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pete scalia
10-28-2007, 09:28 PM
If LED's become mainstream will there be a need for multi tap transformers? I've heard through the vine that LED's will work just fine over a wide range of voltages both below and above 12 volts.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-28-2007, 09:45 PM
It all depends on what type of LEDs you go with. The units I use have a power management circuit built right into each lamp. This removes the necessity for using either a constant current or constant voltage power supply As a result, I am able to send 7 to 14 Volts, AC or DC to these LED Lamps and they operate just fine. There is no change in their output colour or intensity, thanks to the on board power management circuit.

Does this make voltage drop less of a concern? You bet it does. It also frees up the designer to use VERY long runs away from the transformer. Now add into this a Multi-tap (UL 1838 here please) and you can send 15 volts down a VERY long wire and still have light at the end.

The way I see it, it adds a lot of flexibility to our arsenal of tools.

All that being said, the LED lamps I am using only emulate the output and colour of a BAB 20W Halogen MR16. Units that replicate a FMW 35W lamp are coming, but not available yet.

pete scalia
10-28-2007, 10:39 PM
It all depends on what type of LEDs you go with. The units I use have a power management circuit built right into each lamp. This removes the necessity for using either a constant current or constant voltage power supply As a result, I am able to send 7 to 14 Volts, AC or DC to these LED Lamps and they operate just fine. There is no change in their output colour or intensity, thanks to the on board power management circuit.

Does this make voltage drop less of a concern? You bet it does. It also frees up the designer to use VERY long runs away from the transformer. Now add into this a Multi-tap (UL 1838 here please) and you can send 15 volts down a VERY long wire and still have light at the end.

The way I see it, it adds a lot of flexibility to our arsenal of tools.

All that being said, the LED lamps I am using only emulate the output and colour of a BAB 20W Halogen MR16. Units that replicate a FMW 35W lamp are coming, but not available yet.

Thanks for the info

irrig8r
10-29-2007, 11:28 AM
So, James....
If I wanted to find out more about LEDs, what direction would you point me to do my research?

ccfree
10-29-2007, 08:46 PM
So, James....
If I wanted to find out more about LEDs, what direction would you point me to do my research?

Check out what Hadco is doing with LED. They have a bullet that puts out more foot candles than a 35w broad beam halogen at farther distances. Plus it is only 12.4 watts. Puts out a cool blue color. Pretty neat stuff.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-29-2007, 08:57 PM
So, James....
If I wanted to find out more about LEDs, what direction would you point me to do my research?

I would recommend you sign up for LEDs magazine online. It is a free weekly news release plus a monthly ezine.

Sorry I dont have a link right now.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-29-2007, 09:11 PM
Check out what Hadco is doing with LED. They have a bullet that puts out more foot candles than a 35w broad beam halogen at farther distances. Plus it is only 12.4 watts. Puts out a cool blue color. Pretty neat stuff.

Yes, it is that cool blue light that simply does not work very well in established outdoor lighting scenes.... It simply clashes with the relative warmth of halogen, xenon and incandescent. (you are seeing between 4000K and 5000k depending on the manufacturer)

The LED lamps I am using are 3200K and almost identical to halogen.... That way they fit into the scene and do not cause visual abstraction.

Have a great day.

ccfree
10-29-2007, 09:55 PM
Yes, it is that cool blue light that simply does not work very well in established outdoor lighting scenes.... It simply clashes with the relative warmth of halogen, xenon and incandescent. (you are seeing between 4000K and 5000k depending on the manufacturer)

The LED lamps I am using are 3200K and almost identical to halogen.... That way they fit into the scene and do not cause visual abstraction.

Have a great day.

Your comment is purely subjective. I have no problem with that, however, there are some parts of the country that the cool blue light work very well. Take Dallas TX for example. The Mercury Vapor capital of the world. This product gives the non licensed electrician IE. (The low voltage lighting contractor) a very competitive alternative. Besides, an amber lens is available to create the look you that works for you.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-29-2007, 10:16 PM
Your comment is purely subjective. I have no problem with that, however, there are some parts of the country that the cool blue light work very well. Take Dallas TX for example. The Mercury Vapor capital of the world. This product gives the non licensed electrician IE. (The low voltage lighting contractor) a very competitive alternative. Besides, an amber lens is available to create the look you that works for you.

Yes it is possible to place an amber lens in front of a 4000k+ lamp, but when dealing with the LED MR16 Lamp Modules on the market, doing so would reduce the intensity to a point of not being very useful.

Also, It is possible to create a very nice landscape lighting system using cool or 4000k+ output, however you need all of your sources in this spectrum or things look a bit off. I have yet to find pathlights, deck lights, and the likes that make use of 4000K+ sources. To me, nothing looks worse then some halogen architectural fixtures, some incandescent path lights and some cool blue downlights all competing in the same space.

In europe and asia, the cool blue 4000k+ look is very popular and becoming prevelant with the introduction and use of LED lamps. Here in North America, I have found that most residential clients want that nice soft 'warm' look (2700 -3200K) that they have become used to.

Next topic will be CRI of course....

ccfree
10-29-2007, 11:16 PM
Yes it is possible to place an amber lens in front of a 4000k+ lamp, but when dealing with the LED MR16 Lamp Modules on the market, doing so would reduce the intensity to a point of not being very useful.

Also, It is possible to create a very nice landscape lighting system using cool or 4000k+ output, however you need all of your sources in this spectrum or things look a bit off. I have yet to find pathlights, deck lights, and the likes that make use of 4000K+ sources. To me, nothing looks worse then some halogen architectural fixtures, some incandescent path lights and some cool blue downlights all competing in the same space.

In europe and asia, the cool blue 4000k+ look is very popular and becoming prevelant with the introduction and use of LED lamps. Here in North America, I have found that most residential clients want that nice soft 'warm' look (2700 -3200K) that they have become used to.

Next topic will be CRI of course....
You have some very valid points that I do agree on. But it is your opinion that you like the nice soft 'warm' look (2700-3200K). I like this too, especially when dealing with earth-tones. An amber or peach lens will really enhances this effect. As for the LED (5000-5200K), makes a huge difference with moon lighting. It takes out the hotness of halogen for a more subtle look. It really pulls your greens and grays out of a particular scene and makes them come alive. Makes gray bark on a tree look great not to mention the green foliage. Warm light just makes it look unnatural. I do understand the same effect happens when you use LED or blue filters on earth-tones. It makes it look lifeless. I know you know all of this and we could debate this all night long. If you live in Arizona, warm colors make all the sense in the world with all the desert earth-tones and stucco homes. But places like the Pacific Northwest do real well with the cooler colors. It is a matter of preference. You like what you like, and I like what I like. We are both right to some extent. Hopefully I didn't touch to much on the Color Rendering Index.....

irrig8r
10-29-2007, 11:55 PM
I am enjoying this discussion.

I was talking to a Vista rep today ad asked him why they show some LED lamps in the catalog that my distributor says aren't available. Sounds like the technology is changing so fast that they don't really want to sell lamps they think we'll be made obsolete by up and coming technology. He said new, better lamps that they are testing should be available before the end of the year.

I was looking at LED magazine online earlier today James. Here's a link.

http://www.ledsmagazine.com/subscribe

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-30-2007, 07:59 AM
LED technology is changing rapidly. I have been trying to keep on top of it for a couple of years now and find that it is almost as if each week there is some new advancement or technological improvement. Certainly a lot of energy and resources are being focused on this segment and I am certain that LEDs will become the dominant lighting technology of the future.

Learn all you can.... because things are going to change rapidly.

Go Halogen
10-31-2007, 08:17 AM
Gregg,

I learned recently that Vista will have a new L.E.D set up for many of their fixtures. It's called New Wave L.E.D. The driver will be better, L.E.D diodes will be longer lasting and have a longer half life. I have been using some of their 2416s and 3216s with 5 watt L.E.Ds. for down lighting. I tried using a peach dichroic filter on some.....it really warms them up, to the point where it actually blends in with halogen color temps.

-Andy

Pro-Scapes
10-31-2007, 09:31 AM
I been using 4700k bulbs for over a year now in my downlights for moonlight. Works great without the use of a lens. I get them from Solux and so far have not had a burn out but I always try to run them on the cool side of things around 10.2v or so.

an LED would be great for this if I could pop it right in. Is there one avalible now that is working well ? Where can I get it!!!!

JoeyD
10-31-2007, 09:55 AM
In case any of you might wonder why Unique has not introduced an LED. We have been experementing with LED's for over 5 years now. We have built prototypes and tested them, we still have some in operation that have been in the field for over 3 years working strong. Really kind of what you guys mentioned a few bosts back, the technology is changing so fast. What we do not want to do is introduce a product that people buy and in one year the product becomes obsolete. If we cant warranty a product for 15 years to life then we dont want anything to do with it. So in the future you will see some really trick LED products from Unique.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
10-31-2007, 07:05 PM
In case any of you might wonder why Unique has not introduced an LED. We have been experementing with LED's for over 5 years now. We have built prototypes and tested them, we still have some in operation that have been in the field for over 3 years working strong. Really kind of what you guys mentioned a few bosts back, the technology is changing so fast. What we do not want to do is introduce a product that people buy and in one year the product becomes obsolete. If we cant warranty a product for 15 years to life then we dont want anything to do with it. So in the future you will see some really trick LED products from Unique.

I look forward to what you guys come up with. One annoying trend I have found with LED lighting is that the manufactures are trying to sew up the market by creating sealed fixture and lamp combinations. Vista, Hadco, and a bunch of other 'no name' manufacturers have come out with LED based fixutres that are essentially disposable.

This is not a direction I want to go. I would much rather find and deal with lamp manufacturers who make LED lamp modules that can be installed into existing fixture technology. This way, you are not married to the fixture offerings of one manufacturer. I think that this idea of a sealed fixture with an unserviceable LED Lamp and socket assembly is akin to the old video tape format wars (VHS vs Beta). Besides, I would put way more faith into a LED lamp that is manufacturered by an establish lamp company (GE, Osram, Phillips, etc) then I would in some conglomeration of technology by a fixture manufacturer.

The other benefit of using LED Lamps over sealed LED based fixtures is the ability to retrofit your existing clients to the new technology. Not many of my clients are willing to replace fixtures just to get a new lamp technology.

Have a great day.

ccfree
10-31-2007, 11:07 PM
I look forward to what you guys come up with. One annoying trend I have found with LED lighting is that the manufactures are trying to sew up the market by creating sealed fixture and lamp combinations. Vista, Hadco, and a bunch of other 'no name' manufacturers have come out with LED based fixutres that are essentially disposable.

This is not a direction I want to go. I would much rather find and deal with lamp manufacturers who make LED lamp modules that can be installed into existing fixture technology. This way, you are not married to the fixture offerings of one manufacturer. I think that this idea of a sealed fixture with an unserviceable LED Lamp and socket assembly is akin to the old video tape format wars (VHS vs Beta). Besides, I would put way more faith into a LED lamp that is manufacturered by an establish lamp company (GE, Osram, Phillips, etc) then I would in some conglomeration of technology by a fixture manufacturer.

The other benefit of using LED Lamps over sealed LED based fixtures is the ability to retrofit your existing clients to the new technology. Not many of my clients are willing to replace fixtures just to get a new lamp technology.

Have a great day.

Then why doesn't any lamp manufacturer offer them? I used to think the same way you do about these manufacturers trying to sew up the market. But there must be a reason why 3 out of the top 5 manufacturers offer the same style disposable LED fixtures. It takes lot of energy and expense to develop this type of technology, and I think if you saw it first hand you might think differently. These few manufacturers who are developing and instituting this energy efficient type of lighting are the leading innovators in my opinion.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-01-2007, 08:56 AM
Then why doesn't any lamp manufacturer offer them? I used to think the same way you do about these manufacturers trying to sew up the market. But there must be a reason why 3 out of the top 5 manufacturers offer the same style disposable LED fixtures. It takes lot of energy and expense to develop this type of technology, and I think if you saw it first hand you might think differently. These few manufacturers who are developing and instituting this energy efficient type of lighting are the leading innovators in my opinion.

I have seen, touched and taken apart the LED fixtures offered by a couple of major manufacturers. I found composite fixtures, with borrowed LED technology, generally poor to no thermal management, and questionable optics.

I stand by my assertion that these sealed, disposable fixtures are the efforts of the manufacturers to come up with 'solutions' that marry the contractor to their product line. (It's a good strategy on their part if you think it through)

That being said, LED lamp modules are still the better alternative. As they can be installed into any fixtures, can be retrofit into exisiting systems, allow the ability to service the fixture in case of failure, and are built by lamp specialists. They are also much more cost effective.

irrig8r
11-03-2007, 12:20 PM
I have seen, touched and taken apart the LED fixtures offered by a couple of major manufacturers. I found composite fixtures, with borrowed LED technology, generally poor to no thermal management, and questionable optics.

I stand by my assertion that these sealed, disposable fixtures are the efforts of the manufacturers to come up with 'solutions' that marry the contractor to their product line. (It's a good strategy on their part if you think it through)

That being said, LED lamp modules are still the better alternative. As they can be installed into any fixtures, can be retrofit into exisiting systems, allow the ability to service the fixture in case of failure, and are built by lamp specialists. They are also much more cost effective.


As much as I would really like to use LED lamps in existing fixtures... (think of all the possibilities with retrofit jobs) when I look at a site like DG lights, it seems like they have designed fixtures specifically to radiate heat. Is there a heat buildup issue with currently available LEDs???

I mean, some halogen lamps get pretty hot, which I've always taken as a sign of inefficiency, i.e. energy producing heat when what I really want is light. I've always thought of LEDs as being more efficient in that regard... is that not so??? Or are all those extra fins on the fixtures I mention simply for show???

The other issue of course is that if a lamp really lasts 50,000 hours, are the same customers even going to be around that many years ahead for servicing? A "disposable" (maybe "recyclable" is more politically correct, or good "green marketing") fixture seems reasonable when the projected life is something like 22 years... (50,000 hrs/ six hrs. per night/ 365 nights per year)...

Don't you think?

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-03-2007, 04:31 PM
As much as I would really like to use LED lamps in existing fixtures... (think of all the possibilities with retrofit jobs) when I look at a site like DG lights, it seems like they have designed fixtures specifically to radiate heat. Is there a heat buildup issue with currently available LEDs???

There is a popular myth that LED lamps do not produce any heat. In fact, they do produce some heat (just not nearly as much as other types of lamps) and the heat that is produced by an LED is 'toxic' to their longevity. The 'power LEDs' that are increasingly popular (and the type that I use) heat up to between 40 and 80 degrees Celsius depending on the type. This heat must be effectively removed from the lamp in order to ensure extended operation. This is why you will see a wide variety of heat sinks, fins, and vents attached to power LED Lamp modules. Many of the LED Lamps suggest that they not be used in sealed fixtures, in order to help dispel the heat they produce.

So far I have had good success installing power LED lamps in copper and brass fixtures like the CAST Treelight. They have a lot of airspace inside the fixture and the heavy copper shroud and bronze or brass bases are excellent heat sinks. I cannot imagine that a sealed lamp inside a composite fixture will dispel much heat at all.

I mean, some halogen lamps get pretty hot, which I've always taken as a sign of inefficiency, i.e. energy producing heat when what I really want is light. I've always thought of LEDs as being more efficient in that regard... is that not so??? Or are all those extra fins on the fixtures I mention simply for show???

I think in the case of the DG fixtures, they have incorporated cooling fins onto the fixtures for the reasons stated above.

The other issue of course is that if a lamp really lasts 50,000 hours, are the same customers even going to be around that many years ahead for servicing? A "disposable" (maybe "recyclable" is more politically correct, or good "green marketing") fixture seems reasonable when the projected life is something like 22 years... (50,000 hrs/ six hrs. per night/ 365 nights per year)...

Rated lamp life with LED lamps and fixtures is still pretty much an art at guessing. When they first came out most were claiming 100,000 hours. Now most are claiming 50,000 hours. I think most of these claims are projections based on lab testing. Also, there are a variety of different criteria used to determine 'life' in LED lamps. Some rate them based on when the light output will reduce to 70%, 50% and even 30% of the original output, you have to read through the specifications very carefully. I would hope to see the IESNA or UL or CSA to come up with standardized rating criteria in the near future, to allow us to compare apples to apples.

Don't you think? Sometimes I think I think too much! :)

Chris J
11-03-2007, 10:15 PM
"I think" that there is still too much information that is rapidly changing from month to month; year to year. In the above mentioned post, it is stated that the original assumption was that the LED would last 100,000 hours. That assumption was then changed to 50k or 40k. What will the tests results show us in the next six months? 20K or less?
Some of us pros are pioneers who wish to believe all of this hype and push the envelope of "what could be the next best thing". To those of you who fall into this category, I commend you for no industry would progress without your positive thinking. For me, and others like me, I want to know the true results before I install it. I don't want to use my clients as guinea pigs to see if it will actually work or not. The LED is still too new for me to fool with it. The technology changes weekly, and I choose to stand my ground until this gains a little more consistency.

irrig8r
11-03-2007, 10:35 PM
I think you have some good points Chris.

Sometimes I'm an early adapter if I see a need I can fill. I was the first of my contractor friends to have a portable cell phone (think 9 lb. shoulder bag with lead battery) and the first with a Palm Pilot.

But these days not so much. I haven't rushed out to buy an iPhone. I've let a lot of new tech pass me by these days waiting for it to get better and cheaper.

And I don't want any of my customers to get stuck with investing in a system now that will be outdated in a year or 18 months. On the other hand, it's the nature of the beast for things to keep being reinvented and (hopefully) improved upon...

Like 78s > 45s > LPs > 8-tracks > cassettes > CDs > MP3s

or how about Betamax > VHS > (Laserdiscs) > DVDs > DivX or Blue Ray or HDVD or whatever the next big thing is...

Chris J
11-03-2007, 10:40 PM
You made the point that I was trying to make Gregg. Thanks.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
11-04-2007, 07:07 AM
I understand your points Gentlemen. I also understand my market. Most of my clients are young, savvy, early adopters. They are almost all professionally involved in the financial, technological and legal trades. They are interested in new technology and have a desire to own it, install it, experience it, and generally push the envelope a bit.

As such I try to meet their needs and wants. By Introducing LED lamp modules this year, I have captured and re-captured a lot of interest from my clients and prospects.

Am I using my clients as guinea pigs? I really, don't think so. I have done a lot of research and testing before choosing the lamp technology that I have installed this year. I am not saturating 100% of my market with these Lamps. I give every single client the option to choose between the LED and Halogen MR16s. (So far about 95% of them have gone with the LED) and I build my systems using "traditional" wiring methods backed by 'over-sized' transformers so that if there is a need to revert back to halogen lamps in the future, the wiring and power supply network required to do so is already in place. I have even figured out a way to remove any financial risk from my company or the client's if we need to revert to halogens in the future.

Besides all that.... LED lamps are just really cool, and I am actively doing something towards energy conservation on a fairly large, broad scale.

Have a great day.

YardPro
11-04-2007, 05:10 PM
when i was at the vista plant last month their R&D guy was telling us that next month they will be releasing their new led light.

this light will work from 3-30 volts and has the same light output and color as the mr16 20w for only 4 watts......

he recommended that we wait until this new light comes out before we start using them.

Hadco
11-08-2007, 02:57 PM
1: Who are you? Sturgis Kyle

2: Where are you from? York, PA

3: How long in the biz? 6 plus year

4: Individual Specialty? haha, thats a great question (doug L what am i good at), hmm fixing jobsite issues, and coming up with new designs (fixtures) for what customers want, and redesign fixtures to make them better

5: Largest Job Installed?

6: Most fun you ever had on a job? N/A

Eden Lights
11-08-2007, 04:24 PM
1: Who are you? Sturgis Kyle

2: Where are you from? York, PA

3: How long in the biz? 6 plus year

4: Individual Specialty? haha, thats a great question (doug L what am i good at), hmm fixing jobsite issues, and coming up with new designs (fixtures) for what customers want, and redesign fixtures to make them better

5: Largest Job Installed?

6: Most fun you ever had on a job? N/A

Who do you design fixtures for, because I have a list of wants!

msouthard
11-12-2007, 03:13 PM
James is right on about LED's. They are able to function across a wider spectrum of Voltages versus incandescent lamps. Stay tuned as Kichler will be introducing a whole new offering of LED's (December 9th) and with excellent color rendering (2800 Kelvin).

Pro-Scapes
11-12-2007, 03:59 PM
to mike s... I look forward to seeing the kichler LED's

To james...Sometimes you do think too much lol but then again staying on edge is benificial to you and your clients. If your clients are early to adopt new technology they are acustomed to technologies constant evolution and will more than likley be able to easily adopt new LED technolgies since you have already planned ahead. Kudos to you for that.

to greg
I used to be just like you especially when I lived in the silicon valley like you do. Technolgy seems to emerge every day there and you can spend a fortune trying to keep up with it. We bought... new plasma tv this year... new computer this year... new car this year... now all are either cheaper or close to outdated or vastly improved with the car being at the bottom of that list. The plasma TV is now improved even more... cheaper and more choices are out there.

Its like anything not just LEDs. If you wanna remain cutting edge you better be prepared to upgrade often.

Pro-Scapes
11-12-2007, 05:35 PM
its funny... right after i posted here today we got a call from someone wanting LED lighting. James Im going to send you an email

irrig8r
11-12-2007, 06:27 PM
That is funny.

ChampionLS
11-13-2007, 03:28 AM
1: Who are you? Sturgis Kyle

2: Where are you from? York, PA

3: How long in the biz? 6 plus year

4: Individual Specialty? haha, thats a great question (doug L what am i good at), hmm fixing jobsite issues, and coming up with new designs (fixtures) for what customers want, and redesign fixtures to make them better

5: Largest Job Installed?

6: Most fun you ever had on a job? N/A

Yay! HADCO is here. :usflag:

NightScenes
11-13-2007, 07:52 AM
It's great to see Hadco, Kichler (msouthard), Unique, Cast and the likes on a forum talking to the contractors that do or might use their products.