We tested 230 bulbs in total, and 66 of those failed before the 10,000 hour mark, despite all of them claiming a lifespan of at least 15,000 hours.
Ikea said the bulb had passed its own tests and those in a third-party lab. It is looking into why the bulb failed our test and has removed it from sale in countries where it was still available. TCP said it was already aware of the problem with this bulb, which is why it withdrew it from sale. TCP added that it no longer deals with the supplier of that bulb and now makes its LED bulbs in-house.
Perhaps it's a matter of you get what you pay for. A quick check of online LED bulb prices shows them ranging from around £5 to £17 (roughly $8 to $28) across different wattages. LED bulbs include electronics that can go wrong. The light source - the light emitting diode - is often not the problem; rather, the circuits that convert voltage from alternating current to direct current can fail, as can those that knock down voltage levels.
More good news: Nobody seems to dispute the energy saving aspect of LED bulbs, which require only about 20 percent of the electricity of conventional incandescents. That saves on environmentally damaging CO2 emissions, and it reduces our utility bills.
As long as the hardware price keeps falling - not long ago it hovered around $50, staggering for consumers accustomed to a buck-a-bulb incandescents - and once quality and reliability stabilizes, then consumers and the industry alike could be singing a shining LED song.
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