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jshimmin
06-09-2009, 05:00 PM
I have several out on various installs and have had no problems. I'd like to see if anyone has had any negative issues with the 4.5 or 8.5 watt units.

I'm not a fan of the mount, but they have held up.

Thanks, Jim

Lite4
06-09-2009, 06:01 PM
I have about 100 or so out there, but won't put anymore out there for now. I don't think they are going to last more than 5-7 years. The miliamps are cranked up so high on those babies that they are producing an awful lot of heat. Especially on the 12 watt model, it just can't be good for those IC boards. Just my take though. The warranty may be alright, but it doesnt' cover the labor required for me to go back to replace them and I am just not willing to make that jump just yet. I love the color and output of the LED though. No one can touch them in that department. However, like you said the mount is cheesy and sucks. In order for them to have professionals take their product seriously they need to have a professional mount and not something akin to box store junk. Again just my opinion so take it for what it is worth.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
06-09-2009, 06:04 PM
What happens to these fixtures when they reach the end of their service life?

Currently there is a massive backlash happening in the commercial lighting industry against integrated LED fixtures. Building owners and maintenance facilitators are taking notice and asking manu's and designers how they are supposed to deal with a lighting system that will require a complete replacement of infastructure after a pre-determined time. As you can imagine, the idea of closing a building and ripping out all the old fixtures to be replaced with new is not an attractive alternative.

Similarly, the idea that you are selling your client a complete system of fixtures that must be replaced after 15 or ?? years (at great expense) has got to be a very difficult hurdle to overcome. I envision the landfills filling up with integrated LED fixtures in as little as 10 years, or is Kichler going to institute a recycling program?

We already have hundreds of awesome fixtures to choose from... why re-invent the wheel just to accomodate a new technology. I say build better lamps to fit in the established fixtures and move forward.

Finally, how does an integrated LED fixture stand up to changes in the landscape over time. What happens when the shrubery grows and no longer needs a spot, but instead a flood distribution? Do you go back to the client and propose a new $500 fixture to take care of the situation? Good luck with that.

LED Lamps and lamp technology are the wave of the future. They allow you to used proven fixtures and they allow for the retrofitting and updating of existing systems.

Have a great day.

PSUTURFGEEK
06-09-2009, 07:17 PM
Heres my take, first of all I think the Kichler price point is hard to beat for LED's after that I do not like the style of the light nor do I like the idea it is loaded with Phosphorus, anyone with alot of experience in this field knows that will only last so long and eventually that warm fuzzy feeling WILL be replaced with that nice smurf blue as we are used to with some other LED's

I think some of the companys with higher price points got it right with the warmer looks and the use of three different drivers. Alot of this is so unknown at this point it's hard for me to say what any of these lights will look like in 7-10 years.

Lite4
06-09-2009, 07:56 PM
What happens to these fixtures when they reach the end of their service life?

Currently there is a massive backlash happening in the commercial lighting industry against integrated LED fixtures. Building owners and maintenance facilitators are taking notice and asking manu's and designers how they are supposed to deal with a lighting system that will require a complete replacement of infastructure after a pre-determined time. As you can imagine, the idea of closing a building and ripping out all the old fixtures to be replaced with new is not an attractive alternative.

Similarly, the idea that you are selling your client a complete system of fixtures that must be replaced after 15 or ?? years (at great expense) has got to be a very difficult hurdle to overcome. I envision the landfills filling up with integrated LED fixtures in as little as 10 years, or is Kichler going to institute a recycling program?

We already have hundreds of awesome fixtures to choose from... why re-invent the wheel just to accomodate a new technology. I say build better lamps to fit in the established fixtures and move forward.

Finally, how does an integrated LED fixture stand up to changes in the landscape over time. What happens when the shrubery grows and no longer needs a spot, but instead a flood distribution? Do you go back to the client and propose a new $500 fixture to take care of the situation? Good luck with that.

LED Lamps and lamp technology are the wave of the future. They allow you to used proven fixtures and they allow for the retrofitting and updating of existing systems.

Have a great day.

Excellent points James. I whole heartedly agree with the direct replacement mindset. There are still some major hurdles to cross but it is coming soon.

Lite4
06-09-2009, 07:58 PM
Heres my take, first of all I think the Kichler price point is hard to beat for LED's after that I do not like the style of the light nor do I like the idea it is loaded with Phosphorus, anyone with alot of experience in this field knows that will only last so long and eventually that warm fuzzy feeling WILL be replaced with that nice smurf blue as we are used to with some other LED's

I think some of the companys with higher price points got it right with the warmer looks and the use of three different drivers. Alot of this is so unknown at this point it's hard for me to say what any of these lights will look like in 7-10 years.

That is a good point you raise about the more expensive LEDs using 3 different colored drivers to achieve the right colored light. I was looking at some interior cans for a project and that is exactly what they do while using internal sensors to constantly monitor and adjust the color output.

David Gretzmier
06-10-2009, 02:11 AM
I think focusing on the lamp is also a good idea, but this reminded me of an article in the paper here recently.

One of our local cities is suing an LED manu for misrepresenting LED stoplights for 100,000 plus bucks. they basically paid this company to come in a change all the local stoplights over to LED, with the promise of the big two things, energy savings and huge bulb change intervals. They replaced the familiar bulbs, which were 130 volt 100 watt bulbs, lasting about 10-15000 hours and were aprox. 5 bucks each, with LEDs that were over 150 each but supposed to last 120,000 plus hours and save thousands every year in energy savings. the energy savings were there, but the lights started losing the tiny LED's after only 1 year, and after two years they all look like the balloon dart game at the state fair after a few hours on saturday night. folks are complaining, and rightfully so. they were replacing the bulbs every two years anyway. now the argument is whether to try a new led bulb ( this one is better...) or go back to the older style that was cheaper to replace and you knew what to expect.

If I had the chance to install a $100,000 plus LED landscape install, I might do it since I need the work. but I am in no financial position to give that money back or defend my self in court 2 years later in a lawsuit if they fail.

But the folks that made these bulbs and the folks who put them in truly believed they would last a long time.

Lite4
06-10-2009, 07:21 AM
Thanks David,

Interesting story. I have dabbled with the LEDs but am for the most part still sitting on the fence. I went to a movie last week at a new theatre, (maybe 2-3 years old). It is extremely modern and all of the landscape lighting, exterior step lighting and area lighting is all LED driven. I would say a good 20% of all the LEDs I saw had failed. So much for the long life span. I think the green movement has produced so much hysteria about energy conservation in recent years that the market has just been inundated with LED product that was rushed to market without thorough longevity testing to meet a growing demand for a "green" light source. It is just my opionion, but I believe many of these LED manus are going to pay dearly for rushing their products out to market so fast without adequate testing and slapping some nebulous number on their product like 50k or 100k hours. I am hoping Kichler doesn't get stung by this, but I have a sneaking suspicion they will. I guess time will tell. Anyway Good info.

jshimmin
06-10-2009, 09:39 AM
I have a customer that likes the look of the Kichler product over all others as that is what is on a neighboring property. They have a large installed base of PAR fixtures and want to do a swap out.
The price points on the Kichlers are almost inline with existing halogen fixtures, so initial price is not a factor for them.

NiteTymeIlluminations
06-10-2009, 11:27 AM
Interesting times...ehh...

I have a few of these kichler leds in testing...the color and output is amazing. Will it stay that way? I don't know thats why I'm testing then ( the brass fixtures) in a very hot place. After 3 months now...no change in anything as far as I can see.

Wish they were available in 120 volt though.


I am evolving to favoring LED "lamps" though...are they lamps? or just LEDs if they are put into a lamp form...I know they aren't bulbs...anyway...I'm designing a few 120 volt pathlights right now that will use a medium base par 20 LED. LED turns to bust I can go back to a CFL real easy. That's the advantage of using lamps instead of a complete unit.

Testing is the key though...maybe not...by the time you test something anymore these days technolgy has moved on and the unit isnt available anymore. same goes for the lamps though too...if you use a led mr16 today and it goes in 2 years are you going to be able to replace just that lamp for someone and have it match the rest of the system...I doubt it....you are back to replacingt he whole system...ughhh...we cannot get a break...lol...

steveparrott
06-11-2009, 01:07 PM
It occurs to me that many contractors like NyteTime are trying to evaluate LED's in the field to see if they hold up.

I think it would be very helpful to develop some simple field-testing methods for LED's so a contractor could quickly check the fixtures during a yearly maintenance.

To test luminance: An accurate lightmeter (+/- 1%) would be essential. At the minimum it would test both footcandles and color - those meters are pricey. Simple footcandle meters are fairly inexpensive.

Next, you'd need to create a black box of some sort that could be positioned with the fixture in one end and an opening for the meter at the other end. There would need to be some way to exactly duplicate the position of the meter every time. You may also want to have a few holes for different meter positions since light distribution may change in time.

To test color: Either a color meter could be used or you could buy an extra fixture at the time of the project. The extra fixture would be kept as a never-used control. During testing (at night) you could illuminate a white board with both old and new fixtures side-by-side. Color differences would be readily seen this way.

There are some confounding factors to consider such as the presence of condensation, the ambient temperature and others.

I think this testing is very important since we are looking for relatively minor changes each year. Most mfg. now use an L70 standard for life - that means the LED life is predicted as the time when 70% luminance is reached. An LED operated for 6 hrs. per day reaches a 50,000 life in about 23 years. If the LED is living up to it's promise then we'd expect a lumen depreciation of about 1.5% per year. This is far below our ability to perceive difference in brightness. Even a side by side comparison could have a 5% difference and it would be hard to detect. An LED operating 6 hrs/day that loses 5% per year will have an actual life closer to 13,000 hrs.

Let's not let mfgs. get away with inflated claims. Let's accurately test the fixtures in the field.