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blackmesa96

LED bulb life with controller

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As I begin to plan next year, I am wondering if anyone is able to tell me if using a controller to flash my conventional LED sets will shorten the life of the set.   My thought is that repeated cycling will decrease their life, but are LEDs different from  incandescents due to their solid state construction?   Personal experience with incandescent projector bulbs seems to be that repeated hard cuts/ short dissolves seem to compromise the life of the bulb.  Any input based on your experiences would be greatly appreciated.

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I can't see the reason why an LED controller would shorten the life of LEDs.  I use some of the cheapest controllers on the planet (sub $1) to operate the flash sequence on some LED strip window lights that I have used for several years now.  With an incandescent light the lifetime is dependent on how much metal leaves the filament as it is used.  That's why the glass envelope on older clear incandescent Christmas lights darken.  When the filament gets thin enough they die.  LEDs are made of solid metal pieces and unless you overheat them or subject them to over-voltage they last thousands of hours.

I came across a few older plug in units designed for incandescent light sets but they specify a minimum watt rating that make them useless for LED strings.  Most of my 50 LED strings are rated 4.8W compared to 70W for a similar incandescent string.  Unless I strung many LED sets in series these flashers are useless.

 

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Thanks. That certainly makes sense.  

Have had the option to purchase some inexpensive controllers and wanted to begin to plan next year.

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The thing to watch out for is surging. You're going to want to run your controllers at 80% output, if not, what can happen is that you surge the bulbs in some cases when turn them on and off quickly. When we see systems with large failures, 9/10 times, having them change to 80% output fixes the issue. Also, LED's are going to be max brightness at 80% anyway, so you don't lose any output to your eyes. 

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Is it possible to run an inexpensive controller at 80%?  Is there an easy way to do this or is this something that is only an option on higher end hardware?

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