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Mike M
07-18-2009, 06:08 PM
If you have LED systems out there for a year or so, please provide some feedback.

I think the best results I hear are from people using dedicated fixtures which separate the LED from the control modules (as opposed to retro bulbs).

emby
07-18-2009, 09:01 PM
Hi Mike,

I am currently submitting a proposal to install regular landscape lighting as this customer is not happy with his LED system. I have not even looked at what type of system is currently installed but here are a couple of pictures of the fixtures mounted everywhere on the house. I am sure that they spent a few bucks on this particular system.

Ken

Mike M
07-19-2009, 05:42 AM
My guess is they didn't like the lighting design, and the quality of output (intensity and/or color).

I don't know those fixtures.

I'm hoping to get some responses here from people with their own LED installs out in the elements.

The Lighting Geek
07-19-2009, 08:11 PM
I have about 900-1000 Kichler LED fixtures in the field, some have been in service for about a year. I have not had any problems with the exception of a couple faulty ones. They were replaced no questions asked.

Lite4
07-19-2009, 09:11 PM
That's hideous, why would they not use can lights under that porch and opt for those ugly things?

David Gretzmier
07-19-2009, 09:54 PM
because someone told them led's were the wave of the future.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-21-2009, 07:30 PM
I am approaching 2000 LED MR16s installed to date and have had ZERO issues with the Kumho Luxxo MT Series (no longer available from what I understand) or my own line of LED lamps.

I have had some issues with the 3x3w Prolight LED MR16 lamps that I installed in 2007. Some of these have failed but were replaced under warranty. Their issue was a shorting out capacitor on the driver board.

I am now installing G4 Bi-Pin LED lamps in many soft flood, post light and accent fixture applications. Also a proprietary design and fabrication. So far very good performance when you need a 15W xenon equivalent.

I have a T5 Wedge and a 1156 SCB LED lamp in engineering now... should be available in early 2010.

Said it before and I stand by it. Why re-engineer and build all new (and butt ugly) LED fixtures when you can install excellent lamps inside already perfected fixtures?

Mike M
07-21-2009, 08:12 PM
James, as far as LED bulbs, if you plan to use the same fixture, the same wiring method, and the same transformers, than why even bother? All for the sole benefit of longer lasting bulbs?

Lite4
07-21-2009, 11:39 PM
because someone told them led's were the wave of the future.

There are some really good can light LEDs out there that could be used instead of those after thought pieces of junk. There are some that are RGB LEDs with an internal color temp sensor that constantly monitors the output color. They are spendy but they look better than that junk heap attached to the underside of that porch.

JoeyD
07-22-2009, 10:05 AM
James, as far as LED bulbs, if you plan to use the same fixture, the same wiring method, and the same transformers, than why even bother? All for the sole benefit of longer lasting bulbs?

Regardless of how you lay your system out and if you have an oversized transformer you still only pay for what you draw and an LED system will draw less. For those who are more turned on by longer lasting lamps we will be introducing a 10K hour and 20K hour "Green Light" MR16 lamp in the near future! (No it wont be Green in color! LOL)

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-22-2009, 06:46 PM
James, as far as LED bulbs, if you plan to use the same fixture, the same wiring method, and the same transformers, than why even bother? All for the sole benefit of longer lasting bulbs?

Given the sucess that I have had with LED lamps over the past couple of years I have begun to use smaller transformers (rarely ever go over 300W now) and am able to do much longer cable runs.

As I have displayed here numerous times, there is a significant cost benefit to the client when using LED lamps, well over $200 savings per installed fixture is achieved with LED lamps. Lower consumption, and lower maintenance costs to the client are the real selling points of the lamps. Go back into the archives and you will see my detailed cost benefit analysis.

David Gretzmier
07-22-2009, 08:24 PM
What amazes me is that out of the 2000 or so Halogen lamps I have installed either new or relamp over the past 2 years, I have had at least 25 of them fail. I believe James Is using the best LED's out there, but ALL of the LED's I've tried have failed in a weeklong trial in my garage, or are too ugly color to install. I tried 2 more this week, both "warm white" but 300 plus lumens, both probably 4500 k or so, and both exceeded the cost of some decent brass bullet fixtures out there. both had huge aluminum heatsinks, and one melted the lens of the mr-16 after 72 hours. The Kumho is not available, James's lamp is not out there yet, and it is frustrating to me that I am being asked to put these in by folks and 99% of the ones out there are crap or don't last a week. 99% of the halogen mr-16's out there at least WORK and look good. This technology is just too new.

emby
07-22-2009, 09:23 PM
Good evening everybody,

I have not had a chance to do this and maybe one of you can perform this test for me...I would like to put an amp meter around the conductors feeding the light fixture fitted with a LED and compare that reading to a fixture fitted with a normal MR 16. I heard that some of the electronics are drawing more ampacity than a normal MR 16? Let me know as I have had a few customers inquiring about LED's.

Ken

David Gretzmier
07-22-2009, 11:29 PM
I'm pretty sure that is inaccurate. James would not be able to install his 100 fixture jobs on a 300 watt trans unless the amp/watt load is truly low.

Pro-Scapes
07-23-2009, 12:00 AM
It is definatly significantly lower. I will try to pull some readings tmrw on the DG lights xt spot and a standard 20w mr16 ge constant color.

Mike M
07-23-2009, 07:04 AM
James, my point is that the benefit goes well beyond a longer-lasting bulb. Smaller trans, no need for so many taps, less copper in the wires, longer and less home runs, faster installations.

My comment is mainly in reference to going all-out LED, and not over-building the system to accommodate for halogens in case you want to revert to them.

That being said, if you were confident of an LED system, you wouldn't need to specify halogen fixtures with LED bulbs. The LED-specific fixture would be a smarter choice. The first benefit being that these fixtures are ahead of the reliability curve, since the control module is separated from the diode. If you have a failure before the 15 year expectancy, DGLIGHTS has removable/serviceable components now. If an upgrade in technology or a refinement in the LED components becomes available, you could always just swap out the parts, and not have to throw away the fixture.

I'm not saying it's time to go all-out-LED, I'm questioning why even bother going with LED's, unless you are seeking all the benefits of a complete LED system from the ground up.

bmwsmity
07-23-2009, 07:49 AM
I installed 75 Kichler LED fixtures almost a year ago...I've had two with issues. Basically there was a short in their internal circuitry and they caused the fuse in the hub to blow.

Of course, Kichler (and my supplier) are awesome with warranty issues and they were replaced with no hesitation.

Also of note, Kichler's 4.5w (20w equiv.) now comes in a 60 degree spread, which is nice because I think these are actually more close to a 35w equivalent in lumens, so I will use these where last year I had to use the 8.5w fixtures.

Now, if Kichler would just fix their really really stupid way of adjusting the fixture and actually have a nice screw on the side of the fixture for angle and a standard lockring setup for where they screw into the stake...it would be incredible.

steveparrott
07-23-2009, 09:44 AM
Has anyone used the Optiled 5w (1310050806)(3800K) and 6w (1310060806)(2700K) LED MR-16's? They only come in 25 degrees and have a 35K hr. or 4-yr. warranty. Also only rated for indoors but are being used in outdoor applications. 20W equivalent lumens.
http://www.optiledtech.com/products_lamps.php?prod_id=93

JoeyD
07-23-2009, 10:19 AM
Keep in mind Mike the other problem with having "LED Fixtures" is what happens when the landscape matures or changes and you are stuck with certain degrees of beam spreads or intensities? It is not uncommon to need to change lamps over time to accommodate plant or tree growth. Heck how many times have you been on a new install and realized you needed to step wattage down, step wattage up, add a frosted or spread lens, or change fixtures all together? What happens if our worst nightmares come true and these LED's lose a bunch of lumen output over time as well and your awesome design looks half lit in 3-4 years? How is the homeowner going to react, will they understand, or will they be upset? What about you, how will you feel if that once awesome looking job now looks under lit and weak?

Those fully potted and built LED Fixtures present a huge problem when it comes to flexibility in lighting design. LED Lamps will be the way to go once the technology catches up with itself. Until then, Halogen 24v is the ticket to an efficient and time reliable lighting system over standard 12v halogen or LED!

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-24-2009, 01:41 AM
Those fully potted and built LED Fixtures present a huge problem when it comes to flexibility in lighting design. They also pose many replacement cost / re-integration issues and disposal issues!

LED Lamps will be the way to go once the technology catches up with itself. I would argue that the lamp technology is now on your doorstep. All of the 'big names' in lamps have jumped into the 120v LED lamp market in the last year. I am seeing new, emerging and excellent quality LED lamps being released all the time. At lightfair I saw some awesome product from big name Manu's in Asia, but they dont have their N. American Listings yet.

LED lamps are the way to go. We already have great fixtures, power sources, and installation technologies, so why re-create the wheel.

Mike M
07-24-2009, 07:24 AM
The tracking is early, since installers posting here have only a year or so experience, but it looks like installers using LED-specific fixtures are enjoying less problems in the beginning than those using the LED bulb.

It will be very interesting to revisit this thread over time. Especially in a few more years.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-24-2009, 10:16 PM
I really don't know how you came up with that conclusion Mike. Thankfully my LED lamped systems look beautiful both day and night as I get to use the best fixtures available, rather than ultra ugly, large, poorly designed, composite, etc integrated LED fixtures.

jshimmin
07-25-2009, 07:51 AM
If someone could put an LED MR-16 replacement bulb in my hands that closely matched a halogen's color, I'd use them. I have yet to see one that looks comparable to the halogen.
If I demo half of a house with LED and half with halogen, the halogen is always chosen.
In landscape scenarios, the LED's (Kichler) work fine. As long as there's not a solid area of color to illuminate they function fine.

INTEGRA Bespoke Lighting
07-25-2009, 10:14 AM
Jim, I assure you that there are LED MR16s out there with true 2800K colour and the intensity to replicate a 20W BAB Halogen MR16.

I can install an LED MR16 in a fixture located beside a Halogen MR16 and you cannot tell the difference - and they run cooler then any other LED MR16 lamp I have ever seen or tested... only 37 Deg. C. on the board!

jshimmin
07-25-2009, 03:02 PM
If they are out there, the manufacturers or their reps are doing a poor job at best of getting product information into the hands of companies that could move the product.
One company has stepped up with a warranty close to the claims of the LED life. Their mount and fixture aesthetics do not make the grade though.

Pro-Scapes
07-25-2009, 03:36 PM
Mike I rememeber yyou were trying out the DG lights stuff some time back either excellent preliminary results. How have they held up over time. I am really on the border when it comes to Shermans new lamina based XT spot. The color rendition is excellent and the output is wonderful out of an MR8 sized fixture. I am conceared about the unpackaged lamp tho it is more or less the atlas engine epoxied to a holder ? No doubt it is a 20w equivelant. The beam spreads are changeable with different optics as well.

Mike M
07-25-2009, 05:11 PM
Billy, I have been told that many of Sherman's lights are out there, and I have not heard of any failures. That's why I wanted to run an LED tracking thread, for actual feedback based on real installations.

Pro-Scapes
07-25-2009, 11:49 PM
The only person I have heard say many are out there is from Sherman or Tere so take that as you will. I am hoping to hear back from someone who has been using these extensivly.

I know you have them at your house and I will probably use them at my house when I redo the landscape this fall and winter but do you have any jobs installed with them ?

Mike M
07-26-2009, 06:57 AM
Because of the biz climate I held back making the jump, just a couple in as add-ons. I had bought a set to make as a demo, I had 9v battery terminals connected and everything, but without a bunch of 35 equiv's, it's too hard to do a demo, and the 35's get expensive. I can't put aluminum in from Kichler or DGLIGHTS in my coastal region, so the premium for the LED's is a little high. I was preparing to push them with a marketing campaign, but that's when the brakes were hit on the southeast economy. I decided to hold off spending money to advertise, and to wait on further investment in LED demo equipment.

I'm still planning on the campaign to use them, just not here and now. The set I got from sherman is now on my house and performs awesome. I also like the brass kichler sample I got from FOLD, with the glare shield "accessory." I need to research the specific technical differences between DGLIGHTS and Kichler in terms of product design and longevity.

JoeyD
07-27-2009, 10:48 AM
If they are out there, the manufacturers or their reps are doing a poor job at best of getting product information into the hands of companies that could move the product.
One company has stepped up with a warranty close to the claims of the LED life. Their mount and fixture aesthetics do not make the grade though.

There are a few out there but most arent to excited about them becuse of cost. We are offering the Ushio LED MR16 now that the Kumho has been a complete failure and although the color output and intensity is really good on the Ushio the cost scares most away. The other aspect of the LED's losing large amounts of Lumens over the years also has some in limbo on whether or not to try them on projects.