Join Date: Apr 2006
Thanked 129 Times in 126 Posts
Rep Power: 11
LEDs, like other solid-state devices, only have a long life when properly fabricated and matched to the installation.
If you take a look at the LED tail lights commonly used on trucks and busses, they are a prime example of cheap LEDs. One or two dozen cheap LEDs in each unit, three or four burn out within the year but that's OK because the unit itself is still bright enough--and cheap. Using better LEDs and adding protection to the circuit would raise the cost tenfold, so cheap and sloppy wins.
OTOH the LEDs in a mercedes or Cadillac taillights supposedly raise the cost of the array to $700 factory net. They're designed to go 5-10 years without any burnouts.
Prime LEDs, properly protected, have a life near 100,000 hours. Adding protection costs more than an LED does.
Kind of like sails: They all work, some just work better and longer than others.