LED lights are a type of solid-state lighting that is used in many applications. Unlike incandescent and fluorescent bulbs, LED lights do not contain mercury or produce any toxic gases when they’re turned on. They also last much longer than traditional light bulbs. So why does the color change after a few years?
LED lights will discolor mainly due to voltage fluctuations and brownouts, temperature and poor ventilation, factory defects, or paint build-up in circuits.
Over time, the different colors of led lights will mainly discolor or fade at different rates due to heat exposure and voltage fluctuations from power outages. The result is a duller color palette that can’t achieve pure illumination.
To learn the details on how led lights discolor and tips on what to do when it happens, keep reading this article.
1. LED Lights Discolor Because Of Voltage Fluctuations And Brownouts
One of the very first main causes of led light discoloration is due to voltage fluctuations. Voltage is the pressure that pushes current through an electrical device that lights up your led light.
If there are any power interruptions or surges then it can cause damage to the electronics of an LED lighting system, resulting in faded coloration over time for your LED bulbs and fixtures.
This is because voltage fluctuations can cause the electricity to flow faster or slower than it’s supposed to.
One of the most common ways that this happens is due to a brownout. A brownout refers to an extreme drop in power output, usually lasting just a few seconds but sometimes continuing over hours and days depending on how severe things get.
The issue with brownouts is that they can cause your LED lights to flicker erratically until the pressure of voltage returns back to normal levels, which could potentially damage the color-changing LEDs inside.
This means you might notice a green light for a moment or two before returning back to its original coloration as expected. In some cases, the color-changing LEDs might fail to return back to their original state.
Brownouts are often caused by environmental factors such as power outages or inclement weather conditions that disrupt electrical grids. These types of voltage fluctuations can also occur in your home when you accidentally trip a circuit breaker, for example.
The bottom line is that voltage fluctuations are one of the most common reasons why LED lights tend to discolor or fade over time, especially if they’re turned on and off frequently throughout the day.
2. LED Lights Change Color Over Time Due To Temperature
Another main cause of led light discoloration is due to temperature. This happens when a LED bulb’s internal components heat up and cool down during operation hours, which causes the color output from your bulbs to change over time.
LED lights are made up of semiconductor materials, which absorb heat when they’re activated. The more current that flows through the LED circuit to power your fixture or bulb, the hotter it gets inside.
This means if you have an enclosure with poor ventilation then these internal components could start overheating and burn out after a period of time.
One of the easiest ways to prevent this is to make sure your LED light fixtures are spaced out enough. If you have a lot of them in one room then it might be best if they’re not placed too close together or else their heat output could accumulate and cause damage over time, resulting in discoloration or color fading due to temperature fluctuations.
3. LED Bulbs Discolor Due To Faulty Manufacturing Processes Or Components
As with any product or device, there are potential defects that occur during the manufacturing process.
These types of errors can cause LED lights to discolor over time due to faulty components or other problems within the assembly line.
One common issue is with led chips themselves where one defective chip could be used in an entire batch of LEDs and sold before anyone notices it’s not functioning properly.
This means when you buy a set of LED lights from the store, there’s always going to be a chance that one or more of them may have been manufactured improperly and will not last as long as expected due to color fading over time caused by these types of errors in manufacturing processes.
How can you tell if your led lights are defective? Unfortunately, there’s no easy way to tell. You’ll just have to go off of your own observations and see if the color output from your bulbs is diminishing overtime or not.
In some cases, you might notice a discoloration in one area alone while other areas remain untouched by this issue. In these cases, the defective chip is usually isolated to a specific area and it’s not something you need to worry about.
In other cases, however, where one faulty led component damages an entire batch of LEDs from within, you might notice discoloration across all areas or in large portions throughout your home.
In this case, there could be serious issues with your led lights and they may fail to function properly or at all after a period of time.
4. LED Discolor Due To Paint In Circuits
Another common cause of LED lights discoloration is due to paint in circuits. If you notice color fading, then this could be a sign that something may have spilled or splashed into your led fixture over time.
Paint can cause damage by blocking the flow of electricity within an electrical device and may even corrode internal components if left alone for too long.
In worst-case scenarios, this can lead to short circuits and even fire hazards if the paint continues to build up within your led light circuit over time.
If you notice any color fading from your lights then it might be a good idea to take them down for cleaning before they get damaged beyond repair.
It’s also worth mentioning that paint in led light circuits is a common problem with pendants and chandeliers.
If you notice color fading or discoloration then it might be caused by the body of your fixture, which may have collected some paint over time that’s now leaking into its circuitry to cause damage.
How can you prevent this from happening? One good way to prevent paint from leaking into your led light circuits is by making sure the wiring itself isn’t exposed to any outside elements or moisture.
This means you should avoid placing fixtures on porches, patios, decks, etc where they might get rained on at some point in time.
You can also apply a protective coating on your led lights to prevent paints and other chemicals from seeping into the fixture.
What To Do When LED Lights Discolor
Check The Warranty And Return It
If you notice your led lights have started to discolor then it’s important to check the manufacturer warranty.
Sometimes if you still have the original packaging and receipt then you can return them to get a replacement.
Otherwise, it might be a good idea to buy from another retailer as the original store may not have any replacement stock.
If you notice discoloration in your led lights then it might be a good idea to take them down for cleaning before they get damaged beyond repair.
You can do this by removing the bulbs from your fixtures and then cleaning them with a soft cloth to remove any dust or debris that may be blocking the flow of electricity.
After you’re done cleaning your bulbs, then re-install them back into their original fixtures. In the case of led strips, you should clean the whole strip using a cleaning solution to remove any paint that may have leaked into your led circuit.
You can use a standard glass cleaner and a lint-free cloth or simply using warm water will do the trick. You can use whichever cleaning solution is suitable for you but be careful not to touch the electrical contacts on the led strip as this will damage them.
Dry and reinstall them after you’re done cleaning your led strips, then re-install them back into their original fixtures. You can also use a fan to speed up the drying time if you notice any moisture or water still present on your led strips.
You should avoid using any harsh chemicals to clean your strip as this could damage the coating or internal components of the strip. For your led light strips, using rubbing alcohol or using a soft brush could easily get rid of any dirt build-up.
It’s also worth mentioning that you should be careful when handling your led strips as they can collect fingerprints and natural oils on your fingers.
If you notice oil or fingerprints from your hands then it might be a good idea to clean the strip with alcohol and a paper towel before reinstalling it back into the fixture.
If you’re not comfortable installing your led strips, then there are plenty of local retailers who can help you out with the installation.
Tips On How To Prevent Led Light Discoloration
- Always check the manufacturer warranty before making a purchase.
- Do not place led lights on porches, patios, or decks where they might get rained on.
- You can also apply a protective coating to your led lights to prevent paint and other chemicals from seeping into the fixture.
- Be sure to clean your led lights regularly to avoid discoloration.
- Avoid using harsh chemicals when cleaning your strip.
- If you still notice discoloration after cleaning, then you should take down your led lights for inspection.
- If you have power fluctuations, then this could also lead to your led lights discoloring. You can fix power fluctuations by using a voltage regulator or an uninterruptible power supply.
Q: Why Do LED Strip Lights Turn Yellow?
A: If you notice your led strip lights have started to turn yellow then this could mean that the coating on top of it has begun deteriorating. One of the main reasons why this could happen is due to extreme heat and moisture. You should also be careful not to touch the strip as your natural oils could damage the coating.
Q: Why Do LED Lights Turn Orange?
A: If you notice your led lights have turned orange then this could indicate that the quality of your electricity is not up to par with what it should be. You can fix this by looking for voltage regulators or a UPS.
Q: Why Do LED Lights Turn Blue?
A: If you notice that your led lights have turned from their original color into blue, then this could mean that you have a loose wire within your led lights. You should open up the fixture and check for any loose wires while also checking the quality of your electricity.
Q: Why Do LED Lights Turn Pink?
A: If you notice that your led lights have turned pink then this could indicate that your led lights are overheating. You should check for loose wires and evaluate the quality of your electricity to fix any overheating problems.
Q: Why Do LED Lights Turn Purple?
In most cases, you should be able to fix this issue by cleaning your led lights and making sure that they are receiving quality electricity. If you notice that your led lights have turned purple then this could indicate a problem with your led strip lights.
Q: What’s The Best Way To Clean My LED Lights?
A: You can use a standard glass cleaner and lint-free cloth to clean your led lights. You can also use a soft brush to get rid of any dirt build-up on your strip. To prevent discoloration, you can use a protective coating to coat your led lights before installing them back into the fixture. Be sure to clean your strip regularly and avoid harsh chemicals.