Hats off to U.K. trade publication Lux Magazine. In its latest edition, it dares to bite the hands that feed it, as it lists the lighting industry's 12 biggest lies, or "pork pies" as publisher Ray Molony calls them in a comical invocation of Cockney slang.
My favorite: "The LEDs will last for 50,000 hours" to which Molony quips: "And I'm so confident, I'm going to give you a warranty for 12 months. Because let's face it, a year is like, ages away."
Molony is referring to claims by vendors that LED light bulbs will last you a long, long time. In my own travels around the LED industry, I've heard assertions ranging from 15 to 25 to 50 years. But the warranties never seem to wander beyond a few years.
Like most products, LEDs come in varying degrees of quality from a range of manufacturers. While the light emitting diode that serves as the bulb's light source might last for decades, there are other electronics involved that can fail. Indeed, some reputable manufacturers have had to recall bulbs this year. That's not to say that some bulbs won't last your lifetime. And they certainly will save you energy, if you're replacing incandescent bulbs.
Lux's column is equal opportunity. It doesn't just single out LEDs. One of its favorite targets is lighting control systems. The number one porker is: "Retrofitting controls is relatively straightforward." Molony's take? "... yeah, in the same way that replacing the Trident nuclear deterrent is straightforward."
Molony isn't the only one telling it like it is. Lux organized a straight talking panel of commercial lighting users to size up LEDs. I'll tell you more about the blunt things they had to say, in a separate post. Y'all come back now, ya hear.
Image of Pinocchio by Enrico Mazzanti is from Wikimedia
LEDs have a bright future. But their present is full of myths and realities: