for repeat sales. It all comes down to a not so well known issue. Fluctuating AC power. In a lab condition, AC powered LED's work for thousands of hours without failure. In the real world however, (everywhere outside the lab) they don't do very well. The answers that no consumer economy oger (CEO) wants to talk about all reside with the 12 and 24 volt versions. They stand up to all kinds of conditions and last for years.

I agree that it is not the

I agree that it is not the government's place to be telling people what kind of light bulbs they are allowed to buy & use.

Regarding the LED light heat issues you described, it seems that you accurately pointed out that the heat issue was from the fixture and not from the LED light itself.

I haven't tried LED lights yet. Around 4 years ago I switched my desk lamp from a standard bulb to using a CFL. I was able to lower the wattage with light quality remaining the same but the main reason I switched this specific light was in order to have less heat around my desk for comfort. The CFL seems to give off significantly less heat as compared to the traditional bulbs.


Funny, I have the opposite problem

The office I work in is located on an outside wall and in the winter it can get chilly. I spent much of this past winter in long underwear and a jacket. My hands would get cold anyway.

So I got a little 40 watt desk lamp with an incandescent bulb. The heat from the lamp gave me a little respite from the constant chill.

Ditto on stocking up on incandescent bulbs.

I have a lot of them.

"We have allowed our nation to be over-taxed, over-regulated, and overrun by bureaucrats. The founders would be ashamed of us for what we are putting up with."
-Ron Paul

I'm totally kicking myself

I'm totally kicking myself for not doing this :(

So much for me being so well-informed.

Debbie's picture

Thank you for this post!

Very good...


Excellent Idea!

Nothing worse than missing the bowl at night. One of these crapcan LEDs could really help. http://www.homedepot.com/p/Brondell-Heated-Nightlight-Toilet...

TwelveOhOne's picture

Sitting helps, too :)

We have those "squatty potty" devices (which I saw here!), so when I miss the bowl, I'll later step in it. Plus the new kitten likes to explore contained spaces, and the sound of running water attracts her.

For both these reasons, I don't always stand.

I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
http://fija.org - Fully Informed Jury Association
http://jsjinc.net - Jin Shin Jyutsu (energy healing)

I design and build high end LED solar simulators

for photosynthetic studies as a portion of my automation developments. After 5 years of extensive experience with every level of LED lighting design and operation I do not recommend LEDs for lighting other than high performance requirement applications.

The LEDs themselves are great for a relatively long lasting high performance light source and are making huge advances in their efficiency over traditional lighting in the labs but the DC power/buck regulators and heat sinking needed are the problem. The incandescent light bulb is so elegant in its operation when looking at the details that it is hard to beat and it has already been known for a very long time how to make a light bulb last 60-100+ years.

The longest running light bulb-112+ years

The most powerful Law of Nature is Time. It is finite and we all will run out of it. Use this Law to your advantage, for it offers you infinite possibilities...

Debbie's picture

Thank you for this information.



TwelveOhOne's picture

When they're illegal, we can always buy heat balls :)


I love you. I'm sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you.
http://fija.org - Fully Informed Jury Association
http://jsjinc.net - Jin Shin Jyutsu (energy healing)

Where did you buy the bulbs

Where did you buy the bulbs from? I hope you didnt buy cheap chinese ones because they skimp on various things.

LEDs put out more light per the amount of energy they use than any other source. Yes, they will get hotter the higher the wattage they are rated for. All they need is adequate heat sinking and if they are getting so hot as to fail relatively quickly, than its a piss poor design.(a lack of good heat sinking is a major problem)

There is nothing inherently wrong with LEDs. You have to take the proper steps to make sure it stays in working order. This is the same as with any other technology. You wouldnt expect your car to continue to run with inadequate coolant would you? The same is true of LEDs. You cant expect them to run well unless heat sinking is good. There are calculations that can be done on how large a heat sink you need to disapate enough energy to keep the temperature below a certain point.(and with heat sinks for this, we arnt talking about something too large to fit anywhere, they are of a reasonable size)
If they are trying to fit 100W LEDs inside a sealed space the size of a regular bulb, than no wonder they fail prematurely. However, a 100W LED is insanely bright and there is no need for such overkill when you are simply replacing regular room lights.

To climb the mountain, you must believe you can.

I have been using LED for 2

I have been using LED for 2 years and I love them. They are some much better than incadescent and CFL. It is the quality of the lite I am impressed with. I also buy the sunlight color of bulb.

There is no Left or Right -- there is only freedom or tyranny. Everything else is an illusion, an obfuscation to keep you confused and silent as the world burns around you." - Philip Brennan

"Invest only in things that you can stand in front of and pr

Not bright enough

to read by if you are older. I feel like I am living in Czechoslovakia behind the iron curtain....I think that is how we are supposed to feel in order to empathize with the poor people around the world. I have stocked up on the old bulbs....otherwise I won't be able to read in a few years..well there are always audio books for the blind.

Debbie's picture

I have stocked up on the old bulbs as well.

When the CFL's came out - I did not like those at all, plus they were unsafe because of the mercury.



plus, why is LED better for the environment if Jo Bob leaves his LED light on 24 hours but I only run my incandescent bulb 1 hour per day????

Same holds true for the stupid hybrid cars and smart cars... if you drive your "smart" car all day 7 days a week, why are you better than me driving my SUV for a few hours 2 days a week????

Government fills the vacuum when people forget how to think for themselves.

You are right..

and unfortunately there is quite a large vacuum that can be filled.