Integrated LED lights virtually last forever. However, even the best models die eventually. So when a diode in a LED fixture blows, can it be replaced just as easily as a regular old light bulb?
Integrated LED lights usually cannot be replaced, unless the light unit itself can be separated from the rest of the fixture or housing. It’s typically cheaper to replace the entire unit, as repairing involves detaching and soldering new LEDs on the circuit board.
This article will explain why integrated LEDs are hard to replace and provide some information on ceiling fan-integrated LEDs.
Read on to see if these hard-to-replace fixtures are still worth your money.
Can You Replace Integrated LED Lights?
If well taken care of, LED lights can last for decades, which is why they are so popular.
Manufacturers integrate them into the fixture because they anticipate they won’t need frequent replacements. So, they’re not the easiest thing to repair.
From my own experience when in a past life I owned a commercial energy-efficient lighting distribution company, I can tell you that integrated LED’s can create a lot of problems.
Often, the issue is that the light flickers way too much due to one or a series of diodes needing to be fixed.
Also, the fixture itself typically wears out with or before the diodes.
As such, whenever the lights blow out, you may be better off replacing the entire fixture or calling an electrician to do the job.
Issues With Integrated LED’s
Because the word “integrated” means that the LED lighting system (the diodes and the LED driver) is built directly into the fixture, whether it be a light fixture or a ceiling fan, it means that it’s not easily changed or removed. It’s part of the fixture itself.
This creates some issues:
- Since the LED is built into the fixture, it is in most cases not replaceable.
- When the light fixture or ceiling fan light burns out, there’s often no solution except to replace the entire unit. This creates:
- Higher replacement costs
- Often no troubleshooting options
- More waste
- Much more expensive to fix the problem
When I did the bigger commercial lighting retrofit projects, we would get a ton of warranty calls and recalls related to this exact thing.
And after doing a couple netzero home renovations, including swapping out all the lighting to LED, I would recommend:
Buy fixtures and ceiling fans where you can screw in a typical or common LED bulb whenever possible.
This will save you more money and time over time. It’s not a hard and fast rule, and sometimes you might like the fixture with the integrated light more. There are always pros and cons.
How to Repair Integrated LED Lights
If you’re confident you can fix the fixture, follow these steps.
- Unscrew the light from the ceiling and detach it from the connector wires.
- Place the LED fixture on a flat surface and remove the back cover. You should have access to the LED panel. Remove the screws on the face side of the LED panel and the screws attaching the connector on the backside.
- Now you can move the LED panel around. Using a multimeter, check to see which are the defective LEDs. Use a marker to remember which diodes to deal with.
- When you place the two multimeter prongs on each side of the diode, you should see it light up. The ones that don’t or just flicker are the faulty ones.
- Using a screwdriver, chip off the faulty LED diodes. Once you’re done, you can use a resistor (50-100 ohms resistors are good). If you’re worried that removing two diodes will place additional voltage on the other LEDs, this will only happen if the light has a constant current driver. It should adjust voltage appropriately to maintain the current throughout the LEDs. This assumes that the driver is of good quality.
- When you’re done, re-screw the LED panel and attach the back cover. Place the fixture back onto the ceiling and check if the flashing persists.
Since the components are sensitive and require some know-how, I recommend leaving the job to an electrician. Notice that the diodes in the guide were not replaced but merely removed.
Replacing requires a proper understanding of how they were attached and precise soldering.
Replacing LED Light on Ceiling Fan
Integrated LEDs, along with the ceiling fan itself, make way for an energy-saving duo.
The integrated LEDs have a microchip that receives current from the power source of the ceiling fan. The current is transported to the light-emitting diodes and dispersed via the glass cover, ensuring good light coverage.
Like regular integrated LEDs, the most common issues with LED lights on a ceiling fan are endless blinking and flashing.
Sometimes, the issue may not be with the light but with the dimmer. Try disconnecting from the dimmer before inspecting the light to see if the flickering stops.
Then, check your model to see what LED light it is. Some lights have isolated drivers, which makes replacement easy.
Here’s how you properly replace the fixture on a ceiling fan if your model has an isolated driver:
- Remove the glass cover.
- Detach the screws.
- You will see that it is connected to the power source via wires. Detach the light from the wires.
- Connect your replacement light to the power source via the connector wires. Reattach the screws and replace the glass cover.
- Check to see if the problem persists.
Getting Replacements For Ceiling Fan LEDs
LED lights are designed to last, and finding replacements is not easy. So, you should get at least one replacement LED when purchasing your kit, especially if the LED is user-replaceable.
However, some LED lights are built to their exact models, so you may have to ask for replacements from the companies themselves.
Alternatively, you can scour Amazon or your favorite online retailer for replacement LED panels.
Replacing an integrated LED light is possible but very difficult. The same can be said of ceiling fans that have LEDs attached to them. The quickest way to deal with the issue is to call an electrician or replace the entire fixture.