What do we do with LEDs that live longer than the buildings they're installed in?

Classic early 2010 GU10 Toshiba model. One careful owner, 7,000 hours on the clock. Dimmable, warm white, 10 degree beam, fits 90 per cent of all downlights apart from the ones you probably have. Three months’ guarantee remaining. First to see will buy.

Is this what we will soon see on eBay?  Or perhaps I’ll set up my own portal, ‘Lamp Trader’ - the number one site for used LED lamps. 

Back in 2010 when we started Lux I forced myself to become an early adopter of LED technology, to experience the challenges and see if the technology lives up to expectations.

On the whole it has been a success; all the LED lamps are still alive and working, apart that is from one of the filament-looking ones I bought just before Christmas 2014, which sadly didn’t make it through to the new year. That reminds me, I still need to take it back to B&Q.

I’m also a little perplexed as to why one of three Philips LED candle lamps turns a strange shade of green when dimmed. I thought going green was an environmental statement, not a salient feature of the product.

"I had to take a hacksaw to the downlight, in order to get the LED lamp to fit. At 2010 prices, and low operating hours, the payback will still be some years away"

I opted for quality brands, as I’d seen the innards, and felt the pain of the poorly designed no-brand lamps, so at least my relatives could go back to a reputable insured company as my electrocuted body still twitched on floor from touching a live heatsink when trying to aim a track light.

Choosing a quality brand was an expensive process in 2010. The five GU10s installed in the bedroom cost over £25 each, but buying a lamp and fitting it to a conventional fixture was still two thirds cheaper than trying to get a dedicated, dimmable LED downlight. I must, however, admit I had to take a hacksaw to the downlight, in order to get the LED lamp to fit. At 2010 prices, and low operating hours, the payback will still be some years away.

I now have a dilemma; Mrs R has decided to remodel the bedroom, and in the process the downlights are going. So the perfectly good, still functioning lamps will end up in the recycling destined to be ground back down to their basic materials.

I could of course give them away to a neighbour, but chances are they won't fit in their fixtures, and the neighbours won’t be willing to use a hacksaw to make the necessary adjustments.

I could try to sell them on eBay, but here is the biggest issue: The lamps are essentially worthless. The new equivalent today you can pick up from IKEA for £5, with a three year warranty, and they actually fit in the fixture they are intended for. Plus, if you pick them up in store, you get the chance to purchase a wide range of competitively priced Swedish snacks at the checkout. I can’t compete with that, and postage would probably exceed the sale price.

So if you have a need for five high quality, part-used GU10 lamps let me know. You can have them for free, as long as you pay the postage!

I'll be happy to wax lyrical about how you use them.

Comments 3

Hi I'd be very happy to pay the postage if you're happy to pack them nicely. I've a lot of old style fittings in my office that would accept them happily and I've wall sconces crying out for candle lamps if you get around to wishing to be rid of those too Yours Sincerely richard

Hi Gordon I occasionally check Ebay to spot companies that don’t comply with WEEE regulations (frustratingly, there are many…) But there is already a growing market on the site for used GU10 LEDs – at least from the good brands. “Preloved. One careful owner. Only 10,000 hours on the clock” now applies to our lamps just as much as our cars. You better get your remaining lamps out there soon. Sorry – I won’t be bidding. Best regards, Nigel Harvey, Recolight

Dear Mr.Gordon Routledge, I am Junji SHIRATSUCHI, a retiree from Toshiba last year, and I am still working for Toshiba on a contract basis. I knew from your article titled “Used LED bulbs for sale” on the website of Lux that our LED GU10s have seen good use in your home since 2010. As a matter of fact, I was one of the team members deeply involved in its development. Actually, this is the first time for me to read such a user’s comment as yours. On the one hand, I am very happy to hear that all 5 lamps are still working in your home without any problem. On the other hand, I am sad that you had to take a hacksaw to your downlights and its payback period still remains. As a memorial souvenir, I would be very glad if you could send me 1 of the 5 lamps. For my personal souvenir, 1 lamp would be good enough. If you can accept sending it to Japan by courier on a postage collect basis, please let me know by e-mail. I will let you know my address by return e-mail. Thanks in advance and give my regards to Mrs.R. Best regards, Junji SHIRATSUCHI

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