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Old 01-08-12, 11:23 PM   #1
vol
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Lifespan of the lights?

Not talking about battery life. I'm interested in how long, after you bought the lights, the lights themselves can function--the regular battery (such as AAA or AA) operated, headlights and taillights. I suppose the leds or the bulbs can burn out after too many uses? And if your lights are subjected to rain more than a few times, it may also affect the working life of them?

For how long have you used the same lights? After more than 1 year and rare rain rides, my lights are still fine. Anyone's lasted many years with regular riding?
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Old 01-08-12, 11:43 PM   #2
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I think the LEDs will outlast you. I tend to lose the light long before the components die...as long as I buy a decent light that is. My current SuperFlash is 3 years old. Id have older ones but they sometimes fall apart if you hit a decent bump.
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Old 01-08-12, 11:44 PM   #3
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Have had a number of front and rear lights with different technologies over the years. Halogen, sealed beam, xenon flash, LED. Some were self contained with an internal battery pack, some used an external battery pack. Failure in some cases was caused by leaking AA cells which is why I've switched entirely to rechargables. I've yet to have one leak. Switches ocassionally fall apart and most units aren't waterproof. The cheaper it is the faster it seems to fall apart.

Aside from a pair of Lightmans (which still work fine after 15 years), the other unit that lasted the longest was a halogen caving headlamp that has seperate watertight battery holder and is also fully functional after 15 years. Neither of those were made in China. Nothing else lasted more than a season or two.

Mechanical failures (mounting brackets that break off) are what I see most often.

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Old 01-09-12, 09:13 AM   #4
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LEDs won't burn out for decades. As said above, mechanical failures are most common. My Dinotte headlight has an issue with the power cable. It still works, but probably won't for long. As it was an expensive light, I can probably send it back for refurbishing.
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Old 01-09-12, 09:40 AM   #5
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The lifespan of some LEDS is MUCH less than an average human lifespan. (And of course, they both vary.)

Blue ones in particular will often lose most of their brightness after only a few years of being left on continuously. Using them at less than their rated current or pulsing them (using PWM) in some cases extends their lives or allows them to be run brighter for longer.

And of course, adequate heat sinking is important on power LEDs.

Consult the LED manufacturers data sheet. And bear in mind that for some of the figures, we really don't know.

However, its safe to say that LEDs will last longer in many applications than anything else that is affordable to most people.

But in applications where the lights need to work for thousands of years, (and there are some!) they use different lighting methods.

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Old 01-09-12, 06:28 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by dcrowell View Post
LEDs won't burn out for decades. As said above, mechanical failures are most common. My Dinotte headlight has an issue with the power cable. It still works, but probably won't for long. As it was an expensive light, I can probably send it back for refurbishing.
So what is the typical lifespan of a Dinotte light engine. Not just the LEDs, but the rest of the electronics, mechanicals, etc?
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Old 01-09-12, 08:49 PM   #7
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So what is the typical lifespan of a Dinotte light engine. Not just the LEDs, but the rest of the electronics, mechanicals, etc?
I have no idea. Mine is fine other than the cable insulation broke from me handling it too roughly. I would guess it would be decades if treated well. The batteries, like all rechargeables, have a shorter lifespan - mine are going on 3.5 years and battery life is about half what it used to be.
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