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What You Need to Know about Repairing vs. Replacing LED Lights

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We're all familiar with the phase-out of incandescent lights in favor of more environmentally friendly and energy efficient LED bulbs, strips, and fixtures. While you may have started to replace a few of your lights as the old ones burn out, you've probably noticed that the new lighting can cost an arm and a leg.

You might have experienced sticker shock when you first started shopping. Where you could pick up a 3-pack of the old incandescent style for a couple of bucks, the new LED bulbs can run you anywhere from $6 to $9 for one. Changing out 24 bulbs at once could cost between $144 and $216.

Before you decide you can get by with the flashlight on your phone, consider these LED facts from the U.S. Department of Energy:

  • They produce less heat.
  • They use only 20% to 25% energy.
  • They can last up to 40,000 hour or 15 to 25 times longer than incandescent.
  • You can save nearly $7,000 over 20 years with an initial investment for $216 for 24 bulbs.

LED Options

Light emitting diodes (LEDs) are available in a variety of different styles like smart bulbs with built-in Bluetooth and WiFi capabilities. They can cost between $40 and $100 per bulb but are capable of voice-activated features like dimming, color change, and on/off through remote or Smartphone apps.

LED light strips are another ingenious way of adding lights to unique locations. Use them as under-cabinet, backlighting artwork, or accent glow to any application. They are available with an adhesive backing and a low-voltage power supply. This makes installation a snap for even the most inexperienced DIYer. Costs run between $50 and $300 for white or color-changing strips.

Want to take your energy-efficient lighting to a new level? Consider replacing the entire light fixture with one that has integrated LED lighting. You'll want to use a professional handyman or electrician for this project. Fixtures run between $100 and $150 plus labor.

Working from home and need a better lighting system? Track LED lights are the perfect solution. They usually come in sections of six lights and can be direct-wired or plug into a wall socket. Prices vary between $50 and $200 plus installation.

LED lights aren't limited to indoors—they work outdoors also. Choose from wall fixtures, ceiling lights, garden lights, and path lights. Save even more energy use with solar-powered fixtures.

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LED Repair

There are a ton of advantages to using LED bulbs instead of incandescent, and even though they're usually more reliable, occasionally they burn out sooner than expected. When the old style of bulb burns out, there's no fix other than to throw it in the trash. A great benefit to LED bulbs is you can repair almost everything.

Premature burnouts can be caused by poor component quality, LED overheating, and voltage jumps. The good news is that you don't have to have a lot of experience to handle the repair and the cost is significantly less than the price of a new bulb.

Steps to Fixing the Problem

Step 1—Disassemble the bulb by removing the dissipator housing with a small screwdriver. 

Step 2—Locate the burned out LED by looking for a black spot or burn marks.

Step 3—If there is no visible damage, use a multimeter to test the diode function. Touch the anode with the red probe and the cathode with the black probe to locate the diode that doesn't light up.

Step 4—Remove the faulty LED with hot tweezers.

Step 5—Solder the old LED with a new one of the same type (usually marked on the bulb PCB.) Soldering temperature is 260 degrees C for no more than 2 seconds.

Step 6—Reattach the dissipator housing. You may need to use glue to keep it closed.

Let Puls Light the Way to Repair or Replace LEDs

Whether you're a seasoned Do-It-Yourselfer or an inexperienced amateur, a Puls handyman can help take care of all your LED repair or replacement needs. Our experts are skilled in handling all sorts of electrical applications for a safe and fast set-up. Convenient, online appointment scheduling is available with same-day service if needed.

Stop wasting money on inefficient incandescent light bulbs and fixtures. Let a Puls handyman do everything from recommending the proper configuration and LED products, to purchasing and installing the best light for your needs. Our fully vetted technicians can repair damaged or burned out LED bulbs too for a less expensive solution to your problem.

Call or click today to schedule an appointment and illuminate every aspect of your life.

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Debbie D.
Debbie Dey is a professional writer with over three decades of experience in residential construction. Her background gives her a wealth of knowledge about all kinds of home improvement projects, which she enjoys sharing through her writing. She has been a Puls staff writer since 2018. In her free time, you can find her relaxing by the water or cruising with her husband in their sports car.
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