Flashlight apps and iPhone LED life
Ask iLounge offers readers the opportunity to get answers to their iPod-, iPhone-, iPad-, iTunes-, or Apple TV-related questions from a member of the iLounge editorial team. We'll answer several questions here each week, and of course, you can always get help with more immediate concerns from the iLounge Discussion Forums. Submit your questions for consideration using our Ask iLounge Submit Form. We reserve the right to edit questions for grammar, spelling, and length.
Q: I have an iPhone 5, and my boyfriend recently installed a “flashlight” app on it so I can use the camera light as a flashlight to see in the dark. This seems like a great idea, but I’m worried that I might burn out the lightbulb prematurely by leaving it on more often. Is this a bad idea or am I okay to use it in this way?
A: You should be completely fine, and in fact when Apple releases iOS 7 in the fall it looks like it will add the flashlight capabilities as a built-in feature in the new Control Center, eliminating the need for a separate app entirely.
Like most mobile phones, the iPhone uses a Light Emitting Diode (LED) for the flash, rather than a traditional flash bulb. LEDs have a significantly longer lifespan than most other light sources, rated generally at between 25,000 and 100,000 hours.
Although factors such as operating current and temperature can affect LED life, iOS apps have no way of modifying the amount of current that runs through the LED flash, and you’re unlikely to be able to use your iPhone at all in temperature conditions that would affect the LED flash—keeping in mind that it’s the temperature of the actual iPhone itself within a case or your hand that is the relevant factor here.
The bottom line is that even at the lower end of an LED life estimate, 25,000 hours equates to just shy of three years of continuous use over that entire time period—24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Since typical LED flash use, even as a flashlight, is going to be limited to minutes per day, your LED flash will quite likely outlive any other component of your iPhone—including you.
- Will removing a credit card from Safari also remove it from Apple Pay?
- Can I mute Handoff calls coming into my Mac from my iPhone?
- How do I keep my iPhone calls from ringing on my Mac?
- Why doesn’t Traffic show up on my Today Notifications Screen?
- Why doesn’t my iPhone reconnect to Wi-Fi after I turn it on?
- Why can’t I see the iPad-style landscape view on my iPhone 6 Plus?
- Apple releases fourth betas of iOS 10.3.2, watchOS 3.2.2, and tvOS 10.2.1
- Images claim to show iPhone 8 prototype with glass back, vertical camera
- Apple works on alternative power sources, new uses for waste heat in Denmark data center
- Training documents reveal safety details about Apple’s self-driving car system
- Supply shortfalls of upgraded components may delay iPhone 8 production to October/November
- Apple recruits two Google Satellite Executives
- Nike unveils new Nike-exclusive ‘Apple Watch NikeLab’
- Prince single ‘Deliverance’ disappears from Apple Music
- Apple releases 2017 Environmental Responsibility Report
- iDevices Wall Outlet
- Koogeek Wi-Fi SmartSocket for Apple HomeKit
- Sony MDR-1000X Wireless Noise-Canceling Headphones
- FiiO i1 Lightning to 3.5mm Headphone Adapter
- Blue Ella Headphones
- Apple iPad (Fifth-Generation)
- AudioQuest NightOwl Carbon Headphones
- ExoLens PRO with Optics by ZEISS Wide-Angle Lens Kit
- Blue Sadie Headphones
- Circle with Disney Parental Control and Internet Filtering System
- Top Five: The Best Products for Building a Smart Home with HomeKit
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of watchOS 3
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of tvOS 10
- Instant Expert: Secrets & Features of iOS 10
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Photos gets Advanced Computer Vision
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Music app delivers ‘clarity and simplicity’
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 Maps gets a major redesign
- Inside the betas: iOS 10 shakes up the user experience
- Inside the betas: watchOS 3 promises a real speed boost
- Inside the betas: A sneak peek at what’s new in tvOS 10