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By: Mehdi Sadaghdar
0:00 Issue with LED Light Bulbs
0:43 KiwiCo Sponsor Segment
1:25 Testing the Failed LED Lightbulbs
10:35 KiwiCo Sponsor Segment

Hi you know me: i always encourage people to save energy. I encourage them to, for example, buy led lights, but then there are manufacturers that make products that don't last as long as they advertise led lights are expensive. So when they don't last as long as they shoot it, pisses me off and that's not all look at these here i have 20 led light bulbs all dead. They are supposed to be for exterior use, but look at this some of them are filled with water.

How did the water even get in there if designers knew how to make things to last for a specific application? We wouldn't be in this situation. That's why i picked kirikou to sponsor my video to help teaching kids early to be creative tinker and learn with hands-on projects every month. I've got these crates for my daughter to put together see they come in pieces that you would have to build using the easy instructions provided and learn how they work. You can also get 50 off of your first month of any crate at electro boom.

Let's pass them to her here, you go! Oh nice, let's see, let's do the pencil sharpener one. First, okay, good luck! I bought six of these and three of them were already dead. They were supposed to last for 10 000 hours, but all of them died within six months or around 600 hours of use. These small ones, though they are part of one of those cheap string lights that go around your garden.

They don't have any rating. I bought them from amazon, so i didn't really expect much from them, but still led lights and they all died within a few months. You think these are not dead and i'm lying to you. Let me turn them on for you.

We just need to be careful with loose. How do i turn them on? Oh, i know i found one of these light sockets with some wire and connected it to my main wire. Let's turn it on wow. A little bit of electric tape goes a long way.

So there we go hey, look at this led turns on a little bit. So it's half that maybe the led strings are not dead. How about the small one, the one that's soaking in water now! This is definitely dead. Another small one dead yet dead.

It seems most of the small ones have a little bit of water in them and probably that's what killed them so much for exterior lighting. But these are not some no-name cheap brands at home. I use a couple of different brands and none of them have died, except for this one, except just to be fair. Only these ones are 40 watt equivalent.

The rest are 60 or 100 watt equivalent, and you would expect the 41 to last longer, but no now, what do i do with these? I spend a ton of money buying these and i can't even return them after all this time. Can i return them. 3 year warranty 5 year warranty and these ones have 10 years warranty. I didn't know that so i can replace them for free.

No, then i can't really be mad at them, although it's an inconvenience to go and exchange it for a new one, but hey. So please don't be discouraged from using led lights, just go with brands that give you warranty, so you can replace them, unlike that cheap no-name, amazon, stuff. That goes straight into the garbage and learn how to use the warranty too. I don't know how that works, but in any case it is worth it to pay a little bit extra money to get a good quality light that lasts long and saves a ton of energy.

Keep telling yourself. These lights use one tenth of the power the incandescent lights use. Anyway. To me, it sounds like a design issue.

Let's see if we can figure out what's wrong with this, so manufacturers can improve their quality. Now, how do we get in there? Let me use my trusty battery glass everywhere. Should i put it in a plastic bag? You see this led light, has only two strings in series and whatever drives them is in this tiny light screw thing: let's cut the light, screw thing open and see. What's inside, look at the tiny circuit, i thought there would be some switching going on, but there is no inductor.

Let's see if i can figure out what's going on here. Well, this is an interesting, tiny circuit. Basically, the ac first goes into a full bridge. Rectifier gets rectified and powers the chip and the leds.

This chip is an obsolete chinese chip with chinese data sheet. But from what i understand, it's basically a current regulator that limits the current through the leds, using an external resistor to 33 milliamps. From what i understand from the data sheet, this circuit should be well within its operating limits, so it shouldn't be broken. Let's test the leds, so here i'm creating 60 volts on the bottom power supply, and i also added another 30 volt on top.

So i have like 90 volt total, which means, if i put it on my tongue, i'll, probably have nightmares for ages, but on my fingers i don't feel oh. If i push it hard enough, i feel it a little bit yeah i'm getting distracted anyway. I currently limited my dc 90 volt to 33 milliamps and you can see that one of the strings turns on very dim, while the other one turns on at full brightness. So one of the strings here is broken and because the two strings are in series.

One of them broken doesn't let the other one turn onto so. The result agrees with me that the led strings are broken. Not the driver see this. One is another 40 watt equivalent led light from philips that, from what i see is using identical, led strings, but instead of two is using four strings to get the same brightness and it seems like they went with a much larger driver circuit.

I expect this one not to die anytime soon, but we went with this one because well obviously it looks much better. Now in led lights, the driver circuit typically dies earlier before the led strings, because the components get hot and fail earlier. That's why they typically go with larger pcbs and bigger metal pieces to dissipate heat better. It makes the led light a little bit uglier, but at least they can meet the lifetime they are putting on their packaging.

Well, these guys didn't put much to dissipate the driver's heat but to make sure it doesn't fail. First, they use half the number of led strings. Big clive has a great video that talks about how, in dubai they forced phillips, to use even more led strings and how that's beneficial, but basically, in that brand i had that had two led strings that consumes four watts. You have to run 33 milliamps through both led strings, but, for example, in other 40 watt, equivalent brands that use four led strings.

Not only you don't need as high current to get the same brightness, and so you use less power, but also only 14 milliamps runs through the led strings, which means less stress on the components and much longer life span. So if you come across led lights, that ship out like this make sure they come with good warranty or maybe a new technology that can handle that much power. I recommend led light bulbs and these guys make me look bad speaking of light bulbs. Let's see what's inside this garbage, look at this something else, just a resistor or series with an led string.

Let's turn it on well, this led light was functional, but i don't know why i can't turn the led string on with my 90 volt power supply. So, let's just plug it straight into the 100. Please just don't touch come on little sh just stay apart now we can just probe across the resistor and understand the behavior and because the probe ground must connect to neutral or earth, we better. We better turn off the circuit and swap the live and neutral connections, and this is what it looks like.

These are like 50 volt peak across the resistor that is 5 kilo. Ohm so means 10 milliamp through the led string in both directions. The circuit is just this a resistor and led, and it seems like across the resistor we have 50 volt peak, which means 120 volt falls across this puny led in both directions, sounds like it's a special string, because not only there should be two sets of leds. Reversely connected so that the current can go both ways, but also every white led has three to four volt across it when it's on.

So in order to have 120 volts across it, there should either be 40 leds in series or some internal series resistance. Unfortunately, these are all some mystery chinese components and i will probably not be able to find any documentation on them. Let's see what's wrong with the broken ones. There you go as suspected.

The series 5k resistor is blown open, so maybe, if i replace it with another 5k, it works and well this well, it means the led strings in all of these should be fine, so i should be able to harvest them and maybe use them later and the Reason resistor dies is because water gets into the light, bulb and shorts between these two points, extra current runs through the resistor and it blows up so much for the exterior light bulbs and it's such a bad, inefficient, cheap design too, to control the led current with Series resistors, i mean it's bad for led light bulbs for single leds on boards. It's fine. The water can also short across the resistor, which forces more current through the led. It shines brighter and can die over time.

So the moral of the story is write. Bad reviews for low quality light bulbs that die quickly to send a message to the manufacturer and it is okay to spend a little bit more money to get quality light bulbs. So they don't die quickly and you reduce waste and make sure to use your warranty. So manufacturer knows they made a product and you won't lose money and, more importantly, keep using led light bulbs to save energy and, most importantly, teach your kids to make and innovate.

Thanks to my sponsor kirikou, hey, are you done yeah wow? Does it actually work? Of course it does see. I love the fact that it's actually useful, it looks complex. The instructions are easy. I like this.

They actually provided a bunch of science and knowledge. At the end, too, here we go, has eight subscription lines catered to different age groups. Every month your child will get a fun and engaging project or toy to feel their time and brain and get exposed to the concepts in steam. And, of course, my viewers get 50 off of the first month of any crate at electro boom, also linked in the description, because this is how smart innovators makers or engineers are made from a young age by gaining hands-on experience.

Doing smaller fun projects suitable for their age, which can lead into world-changing ideas tomorrow. This is what i always say: keep making your child experience different things. Not only they'll learn a ton, but also they may suddenly click with one of the concepts that may define their path for the future, like when i put my first electronic kit together when i was just a wee lad and that's what exactly kiwico does with the Variety of projects and toys so make sure to check them out and thanks for watching.

8 thoughts on “So Many MISERABLY FAILED LED Lights”
  1. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Birch K. says:

    This is a subject that confused me for a long time. another thing is, LED's used to be cheap when they were just indicators on small electronics. why did they become so expensive, when they became the low energy replacement for homes? Feels like we're being ripped but i'm probably missing something. Also, don't buy exterior lights that claim splash proof but also advertise IP44 – that means spash proof, not waterproof. marketing wank. go for IP67.

  2. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars jas20per says:

    I did start out purchasing household LED bulbs, but soon changed my mind their life expectancy on the pack is far longer than in reality. I am now purchasing incandescent light bulbs again because their cheapness to replace far outweighs their cost to run against the high cost of LED types

  3. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Sam Sen says:

    Let me tell you how the warranty works. For a 1$ lamp, add a check for $25, they may call it "Fee to return" or whatever fee. Send it to them. Pray for several months to see a new one in the mail. No luck? Call the CS. You already did and know there is no human on the other side? Well, say good buy to all your expenditure. But look at the bright side, You gained your sanity at the end!

  4. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Gas Gas says:

    Teach the kids from a young age is absolutely right. My dad got me all the components to make a crystal set radio when I was ten, and from there I ended up managing the installation of the first mobile phone network in Nigeria. Along the way I devised a way to transmit data over wet string, and to test microwave radio sets in an enclosed room without irradiating myself.

  5. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Matt says:

    i'm guessing billions of dollars in profit is added when they practice "planned obsolescence" and you have to literally be a king to obtain properly designed bulbs, so you're paying for shit that will fill a landfill in a couple years instead of a couple decades, because it's more profitable to sell you only hot garbage. it's all about behavior, and most people don't look to see if a lightbulb has a warranty let alone SEND IT OFF IN THE MAIL, i would say maybe 5-20% of people follow through, that's why you get a warranty 😉oh, they NOW intimately what peoples' attitudes and feelings are about all this, make no mistake about that. another industry that does this shit is the clothing industry who collude in order to make clothes that need replacing every few years…. people, oops, i mean consumers, have put up with this shit for this long, what makes anyone think they're gonna change?

  6. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars James S. says:

    I started buying LED bulbs 15 years ago ($25 a piece then) and it's been my observation they don't last much longer than incandescent lights. The early ones were horrible, maybe a hundred hours tops. Modern LEDs are better but still not great. At least now they're cheaper.

  7. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Drone_Video says:

    @ElectroBOOM – Can you do a video about dimmers, but not only magnetic power supply vs electronic, but forward phase and reverse phase and what that all means. I have dimmers all over the house using Lutron Radio Ra2 technology, but each dimmer needs specific type of bulbs, but bulbs are the store are not labeled with the phase information. The LED bulbs are replacement bulbs for standard 120v incandescent bulbs. Would love to get your thoughts on this if there is an angle for you and you find it interesting also.

  8. Avataaar/Circle Created with python_avatars Mr Specs says:

    The funny/sad thing is that the manufacturers/designers very well know how to make lightbulbs that last… but they also are required by the company to put extra effort into making them precisely last only long enough for the customers to keep buying more replacement bulbs – and more faster please.

    So, all your dead bulbs actually 'failed successfully'

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