How it Failed: GE Relax LED Lightbulb After 2.5 Years

Hi, I’m Tom from DIY Life Tech and welcome to an edition of “How It Failed”. This series tests the durability and endurance of various household items, showcasing exactly how and why they eventually give up the ghost. By focusing on the weak points, and signs of degradation, you’ll have an idea of what might happen with your own products down the line.

In this post, we’ll specifically explore the GE Relax LED light bulbs. As a long-time user of this particular bulb, I can provide firsthand accounts of how these bulbs typically perform, and what issues might arise over an extended period.

GE Relax LED Light Bulb: Does It Stand Up to Its 13-Year Promise?

Now, General Electric is no ordinary brand. It has a long-standing reputation for superior quality products, one of which is the GE Relax lights. These LED light bulbs come with a tantalising claim – they’re rated to last up to 13 years.

However, in my case, the bulb ever so gracefully bowed out after a commendable two-and-a-half-year stint. One day, the light merely went out, however, there were preceding tell-tale signs of looming failure.

Spotting the Warning Signals: Examining My GE Light Bulb Post-Mortem

Studying the bulb in its post-mortem state, there were evident signs of distress. The plastic began yellowing, probably under the prolonged heat exposure from the bulb itself. Eventually, the yellowed exterior started developing cracks.

Upon closer examination, numerous hairline fractures decorated the top, with a more eye-catching, bigger crack along the side of the bulb. But the pièce de résistance of this bulb’s farewell tribute was when the LED itself ceased working.

Deceptive Lifespan Claims?: Dissecting the 13-Year Lifespan

While two-and-a-half years of service might seem a poor performance against its 13-year life rating, there’s a caveat to consider. These bulbs promise a 13-year lifespan based on an estimated daily use of three hours only, equating to a total of about 15,000 hours.

However, in my experience, I tend to leave my lights on longer, as they illuminate the primary living area of my house. So, realistically, if you’re a heavy user like me and tend to keep your light on for extended periods, your bulb might not enjoy a 13-year tenure either.

To their credit though, two and a half years of reliable service still trumps the lifespan of an incandescent bulb. Additionally, these LEDs are comparatively more power-efficient.

The Silent Killer: Unnoticed Degradation

The gradual yellowing and cracking of the bulb’s exterior are only aesthetic issues. The true silent killer of this product is the ultimate failure of the LED itself.

In conclusion, taking my experience as a reference, the GE Relax LED bulb might not give you a 13-year service (unless you only switch it on for three hours daily). However, considering the improved lifespan and power-efficiency compared to an incandescent bulb, it might still be a worthwhile tradeoff for the average user.

And that, dear reader, is how my GE Relax LED Bulb met its end.
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Key Takeaways

  • The GE Relax light bulb has a 13 year rated lifetime, but if used for more than 3 hours a day, you won’t get 13 years out of it.
  • It’s still better than an incandescent bulb, as it will use less power over the period.
  • The plastic may yellow and crack over time due to the heat of the bulb.
  • The LED can eventually stop working, leading to a total failure of the bulb.