Do LED Lights Dim Over Time? 6 Ways to Delay Lumen Degradation

Do LED Lights dim over time

Do LED lights dim over time? This question strikes you whenever you switch on the lights in your room. No, this dim ambiance is not a figment of your imagination.

It’s proven that LED lights dim over time due to lumen degradation. This is why new LED lights are better than the old ones. The degradation happens because of impurities in the semiconductor that deteriorate its structure and prevent some portions of it from emitting light.

In this blog post, we’ll further explore why LED lights dim over time and what you can do to prolong their lifespan. Let’s dig in!

Do LED Lights Dim Over Time?

LED lights last longer than other light bulbs, but they eventually stop giving as much light as they did when new.

Unlike fluorescent and other bulbs, LEDs don’t use a filament to light up. Instead, the current passes through its light-emitting diode to give off light. Consequently, while another bulb eventually burns out, the LED will only undergo LED degradation over time.

Lumen degradation has a significant impact on the luminosity of LEDs. With time, this deterioration in the semiconductor’s structure increases and affects a more significant part of the semiconductor.

When this light degradation falls below 80% or 70% of the original value, it may render the light source useless. If you worry that your LED is a lot dimmer than it was a couple of years ago, you are right. But this dimming was so slow that your eyes mustn’t have noticed it.

How Long Do LED Lights Last?

The expected lifespan of your LED will be mentioned on its package.

According to research, LED lights have an expected working time of 50,000 hours or up to six years of non-stop use. But you will also find longer-lasting LED lights of 100,000 hours in the market.

Do LED Strip Lights Dim Over Time? 

LED strip lights are just as prone to dimming as other LED lights. If you have used them for a decade, it may be high time to change them.

However, if your LED lights are brand new, you check out other reasons for dimming. You may have gotten a faulty product. Or wiring of these strip lights may have issues that demand fixing.

How Much Do LEDs Dim Over Time? 

The impurities left in LED light’s semiconductor mean that every LED light has to undergo lumen degradation.

So, what affects the lifespan of LED lights? Here are the two factors that determine your LED light’s speed of deterioration:

1. Product Quality

The manufacturing quality of your LED light determines if the light will age rapidly or slowly. A semiconductor with a higher purity will perform better and last longer. Similarly, more impurities will deteriorate the semiconductor in your LEDs faster, dimming them faster.

2. Ambient Temperature

This is a significant factor in determining the speed of lumen degradation of LED lights. High temperatures can accelerate the aging process of the LEDs, leading to a decrease in light output over time.

At this point, the age-old question strikes your mind, does turning LED lights on and off shorten their life? Fear not!

The simple act of turning these brilliant bulbs on and off has no impact on their eventual dimming.

Do LED Lights Dimmer When They Are Hot?

Yes, LED lights dim when they are hot. But this doesn’t happen in a day. If you keep the LEDs working in a hot environment, the diode’s semiconductors will deteriorate quickly, leading to faster dimming.

High-quality LEDs use heat sinks to keep their burning temperature low to circumvent this issue. You can also keep your LED lights cool by keeping the ambient temperature below 60°C.

Why Are My LED Lights Getting Dimmer?

Lumen degradation is the most common and significant reason LED lights dim as they age. But that’s not the only reason. If you have only recently purchased your LED light and suspect dimming, you might not be imagining things. The human eye can’t detect lumen degradation unless it’s significant.

So, your question, ‘Do LED lights get dimmer over time?’ is valid. Here are six factors that may cause your LED to malfunction:

1. The Bulb Contact is Corroded 

If the contact is corroded or has contaminants built up, it can prevent the flow of electricity. This tainting effect causes the LED lights to malfunction, so you may see them flickering and dimming.

It may occur as a result of moisture exposure or other environmental factors. It’s essential to check the bulb contact for corrosion, and if present, clean it or replace the LED bulb to ensure the proper functioning of the LED light.

2. Excessive Current 

Are you staring at a string of half-lit LED lights in confusion and questioning why are half of my LED lights dim? Before you call in the electrician, consider checking the LED power supply.

An imbalance in current flow is often the culprit behind malfunctioning LED lights. Excessive current supply will not only make your LED light dimmer but may also cause it to blow out.

So whenever you’re troubled with dimming lights, always consider and correct the wiring issues to bring back the brilliance to your dim LED bulbs.

3. The Light Bulb is Too Loose or Too Tight

An LED bulb that is not securely and seated correctly in the socket causes issues with the functioning of the light. 

If the LED bulb is loose, it may not make proper contact with the socket. The current flow is restricted and causes the light to malfunction or not turn on. Conversely, if the LED bulb is too tight in the socket, it can stress the bulb and its components, leading to issues. 

To fix this issue, try loosening or tightening your LED light and make it sit properly in the socket. See if doing so makes your lights brighter. If the issue persists, it’s recommended to check the socket for any damage and replace it if necessary.

4. Incompatible Dimmer 

LED lights require a specific type of dimmer switch, known as an LED-compatible dimmer. This dimmer is specifically designed to function with the electronic driver of the LED light. 

Using a traditional incandescent dimmer switch with your LED lights can cause issues such as flickering, humming, or not dimming at all.

So, your dimmer switch must be compatible with your LED lights. If not, replace it with an LED-compatible dimmer switch and see if it helps.

5. Incompatible Fixture 

An incompatible light fixture can lead to LEDs fading out and flickering. If your LED light isn’t bright to its full brilliance, you may have to change the fixture. 

Try your LEDs in another light fixture. If the LED lightbulb starts giving the same luminosity as it used to give before, then the problem is with the fixture. 

Consider changing the socket or other circuit components. 

6. The LED Light is Faulty

If it’s your first time using LED lights or you have only used them for less than a week, the fault may be coming from the factory.

Pay attention to this troublesome situation and return the LEDs soon, as this dimming will only deteriorate over time.

Checking the description of these lights before buying should take care of this issue.

How To Fix fading LED Lights? 

If your LED lights are dimming over time, even when you have set them at the brightest level, you should fix their luminous capacity. 

Here are 5 tried-and-tested methods that can fix dimming LEDs:

1. Change The Aged LEDs 

The most common reason for dim LEDs is age. When LED has remained lit for its lifespan, it will lose up to 30% of its lumen, resulting in LED lights fading. Your only recourse in this situation is to change the light. 

2. Use a Different Fixture 

If your LED only acts up in one fixture and not another, it might be incompatible with the fixture you used. Get a new fixture to solve the issue.

3. Fix Dimmer Compatibility Issue 

Dimmer switches change the light intensity of LEDs, reducing electricity costs. But if you use a dimmer switch, it should be compatible with the LED to present 100% luminosity at the brightest level.

You can verify the compatibility of the switch and light from their product description.

4. Set The LED Lightbulb Properly in The Fixture 

LEDs can get dim when they’re too tightly screwed into the fixture. Try to loosen it a bit and check the brightness. LEDs can also get dim if they are loose. In that case, tightening the lightbulb will help.

5. Check The Wiring

Faulty wiring results in the extra current running the light-emitting diode. In the end, it will impact the LED brightness level.

If your LED lights suddenly dim or if your LED lights dim then brighten, check the light fixture. If there is no issue with the fixture, check the wiring behind it and get them fixed to perk up the light.


1. Do LED bulbs get brighter the longer they are on?

No, LED bulbs do not get brighter the longer they are on. LEDs maintain a consistent level of brightness throughout their lifespan. When they reach the end of their average life, their brightness dwindles.

2. Do LED lights cost a lot to keep on all day?

No, LED lights do not cost a lot to keep on all day. They are bright, energy-efficient, and have a long lifespan, saving you money in the long run.

3. How long do LED light strips last?

LED light strips last 25 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs. They have a lifespan of around 50,000 hours, totaling more than five years.

4. Do LED headlights dim over time?

Yes, LED headlights can dim or fade over time as their brightness, effectiveness, and performance can decrease due to usage, age, moisture, and contamination.

5. Why are some LED lights brighter than others?

Some LED lights are brighter than others because of the type of LED chip used, the LED’s size, and the driver circuit’s quality. Certain LED lights, such as outdoor or commercial lighting solutions, may be explicitly designed to be brighter than others.

6. How long will a 50000 hour LED last?

A LED with 50,000 hours of lifespan will last approximately 5.7 years if used continuously.

7. How low can LED dim?

LED lights can be dimmed to very low levels, depending on the specific LED light and the dimmer switch used. Some LED lights can dim up to as low as 1% of their maximum brightness.

Wrap up: LED Lights Dim Over Time, But…

LED lights age because of lumen degradation. The impurity in the semiconductor changes its structure so much that most of its parts stop producing light.

However, quality manufacturing keeps this distortion low in high-quality LEDs, resulting in a longer lifespan. That’s why exploring ratings, estimated lifespan, and the LED manufacturers’ reputation is crucial. This will help you make an educated decision and choose quality LED lights.

Got more questions about lumen degradation, assessing LED quality, or fixing dimming LED lights? Drop them in the comments, and we’ll get back to you.

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