LED lighting products do not burn out in the same way that incandescents and fluorescents fail. Because they generate luminance by passing electricity through a solid-state diode, they do not contain gas or filaments that can expire over time. However, there is a limit to LED lifespan due to the heat that is generated by the current passing through the diode. This heat has to be drawn away from the lamp in order to extend its lifespan for as long as possible. In the event that the heat is not properly managed, it will cause the amount of luminance to decrease over a much shorter period of time than it should. Excessive heat can also cause colors to shift. Due to the sensitivity of solid state products to heat, the overall lifespan of a product such as a linear strip light or ribbon light is rated at the anticipated depreciation of 30 percent of the bulbs it contains.
This makes thermal management the key to superior LED lighting technology. Companies such as Phantom are able to engineer linear strip and ribbon products that dissipate heat much more effectively than generic, retail linear strip fixtures and ribbons. Further value is added in the form of superior lamping technology. These bulbs emit a much higher lumens output than do competing lamp types. This allows for a higher output of luminance at a lower wattage. Lower wattage means less heat to begin with and an inherently longer lamp life.
The ability to lower illumination with dimmer controls makes it possible to preserve these fixtures for even longer periods of time. As both task and decorative luminaires, they offer return on investment by saving on both power and lamp replacement.