temperature affects LED efficiency

How Temperature Affects LED Efficiency

In LED TIPS by valuelightdomain

By now we know that LED’s are very efficient in the means of producing light and emitting low heat. But that doesn’t mean that their efficiency cannot be affected by various temperatures. High and low heat have different effects on LEDs, and I’m here to explain how and why temperature affects LED efficiency!

Founded in 1995, VL Lighting Solutions is a leading Canadian lighting manufacturer providing innovative, energy efficient solutions for our clients’ lighting requirements. You can rely on VL lighting Solutions for superior quality and innovative designs involving optically precise commercial and industrial lighting products.

Why Temperature Affects LEDs

Thermal management is one of the most important factors for the performance of LEDs in their lifetime. The higher the temperature of your LED, the quicker the light diodes will degrade, and the shorter the useful life will be. 

LEDs expected lifespan is based on a set ‘Junction Temperature’. Junction temperature is the temperature of the light-emitting part of the LED. A higher junction temperature over time will cause the light output of the LED to drop at a steeper rate than an LED with a lower temperature over time. 

Junction temperature is calculated based off of the following conditions:

  • ambient temperature
  • current through the LED
  • amount of heat sinking material in and around the LED

Moreover, the temperature is just one of three factors that will determine what the junction temperature is, and how long the life of your LED will be.

The Effects of High Temperatures LEDs

High temperatures will reduce the light output of an LED and reduce its useful life. Warmer environments will raise the temperature of the semiconducting element within the LED. This increases the degradation rate of the diodes that produce the light inside your LED. High temperatures are, therefore, the least efficient environment for LEDs.

The Effects of Cold Temperatures on LEDs

The effects of cold temperatures are essentially the opposite. Lower temperatures will help lower the temperature of the semiconducting elements within the LED and slow down the process of lumen depreciation. This results in your LED lasting longer because the dimming effect on the diodes happens slower. 


Heat plays a major role in the useful life of an LED. Although they don’t produce close to as much heat as other light bulb types, the temperature does play an important role in the lifespan of an LED. LEDs begin to dim up to 30% over time, and the hotter the environment, the quicker this effect will take place. Colder temperatures will slow this process down because it will help to keep the junction temperature lower. With a lower junction temperature comes slower lumen depreciation.

There you have it, we hope you learned how temperature affects LED efficiency.

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