LED brightness degradation?

Hi All,

I purchased these SK6812’s in August last year. Since then, they’ve been on ~16ish hours a day as my living room’s main lighting. Even in the beginning, they weren’t as bright as I would’ve liked but they got the job done, and I was happy with the work and customizable colors thanks to my Pixelblazes.

Now, however, all 4 lights (so, 2x strips that I bought and cut up) are NOTICABLY dimmer. I’ve double checked the brightness, nada. Nothing has changed in my house or the room. The power supplies I bought have ample amperage that should have lasted at least a few years, even with degradation.

Did I just buy too cheap of LED strips that weren’t meant to used everyday??

Yes, there’s a lot of technology in cheap strips, and they cut everything not entirely necessary to hit a price point. You should get 50k hours out of LEDs, 2 years is about 17k hours.
Certainly they don’t have adequate heatsinking to be run at 100% constantly. The circuitry is probably over driving the chips too so they can get a higher advertised brightness. And the quality of the components will not be their highest priority.


You will get much longer life by running 2x the number of lights at 70% brightness than driving one strip hard.

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also a very in depth article https://www.digikey.co.nz/en/articles/understanding-the-cause-of-fading-in-high-brightness-leds

thanks a lot, that really makes sense about the 70% “rule”.

Do you have any recommendations for LED strips that are high brightness? Admittedly, I COMPLETELY forgot about Lumens when orders those SK6812’s.

I don’t but am interested in suggestions from others. I’ve only ever used strips for accent lighting so haven’t been interested in brightness or longevity too much.