Repair and Reuse a Burnt Out LED Bulb

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Introduction: Repair and Reuse a Burnt Out LED Bulb

LED bulbs to replace Incandescent bulbs are a great idea and save electricity.

I replaced all the bulbs in my house and my electric bill went down a noticeable amount. I admit that I did buy the cheapest LED’s at my local hardware store. They were $8.00 for six 60 watt bulbs and when you are replacing the whole house that seemed like the way to go. With these cheap bulbs you don’t know how long they will last. I have some of the first batch that have worked for two years and I had some the quit after 2 or 3 months. At first I just threw them away but my curiosity got the best of me and I took one apart. I have seen other Instructables about how to replace the burned out LED, but with these cheap bulbs it was not economical. So I experimented on them and found you can easily repair the burned out LED and make the bulb useful again.

Step 1: Disassemble the Bulb

First cut the top of the bulb off. If you are planning on using the bulb as an "incandescent" type bulb, you may be able to "glue the cover back on using silicone calking as the bulb gets hot and will melt hot glue. I just use them to replace bulbs like "can" lights or they work great outside as spotlights under my eaves (not in a place that will get rained on).

I use my band saw to make quick work of the bulb but the plastic is thin and easily cut with just about any method.

Step 2:

Next locate the offending LED. it will have a faint dark spot as compared to the other LED's. use a small screwdriver or knife to scrape and break off the LED.

Step 3:

then just solder the connection under where the LED was to bridge the connection and you are finished. I use a little soldering past to help it flow but rosin core solder will work. I have had my repaired bulbs in use for about year now with no problems

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    5 Discussions

    0
    SamanN6
    SamanN6

    2 years ago on Step 3

    Hi, most of the bulb that I have repaired , burn after few days ,I don't know what is the wrong ?

    0
    derekguenther
    derekguenther

    Reply 1 year ago

    My guess is that the design of your bulb expects a certain number of LEDs to be present, with the voltage drop that creates. With a missing LED the ones still in place may need to pick up the workload, causing them to fail prematurely. The more that are missing the worse it is. However, this entirely depends on the design of the bulb - my guess is the original poster's bulbs have a constant current supply. You may want to look up a 3.3V zener diode and install it backwards on the pads where you removed the LED rather than shorting it out.

    0
    fridelain
    fridelain

    Reply 1 year ago

    At that point, use a LED instead.
    I use "wire glue" (carbon in aquous solution, as far as I can tell). It acts as a resistance, you just use a toothpick to apply a droplet and let it dry.

    0
    SamanN6
    SamanN6

    Question 2 years ago

    Can I replace the resistor with the burnt smd?

    0
    fridelain
    fridelain

    Answer 1 year ago

    You got that backwards. Yes, but you need to use a resistor of the adequate value. It should drop about 3 volts per LED replaced, and have an adequate watt rating (don't use a small one). Beware some led packages contain multiple leds, if the working led package lights up faintly when measured on the lowest resistance setting of a multimeter (it's a diode, try reversing the polarity, and beware the solder is often covered by a thin film of transparent conformal coating) then it's single leds, or multiple side by side (as if one, for our purposes)