How Do You Replace LED Lights

How you replace LED lights is a question we get daily.

 Generally, LED lights come as integrated or non-integrated, meaning you must approach each technology differently. 

And to many, such can be confusing, especially if they lack the necessary electrical skills. 

Luckily, we have all you need to know in today’s piece as we shed light on replacing LED lights. 

Additionally, we look at what they are and why they are better than traditional light sources. 

Let’s get going. 

What Are LED Lights

Holding a LED bulb

(Holding a LED bulb)

LEDs are semiconductors that produce light when one passes an electric current. 

Generally, they rely on electrons in their material combining with electron holes to release photon energy, which we see as light. 

Additionally, they have high switching rates making them useful in sophisticated communication technologies, including automotive headlamps and aviation lighting. 

The main advantages of LED lights are evident when comparing them to traditional light sources like incandescent bulbs. 

Generally, the LEDs have lower power consumption, faster switching, and small size. 

Moreover, they have better physical robustness as they don’t have a glass covering like incandescent lights. 

However, they have some downsides, like power limitations, low direct current (DC) voltages, and intolerance to high temperatures. 

Furthermore, they cannot guarantee steady illumination from pulsing alternating current (AC) or DC electrical power supplies

In contrast, incandescent bulbs can operate and offer constant illumination at any DC or AC voltage. 

In other words, incandescent lamps can safely operate from any power source, including one switching from AC to DC interchangeably. 

Conversely, LED lights only run on DC voltage, and you must include electronic support devices to run on AC power. 

Can You Replace An Integrated LED Light?

High-power integrated LED bulb

(High-power integrated LED bulb)

No. You have to replace the entire fixture. Over time, consumers are developing a liking for integrated LED lights over bulb-ready fixtures. 

The reason is that LEDs are long-lasting, meaning you can attach them permanently to fixtures without significant shortcomings. 

Manufacturers make integrated LED lights by incorporating electrical connections through multiple electronic circuit boards. 

Consequently, if you lack the necessary skills and equipment, you must replace the light fixture when the LEDs are no longer functional.  

Moreover, integrated LED light fixtures ensure optimal compatibility between the light source and your fixture.

 They are lighting systems that combine the LEDs and fixtures into one unit. Therefore, they improve heat dissipation efficiency and provide a better aesthetic appeal. 

Examples of integrated LED lights include: 

  • Wall Sconces for ambient or accent lighting
  • Recessed downlights that sit flush with the ceiling provide directional lighting
  • Pendant lights
  • Ceiling panels
  • Outdoor wall lights 

Additionally, the fact that you can replace integrated LED lights doesn’t mean that you throw them away any time they start flickering.

 In reality, check to see if it is still under warranty cover. Integrated LED lights last longer, and it won’t be surprising to find they have long warranty covers. 

If the still valid, contact the manufacturer for replacement or repair, whenever possible.  

Secondly, consult an electrician to see if you can revive your LED lights. 

Sometimes, the fault is minor, and a skilled professional can do the repair job with the right tools.

Step By Step Ways of Replacing LED Lights

As seen above, there are integrated and non-integrated LED lights. The LEDs and other components are part of a circuit board for integrated lights. 

On the other hand, non-integrated LEDs have a separate engine to power them, more like in incandescent lamps. 

Replacing Non-Integrated LED lights

Holding a non-integrated LED light

(Holding a non-integrated LED light)

Replacing non-integrated LED lights is much similar to replacing incandescent or fluorescent lights. 

Once you notice that your light malfunctions or is not working, ensure you turn off the power. 

Don’t attempt electrical replacement on a live wire to avoid electrocutions or other faults. 

Next, allow the LED bulb to sit for some minutes so that it cools enough. 

Touching an LED bulb that has been on for some time is dangerous, and you can suffer burns. 

Afterward, check to see the type of fitting your bulb has, whether it’s a push-and-twist, screw, or bayonet fitting. 

Depending on the fitting, remove your old bulb safely. 

For instance, you remove GU10-type lights by gently pushing them into the socket while turning it anticlockwise until they are free. 

Additionally, LED lights with screw fittings come out when you turn them anticlockwise. 

With the bulb out, your next step shall be installing an appropriate replacement. 

Firmly press it into the socket and rotate it clockwise until you feel it’s in place. 

Replacing Integrated LED lights

Recesses integrated LED lights on a ceiling

(Recesses integrated LED lights on a ceiling)

When replacing integrated LED lights, ensure the power is off by flipping the switch or breaker box.

 Next, twist the old LED light assembly counterclockwise to a point it unfastens from its base. 

You’ll then disconnect the wiring connections by unscrewing nuts or removing terminal screws. 

At this stage, take note of the connections or take a picture for reference when installing a new fixture. 

Afterward, inspect the old bulb to see if the manufacturer offers modular components that you can replace.

 If not, buy a new LED light and install it following the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Next, connect the wiring of the new fixture to the corresponding connections in the electrical box. 

If you need clarification on the connections, consult the product sheet to know what the color-coded wires represent.

Additionally, position the fixture onto the mounting bracket and use fasteners to attach it. 

You can flip the switch to ensure your light functions properly at this stage.  


Should you replace or repair LED lights? 

Whether to replace or repair your LED lights depends on their designs and level of damage. 

Sometimes you find that the cost of repairing the damages is more than that of buying a new one. 

Additionally, it’s costlier to repair integrated LED lights as they are part of complex integrated circuit boards. In such a case, you are better off replacing the whole unit.

However, check if the light has some modular sections you can keep and only buy ones to replace the broken ones. 

Is an LED light faulty when it starts to flicker?

A flickering LED light means that the voltage supply is unstable and not that the bulb is faulty.

 LEDs, by design, operate with low, stable DC voltages. When the transformer fails to stabilize its output, it feeds fluctuating voltages, which causes the lights to flicker. 

Additionally, other reasons that may cause the LED light to flicker include:

  • Incompatible dimmer switch
  • Loose connections
  • Aging or defective LED driver
  • Overheating due to  inadequate ventilation or poor design

Is it easy to replace LED lights?

How easily you find replacing LED lights depends on your skill level and the LED light type.

 For non-integrated lights, all you need to do is remove the light source from its socket and replace it.

 You won’t interfere with the rest of the fixture while doing so. 

On the other hand, replacing integrated LED lights may be a little hectic, especially if you don’t have the necessary expertise. 

The reason is that the lights are part of the fixture, and you will interfere with the driving mechanisms before accessing the broken lights. 

Moreover, it would be best if you disconnected the fixture from the electrical power supply to do so. 

As such, having a good understanding of the dangers of electrical current is also important. 

What is the lifespan of LED lights?

LED lights have longer lifespans than most traditional light sources, including fluorescent and incandescent lights. Generally, they last between 50,000 and 100,000 hours under good maintenance. In contrast, fluorescent lights last under 20,000 hours, while incandescent bulbs last about 1,000 hours. 

Moreover, thermal management is essential to ensure your LED light’s longevity. The higher the operational temperature, the shorter your LEDs last. For this reason, you find integrated LEDs with heat sink designs lasting longer than non-integrated LEDs.


High-quality LED lights last 30 or more years with proper maintenance. Moreover, the integrated ones outlast most other lighting technologies as their aluminum base is a heat sink. 

Generally, it’s the heat that reduces an LED light source’s lifespan. If you keep it in a place with good ventilation, you are sure it can last long, and replacing it is easy when need be.