How long should my lamps last?

How long should my lamps last?

By Michael Morrison on Wed 27 October 2021

The life and times of a light bulb can be hard, all that flicking on and off can really take its toll, but the question is, how long should your bulbs really be lasting?

First here’s a joke - 

How many birds does it take to change a lightbulb?

Toucan do it.


Whilst that joke may be a little on the poor side, as a contractor or maintenance provider, one of the most mundane, everyday tasks is changing a lightbulb, but did you know that the type of lightbulb you’re fitting has an effect on how often you have to climb up those ladders or go up in that cherry picker?

Older style bulbs such as Halogen or CFL whilst still popular, are actually miles behind the latest LED technology. Not just in terms of power consumption, but also in how long they can actually last. 


750-2,000 hours


1,000-3,000 hours


5,000-10,000 hours


7,000-15,000 hours


20,000-40,000 hours

Incandescent bulbs are usually the lowest of all the lifespans. On average incandescent bulbs only last around 750 - 2,000 hours, meaning in an environment such as an office that has lights on from 8 AM til 6 PM you would be replacing one of these every 138 days or 3 times a year.

Halogen bulbs are a little better than incandescent bulbs lasting roughly 1,000 - 3,000 hours, meaning as per the example above you would be replacing this bulb every 200 days or once/twice a year or so.

CFLs are again better than the Halogen bulbs, but still far off their LED counterparts. With an average lifespan of 5,000 - 10,000 hours, you would be looking to change this bulb every 750 days or around every 2 years.

Fluorescents are a much longer-lasting option and ideal for the likes of our example office where the light needs to be left on for long amounts of time. With an average lifespan of 7,000 - 15,000 hours, you would be expecting to change this bulb every 1,100 days or every 3 years, which most people will be used to.

LEDs are by far the longest-lasting light bulbs, outlasting most other types by years. An LED lifespan is about 20,000 - 40,000 hours which means using our example from the very start you would be changing that bulb every 3,000 days or 8.25 years.

So I know, you’re sitting there now thinking, it’s just changing a bulb, who cares, or maybe even, but yeah those LED bulbs are several times the price of the halogen ones I get at the moment. Well, consider adding up that within the 8.25 years, on average, that you get with LED bulbs you will have changed the Halogen one 15x over, at least. Most bulbs take more than a minute to change and most rooms, never mind most buildings have more than 1 bulb, you can do the maths on that one. 

Another cost-saving to consider is that LEDs tend to have much lower power consumption meaning much cheaper to run over the year. Basically, over a 40,000-hour lifespan of an LED bulb you will be spending about £21.00 vs £213.00 on a Halogen bulb never mind the fact you would need 20x halogen bulbs to last the same amount of time as the LED counterpart.



Now there is a lot to consider when you are looking at the lifespan of a lamp, the main ones being the environment, maintenance, and of course the quality of the lamp and the components within and around them. For example, if you are running lamps in an area of an extreme temperature, either cold or warm, then that will have an effect on the lifespan, likewise, if the temperature fluctuates frequently this will affect anything never mind lamps. Like most things in life the better the quality the longer the lamp is going to last. Not all lamps will make it to the lifespans mentioned above, but on the other hand there will be ones that will run over the lifespans from above. Some manufacturers have ranges of LED lamps that they claim will run for 100,000 hours!


Here at Lamp Source we have stocks off all types of lamps and with next-day delivery to most of our customers or even same day collection, we are more than ready to help you out when the time comes to change that lamp and you can leave that toucan to do it’s own thing.