Cases of LED lanterns failing early

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BugsBunny
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Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by BugsBunny » Sat Sep 04, 2021 10:33

I was on the 43 bus the other day and passed through Archway. In that area , quite a number of the tons of Amperas installed in that area were dayburning. To my shock, most of the LEDS have failed in these lanterns. In some cases around half or more of the LED tray had failed. I don’t know when these were installed but that’s shockingly poor. At this rate this stretch will need to be replaced in a few years, certainly not economic at all. I always loathed the Ampera anyway. Never looks good on any column. Oversized and clunky. Probably my least favourite LED lantern.

It prompted me to ask, are there any LED installations that you’ve witnessed that have ended up failing early/replaced? Can be for LED failure, structural failure (we all know how those Lumas love to snap) etc. A lot of the Lumas near me, while working, do seem to be drooping quite a lot, though I don’t know if they’re supposed to lay on the bracket like that.
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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by Patrick Harper » Sat Sep 04, 2021 15:17

LED lanterns have been oversold to a degree, manufacturers try to pretend that lamp replacements are a thing of the past, consequently operators invest in such lanterns assuming that module replacements won't be necessary for the life of the lanterns.
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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by PhilC » Sat Sep 04, 2021 18:24

The main problem near to me is that there are so many LED lanterns dayburning. I reported five to the local council, which they duly repaired. However, by then many more had started dayburning. I wrote to my local councillor who said that a faulty batch had been purchased. So I now dutifully report all the faulty ones to the councillor as I see them. Let him earn his keep!

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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by Chris5156 » Sat Sep 04, 2021 18:46

PhilC wrote:
Sat Sep 04, 2021 18:24
The main problem near to me is that there are so many LED lanterns dayburning. I reported five to the local council, which they duly repaired. However, by then many more had started dayburning. I wrote to my local councillor who said that a faulty batch had been purchased. So I now dutifully report all the faulty ones to the councillor as I see them. Let him earn his keep!
It might be simpler to report them direct to your council's Highways Department or go via FixMyStreet, rather than wait for a councillor to forward it on for you.

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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by swissferry » Sat Sep 04, 2021 22:38

Locally I'm observing and reporting more faulty street lights per year than I did before LEDs were installed. Have even reported one street light twice in three years. Not sure if this is because they are more likely to fail or because the council aren't checking them as often/taking longer to fix when reported. Faults include lights out, lights dim and changing between dim and bright.

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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by Truvelo » Sat Sep 04, 2021 23:08

The claims that LED lasts 20,000 hours or whatever are largely false. True, the diodes themselves will last almost forever but it's often the driver or control circuitry which lets them down. The only LED lamps which do last a long time are known as Dubai LED where they are deliberately underpowered to prolong their life. For the rest of the world the manufacturers realise they need their lamps to fail more regularly to maintain their profit margins. And the worst travesty is when a LED lantern fails the whole lot needs replacing as there isn't a physical 'bulb' to change.

The whole premature changeover to LED has been brought about by many factors, not least by bureaucratic, or Eurocratic, regulation that traditional discharge lighting contains poisonous chemicals such as mercury and thus needs replacing with something less harmful. The belief that LED is more efficient than other lighting is also partially nonsensical as low pressure sodium (SOX) beats any other light source hands down for efficiency. The only way the authorities, particularly those in Brussels, could ban the most efficient lighting known to mankind was to invent the colour rendition index rule (CRI) which meant any lamp not producing a white enough light would be banned. This was deliberately intended to eliminate the yellow light produced by sodium.

Sorry if this post appears to be political in nature but the rush to rollout LED which is still a relatively new an immature technology is only going to cause many a highway authority around the country heartache and a lot of wasted £ when these lanterns start packing up en-masse and the only remedy is to replace the whole housing rather than simply changing a bulb.
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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by ReissOmari » Sat Sep 04, 2021 23:23

Here in Birmingham, when LEDs fail, they get replaced with halogen fittings. Looks awful.
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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by Truvelo » Sat Sep 04, 2021 23:30

ReissOmari wrote:
Sat Sep 04, 2021 23:23
Here in Birmingham, when LEDs fail, they get replaced with halogen fittings. Looks awful.
Halogen in street lights - really?
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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by PhilC » Sun Sep 05, 2021 08:59

Chris5156 wrote:
Sat Sep 04, 2021 18:46
PhilC wrote:
Sat Sep 04, 2021 18:24
The main problem near to me is that there are so many LED lanterns dayburning. I reported five to the local council, which they duly repaired. However, by then many more had started dayburning. I wrote to my local councillor who said that a faulty batch had been purchased. So I now dutifully report all the faulty ones to the councillor as I see them. Let him earn his keep!
It might be simpler to report them direct to your council's Highways Department or go via FixMyStreet, rather than wait for a councillor to forward it on for you.
Sadly not the case in Solihull. It takes the council several weeks if I report the fault on the website; the councillor gets the job done in days.

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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by Mark Hewitt » Sun Sep 05, 2021 09:22

Truvelo wrote:The claims that LED lasts 20,000 hours or whatever are largely false. True, the diodes themselves will last almost forever but it's often the driver or control circuitry which lets them down. The only LED lamps which do last a long time are known as Dubai LED where they are deliberately underpowered to prolong their life. For the rest of the world the manufacturers realise they need their lamps to fail more regularly to maintain their profit margins. And the worst travesty is when a LED lantern fails the whole lot needs replacing as there isn't a physical 'bulb' to change.

The whole premature changeover to LED has been brought about by many factors, not least by bureaucratic, or Eurocratic, regulation that traditional discharge lighting contains poisonous chemicals such as mercury and thus needs replacing with something less harmful. The belief that LED is more efficient than other lighting is also partially nonsensical as low pressure sodium (SOX) beats any other light source hands down for efficiency. The only way the authorities, particularly those in Brussels, could ban the most efficient lighting known to mankind was to invent the colour rendition index rule (CRI) which meant any lamp not producing a white enough light would be banned. This was deliberately intended to eliminate the yellow light produced by sodium.

Sorry if this post appears to be political in nature but the rush to rollout LED which is still a relatively new an immature technology is only going to cause many a highway authority around the country heartache and a lot of wasted £ when these lanterns start packing up en-masse and the only remedy is to replace the whole housing rather than simply changing a bulb.
I can't really speak to the costs vs longevity issue. But the switch from yellow to white light for street lighting as been a massively positive development and has hugely improved the experience of being out after dark. The old yellow glow seems positively archaic now.
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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by BugsBunny » Sun Sep 05, 2021 12:19

In the argument of colour rendering, I'm conflicted. I recently moved to Islington, where 9/10 roads by now have been fitted with LED, but the odd road is still entirely lit by SON. On one hand, the cold icy white light is clean and precise... but the SON lit streets have a more inviting feel, though in some cases it can make it feel grimier. On that same bus ride I mentioned I passed by a private road which had a handul of super curvy brackets with what looked like Beta 5s and the neon yellow glow is just unbeatable. I understand some areas will need a good colour rendering index, such as parks, car parks, etc., but I agree with Truvelo. We've adapted to a new technology way too fast without thinking about the consequences. Just where will we be, say in 5-10 years time? By then, we could be facing a mass replacement scheme across many areas of the country where poorly run LED lanterns have fried. Personally, I think the urge to rid the roads of SOX was stupid. It's reliable and, as mentioned, highly economical. We still have luminaires installed in the 60s/70s that still work today! The LEDs installed today will never make it 50-60 years. If I were in control, I'd still be installing SOX and metal halide while LED technology matures. Sadly, the idea of a lantern that works for ages isn't viable in the money hungry view of most companies. It's all a s*** show really. :D


(In regards to colour rendering, I remember vividly when spending time in Carlisle last year there was a single Industria 2600 burning what must have been metal halide, but I'd never seen a street light burn such a colour. It was like a honey gold with a peach tone. It was a beautiful colour and how nice it would be to have residential areas coloured in this manner!)
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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by L.J.D » Sun Sep 19, 2021 17:47

I've also noticed LED lighting is shocking at lighting under tree canopies. It's literally pitch black. I know SON and SOX had this issue but it dealt with it better than LED does due to there been more throw. Some pathways are now pitch black under trees. But then again the trend of rubbish post top installed lanterns doesn't help at all. In some places in Leeds and Wakefield there's literally no point in the lantern been on at all or even been there where the trees are.

Also when one fails it literally causes a black area where older lanterns had more spread so the others either side made up for it.

I am in favour of LED but lately from observation the drawbacks to it are becoming more obvious when compared to SON.

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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by Gareth » Sun Sep 19, 2021 22:17

I don't see a big issue in these parts with failed lanterns. The light distribution can be poor though. Not only can there be dark gaps (usually where existing columns that were originally mercury or sodium have been upgraded) but also on footpaths, as LED lanterns tend to be set up to cast light narrowly onto the roadway.

And sorry, but a preference for SOX can only be due to nostalgia, in my opinion.

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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by L.J.D » Mon Sep 20, 2021 14:04

Last night in Allerton Bywater, Leeds I noticed some LEDs that appeared to be in the "Warm white" colour I've never seen those colour ones before. It did look much warmer and welcoming than the usual cool white LED. Are there any other places using this colour?

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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by Fenlander » Mon Sep 20, 2021 14:19

L.J.D wrote:
Sun Sep 19, 2021 17:47
I've also noticed LED lighting is shocking at lighting under tree canopies. It's literally pitch black. I know SON and SOX had this issue but it dealt with it better than LED does due to there been more throw. Some pathways are now pitch black under trees. But then again the trend of rubbish post top installed lanterns doesn't help at all. In some places in Leeds and Wakefield there's literally no point in the lantern been on at all or even been there where the trees are.

Also when one fails it literally causes a black area where older lanterns had more spread so the others either side made up for it.

I am in favour of LED but lately from observation the drawbacks to it are becoming more obvious when compared to SON.
Partly what you're seeing there is a consequence of LED being fitted in installations that were designed with something else in mind. If you're designing LED installations properly you don't go with the same spacing, spread etc of previous technologies you design for LED from day1.

For example the building I rent has recently been upgraded from long double tube fluorescents to LED ceiling panels, initially the landlord said they'd be done on a like for like basis with 1 panel replacing 1 fluo tube pair, the lighting people started from scratch and spread them out in a much more different pattern.

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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by Chris5156 » Mon Sep 20, 2021 15:28

L.J.D wrote:
Mon Sep 20, 2021 14:04
Last night in Allerton Bywater, Leeds I noticed some LEDs that appeared to be in the "Warm white" colour I've never seen those colour ones before. It did look much warmer and welcoming than the usual cool white LED. Are there any other places using this colour?
Yes, Surrey CC's lighting PFI contractor has been replacing all their SON lamps with LED lamps that half almost the same colour temperature. It's much more pleasant than the cold white LED you get in most places and makes me wonder why other authorities can't do the same. Maybe it'll catch on in time.

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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by Gareth » Tue Sep 21, 2021 08:16

Liverpool's newer LED stock is warmer too. I wouldn't say so warm it's like SON, probably around 4000 kelvin. ARD Highway Diamonds are the lanterns of choice for side streets atm. Much nicer than the dim toothpaste white Hardy Nightsights they were initially using.

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Re: Cases of LED lanterns failing early

Post by L.J.D » Fri Oct 01, 2021 10:18

In Leeds they are doing main roads in the normal cool white and side roads are been done in the warm white variety. It does make residential areas seem more welcoming doing it that way. I just wish more councils would do the same.

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