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.

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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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    3 Discussions


    10 months 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 ?

    1 reply

    Reply 5 months 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.


    Question 10 months ago

    Can I replace the resistor with the burnt smd?