This Is Progress? LED Light Fixtures without Replaceable Bulbs

In the endless quest to make everything cheaper and disposable, we now have LED light fixtures in which the LEDs and electronics are integrated with the fixture instead of replaceable bulbs. This might be fine if the fixtures used proper thermal and electrical design to run the LEDs within specifications to achieve a life of decades (which is entirely possible, assuming quality components), but in many cases they overdrive the LEDs, causing them to burn out, go dim, or turn into disco strobes in short order. Then you have to replace the entire light fixture which, for those uncomfortable with doing their own electrical work, may require the costly services of an electrician. The failed light fixture ends up in a landfill, memorialising its “green” virtue over old-fashioned light bulbs which were largely recycled.

Of course, replaceable LED light bulbs aren’t designed any better, but at least you can change them when they crap out after a couple of weeks (I’m talking about you, Osram/Os-scam). Whenever I have to buy one of these, I now make it a point to save the packaging, staple the store receipt to it, and always claim the warranty replacement when it invariably dies. Maybe if enough people do this, manufacturers will get the message and de-rate the LEDs so they deliver the lifetime of which they are capable. This is doable, and such LED bulbs exist—but you can only buy them if you live in Dubai.

Well, we can’t have that, can we? So they’re just eliminating replaceable bulbs entirely!


Have to admit. I am still using incandescent bulbs. I have a five year supply right now, and need to stock up before they go away.


I’ve actually bought a LED light bulb recently. For most of the lights in my house I’m sticking to old reliable incandescent bulbs but I was looking for a colored lightbulb and LED was the cheapest solution to my problem. It’s neat to have but marketing for these products are awful, let’s hope incandescent bulbs aren’t phased out anytime soon.